A lurker...peeps head above parapet!

Hi All!

I've just started week 2 and have been lurking and reading here for some time, but thought I'd pluck up the courage to say hi!

I'm a 41 year old, very unfit, divorced mum of 3 and decided a few weeks ago to start this program as a few of my work makes have completed it. My 14 year old son comes with me which is good for company but slightly difficult in that he's a lot shorter than me (still waiting for that elusive growth spurt!) and I have to walk slightly slower than I'd like!

All seems to be going well so far, although my right thigh is giving me some issues today. Was out of the door at 5am, back at 5.30am and I'm currently sat here sipping tea with a pack of frozen peas balanced on my leg!

Will be great to contribute to this forum as the journey continues :)


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46 Replies

  • Big congratulations on starting C25K! It's an amazing programme! You can do it!

    As you move through the weeks, you may need to either get alternative arrangements for your son, so you can go at your own pace, or accept as you do now that you'll be going slower than you'd like. However the aim for the nine weeks is to get you to run for half an hour, and to do that you have to try and go slowly anyway.

    If you have sore legs btw I think it's entirely ok to have two rest days, doesn't seem to affect progress.

    By the way are you in the UK? It must surely have been dark at 5 am!!!!

    Keep posting and let us know your progress- you're doing great! 😀

  • Hi! Yes I'm in the UK...and yes, it may as well have been midnight at that time in the morning. I had a dreadful night's sleep; kept waking up and listening to the torrential rain (thank goodness it had stopped by the time we set off!)

    It is a tricky one with regards to my son. On the one hand, I'm pleased he wants to do it and it's good to have company, but you're right, I may have to go it alone a little more later in the programme (assuming I get that far!)

    Thanks for your reply. I'll keep posting :D

  • Welcome to the family! I am 51 Yeats old, have lost 17 lbs through calorie counting (use My Fitness Pal which is a free app) and have 28 lbs to go. Unbelievably I am on week 9, doing run 1 today but it was not long ago that I was new to running and the thought of 3 minutes running was scary! Planning to do parkrun on Saturday as my grand finale! Just slow and steady, breathe slowly and rest on rest days - these are the things that helped me. Looking forward to hearing ur news!! 😀 Julie

  • Thanks Julie :) Sounds as though you're doing amazingly - hope you love Parkrun at the weekend! I will follow your tips...already enjoying this far more than I ever thought possible so just hope I carry on feeling this positive all the way to the end! Kerry xx

  • Hello, lurker, and welcome to the party :) Well done for deciding to tackle your fitness - if I managed it with this programme then ended up running three times week, anyone can. Your legs will come round to it - I remember those first few runs, but my legs don't now :)

    My 15-year-old came with me from week five onwards, but he always ran faster than me... We both downloaded the programme, and whoever finished first (always him) waited for the other. We could always see each other, so safety wise it was fine. IMHO, trying to run at the same pace could be difficult. Keep us posted!

  • He he, thanks for the welcome :) I will have a word with my legs and hope they listen up! My shins actually feel sore and bruised when I touch the bone so I am now paranoid about shin splints and have found some exercises via good old Google to have a go at.

    Glad my son isn't the only teen who wanted to do this. I must admit having him with me is good for my morale and I don't feel quite so paranoid (still don't venture out in daylight yet though!) Kerry x

  • Just in case: make sure that your trainers are adequate and not relics from another time as it's crucial for avoiding injuries. Taking your teen with you is fab for them if they chose to do so- my son started off red and gasping in March, and is now motoring around the local countryside doing 10K in 50 minutes. Harrumph. It's nice to know he's keeping an eye on me though and he barked at me to keep me going on one memorable run when I was inches from giving up.

  • Fantastic to read of his progress! I'm hoping mine gets the bug, too. :)

  • Good Morning. Jesseker.

    Welcome and a big well done for starting the programme and for running at that time of the morning.

    I too was an unfit single mum when I started this, we'll still a a single mum LOL, and my son used to run with me. It was good to start with as I didn't want to go on my own. As the weekes progresses however, it was more difficult and as he was sometimes at his dad's when I went, he couldn't always do it......or keep up ha ha!!!

    At that point, I used to just go on my own so that I could do it at my pace. Maybe that will happen naturally for you too at some point.

    Make sure you do rest if your legs are sore and stay safe in the dark.

    Good Luck and keep us posted



  • Thanks Jules! Will definitely have a rest day or 2 now to recover from the rigours that are week 2 (I bet you graduates look back and smile now at how easy these first weeks must seem!) Yes, we'll play it by ear a little with regards to my son...trouble is his dad doesn't really have them (he's seen them once in a year!) so I have to go it alone. He is enjoying it so far, but I'll be very surprised if he manages to stick with it until the end (the PS4 may become more appealing as the runs get longer/harder!)

