I hate running

I gave up smoking 3 weeks ago after finding that I couldn't even go for a hike without having to stop every 3 minutes to catch my breath. It was scary and upsetting to think I had let myself get to that point so I have slowly begun to look at my lifestyle and try to make changes where I can.

So today was my first attempt at this program. Thank god for the 90 second rests!! Did anyone else get seriously itchy legs when running for the first time?? It was like this intense itching all over my thighs lol..

I mean realistically I can't see me ever enjoying running, it hurts and I can't breathe properly which is not a pleasant feeling but I'm in it to get healthy not to actually enjoy myself haha. I actually find myself running along thinking 'I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!'.. I must be the worlds most reluctant runner! Lets see how this goes..


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26 Replies

  • Stick with it. You'll find that over the first few weeks the aches and discomfort will ease, and your ability to run for longer and longer periods will surprise you. As you begin to feel the satisfaction from your success, you'll find that your confidence in yourself will grow, and when you do the 20 minute run at the end of week 5, you'll get a huge buzz.

    This is worth persevering with. I started my C25K journey at the end of January, not knowing what to expect. I now love running, and think of myself as a runner. A 5K run is meat and drink, and I love running longer distances. I'm chasing a 60 minute 10K, and I'm running a Half Marathon in October.

    C25K is transformative. The only thing that can prevent you from succeeding with this is that grey stuff between your ears.

  • I completely understand. I hated every second of week 1. But stick with it, it gets better. The 9 weeks is difficult but week 1 was the worst. The best advice i got was to run slowly - very slowly. At this point you are training to get aerobically fit enough to run 30 minutes, speed will come later. Ask anyone on here and they'll all tell you how amazed they are at how quickly things improve. Ask any graduate if it was worth the pain of week one to be able to run parkrun 9 weeks later. They'll all say YES.

  • Keep persevering! It's going to take a good few weeks for your lungs to clear of all the smoking related gunk! After which, you will find things easier and when you draw a large breath during a run you Will wonder why you ever smoked.

    Also, try to change your running mantra from "I hate this" to "I like this.. and I'm going to live longer"

  • Well done on making such a big change to your life. I've never smoked so can only imagine how very hard it must be to give up. You have definitely made the right decision. There are times when I have found the programme very hard and only the thought of the inspirational people on this forum have kept me ploughing on. The highs of success are truly worth the pain of perseverance. Good luck and keep posting. I wish you all the best!

  • Another angle on this is that running rattles things loose that were waiting to break later on, when you were more smoke damaged, less fit, more overweight, etc. So the things that were planning to do you a whole lot more harm than just a bit of discomfort will be exposed, but you only experience them in their current state, before they're fully developed.

    So maybe your breathing problem is a foretaste of emphysema or something? Instead of needing an oxygen bottle, though, you needed to just "keep your head while all around you were losing theirs, and blaming it all on you" (Kipling's "If", if you don't recognise it) and persevere through that resistance. The "Thing" fought back, struck you a few blows, hurt you a bit, but you overcame it.

    It just is really difficult getting started if you arrive quite badly out of shape (and I know how you feel; I have felt it, that struggle). That's the bad news. The good news is that your body has been waiting on the sidelines, wishing it could show you just how resilient it is. Just keep up the good fight, and there will come a time (not next year, either) where you start to feel a bit less horrible. And after that, maybe after some more persisting, you'll start feeling good. If you're lucky, you'll feel good While you're running.

  • I am 51 and now on week 5 and can remember my calves burning when running but the programme has been designed so that your fitness builds, your heart and lungs get healthier and even your legs. I am not saying that each week gets easier but day 1 will be a challenge, day 2 reasonable and sometimes day 3 is pretty easy!

    Just think of it as working on your whole body, run slowly, breathe deeply, relax your arms and legs - if I can do it, you can.

  • I would say one half hour session of anything new is not a lot of evidence to make a 'never' decision on.

  • actually.... the interesting thing is, we were ALL like this at the start, and enjoying it ( the physical process) can be a long road and for some a short one .. but the main thing is.. you are doing SO much good for yourself.. and I can honestly say, without fear of contradiction you will find it easier ( but sometimes also more difficult too) as time progresses.. but your overall health WILL improve… absolutely.. 100% without fail

  • The physical discomfort will steadily reduce as you progress and get fitter and so will the hatred. ...

