Couch to 5K
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Paying it forward!

I started my C25K journey in July 2015. Like many on this forum I went from being the complete couch potato, who was overweight (If I am being honest all the charts had me at Obese as I was 18.5 Stone and 6' 2").  At the age of 52 I really needed to do something about it.

All previous attempts to get fitter or be more active failed because I tried to do too much too quickly, scared / hurt myself and stopped.

I stumbled across the C25K programme and thought it might just be worth a go.

After week 1 I thought I was on to a loser, however I did manage to keep going and as the weeks progressed I started to think I could do more and more. I decided however to stick to the programme and not rush things and this forum certainly inspired me to keep trying.

It wasn't easy, during these early weeks my body was screaming at me to stop, in reality my thoughts on every run were focussed on when I could stop etc. It was here that I learned the difference between discomfort and pain. All those aches, twangs in your knees/back/legs are discomfort and just your body trying to get you to stop, they are not pain!

After the nine week programme I could run for 30 minutes but I was certainly not getting anywhere near 5K, that took another month to become a reality (three runs a week).

After another month I had managed to turn my weekend run into a 'long' run and over Christmas this became a 10K run. By now I had lost 3.5 Stone and as that dreadful advert says 'I was feeling epic'.

Maybe that's why I decided I needed another challenge and entered the Milton Keynes Half Marathon which was to be held in early March in support of MacMillan Cancer Support.

Training went really well until five weeks before the event I was struck down with an IT Band problem in my leg/knee (basically it feels like somebody is pushing a knife through the side of your knee). Luckily I had read an article about Kinesiology tape (the bright tape you see sports people wearing) and amazingly it completely removed my symptoms and allowed me to keep training (together with a load of stretching/exercises).

I ran and completed the Half Marathon as planned albeit in an unimpressive time and I am now looking forward to my next half marathon in August.

I am writing all this as my way of paying it forward. When I set out on the C25K programme I received a massive amount of confidence reading stories of other participants on this forum. I made me feel that I could do it, that I wasn't the only person struggling and that it really works. If my story inspires/supports just one person then I will be happy I paid it forward.

9 Replies

 Wow. I am impressed - you're a real example of how much we can accomplish if we keep motivated and don't give up... You've achieved so much in the last 9 months! I'm training for my first half marathon, and was starting to doubt my capacity to manage it. Your post was a timely kick up the bum - thanks! Now I'm off to find my trainers. 


You've certainly inspired and supported me!  I have 2 runs to go on the C25K, and I have a 5K race booked for the end of April to keep me going after I finish.  Posts like yours remind me where I started, and where I could possibly get to in the future! 

Thank you  :)



Totally inspiring! Well done and congratulations, that is a truly wonderful achievement.


Way to go you pelican :) great post ... it is pretty amazing where those 1st never ending  runs of 1 min can lead 

A HM at any time is a huge achievement big congrats :D


Wow! Superb :)

Your story is definitely helping to support me.

I did wk7r2 yesterday and it was the first time it all felt positive for me. I'm still really apprehensive about continuing, whether I can sustain the effort, and where it may lead...

Thank you xx 

Such a positive post is just what I need :)


Thanks so much for posting your story.  As someone in a similar situation to you at the start, it's a real inspiration to hear how you progressed.

I've just started C25K myself (in fact, I'm just off to do W1R2 tonight), so reading this post has really helped.

1 like

This is just amazing ! Massive Congratulations to you Mike, what a story !

You are an inspiration and it was so good of you to share your journey with us . Who knows what heights we can achieve !

Fantastic stuff , Well done you ! :-) xxx


Thanks for posting! Shows us how far we can go. I'm very excited about running at the moment and am really loving it. Posts like yours make me wonder where I will be next year. 


Hi Well done you and thanks for writing this post I've recently graduated for the second time and now at the stage where I have to keep motivated 

 First time round I struggled and stopped  I don't want this to happen again so really appreciate posts like yours that inspire and show what can be achieved.

 Many thanks keep posting 


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