Can I do it??

I went out for my first ever attempt tonight, I am very unfit & have never run. Needless to say I found it really hard & didn't manage all 8 x 60 second runs & therefore briskly walked what I couldn't do. Is this normal?! As its called couch to 5k I'm wondering if I should at least be able to manage the first session?! If anyone else struggled but got past it I'd be really grateful to hear that! Thanks


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24 Replies

  • It takes time. I remember huffing and puffing thinking I was going to collapse but you will get through it. Just take it steady and trust the lovely Laura. Good Luck

  • Yep, very normal don't worry. Nothing wrong with running what you can and briskly walking the rest. Most folks here were never runners and many of us repeat runs or weeks - you can adapt the program for YOU. Welcome and congratulations on starting the program. Keep posting, we'll cheer you along.

  • Ah thank you both so much. I just wondered if I just wasn't cut out for it! Going out again on Monday & I'm determined to do it, I really hope I can xx

  • Welcome and well done for starting. If you are really totally unfit it may be better to do one week of brisk walking - going a bit faster when you should run. As Runwithdogs said, you adapt the program to what you can do - pushing your limits a bit every time you get out there :) x-

  • Hi Emma, well done for starting off. You ask "Can I do it?" Yes you can, and you will. I started off the same way.....I was a sweating snotty heap. I couldn't manage all the 60 second runs, but you will do it. As others have said, trust the app, it works. Thousands of people all over the world have done it and are living proof. As others people have also said, there will be weeks when you might repeat the week, but that doesn't matter , we have all had to do that. I am about to start week 9. I never thought I would see the day! But I have, and so will you. I'm 38 years old, probably about 7 stone overweight and vastly unfit. I am proof it works. You have one the most difficult part. I look forward to hearing your post when you graduate x

  • YES!!! Yes, you can do it.

    Week 1 is the hardest week, I feel. It comes as a bit of a shock to your system when you realise just how hard it is to run for just 1 minute (I thought I was going to die after my first run - so did the rest of my family!). If you need to, start of with a week -1 where you only run for 30 seconds, or just keep going repeating week 1 until you can run each of the 8 intervals (and when I say run, don't forget that what we are talking about here is moving along using a running action - my week 1 'runs' were much slower than my week 1 'walks'!). Take things really slowly and trust the program. It really does work. Stick with it and before you can believe it, you will be running for longer than you ever thought possible. Welcome on board!

  • I couldn't even manage a minute !! 20 seconds was it. Took me 2-3 weeks to actually finish week 1 (the previous month to starting, I'd walked for 30 mins every day).

    I can do 5k now oh, and 10k !

    So, it's normal and yes you can get through the programme.

  • Wow thanks everyone, these stories are so great to hear. I'd researched before I went out but didn't see anyone say they'd struggled with week 1, I thought it was just me! Thanks for sharing your stories it has really spurred me on. I wore a fitness tracker when I went out and I was really pleased to see I actually walked (and a tiny bit ran) 2.3 miles, it's a good start xx

  • YES YOU CAN !!!!

    Just take it slow and steady , most of us felt the same when we started . Good Luck , keep going and enjoy it ! :-) xxx

  • hi and welcome and well done on taking those first steps :)

    I remember that 1st minute felt like a lifetime and you can never imagine running for longer but you can and you will , lots repeat weeks or runs there is no pressure ,just take your time , run slow and steady and you will get there .

  • Well done on getting out there and starting the program. I can only second what everyone else has said. Keep going and you will amaze yourself :D

  • Well done Emma. You went out and did it.

    it seems like a huge mountain to climb on week 1, but keep at it. It will work. Some days will be bad but the next, completely different.

    Suddenly you will find you are half way up that mountain and preparing for the summit.

    It's an amazing programme and there's probably not many of us that didn't struggle with week 1.

    I did. Started in June this year and today I'm off out for an 8k run!!!!

