Couch to 5K
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Starting !

I may just be really thick ! but I am nearly sixty, and pant walking to the car !

I really want to turn things around, and become fit .

It seems a cross road for me at the moment - now my joints creak ! and I am

overweight, by about a stone !! It seems if I don't change now my future will be more

and more confining I don't really want that , so how do I slowly start.

My sister, suggested walking fast, get used to that, and then start jogging . Is this a good

way ?

19 Replies

You could do that, or you could download C25K and start there. It's designed for people who are not used to exercising, are a bit older, or overweight or all three! We've all of us here gone through the programme, and are all here to help and advise you, so why not give it a go?


Thank you.

I will let everyone know how things go

Again thank you


Walking is a great exercise to build fitness. This programme is designed for non runners to ease them into building fitness and also believing they can run. The programme is 9 weeks and by the end you will be able to run (even if it is slowly) for 30 minutes. There are rest days between runs to allow your body to recover. If you want to repeat weeks, you can to allow yourself more time and there is lots of support here on the forum. Many people want to improve health and mobility, may have some weight to lose and we'll done for wanting to take charge of things. I am 51, so not very much younger than you and I am enjoying it very much. 😀 Julie


I believe that a period of walking - is of great benefit for someone who is REALLY not accustomed to any kind of exercise. It allows for building up of leg muscles - which WILL be used when jogging/running. And if you put enough effort into it, also allows some lung conditioning before starting the C25K programme

You have nothing to lose - and there is plenty of time -- your attitude is admirable , but whatever you do, you need to gradually incorporate it into your daily lifestyle.

Why not commit yourself to 30 minutes of walking every second day - for a month. Start out gently with it - and slowly increase the effort over the month. See how far you can walk in 30 minutes - and see if you can slowly increase that distance over that month. It is easy to walk a back to back route - 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back.


C25K is great for starting out :) At the moment I'm 240lbs at 5 foot 6, although I have lost 10 lbs since starting the programme, which I'm about half way through :) I was really unfit before starting out, granted I did walk a lot but throw any kind of incline or a flight of stairs my way and I was struggling to carry on a conversation! Not ideal when you're only 23! I've just finished W4R2, and I feel so much fitter already. Week 1 was hard for me - I remember dragging myself along, really struggling to keep going for a whole minute. A few short weeks later, and 5 minutes of (admittedly slow!) running is much easier than I ever thought it would be :)

Just take it steady, repeat weeks if you need to and you don't feel ready to move on, and never worry about walking more if you need to. It's not a race! By getting out there and doing anything at all, you're taking a huge positive step towards your future health!

I could be wrong here, and there are many more experienced people on this forum who would likely give better advice, but maybe if you don't feel ready to run yet you could kind of 'power walk' the run segments, until you feel more like you can move up to a gentle jog? Just an idea, hopefully someone with more knowledge can come along and give you more info :)

Good luck!

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Well done for coming on to the forum it is the first step to a great journey. We have all been apprehensive about where to start so your not alone with that. I personally came from being out of action due to my health so I started with a little talk with my GP who suggested steady walking and then when that felt ok I started the program. I got to a point when I was on one of my walks I wanted to try running but wasn't ready to start so I just did little trials while out on my walk and before long I knew I was ready to try wk1 run 1 and I haven't looked back. Don't forget we are all here to help.


There are lots of ways to start slowly - walking is a great option! Try listening to the first podcast and walking faster for the jog/run sections until you can do that without feeling too stressed. Then build up the running intervals. My other half started running for 30 secs, then did a week running for 45 secs before moving onto week 1 proper. It's all good! You will feel the benefit and be amazed at how quickly you progress. Just remember, there is no such thing as too slow. Slow is good. You need to build stamina first and the program will do this. Trust in the program, but GO SLOW!

...and welcome to the madhouse!

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Hello, yes, that's a good start, you'll be fine, download the c25k programme onto iPod or phone, and follow Laura religiously, you will reap the benefit's of your effort's, I am, and I'm 60! Take it steady!


What everyone else said, basically. The key thing is consistency. As long as you get out and do your walk or walk/run or whatever you start with, and do it every other day, you will gain benefit from it, and once exercise is a habit, you will make progress. It won't necessarily always be easy, but it is simple. There will be days when you don't feel like doing it, but you will always be glad you did.


