Couch to 5K

Advice needed

Hi all,

I started C25K last week and managed (just!) the 3 week 1 exercises. I never found it easier though and was almost sick every time... when I saw what was required in week 2 I panicked and started week 1 again in the hope of it becoming easier!

I'm really tired all the time and hope doing this will not only help me lose weight but also get some more energy... but am I doing the wrong thing by doing week 1 again?? It's my second session of this week tonight and again, I feel so tired I can barely get the energy to cook let alone jog/run for 90 seconds!

I know I need to stick to it but I've never been able to run before and it just feels like it comes naturally to everyone else and that by this point, it should be feeling easier.

Any advice?? I don't want to give up!

9 Replies

It's not natural at all to me! I think you should try week 2 to see how it feels. The programme is so clever, am on week three and astounded to have done this much. I found in week two the first three 90 secs were hard but by the end I was so pleased to be nearly finished I managed it. Maybe you need to slow right down no matter how silly you feel. Good luck x


The good news is that it WILL get easier. But then, sneakily, the programme gets harder. So the end result is that you'll probably not find it "easy" at any point during the 9 weeks, but you WILL astonish yourself by your ability to increase the duration week after week, each week running distances that you only a week or two before would have thought would be totally impossible. And that will feel so wonderful that you eventually will want to carry on just for the sheer joy of it.

In the interim, you do need to stick to it, as you say, and 3 runs is not nearly enough to have had any effect on you, other than make you tired. But keep at it, and before you know, everything will be honky dory, the birds will sing louder and the sun will feel warmer (that might have somethign to do with exhaustion from running, who knows?!)

You won't lose a lot of weight from the running itself. Non-stop running for a mile consumes about 100 calories, maybe 150 if you're overweight. But the running builds muscles, and the muscles increase your metabolism, and THAT will slowly and steadily result in a weight loss.

Keep at it. Don't give up.

Happy running (and yes, it WILL make you happy)


If you don't feel ready for week 2 yet, repeat week 1 again. No-one says that you have to complete the course within 9 weeks. After one week's repeat I would then try week 2 though.

If you are still feeling sick, it suggests to me that you may be trying to run too fast. Slow down. At this stage, it's all about how long you can run for, not how far you can run. Once you can get the minutes in (i.e. you can complete week 9), then you can look at slowly increasing your pace. This course is not initially about running 5K. It's more about running continuously for 30 minutes (which you will do if you stick with it, to the end, believe me). Speed comes later.

Start off slow, and then go slower.


What Adam said! Don't give up - there is something magical waiting for you if you stick with it. The key is - slow down!

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Yep all of the above...many of us took far longer than the 9 weeks and I swear I walked faster than my jogging ( probably still do😊)...but I did it and so will you!!!!

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Thank you for all of your lovely encouraging words! I do think speed is an issue... maybe I feel like I'm not doing it properly if it's not fast...! I will try to slow it down a bit... I'll keep on with week 1 this week as I've already started it on Monday and pretend it's my first week... doing an extra week can't hurt! I've read that running isn't the best thing along to lose weight but I've changed my diet completely and as you say Tomas, I'm hoping to build up strength to try other exercises. To be fair, I never thought I could do half an hour of anything let alone what I've achieved in the last week!


Don't get hung up on the 'week' element. Make your next run a Week 2 podcast - what's the worst that could happen?

If I'd waited until week 1 wasn't a major struggle I could still be waiting (and would probably have given up). It took me weeks and weeks and many attempts to work my way up to completing it. Yet I never had to do any extra sessions of C25K after that.

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Don't give up. I am not a natural runner and I am doing it. I've followed all the good advice given on here. I kept thinking I needed to repeat runs but then someone replied to one of my post saying if you managed it move on, it's good advice. KEEP GOING :-D


I think most of us on here would say that we are not natural runners and that this journey hasn't come easy but personally I would continue through the programme rather than repeat successful weeks. If you have a "bad run" and everyone does at some point, then you can repeat that one until you complete it.

The most often repeated, but also the most sensible advice on here is to take it slowly and keep going. You will surprise yourself!


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