    Just believe and keep posting

    Jules xx

  • Keep at it , it works

  • You'll be amazed at what happens if you just stick to this programme. And although there's some struggling to survive, at least right now you can console yourself with the fact that after all is said and done, a minute still lasts for only a minute, no matter how long it might feel like it's lasting. Later, your growing fitness will stretch out the length of what feels like an eternity, but you'll never be too far out of depth for too long.

    I would suggest just repeating Week 1 until you're satisfied with it, to begin with. Try things like brief pauses in the runs you're not making, or whatever. As long as you just keep at it, you'll reach a point where you're ready for Week 2 (and there's no need to wait to be Perfectly ready for that, either).

    :-) and you make me remember struggling with Week 1, now. Lots of us start this thing extremely unfit.

    Oh, one thing to think about for the longer term: Start doing research on basic core exercises. You need to be driving the legs off from a more stable middle section than that couch gives, so if you work in a gentle start with things like planks and reverse crunches, you'll save yourself a lot of hassles.

  • Start again, breathe regularly and don't try to go fast. Just think "I will not give up"

  • Hi! Well done for giving the programme a go.

    My advice would be to keep repeating Week 1, three times a week, until you can do those 8 x 60 seconds of running without having to walk, and then carry on with the programme. If you are anything like me, you'll be surprised at how quickly your fitness improves. 11 weeks ago those 60 seconds left me really out of breath and gasping for air - now I've finished the programme, and can run for 40 minutes without stopping!

    You can do it - I promise! :)

  • It's an unbelievable programme. None of us think we can run but we CAN! In only a short time too! Stick with it. You won't regret it. Your health will improve out of all recognition of you combine the programme with eating healthily

    Good luck with it. Have fun!

  • Hi There, I feel exactly the same and am really pleased to find your post. I have completed the 3 runs for Week 1 but have not managed all of the 60s run intervals for any of them. Am just going to repeat Week 1 again. I had lots of aches and pains during/after the first two. This aspect has not been so bad today but still found it hard going. I am however surprised how motivated I feel even though the runs themselves are not yet enjoyable.

  • The 'week' term is probably a bit of a misnomer - it is just that (for most of the programme apart from a special bit in the middle) you need to complete each podcast successfully three times with at least a day off running between each.

    I'd really suggest you try EmmaH1982s strategy of focusing on completing the 60 second runs... and as soon as you can't do that, you simply walk the rest of the podcast. It gives you something much clearer by which to measure your progress and to motivate you - and I say that because it is exactly the strategy that worked for me even though it took me a lot of attempts. I never felt disheartened once.

    Aha you say, but how do I complete even one 60 second run? We'll all shout together "Go slower" - think 'different movement than walking' rather than 'faster speed than walking'. If you are starting to struggle, smaller steps may help and if you are struggling with the last few seconds, dare I say it, run on the spot.

  • Hi Emmie73, well I am so jealous of you completing 3, I hope it might make you feel better to know you're an inspiration to me! It must be very easy to give up after that first, pretty horrific time! I'm dreading tomorrow & im also aching, but I am so determined too and to hear lots of people felt the same as we do really helps. It'd be good to hear how you're getting on so keep in touch! Good luck xxx

  • All great advice above. Yes repeat week 1 until you are happy with it, I think you'll find that from that point on the program will go quite smoothly. Also, run slowly, as others have said. Run as slowly as you can, and if towards the end of your run you feel you can speed up a little then do so, but definitely start very slowly.

  • This group is so lovely and supportive and helpful! Feel so much better hearing all of your stories and thank you for all of the encouragement xxx

  • yesterday I ran 30k. but last November w1r1 (57, never run since high school, and 3 stone overweight) was just about the hardest thing I had ever done. I had difficulty getting off the treadmill afterwards, and ached for a week. Just run slowly and repeat if you can't do the whole thing the first time. It will come. If you persevere you will be running 5k in just a few weeks.

  • Well done on starting. At the end of week 1 I came home, cried and said that I would never be able to do it. On Saturday I finished week 6 by running continuously for 25 minutes. It was so hard in week 1 to think that I would ever be able to do that, but people told me to slow down, concentrate on breathing and trust the programme, so I did and it worked! Good luck with it, everyone on here will be cheering you on!

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