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Couch to 5K
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Just getting started!

Hi everyone - I'm just waiting to get home so I can do my first run of the C25K programme, excited! I actually registered for parkrun yesterday in a fit of optimism then remembered I can barely run for a bus so decided I should build upto it more slowly. The trouble is I get bored easily and will probably be tempted to skip weeks which I'll then find too hard and give up...at least that's how I've found exercise routines in the past. Determined to stick to schedule with C25K. Advice greatly appreciated! (1st question - are just trainers OK for now or do I desperately need proper running shoes?) Thanks runners! x

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Congratulations on doing your first run!! You will find its very addictive. If you follow the plan to the letter it works, don't be tempted to skip weeks. Its 9 weeks and they fly by, plus the program changes weekly so I really doubt you will get bored with Laura and you if you post on here after each run it will help keep your focus. But to me you sound determined so I am sure you won't have to worry about getting bored!!

I think as long as your trainers are comfortable and don't cause you any issues or pain then your ok. Once you start running for longer you will need to consider the investment.

Happy running and good luck with your journey.


1) Don't skip weeks. Even if it seems too easy during the first couple of weeks you may suddenly find the runs too hard if you move too quickly. The programme builds on itself so that you gradually improve your physical fitness without moving too fast. The big concern about skipping ahead too quickly is that you risk injury.

2) Don't miss your rest days. Have at least one day off between runs, no matter how much you feel you are up for it (injury is the concern again - the rest days help you recover)

3) I think you are probably ok in trainers for the first 2 weeks, but you should consider getting running shoes before the end of the course. Go to a running shop that does gait analysis so you get the right shoes. Buying what looks pretty from the internet is a recipe for disaster - and it's not a bargain if they are the wrong type. You need to know if you are an over pronator, under pronator or a neutral runner. A proper running shop will advise you after observing you run on a treadmill.

4) Welcome - and enjoy it.


You only need to know your gait if you are buying shoes to do road running, if you are after trail running shoes it makes no difference.

I am still wondering about the gait analysis I had (not that it cost me anything) I hope never, ever to run on a treadmill ever again so I am not sure how informative it was even for buying road shoes (which again, I wasn't planning to - strictly trail running and minimalist for me... that's now I've ditched the lightweight walking boots I started in)


The thing about this particular C25K programme and route into running is that it trains a lot more than your legs. I hate to use the word discipline as it has bad connotations but doing the programme - with its insistence on a non-running day after each run and a spot of just letting your mind go free and your body do what it is told - sets you up for more benefits than you can possibly imagine.

The interesting thing is that it doesn't seem to be those who were on the couch, those who really give it a go, who fall by the wayside as often as those who go at it like a bull at a gate, who are already into some other fitness activities.

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Well done for deciding to do this. The programme works! Don't go skipping weeks unless you are already massively fit and it is all 'a walk in the park'. The programme is designed to help your body (and mind!) gradually build capacity to run for longer until you can do 30 minutes. Yay! Brilliant!

It can help to view the 'weeks' as 'stages'- some people repeat a 'stage' until they are capable of it and then can move forward, that's absolutely fine. To graduate from C25K you need to have completed the course though, so skipping through isn't really what it's about.

Re: trainers, it really depends whether they give you enough support / cushioning- does it hurt to run? If not they should be ok (IMHO) for the first few weeks, but I am no expert- you must avoid injury though otherwise you'll a) be hurt! and b) not be able to keep going and therefore c) may get put off starting up again. I treated myself to road running shoes as a celebration of completing W5R3 - a 20 minute run- and the running shoes make it much more pleasant. BUT I was running in trail shoes which provide plenty of support and cushioning anyway (I use them for dogwalking)...

NB! Your feet swell up a bit when you're running, so don't tie your laces too tight!

Very good luck, post and let us know how you go on :)


Thanks everyone - I did the first one, yippee! The first 60 second running stint was announced just as I started going up hill...humph. But overall I really enjoyed it, lovely to get out in the fresh air and I'm really looking forward to doing it again. It was manageable without being boring so I don't think I'll be tempted to skip (phew). Thanks for all your advice x


Remember to go slowly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Get some proper shoes, trainers are really not up for the task...I got shin splints in week 2, when I showed them the shoes I was running in at the sport shop, she showed me clearly ow they don't bounce back like running shoes. You'll need good shoes eventually, get them now. xx


Sounds like I need running shoes in my life...are there specialist running shops or is it just any sport shop? (You can tell I'm not used to this exercise malarkey!) x


Yes, there are specialist shops, and most sports shops will sell running shoes too.They will analyse your running style and recommend some shoes for you, most of them (ask first!) will offer a refund or replacement of shoes you don't get on with within 28 days. Well worth it! They'll make so much difference to your running too. Where are you? Some of the big ones I can think of off the top of my head - Sweat Shop, Up and Running, err, that's it. I'm sure there are more...


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