New to running

I am a new to running overweight 57 yr old couch potato.... but I am actually enjoying myself. I have been following C to 5K for about 12 weeks now although for the last 4 weeks have been struggling with a viral chest infection so have been just doing what I can. The most I have run so far non stop is 15 minutes but am happy doing 2 x8 or 2x10 min runs with 5min walk in between. I do struggle with the heat currently so even though I have been doing the program for almost 12 weeks I have not made very good progress. Any tips for building up my stamina and coping with the heat would be much appreciated.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

9 Replies

  • Welcome! Well done for keeping at it for 12 weeks all on your own. Are you struggling because you can't complete the runs? Is there a certain point you're stuck at? It is definitely hard in the heat. Try to make sure you're well hydrated before you start and try to go out very early or late when it's cool. Don't try to push yourself too hard if you're not well, make sure you're properly recovered if it's a problem.

    If you manage to complete each run then you should give the next one a go, even if you feel that it's a big jump up. Physically you should be able to manage it so it could be mental blocks stopping you. There is some great advice on this forum for getting past the gremlins! You're doing so well to have stuck at it for 12 weeks - you couldn't have run for 15 minute 12 weeks ago so you deserve to feel very proud of your achievement!

  • Thank you.

  • Well done Jmiss! To have come this far and continue under those circumstances takes mental and physical toughness :)

    Heat - average temps here when I run in the am are in the high 80'/low nineties. combined with the humidity it has the same effect as around 100 degrees.

    I run in sweatpants and the lightest tees shirts I can find. I carry a small towel to keep my face and hands dry and my route has a lot of shade.

    I guess I am doing it 'all wrong' by running in this heat and wearing sweat pants instead of shorts etc - but with hindsight I realise it was probably the best thing I could do for me - because it forced me to 'slow down...then slow down some more'.

    What seems to be a 'natural instinct' we have is that when we hear or think 'run' we also hear or envision 'fast'. Even at this stage i have to firmly force myself to 'slow down' when I run. When I was doing it first I felt like I was crawling around but actually running is running so I was 'fast' enough really. What happens now is that it is not so much I slow down literally - its that I relax the muscles that are tensed up too much and are in 'running mode' no matter how fast or slow I am actually going. When this relaxation happens - I feel perfectly capable of going on a bit more - which is what its all about, not distance or speed but stamina.

    It's eminently Doable to run at least for twenty minutes without stopping, honestly. I did it yesterday and if you read my earlier posts you will definitely understand why I can promise you that just as I overcame a lot of 'strikes against me from the beginning' so too can you with time and patience and by trusting the programme :)

    Bet you you can and will be following you to cheer you on and tell you 'Told you so!' when you Graduate :)

    (ps - edited to say, read as many posts as possible on the Forum. They are packed with great tips, advice and support. :) while I physically run on my own there are a heck of a lot of great people here carrying me further than I could ever go on my own self ;) )

  • Thank you and I will definitely try the relaxation bit, I do feel I am a tense jogger.

  • If you've been doing C25k for 12 weeks - despite a chest infection - and are running between 16 and 20 mins, you are definitely *not* a couch potato any more, and have made HUGE progress over the past couple of months.

    Are you following the plan or the podcasts? If so, this should build up your stamina for you. In terms of coping with the heat, that's something most of us find hard. For some people running early in the morning before it warms up works well. For those of us who are Absolutely Not morning people, late evenings are the best option where possible. And doing rain dances in the hope of some of that lovely cooling wet stuff! ;)

  • Well done - you're out there and that is what counts :-) best advice I can give is go out first thing in the morning when it's not too hot. Personally I like to get out early otherwise I often make excuses throughout the day and don't got "oh I will do it tomorrow". I have set days of Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for my podcast runs. Then I hope to improve once I am a proper runner :-D all the best to you.

  • I always run in the morning and take the dog with me so good exercise for us both. What is the "podcast" I am not very technical. I run following the Cto5K with Sarah Millican as my trainer and use endomondo on walking to track my distance and time.

  • There are a set of podcasts produced by the NHS (sort of like 25-35 min radio programmes) which you can download to a smartphone or ipod, which play music, and have a lovely cheery coach called Laura who tells you when to walk or run, and is generally very encouraging. But the app you have with Sarah Millican is fulfilling the same purpose, and is taking you through the plan in a structured way. :)

  • You are doing so well ! Welcome aboard and Well done for keeping at it !

    The heat and humidity has been sapping , but definitely a bit cooler now so I hope that makes the runs more pleasant for you :-) xxx

You may also like...