W1R2, and I've already run more than I've ever done since primary school, and it's thanks to your posts!

Earlier this week, I replied to a post remarking that I had just completed my first attempt at the C25K challenge. I say 'completed', in that I made it through alive. 

However, when I say 'completed', that doesn't mean to say I managed to run for all 8 minutes. In fact, I ran for approximately 2.5. But! As my reply detailed, I was far from disappointed in myself. In fact, for an absolute beginner -- I was actually quite chuffed. I was even more chuffed, then, when not only did I attempt the same run again today -- but this time, I managed 6 minutes out of a possible 8.

In short, I am so thankful to have found this online community, as reading all of your snippets of advice and tales of wisdom (both from fellow novices like me, aaaand die-hard graduates), you have made me believe in myself enough to lace up my running shoes for the second time in a week.

The most important piece of advice I gained though, was not to run too fast. Only now can I see that this was probably the reason I struggled quite so much on my first day. I passed by a lot of lean, quick-paced runners while I was out, and as a result, I was met with this overwhelming desire to run well, fast, in some kind of desperate attempt to mark myself as their equal, and to avoid looking like a red-faced, sweating, shuffling tomato in front of well, 'people'. The result? Naturally, it was almost impossible for me to maintain that pace, and eventually I had to skip multiple runs because the ninety-second recovery time just wasn't touching the sides.

Today, however, I tackled it with a different attitude. In my head, I kept focusing on a piece of advice I'd read many times on here: that speed is not important, it's duration that counts. And well, sure, I was practically pounding the paths at a snail's pace, but I could slow down, recover, and continue for six whole minutes... the most I've ever managed to run since I was ten years old!

I'm hoping that with each run I can continue to improve -- little by little, as my eventual goal is to tackle this year's 5K Color Run in Brighton, late September.

But in the meantime, thank you, Couch to 5K community! I wish you all the continued success with your own personal endeavours!

17 Replies

  • I think she's got it...! think she's got it. :)

    Yep, you have got it.. the running bug and the hang of how to work it!

    Slow and steady is the way...(they did not used to call me the Grey Snail for nothing).

    Well done you.. sounds like a great run. You have your head around the whole thing. Now...enjoy the journey:)

  • Me too! I'm slow, but still proud of myself on W4. Honestly can't believe I've got this far! Keep it up x

  • I'm really pleased for you :-) you're doing it and have learnt the whole speed/people thing a lot quicker than I did! Keep not comparing yourself and take as long as you need to complete and it'll be great for joints etc to get used to the new routine and you'll avoid any injuries :-) 

  • Well done! I am a shuffling tomato still, albeit one who shuffles for the best part of half an hour without stopping. This will be you, too! Once the habit is formed, you'll be amazed at your progress. Good luck!

  • I am also on W1R2 and am amazed that I managed it! I am so unfit that just running up the stairs can leave me out of breath, so running at all for any amount of time is an achievement. I almost gave up after the first minute run today because I happened to be passing people and so wanted to run faster. I realised what I was doing about half a minute in though and was able to slow down and eventually get back into a slow and steady mentality. Well done for making a start - I bet you'll be able to do all 8 minutes on your next run! We can tackle it together :) 

  • Thank you for this reply! know exactly how you feel! And congratulations for also completing your W1R2 and remaining determined!

    It can be so difficult when you see other people -- as someone who has never ran out in public before, all I can think is, "Oh my god, I'm such a bad runner. They must be laughing at me!" And it's this fear that makes me think I should run faster, when in fact, that's the worst thing I could do!

    Today, though, I just reminded myself that I am, after all, a complete beginner, and I shouldn't feel any shame in that, and that I'm also running for me -- and only me -- not for the strangers I pass by! Focusing on my playlist, my breathing, and looking directly ahead too meant I barely even took any notice of the people this time around!

    And yes, you're right -- we can tackle it together!

  • You are so right, you run for you and only you. And honestly the vast majority of people either don't notice or think ' good for her/him getting out there'! Keep going! 

  • Lovely post Kirsty ! Yes , just remember you are doing this for YOU and all the amazing benefits you will gain from it xxx

    It doesn't matter how long it takes or if you have to repeat any runs , you're out there strutting your funky stuff and that makes you a winner in my book !

