Couch to 5K
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Week 1 done!

I made an active decision last week to get fit and lose weight. I am a 26 year old man and have been hovering around 15 stone since I was 20. Before that I was a lot slimmer and more active but laziness and a bad diet has taken over so I find myself where I am now. I haven't done any formal exercise since I was about 18 so I am extremely unfit and I want to change that.

I decided on a whim to go on a run last Thursday before reading up about the c25k and I then made the decision to undertake the program starting this week. I am accompanying this with a diet consisting of me counting my calories and not snacking/eating processed sugar. It's going alright so far!

The first run on Monday was hard but I made it through. I have been combining my runs with walking which I think I overdid. I had a 2 mile walk on Monday afternoon, a 4 mile walk on Tuesday and by the end of my run on Wednesday I was experiencing upper back pain. It didn't abate after another 2 mile walk that afternoon so I decided not to walk yesterday and to have a complete rest day. My back was still hurting during my run this morning but not as bad and I muscled through and it was my best run yet! It was nowhere near as hard as the first two and I pretty much sprinted my last 60 seconds running it at 8.30mins/mile! I could've ran even more but I followed the instructions and walked back home. I'm amazed at my progress in just 3 runs and am really looking forward to next week. I am not going to overexert myself this weekend so hopefully my back will be better by Monday. Bring on W2D1!

9 Replies

Stick with the C25k programme and you'll be fine. Try and run slowly as it makes life so much easier, and you're less likely to hurt yourself

Losing weight is a challenge, and will require you to change. Change is not something that people relish, but here you are running and eating healthily. If you get your healthy eating organised, as well as your runs then you'll be fine.

Have fun!


Well done for starting the c25k program. Its great and really works. I agree that you shouldn't run to quickly as you may put too much pressure on your knees at this stage when you are new to running.

This stage is all about stamina and endurance, concentrate on completing each run successfully. Take your rest days, make sure you stretch after a run and rehydrate yourself. As you move through the program your breathing will regulate and become easier and in time you will be doing 30 mins. Then you can start looking about running faster when everything else is in place.


Yeay! Well done you!

But, as everyone says.. do not push yourself.. just follow the programme to the letter.

that way.. you will sustain it and keep doing it without injury. Laura knows what she is doing.. got me and loads of us through it..Keep us posted:)


What a fantastic start, well done.

I have just completed my first week and feel really proud of myself. With advice from people on this forum I have slowed my jogging down.

Like yourself I feel like doing more but I am sticking to the programme and having rest days.

Hopefully in 9 weeks we will both be graduating!

All the best for week 2.

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I even knew when I did the last 60 second run at that pace that I shouldn't have so I will be more stringent with myself in the future! I am also definately going to cut down on the long walks until my back feels 100% but I still want to walk on my rest days as I'm currently off work and otherwise I'd just be sitting around all day doing nothing. I haven't really read any guidance on what exercise is good for off days other than low impact exercise is the way to go. I don't have access to a gym so I think I may just do the NHS Strength and Flexibility program as that looks like a good accompaniment. Good luck to you on your journey too!

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I started this programme to get fitter and lose weight. Luckily I have just purchased a treadmill so I can run whatever the weather. My brisk walk is 3.7 mph and I managed to bring my jogging speed down to 4 mph today.

In 2005 I suffered a stroke at the age of 34, basically learnt to walk and talk again, and managed to walk 5 miles a day.

In the past 2 years we have relocated due to my partners job, and I haven't kept up my long walks, so to help me get back into shape the Couch25K ticks all the right boxes.

I am also looking to do the strength and flexibility program as well. Keep posting about your progress, all the best xx

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Like mattbuddd says, I would give the NHS Strength and Flexibility programme a go ( This works on muscles to support your running, but involves walking around for a few minutes and doing a set of exercises, walking around a bit more, some more exercises - it is pretty good and is in the same format and builds like the C25K. Two other not-running-days exercises people commonly do are swimming and cycling/spin classes. These are both exercises that work all your muscles building on your fitness, but without putting pressure through your body the way that running does.

Sounds like you are doing well - keep it up and let us know how it goes.

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Sounds like you're doing all the right things. Try to think about relaxing your shoulders as you run (and walk, maybe) and see if that helps with the back pain. Good luck!


That's a excellent start Matt :) Well done for making the effort to turn your life around and get fit. I think your long walks inbetween are an excellent way to get fit safely and lose weight. Maybe a couple of stretches for your shoulders and back after your run?

One good stretch from yoga is to stand feet hip width apart facing a wall. Place the palms of your hands flat against the wall about waist level, stepping back as you do so until your arms are stretched out fully and your back is straight like a table. Feet still under your hips, head/neck relaxed. Actively push against the wall, feeling the stretch through your arms and back , hold for up to 5o secs. Either walk back to wall and release hands or release hands from wall, let upper body and arms drop down, hang for 15-30 sec. You can hold elbows to intensify but do not push down, just drop and gravity will do the rest. Place finger tips on floor or legs, straighten your back and come up slowly with straight back.

After this, also generally after a run, like flat on your back on floor, relax everything (make fists, relax arms, pull shoulders to ears, relax, point toes, relax legs) and just lie like that for 50 sec at least to straighten your back. To get up, turn to side first, then get up over your side.


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