    Thanks again for the warm welcome. Kerry xx

  • Well done. I'm 56 and felt like you before I started to c25k. It was the best thing I started and look forward to go for a run, I go on my own and it's my time to just shut off from other problems.

    Keep it up and let us know how you get on 😀

  • Thanks, Diane and it's reading such posts which really make me want to finish this programme. I will definitely keep posting xx

  • Welcome! Just to say that if my teenage son is anything to go by, he'll be the one leaving you behind soon enough! ! They build fitness and stamina really quickly at that age! Good luck.


  • Thanks Sandra! Yes, I think he'll be putting me to shame very, very soon! He is looking forward to cross country and athletics at school as he's hoping this will improve his times (he's a small one compared to most of his peers so does struggle to keep up sometimes, bless him!) x

  • Sounds like my son. Nearly fifteen and still waiting for his growth spurt! I have assured him it will happen as both myself and my husband are tall.! Very frustrating for them though isn't it?!

  • Very! Mine is actually seeing a consultant at our local hospital in December. Went in July (referred by GP) and he was very reassuring, said he's probably a late developer, etc. But as you say, that's not much consolation when most of your year group are the size of grown men and almost double your height in some instances! Our poor boys. Here's to good running and growth spurts!

  • We think my son's may be linked to a medical condition he had a few years ago during which his hormones production was affected. They did right themselves but we may end up getting a referral too! Think its more likely just late development. Hope all goes well for you guys. Take care.


  • Well done and welcome to the group. You are already doing more than you thought you could. Don't worry about taking extra rest days to enable your body to catch up with what you are doing, or doing repeat weeks if you feel you need to consolidate what you've done before moving on. Just keep working on your breathing and going steadily and slowly. And keep telling us how you are doing.

    Happy running.

  • Thanks for the words of encouragement! I am finding the breathing tricky - start with the counts of 4 in...out but then it all goes a bit pear shaped! Hoping this will improve as I get fitter? x

  • Definitely gets easier as you get fitter.

    One thing I learnt fairly recently is that apparently it takes your body between about 5 minutes and 10 minutes to adapt to the idea that it is running, you really mean it and you are going to keep going. As a result the early runs being under that amount of time can actually seem harder than the later longer ones. Don't know if this helps.

    I have recently found that my 10 minutes of slight hell starting a run have shrunk down to about 5 (I am doing 3 runs a week since graduating about 3 weeks ago) before I hit my comfortable stride/breathing routine. Also slowing down marginally is allowing me to increase the length of time I run for by a considerable amount - almost 45 minutes on the last run.

    Just hang in there, follow the programme, enjoy the running, and the fresh air if you are doing it outside and keep going. You are doing well and you will get there.

  • Wow that is an interesting fact! Thanks! Can I just ask, do your legs ache when you run? I know it's very early days for me and my body's adapting (it must be reeling from the shock!) but literally as each foot touches down it is quite painful. I bought my running shoes from Sports Direct - they're Adidas, specifically for running but I'm wondering if a visit to a specialist running shop could be in order as I progress. Just really wanted to avoid spending lots of money early on, as one of the reasons this appealed to me was the initially low outlay.

    I am hearted reading your post though. At this moment the thought of running for 5 minutes non-stop, let along 45 minutes seems a far off dream!

  • Hey Jesse,

    I think all of us suffer a bit of leg pain certainly at the start or when increasing distances/speed. Is the pain from muscles or does it seem to be more bone or pressure related? Does it last beyond the run or is it strictly a during the run problem?

    For me it is definitely muscles tensing and feeling strained, and eases off once I get going, particularly if I consciously think about relaxing them or slow my pace. A longer warm-up walk before running can help. Also taking extra rest days - maybe running with 2 days in between runs to give your body more recovery time might help.

    If it is pressure of your feet hitting the ground transmitting up to your leg muscles, maybe trying to run less heavily, keeping your feet closer to the ground as you pace, might help - imagine you are trying to place your feet down quietly rather than thumping them down or running pell-mell. This will slow you down, but at this point what you are aiming for is stamina - speed will come later. You should be aiming for a smooth even gait without bounce.

    If it feels like it is a bone issue you might want to talk to a doctor or a physio.

    There is this pronating thing people talk about and you can get shoes to help with this - usual advice is to go to a running shop that does gait analysis. Shoes that help with pronating are available in a range of prices and it is worth getting discussing your budget with the person assisting you, and not being talked into the most expensive! Certainly a number of guys on this forum have said it made all the difference to their running.

    I hope this is helpful - you can probably search this website for more considered stuff on gait analysis, pronating, running shoes, etc from people who know a lot more than me. I just got the £30 Kalenji running shoes from Decathlon which have suited me fine so far.

