Couch to 5K
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First Post: Worried about W1R2

Morning all.

Signed up last week and completed W1R1 on Tuesday. Won't go into all the stats about x amount overweight etc, but I found C25K via a friend and thought that as I've never been a runner this might be the shock to the system I needed to get fitter.

Found Tuesday tough and with the recommended days rest today should be R2, but I was never able to do this anyway as had to leave for work at 5am, not returning until 9pm (Manchester based working in London for the day and writing this on the train)

My problem is I don't think I could have run today even if I hadn't been working away - both my thighs are shot to pieces and it feels like both have been hit with a baseball bat. Several times.

Have I over done R1? Any recommendations for an easier recovery? Should I just attempt to run through the pain tomorrow morning instead no matter how long it takes?

All advice welcome. It really did take a whole load of nerve for me to start this on Tuesday and the last thing I want is to stop before I've really started.

Arm round the shoulder time people!

15 Replies

Well done, first of all, for even starting this. It's the hardest run you 'll ever do they told me, and actually, they were right. That first day, finding the courage to get out there and challenge everything that tells you 'no' is a huge hurdle to get over so that's one thing out of the way.

Recovery days are very important so maybe sitting down and planning your schedule so that you know when you can fit this in and when you can rest is a good thing to do. You have it in your head but writing it down and ticking it off mentally helps too.

You will ache, you will feel uncomfortable initially but don't rush it. Many people repeat weeks or runs and work through it at your own pace. It's designed to challenge you and it will but in a safe way.

You'll get loads of encouragement and advice here, I did, and I'm a new graduate from last weekend so remember the pain well as I'd never run seriously either. Hang in there, make your plans and work to your goals and you'll do it. Best of luck and keep us posted :-)


I did run 2 yesterday and it was ok but afterwards I was a bit worried that my knees were sore. But it's just them getting used to running like your thighs. Did you stretch afterwards. Don't give up. You must try again. My knees feel fine this morning but I know I will have to take care of them and go gently. It's not a race but main thing is don't give up. Try your run again today. Good luck. 😊😊


Huge hug :)

Brilliant that you have begun this amazing journey, and as wez says, the hardest thing is the starting.

You will get all sorts of aches and pains, especially doing something new. Just take it slow and steady.... and try not to let your mind tell you that you cannot do it.

Just follow the programme carefully...make sure you have a rest day and if there is any way you are able, some kind of strength and flex exercise on those rest days might help. ( Useful too, if you are forced to miss a run). There is a link on the Couch to 5K site.

The folks on here are great, they will get you through this and you will feel wonderful.

Keep posting .

As a well known character once said, famously... " do or do not.. there is no try.." and you are going to do this. :)


Don't give up! Everyone is here to support each other and i reckon you'll find it easier the second run. You may have been going to fast for the first run and those muscles will feel the shock of any new exercise, I know mine did! Plenty of arms round the shoulder here to boost you up, keep on posting and take heart from other newbies,there are not that many that find it easy. There are links in the main page to other posts from the week you are in, I always found they made good reading! Keep posting too!😊you can do it!


Many hundreds of thousands have been where you are now and have done it. It is such a fabulous programme and Laura will be there with you every step of the way ☺

It is a shock to the system if you are new to exercise so you might need an xtra day to recover.

Just a thought, don't try and run fast. Slamming your legs will certainly hurt. It's all about going slowly so you don'-t run out of puff

Never quit ☺

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I had to leave 3 days between my first and second runs - I was virtually immobile and couldn't sleep I ached so much. Google post-running stretches and do Day 2 when the aching eases off a bit. And go really, really slow. Keep the faith!!


Good morning Uncle, know exactly how you feel I'm in the same place doing run2 week 1 tonight. For me it's my lower back but I've decided if the running part is only just faster than the walking briskly I will do. I have a picture of my 18 year old gym bunny son saying you can have that trim/fit body if you just work for it which was his comment to me when I said I wanted a smaller waist. We can do this - good luck :)


I always find after a tough run that it isn't the following day that the pain is worst it is the day after that. For you that's today. Providing the pain isn't an injury pain, but the muscles aching from working like they haven't for a long time I would suggest either doing run 2 tonight if it is too painful then do a good brisk walk. Often I find the best way to lose the aches on the 2nd day is to work it out with exercise.

If you really don't thin you can do the programmed wk1r2 then do a brisk half hour walk and do wk1r2 tomorrow.

As long as you don't not go out and give up on the plan. This is designed to be hard but not impossible, everyone can do it, just stick at it, if you need to take extra rest days, do, if you need to repeat a week or a run, do. It is worth it and remember any exercise is better than no exercise.

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Oh dear ! Don't give up...After the first one I felt just like you and as a result the second session was even worse due to starting with pain but after the third session things started to get better. Its a huge shock to the body if you really have never run before (and I hadn't) and it takes a bit of getting used to. If you can just push on through the first 4-5 sessions you should be ok. If you need to, take 2 days between sessions but stick with it and you will be rewarded by becoming a runner !


Hi, it doesn't matter if you need to take extra days to recover between runs just as long as you resolve that you ARE doing the plan now and that you WILL work through it. It's not always possible to get out for a run on the exact day, but as long as you repeat each stage (week)

three times before moving on you will find your stamina and fitness improves.

It has taken many of us months to finish the program, but we have enjoyed the challange and looked forward to our running days, as you will find, you can achieve slightly better results every time.

So don't make it a problem just get out there and do your best, it will be good enough...

Do remember to stretch afterwards and keep hydrated.

We are rooting for you.:)


The above link will show you how to do some post-run stretches that will really help with the soreness in your legs. Take as many days as necessary between runs and repeat the runs as many times as you need to until you feel ready to move on. Very best of luck -you can do this, you just have to do it slowly :)


Don't give up now! Not after you've done the hardest part which is getting started!

My legs felt like lead the first three weeks and then they seemed to get used to it and things got easier.

Just note how quickly you recover between runs, that's the real measure of fitness, as you go on. Each week is a challenge as it prods you into a sleeker fitter you, a challenge, not an impossibility!


Wow, wasn't expecting such a response, thanks all.

I wanted to do the sensible thing yesterday and listen to my body - still felt that if I did W1R2 I'd end up injuring myself BUT with the caveat that my alarm was set for 6.30 this morning to do it first thing.

I'm back at home having done it and am so glad I did - firstly feel ten times fresher at the end than my first attempt, and more importantly started my final run at virtually the same point I sat down (well, sort of collapsed in a heap!) on Tuesday having completed the last, so obviously I'm already quite a bit quicker than first time and will use this spot as a benchmark moving forward ( didn't have to sit down this time either!)

Thanks again for all your encouragement and advice on here - a proper support that was really needed.

Onto W1R3!!

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Well done. You are doing great. Pleased that you feel an improvement. You should be really proud of yourself..:)


Only in Wk4 myself so not in any position to give shedloads of advice but from an overweight complete non runner ... just go slow and trust this programme 😃


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