    Well done and keep going, you're doing great ! Xxx

  • On my second week out where it was nearly killing me for the 90 second runs I was passed by many speedy runners as I had taken a route along which a running event had been organised unbeknownst to me. I wanted to die of shame and embarrassment as these runners whizzed past me. Dressed in my joggers, jacket and bobble hat (it was cold) I slogged on asking myself who I was kidding. I haven't given up though and it's the 25 minute run tomorrow! Keeping it slow will get you there it has kept me in the challenge knowing that it doesn't matter what you look like or how fast you are going. Speeding up and going for longer will come later I know that. It's the fact that we are out there doing this however we can that matters so well done!

  • Thank you for sharing!

    I'm starting tomorrow --- and your comments are inspiring!!!

    Great to know there's a wonderful, dedicated community of supporters out there tackling this same challenge!!!

  • Yes! Definitely! This forum is the best asset to my challenge, and well, I encourage everyone tackling the C25K to share their stories here. Even if you've had a terrible week or you find it more difficult than expected, or you have what you think is a daft question you want to ask people about -- don't be afraid to share it all! Chances are, you will always find someone here who knows exactly what you're feeling, and can offer help and support instantly! I find it's so much easier than going it completely alone.  

    Good luck with your first run tomorrow! 

  • I am also on w1r2, and due to start number 3 this weekend. I have completed both so far, very very very slowly. With my graceful gazelle of a 16 year old daughter running ahead and coming back to me, giving me something beautiful to look at and imagine I look like that too! 

    My legs ache on the outer thigh, and slightly in my calves. Got to assume this is normal for one so unfit, and I will try again even though I too feel somewhat ridiculous in my gear with a red sweaty face! 


  • Congratulations on making it to your second run!

    And well, when I was at university, I also lived with a graceful gazelle of a girl who glided through this challenge like her feet were made of clouds -- so I know how you feel! I'd see her, and figure it mustn't be too hard, but when I attempted W1D1 for the first time? Oh my! I didn't even manage the full 20 minutes and sloped home, wheezing and defeated. That was last year, though, and this year to have made it to the second run is already an enormous achievement for me! I've since learnt that well, some people are gazelles, and others are well... koala bears (slow, short-legged and cuddly, ha), and while I may fit into the latter classification -- that doesn't mean I can't attempt this challenge and make it my own: at my own pace, in my own time, and in my own style!

    And yes, mostly I find that my calves ache. There is also a very tender patch at the front of my shins too, but I assume I'm either not stretching enough before/after, or it's my legs' way of crying out in shock that they've suddenly had to... well, run. Again, I'm hoping this pain will eventually dissipate the more I continue jogging!

    Thanks for sharing your story! Good luck for the rest of the challenge!

  • Thank you! 

    I've just come in from week 1  run 3. Had to complete alone, as teenagers don't know that this time of day exists at the weekend, but on a stunning and beautiful morning, it was glorious! I've definitely pulled a muscle in my left thigh so going to stretch it out and hope for the best. Week 2 starting on Tuesday, and it looks impossible! Aargh! 

    Thanks for replying, so lovely of you! 


  • When I started I went way too fast and wore myself out.  I then decided to do a sort of pre-C25K with longer recovery intervals and actually spent about three weeks working myself up to week 1.  Just remember there is no rush to complete the programme and you seem to have already taken the advice to go slow 😀.  Good luck!

  • What an excellent idea! Thank you, Lisa!

    Yes, I knew from the start that as a complete beginner, I may struggle with W1D1, and told myself that just because this challenge 'can' be completed in 9 weeks -- that doesn't mean it 'must' be. After all, to go from never running (not even for a bus!) to maintain a steady pace for sixty seconds isn't easy! As I say, in my first attempt, I only managed to run for 2.5 minutes. I skipped so many running intervals for the sake of recovering for longer simply because I felt I needed to. Even on my second attempt, I still skipped some, and so I still haven't managed to run for the full 8 minutes. I've told myself though that I won't move on until I have finished the run fully -- and more than once too, even if that means staying on Week 1 for well, 3 or 4 weeks. As you say, there is absolutely no rush, and if I need to build myself up extra slowly, then no problem!

    Good luck with your challenge, too! ☺️ It's been so inspiring to speak to so many others who as beginners, felt exactly like me!

  • I have been doing this for several months but I'm cool with that now, like you have never really run before so I know it's going to take time.  But we will get there!

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