    I would also point out as regards fitness that when I started this I began dieting at the same time and I was about 18.5 stone which at 5'4" is pretty hefty and unfit, and I turned 50 this year. I have lost about a stone doing the C25K - still makes me 17.5 stone, but apparently once you start longer runs 3 times a week you go through a bit of accelerated weight loss (I hope). I am much fitter and feel much healthier than I did at the beginning. I sleep better too.

    Let me know if there's anything else I can help with. You will get there.

  • Hi Jesseker and welcome aboard! I am a 46 yr old mum of 3 and had never run the length of myself before starting this. I even had to get my other half to pause the app during week 1 so that I could sit on a bench and breathe!!!!

    I am now running a minimum of 5k at least 4 times a week - still breathing heavily but doing it nonetheless. It will be good for your son if he keeps it up too - I have even tried it with our dog - he can't keep up!

    I look forward to reading your posts as you go through the programme - any questions you have you will find somebody in here with the answer - even the stupid questions so feel free to ask. Good luck and happy running :)

  • Hi! Thank you for the warm welcome and CONGRATS on your amazing running! I am in awe of you lot that have graduated and still run for pleasure...I am SO hoping that will be me in 9 or so weeks time. These boards I can see being an invaluable source of info and support - I've already read so much that will help me (most recently, running in the rain and sore shins!!) and it's fab that there always seems to be somebody on hand to offer guidance and advice. Fab. Kerry xx

  • Hi and welcome! You've made a great choice in starting C25K and will amaze yourself. Great that you are doing it with your son - amazing that you can get a teenager out of bed at that hour!

    Take it nice and slow and steady. Good luck!

  • Thank you! I am certainly very slow at the moment...feels a bit silly really, as though I'm not going anywhere fast, but it seems to be working in that I haven't keeled over or had to stop midway for a break (yet!) My son's commitment so far (only 4 runs in!) has impressed me...he enjoys being out before most of the neighbourhood is up and we spotted a hedgehog last week on one of our early morning excursions; he's hoping for a fox next!

  • Hiya Jesseker, welcome to this fabulous place...

    I was a reasonably unfit,overweight 43yr old mum of 2 teen boys. The first week I honestly thought I would keel over. I can shake the booty for a couple of hours of Zumba but running was always my nemesis... however I graduated last Tuesday and looking forward to going out for my first post grad run today...(been away otherwise I'd have gone earlier in week)

    Don't worry about pace or distance right now, just aim to run for the time that Laura says and you'll get there before you know it

    Good luck 😋

  • Thank you and well done on graduating! Hope you enjoyed your postgrad run xx I am trusting Laura entirely and will continue to do so. Feeling very tired after silly o'clock start this morning! Looking forward to my bed already which is slightly worrying :D xx

  • Welcome.. Out of the door at 5am!? Rather you than me, I'm now not an early morning person.

    Well done on your effort's, you'll reap the benefit's eventually. Your aches should improve as you go on through the programme, rest up, take as long as you need to rid the soreness, there's no rush, always make sure your well hydrated, and keep drinking enough water. Make sure you stretch properly, particularly after running.

    Don't hesitate to come on and ask us if you have any issues, let us know how you progress..

  • Thanks Dave. It's the shins giving me jip now - I have googled (always scary!) and found some exercises which supposedly help with this. I stretch when we get home but not 100% sure I'm being effective so will have a look - any recommendations?

  • Hi Jess,

    Hope it's not shin splints, not had them myself, have a look at the link.http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/shin-splints/Pages/Introduction.aspx

    As I said, some of these aches go away as you get on in the programme. But you will feel little niggles with muscles now your running, I know I do, because they are now being used more...I like to keep them gently moving, and stretching, especially when sitting down

  • Hi again,

    Thanks for that link. My symptoms read scarily like shin splints, but I'm not convinced they could have come on after only 4 run / walks..I'll take 2 rest days and keep everything crossed the pain eases! Thank again :)

  • Maybe what you should do is agree to run at different speeds, like so:

    During the walks, you go for it, and try to get ahead (so you might need to signal that the run has started when it does). Then let him catch you during the runs. Be sure to go slow enough for this to happen. It'll do you both good, then. You probably need to be a bit conservative with building up things like stronger connective tissues, and the logical way to do this is to just go slow (there are other reasons, but I'm obsessing about connective tissues at the moment); on the other hand, your son is young enough to get away with punishing his body a bit. So there you have a starting point that could work well for both of you.

    The thing is that if you can keep him going through this (without turning into one of those parents who become "coaches" whenever their kids do something sporty - eg start shouting - and it doesn't sound at all like you are) ... er ... keep him on track for the full course, and you've given him a really great start in life - especially if he learns to do it for the enjoyment of it. You're an adult, so there's a good chance that if you hit a setback, you'll just dust yourself off, start all over again. You probably know how to do that quite well. He's 14. That's an age where often a setback is written off as a "disaster". So his success in this venture is perhaps more precarious than yours? (I've known 14 year olds who are much more persistent than me, so this really just is a guess, I suppose).

