Couch to 5K
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Graduate and First post

Hi everyone,

Long post alert, but as it is my first I thought I would share my story. I have only recently come across this forum which is a real shame as it looks a great place to get advice and support through the couch to 5k programme.

Like most people here, I honestly never thought I could do it, but was determined to complete a 5k race before my 40th birthday (September 2015). Running for a full minute in week one was terrible. Body pains, rubbish breathing, felt like I had actually died, and pretty much felt like this for the first 3 weeks. The advice to run at a pace where you can hold a conversation made me laugh so much, I could barely talk for a good 5-10 minutes when I had stopped running, let alone whilst I was moving, if you could call what I was doing moving at all.

My partner Kevin had agreed to join me on the couch to 5k journey. He has never been a runner either and was nervous that his body wouldn't be able to cope. He is just the wrong side of 50 years old now, and has a build like a string bean, but he has found that the programme has helped him enormously too. As he is 6ft 2 (I am 5ft 5), his stride is significantly longer than mine, and he can obviously move much faster than my little legs can, but he has always run at my pace so we can achieve our goals together. This has involved him running around me in circles like my own personal satellite in the early days, but I have somehow gradually increased my speed so we can (almost) run comfortably at a similar speed.

We completed week 9 run 3 last Friday, but actually did our first 5k distance in week 8 in 35m:02s - which I was really chuffed at. I know I should have stuck to the plan, but we just felt like we could do the extra time and went for it. Something just suddenly clicks doesn't it, and without realising you are happily (well sort of) moving along, breathing in a good rhythm, wondering how you ever though 1 minute was a struggle, and before you know it you only have 5 minutes to go.

We have done another 5k run as our week 9 run 1, and managed 33 mins, but mainly because the first km was sub 5 minutes and way too fast for me and I was wrecked at the end. This also meant I had a terrible run week 9 run 2, and for the first time in the entire programme I had to stop and walk, and I abandoned the run completely after about 15 minutes - disaster. Thankfully run 3 was better and we did the 5k in 34 mins.

We are signed up for the Color Run in Birmingham on 15th August, and my goal is to get the 5k down to under 30 minutes if that is possible. Any advice and guidance would be much appreciated.

Happy Monday everyone.

11 Replies

Hi Chrissy, welcome and many congratulations for completing the programme. Like you, I posted for the first time after I graduated but I haven't stopped since so hopefully you'll be the same now you've found this place! Everyone is so supportive and lovely and if you have any running related questions then someone here will know the answer. There's a wealth of experience and it's great fun too!

How lovely that you can run with your partner and well done to both of you for getting the 5K done and in such a great time. You could do the speed and stamina podcasts here to prepare you for your race or you could do your own thing and run 3 times a week, 1x 5K run, 1x shorter (say 3K) speed or interval run and 1 slower, longer run building up your distance slowly. The important things to remember are not to increase your weekly total distance by more than 10%, take your rest days and stretch after every run.

The more you run, the faster you'll become so keep at it and you'll gradually chip away at the time.

I hope you both have a long, injury free running future and are still loving your running in a year's time!

1 like

Thank you Irishprincess.

I have downloaded the podcasts and will give them a go on my next run day tomorrow. I feel faster already ;)



lol I LOVE the TAGS ( they are my new obsession)

Well done on getting so far... and I'm SURE you'll get to the 'colour run'


Ha thank you - they were the recommended tags and I thought about changing them, but they were all too appropriate. I am confident the Color Run will be fine as I can do the distance now, and I am looking forward to the atmosphere of it having watched some friends do it last year.


Very well done Chrissy. Welcome to the forum. Keep posting so we can follow your running adventure (in a non-stalkers-ish way, of course) Lol ;)


Thank you, I look forward to being not stalked on my journey. x


Welcome. It sounds like you are doing great. Follow the advice of irishprincess, take things steady and you won't go far wrong.

Good luck and keep running :)


I couldn't stop now, I love it!


Congratulations on completing the programme, and just as impressive, getting your partner to join you! If only I could get Mr Pink off the couch.. no chance..

Looks like you're well on the way to some successful and fab runs :) xx


I was just as surprised as you when he agreed to join me, I think it has really helped though. We have had so much fun my whole family have started going in. My sister, brother in law, 2 nieces and my 70 year old mother. We look like a very odd bunch when we all start out.


Well done to you and your partner on getting to 5km and getting your graduation badges. Its great to run with someone, but running with everyone on this form is also a lot of fun. keep up the running and celebrate a very happy birthday in September with a 10km :-)


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