  • Im a smoker and I thought when people say it affects a person's ability to run, they were just lies to get a person to quit; I guess not.

    Running in general is annoying at first but hopefully in the next few weeks or months you will be on here saying that you love it :-)

  • I could have been reading my own thoughts during week one when I read your post. Apart from the itchy legs. Boy did they hurt, though... :)

    I was convinced that I would give up within three weeks of starting, and guess what... I'm still running, seven months later. My C25K sales pitch is "You start out gasping for breath and end up gasping for a run". It really is magic, so hang on in there - in a few months time you'll be so glad you stuck at it. Keep us posted and keep at it - you've got this!

  • "You start out gasping for breath and end up gasping for a run"

    This is perfect. I'm on Week 5 and it's already becoming quite difficult to convince myself to stop and go home after I finish each podcast.

  • Totally agree, I'm half on the injury couch with painful shin, saw a jogger yesterday and thought 'I hate you, I hate you, I hate you'. I didn't really hate the person at all, I just hated the fact I can't run at the moment, not that i go far or fast, that doesn't matter. So yes, gasping for a run!


  • All great advice given by other members, stick with it, and tell that little voice in your head to bugger off! You will reap the benefits!

    Come back and tell us how you are at w9, I bet you have changed your tune!

  • "'I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!'.. I must be the worlds most reluctant runner!"

    Great line!

    But, you are only the latest person to hold this fleeting title. Next week someone else will hold it and you will look back on them and say, Yep - that was me last week!

    Go really slowly at first, think jogging at walking pace. You will quickly realise as the runs get longer that speed is never going to be realistic - but distances...you won't believe how far you will be able to go.

    There will be aches and pains as muscles and joints that have not been used since school suddenly get conscripted but it will pass - well to be honest they go and new and more interesting ones appear but even they will go eventually!

    Post every time you do a run, good or bad. It is a great incentive not only for you but for all the people who are starting out just like you but have not posted yet.

    W1 is truly the hardest, once you get past this week you will be hooked.

  • Well done cloudwalker on stopping smoking. I stopped 4 weeks ago and feel fantastic.

    Judging by what everyone says on here, the running will get easier and hopefully you will grow to love it. Hang in there and keep posting.

  • I hated it until week 4. Then I realised I could do it. Now I love it. Finished the program but still choose to run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Nothing stops me now!

  • I hated every single step of every single run for the whole programme and for months and months after. I kept going because I could and it was new.

    It was and still is really hard. I can't say I love it but I've kept going for over two years and don't want to stop.

  • me too !

  • well done on starting the programme and giving up the fags! I stopped in January and graduated in June, I still have the odd craving but the difference is before I would start smoking after 4, 5 months, since C25K my thoughts are if you put a fag in your mouth, you wont be able to run Jen. The addiction of running stops me smoking, and yes I can walk up a hill now, just a tad breathless up the really steep hills now.

  • Hi

    Good on you I left it too late. Now have only 50% lung capacity with COPD!

    I couldn't run for the 60 seconds had to do Week 1 twice. Apart from my lungs my legs really hurt more. But stick with it your legs will feel better. You will be amazed how you progress. I can now run 2 miles without walking xxHH

  • Well done HH.

    What week are you up to - or are you just going at your own pace?

  • I we t up to Wk6 then got a chest infection had 2 weeks off totally. Did Wk4 again and that was 2 was ago now I just go out and run. Last night I did 2.1 miles without walking with some hills. I'm knot the fastest just want to keep running. It's amazing what you can do even being old and shot lungs lol xxHH

  • That sounds great. That's the beauty of this programme, it gets you going in the first instance but then, you can just maintain your own level. It seems like you are doing just fine.

    I am going to complete the course, just so I can say I did - but I know it is just the start of my running journey if you pardon the rather overused phrase. I never started out with any real plan or intention so where it will end is a mystery. We just do what we enjoy and enjoy the difference it makes to us.

  • I joined a running club. They are do encouraging and supportive. I run once a week with the Beginners and the rest of the week on my own xx HH

  • It is easy to give up and a lot harder to carry on. Are you weak or strong ? You are facing yourself and you are the only one deciding. Listen to us all who have suffered as much as you do : YOU CAN DO IT!

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