Getting off the couch is the hardest part of all, and you want to do that. You can start off in any of the ways described above, but do start. I am 58 and started last november, almost failing to finish w1r1. Only my willpower got me through it, pouring with sweat and gasping for breath. It gets a little easier, so don't let w1r1 put you off. The results are amazing if you stick with it. 9 months later I have run for the best part of 2 hours and felt much better than that first run, and I'm nothing exceptional, loads of people on here have done the same and run further and faster.

Good luck with it and keep posting

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Do what you enjoy, def. don`t make anything a chore. Health clubs can be useful, you can then go through the different classes /sports . Nowadays they offer "gentle" ones for beginners. Or swimming is a good option.

If that`s not for you, walking is always good . Possibly if you get a walking "buddy " to go out with you or maybe you can join a local walking club for seniors.

Once you decide what works for you, to keep the motivation going, set achievable goals. See yourself fitter and dropping weight ( that will be a natural progression as you get more active)

Chances are that you`ll want to eat healthier as your fitness levels rise.

Being fitter allows you to get so much more out of life - enjoy!


Lot's of excellent advice there. Making your exercise part of your routine is definately a good thing. If you start C25K then it's a good idea to say for instance "I'm going to do C25K every monday, wednesday and Friday at 6am" for instance, and stick to it. That way it becomes part of your routine.

I suspect that you will be fine downloading the C25K podcasts and starting week 1 with Laura ( just do as Laura tells you and it will be great). However, if you are worried about running straight away, then why not try Week 1 of the C25K podcasts but instead of running, walking during the walking sections and walking a little faster during the running sections. Do that until you feel confident about starting C25K running.


Now come along junior. There are quite a few of us here who are on the other side of 60 and we've all managed. C25K does start assuming that you haven't exercised in years, but if you seriously don't think you can manage 60 seconds of running in your present condition - fast walking would be a good intro. If you do start the programme, remember to take your rest days in between. You may find that you need to repeat your runs more than 3 times before you move onto the next week. Move on when you feel you are ready. It may be 4 runs at a level, 6 runs or even 10. The important thing is that you will be getting out, getting some exercise and building up your strength until you are ready to move on.


You don't have to walk quickly! Don't think that fast equals good!

If you only have a stone to lose that's a bonus. That will soon go! Eat/drink healthily, keep moving, and the weight will shift.

At some point during this process you will feel lighter and springier, and at that point you might like to download the C25k podcasts and make a start. The walk/jog sessions are only short so won't overtax you if you go slowly enough

A few years ago I borrowed a neighbour's dog and hit the trail. I lost nearly five stones. I am still walking that dog and will be out with him tomorrow.

"Don't stop movin, everybody's groovin" tra la la

It's FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I am a similar age to you, pepsifolk, and two years ago I struggled to run for much more than a minute, and like you dreaded what seemed like an inevitable decline. C25k is the best thing you can do for your general conditioning. Follow the programme, easing into it with extra walking if you need to, but persevere and you will become a runner. I warn you now though, running is not just a simple way to get and keep is a highly addictive and empowering activity which will see you do things that you would never believe you were ever capable of and see you wearing things that you could never imagine would ever adorn your body.

NHS C25k really works!! In just a few weeks you will be feeling the benefits and you will delight in your newly found stamina. We can't stop the years passing by but we can stay active and discover a whole exciting new world. Keep posting on this forum and we can advise, support and if necessary console you in your journey.

Go for will not regret it, I promise.

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I am blown away with the support, and advice I have had from all of you - please don't be offended if, I haven't replied to you personally, but since asking for advice from you a couple of hours ago - you have replied and given me some really good advice - so thank you, for your encouragement and honesty ( which you don't get from a book or tape)

Thanks to you I have downloaded the NHS C25k onto my phone, thank you, thank you, thank you. I will post again on here when progress has been made !!!!!

Many thanks again Jenny (pepsifolk)


Have you downloaded the app or the podcast? Some people struggle with getting the app to work properly. If that's the case, download the podcast instead - it works on just about anything (and it also gives you the chance to listen to some "interesting" music).

Good luck - not that you'll need it. "We" know you can do it ;)


All of the above!! Good luck, you will amaze yourself, we all have.


I was 59 when I started 6months ago and have never looked back. Won't run marathons but have so enjoyed getting fitter. Good luck to you. Stick at it and keep posting for help and support on here. It's brilliant!


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