    OK summary.

    Phase 1: c25k - nice and slow. Emphasis on making sure the less resilient of the two of you makes it, too.

    Phase 2: beyond ... Start building those other things. Distance. Speed. ... races, maybe. From here on, you'll be more and more independent.

    Good for you for starting this, and good for you for turning it into something your kids can also benefit from.

  • Hi and thanks for the lovely, encouraging message :) Fab idea re the walking / catch up running. I'll suggest it and see what he thinks (he certainly finds the running segments easier than I do, so it makes sense!)

    I will keep going and keep encouraging my son.

  • Yes fantastic if kids get into running through their parents, because they want too.

    I so wish I'd got the running bug earlier in life rather than at 51. Better late than never though :)

  • Welcome to the forum. C25K is wonderful, you are going to love it. Do exactly as the lovely Laura tells you and all will be well :)

    C25K is all about easing you into running gently so as not to put you off or injure you by doing too much too soon.

    The result of this very succesful program is the multitude of wonderful people that you will encounter on this forum. All of them have done the same program, and will be more than ready to share their experience with you and help you with any advice you need.

    5am shows great determination :) I normally run at 6am on a week day, 5h30 at the very earliest and that is rare. I do love running early in the morning though when no one else is about. I did actually meet someone running in the oposite direction along the river path on my first run of Week 1, but never since at 6am.

    At the weekend I often run at 9am, and that is when the dog walkers come out. Most dogs I don't mind, but some I find a bit un nerving and make my pulse race a bit.

    Well done for staring C25K. Trust in Laura. You will be a running adict before you know it. Most of us start for health reasons, think we'll hate it, and end up loving it, and hooked :)

    Happy running :)

  • Just one piece of Laura's advice to ignore: She says land on your heel, which is generally agreed to be a bad thing these days. (I think there was something else, but can't think what it might be). Apart from that, yes, +1 to the above.

  • oh yes I agree about the heel thing :)

    I'd managed to expunge that bit of Laura's advice from my memory :)

  • I am confused about the heel thing...where should I be landing? Heeeelp! ;)

  • idealy your foot should be coming down directly under you that way your foot touches down somewhere between midfoot and forefoot. I think the idea is that it is a bit less jarring that way.

  • Thanks for the warm welcome :) I must be a bit bonkers to be out at 5am...trouble is, normal wake up time in the week is 5.30am and doing it this way means I'm back for then, if that makes sense? It is a bit dark and gloomy but I quite like the slightly surreal feeling of panting along when everyone else is tucked up in bed :) I really hope I get hooked. I'm worrying about my shins at the moment as they really ache...surely shin splints can't have hit me this early on?? Spent some time earlier with various frozen goods resting on them, so fingers crossed all will be well!

  • Others on here more experienced than me will be able to tell you more about shin splints.

    I've never had shin splints from running (some people have). But I did once have them when I started indoor rowing. I trained too hard from the beggining and wondered what this sharp pain was at the front of my shin bones!!

    You say that yours ache, I'd be surprised if that is shin splints. In my experience shin splints is quite a sharp pain.

    Someone will correct me if I'm wrong though, there are lots of experienced folk on this forum :)

  • Well done you. When you get to week three Laura gives you a little tip about pace and speed and uses an analogy about a hedge! All will come clear when you get there. If you follow her advice you shouldn't have any problems keeping up with your son or vice versa. The trick is not to run fast...it should be a slow jog in these early weeks. I have just begun week 4 and did my first run today...I did it and it was ok. I actually enjoyed week three more than week two!! I too run early in the morning and love it. I usually run at 6.30am and love that time in the morning. I am a little apprehensive about doing that when it is dark. I don't want to stop my pre-work runs but may feel a little vulnerable in the dark however I do run along a main road area. The replies to your post have been great. I love this community!!! Keep it up and make sure you stretch and don't forget to stretch the IT band too (look it up on Google)x

  • I will look that up...thank you! I am finding myself reading about running when I'm not actually (attempting!) to do it...I tend to go into things all guns blazing! Thanks also for the tips. I am intrigued about the hedge analogy...hmmmm...roll on week 3, eh? :)

  • Lol hello fellow lurker! I did that too - great fun! Congrats on starting the programme - looking forward to hearing how u get on xx stick in!

  • Ha ha, had to check you all out before diving in...you seem like a rather amazing, supportive and lovely bunch so I'm glad I 'took the plunge' :D

    Looking forward to sharing my ups, downs, aches and pains with all. xx

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