Couch to 5K

Week 1 - 60 second run more like 40 seconds

Hey All

I'm starting the 5K challenge tonight, I'm so glad i found this site BTW :o)

Last time I gave this ago was in April with my other half ( bad idea - i nearly killed him and it didn't do any good for my self esteem) I dreaded going out running, i hated that he thought he was some kinda personal trainer and I was his patient. Finally after our 17th argument about how i don't push my self enough i quit.

Even though i was managing to do 1 minute running one minute walking the 5k in 36 minutes

Tonight i'm going to go out on my own and doing it myself..

MY QUESTION IS... on the break down it says run for 60 seconds.. What if like me you get to about 40 seconds and can't do anymore??

Should i stay on the week 1 programme until i can run for the whole 60 seconds??

Many Thanks



14 Replies

The simple answer is yes. The object of the exercise (excuse the pun) is to build up gradually.

Firstly, congratulations on having another go.

Back to the question, you know your body better than anyone else. So if you are struggling to reach 60 seconds then just carry on with that week until you do. You will be suprised on how you body quickly adapts to something.

I do not know how much exercise you have done before but on my first attempt some years ago I could not even do the 8 1 minute runs I actually did alternate runs as walking the first week then the second attempt I did all 8 for as long as i could, which for the first time I could not get to 60 seconds without being out of breathe, and the heart feeling like it was going to do the scene from aliens.

However by the end of that week I was able to do the full minute and I was so proud at that point. I then did the week again just to prove it to myself. For the next weeks of the course I do each week twice just so I knew I could do it in my mind. However not having the correct trainers I did my knee in and I had to stop.

I tried again in May this year with the proper running trainers and graduated just over a week again.

My suggestions, and please anyone here correct me or put there own advice down.

1, Get proper running trainers they make a difference.

2, Listen to your body and go at a pace that suits you.

3, Ignore the distance, its more like couch to 30 minutes of running.

4, Laura (if you use the podcasts) is very encouraging in a funny way.

5, Mix up the places you run and ignore those who laugh at you. YOU are doing something for yourself and health, they may be younger and look fitter but looks are not everything as they say.

Its a bit long but hope that gives you some motivation.


I think those 5 tips are spot on. I have a friend who is just starting out and found herself unable to run at all at the moment so she is starting out with power walking when instructed to run. At least she is starting. I also think that going out alone has the advantage of allowing yourself to work entirely at your own pace and listen to what your body is telling you. Good luck.


Remember that the 'run' segments are actually only very gentle jogging, not flat-out sprinting. But if 60 seconds is too much, do what you can each time. Then next time you try the run, see if you can just manage a bit longer. You'll be surprised how quickly your fitness increases. Keep at it, keep trying, and soon you'll find that you've completed the run properly. Do that three times and you'll be ready to move on.

Happy running! :)


Welcome to the forum! The C25k programme is just amazing, following it is one of the best decisions you'll ever make. Go slow, listen to Laura, stretch, take your rest days and this time you'll make it to week 9 and even start to enjoy running!

Unless you struggle to walk for 60 seconds at a brisk pace, I'd say that if you reach 40 seconds running and you're struggling to continue then you're running too fast. Slow down, it doesn't matter if you're barely faster than a walk as long as you continue the 'running motion' for the allotted time. If you can't then yes, by all means repeat the run. Andy's tips above are brilliant. Remember to slow down!

The forum is one of the best places on the internet. I wouldn't have completed the programme without it. It's full of incredible, inspirational people so do post for advice, encouragement and to let everyone celebrate your successes with you!! :)


Hello dit84, firstly I'm with you. I did Day1 Week 1 saturday eve in my flat alone and we are in the same boat. This site is amazing and the encouragement and support is overwhelming. I can't give you advice about running but I can say if you just come here and ask for help it will come in sack loads and give you all the encouragement you need to do the next one. I am super unfit, super overweight and had enough of not being in control so like you, I'm here to get back to being me. Have fun with it, I'm going to follow your progress and I'm sure we can learn from each other.

Good luck x

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BEST advice I got - 'when it gets hard, SLOW DOWN...then slow down even more' Sounds totally counter to 'running' but that seems to be a mental problem with a lot of us. We think 'run' and can't help mentally associating that with 'fast'.

I swear, I honestly thought I was 'running' slower than I used to walk around the park here until I timed it - at my VERY slowest run, which is where I keep it now to keep building up slowly and avoid injury - I was getting around fifty percent faster than my old 'walking briskly' circuit.

Anytime I hit trouble with my breathing or muscles now I tell myself to slow down - and almost instantly I feel my legs and chest relaxing and can continue.

For me the two VITAL 'mantras' everytime I go out are the 'slow' one as above - and 'Trust the Programme' I don't skip rest days, I don't skip stages and in the first few weeks I had to repeat stages several times. It works. W1D1 on june 1st nearly did me in, but now I am starting W7 - a bloody miracle! :)


Wow! I can't wait to get to where you are and before Saturday I would have said never, I can't do that but now I know I can be at week 7 and feel proud of myself. x

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Slow and steady will get you there How-to. :) The greatest mistake I made was one day trying to run too far too fast - NOT a good idea. The ONLY thing that will stop me at this stage is an injury, that will be a real sickener if it happens. however the risk is small the way the programme is set up the way it is, and why everyone advises to go by it - and week 7 for me is more like week 9 in 'real time' and I am in no rush to get through these 'last' six running days ahead (I'm on a US version of C25k - one week less but really ramps up at the end, however the beginning weeks are exactly the same which tells me they are the MOST important ;) )

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Wow.... Thank you for all your messages and encouragement.

It took me a long time to get out of the door.. I must have looked at myself in the mirror 50 times examing all the bits that are going to wobble and what it will look like to people walking or driving by.

I give myself such a hard time, my inner voice is my devil.

I managed to complete 6 or the 8 minutes and you guys were al along for the ride in my head.

Thank you so much... Looking forward to Wednesday.

I think I will repeat week 1 just to prevent any injuries.

Much Love!!


Well done for restarting if I were I'd ditch the mirror till your ready to look in it again and tell the devil in your head I don't need you because I will do this & remember you always have support when you need it


Just take it slow and steady. You don't have to do this in 9 weeks. You, and you alone know what you are able to do, but you will be surprised!!!!

look for to watching you grow in this :)

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All of the above and they are much more experienced than me - BUT well done ...I found the first two weeks tough and in W1 couldn't manage the third 60 sec I am doing 5 mins at a time - trust in the programme and as the others say slow it down - I swear I run slower than I walk :-) keep at it.....

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Well done ! YES you can do this , most of us felt EXACTLY the same as you at this stage .

I cant really add anymore to the advice already given, but yes the " running " part is just a gentle jog, the slower the better .

Take your rest days they are so important as are the stretches after.

Youre off the couch, and that's the main thing .

Keep going, youre doing great ! :-) xxx

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It's great that you did it! I remember my first week and I was so self conscious and didn't believe I could do it - my husband actually really helped me through and was massively encouraging and made sure I didn't give up. We had previously rowed when we'd tried to run together before (as he's a seasoned runner) but we talked beforehand about what I needed from him - just encouragement; I don't need his tips or for him to tell me what I'm doing wrong; just keep telling me I can do it when I think I can't.

I'm now on W6R2 and can't quite believe how much I can run! I've repeated a few runs as I've not managed them all first time, but with more practice and determination, I've always got there.

I now miss running on my rest days and unbelievably look forward to the next one.

Keep going - it doesn't matter how slow - tell yourself you will get there, even if it isn't always on the first attempt.

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