Couch to 5K
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Shouldn't this be getting easier

I'm now doing week 3 for the second time as I don't feel I can do a 5 minute run as yet. I thought I was reasonably fit as I am a regular gym goer ( three times a week weights and three times a week cross trainer),but this program is kicking my a**.

I am using a treadmill in the gym and since starting the program I have had to decrease my walk speed from 5 down to 4.8 Kph and my run speed from 8 down to 7.6 kph. Is this normal? By the way I am doing the running instead of the cross trainer. Like I said I had no problems doing 45 minutes on the cross trainer hearts rate program in the hard zone, but I am finding this running lark really hard.

5 Replies

I did Week2 over and over, and also Week3, I think. So don't feel alone doing those repeats. Rule number 1 is "Be Sensible", and you're doing that. Good for you. As long as you adjust the program to yourself, you'll be fine. Extending that principle a bit, maybe your problem is unusual, but what does that matter, really? As long as you find a way of working through it, you can get to some goal that makes sense for You. And then after that, some other goal. And so on. And every step along the way you go further and further away from just about bursting a blood vessel just to run for a minute. If you're on Week3, you've already progressed. If you now go and do Week3 better, that's also progress. Your measure of progress just changes from "quantity to quality", now, that's all.

One thing I'd urge you to do is to be brave, go out on those streets among all those people whose opinion doesn't matter if it's negative and destructive, and run outside, not on a treadmill. Do it at 4am if you're shy, but try it, and I bet you'll like it.


The best advice I had during c25k was to slow down, it really helped. And while you can repeat runs and weeks, if you have completed week 3 successfully, you will be ready for week 4. It may not feel like it yet, but you will be ready.

The cross trainer is complementary to running, but uses a different set of muscles, or the same muscles in a different way. Just cos you can do the cross trainer doesn't mean you'll be able to run, I can run a few kilometres (slowly), but I can't go very far at all on the cross trainer - at any speed.


That's alright, slowing down is the best thing you can do at this stage of the game. The vast majority of us try to do C25k at far too high a pace and struggle as a consequence. Slower is definitely better.

Running is definitely harder work than using the elliptical machine because you are actually doing the work and propelling your bodyweight rather than the machne doing all the work for you. Elliptical machines are great for people with joint injuries or who need impact-free exercise, or a s a warmup in the gym but they don't do a great deal in terms of your fitness levels otherwise.

Just keep at it, slow down and then slow down a bit more, and you will find it all becomes a lot more manageable.


I know how you feel but give it a go. So far I have managed everything I didn't think I could and I think you may be the same. I also use treadmill but much slower than you. I run at 7 and walk at 5. It's the stamina were building at first not speed. Good luck


Most people here (I believe) don't use a treadmill, but many do and they can give their experiences, but you need to set a pace that you can maintain, for either walk or run intervals. There is little extra to be gained at this stage by going faster, because as others say, the aim is to build stamina not speed. We have runners here from teens to 70+, from underweight to obese, from extremely chronically unfit to marathon and triathlon competitors, so asking about speeds to set dreadmills is going to give very disparate answers. The best pace for you is the one you can maintain and don't be frightened to slow down if you have to.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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