My nine tips for newbies

Now I am nearly a "Niner" ( I start week nine tomorrow) I thought I'd use this non- running day to share nine tips from my own experience for those on this incredible C25k Journey . I wonder if others will agree or disagree with them ?


I thoroughly recommend the podcasts with the lovely Laura and her choice in music. Yes you will shout and swear at her and beg her to let you to stop (it doesn't work) but she will become your best friend and somehow knows exactly what to say to encourage you at the right time. Her tips in the early weeks are also very useful!


Don't read ahead what's expected of you on future weeks. Especially week 5. You will panic. Just trust the programme that you won't be asked to do anything you can't manage physically when you get there. Yes, you may need to repeat runs sometimes but that's fine.


Schedule in your runs for the week ahead and try to stick to them. I found planning when I would do the next three runs ( eg after work Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning) worked well and after I did a run I'd check the next two were still Ok and plan a new third. If it's a commitment you are more likely to stick to it whatever the weather and life throws at you!


I learnt this the hard way . A sharp pain and heaviness in my right leg in week 5 run one and I continued running - led to a calf injury and NINE yes NINE weeks on the injury couch ( plus expensive physio!) if you feel something is wrong when running stop and assess if you should continue and don't take any risks . You may just need another rest day - better than nine weeks I tell you . People started and finished the programme in that time!!


Don't run in those old scabby trainers .. Treat yourself to proper running shoes which support your feet. It took me all my courage to walk into a running store and ask them for help , but I had a full gait analysis and got advice on proper footwear which means I have NEVER had sore feet or foot injury when running. Plus, you get to post a photo on the forum and everyone oohs and aahs over them


Running clothes - even cheap ones - are fab . They wick the sweet from your body. They have no uncomfy seams or fastenings . They are bright and reflective so you can be seen . They also make you feel like a runner! Plus, once you have spent your hard earned cash on them you will want to wear them! I treated myself to a lurid pink top and capris while on the injury couch (see 4 ) and was determined to get well enough to use them! Oh and ladies - make sure you have a good supportive sports bra!!!


c25k is not a race against others . It's a personal adventure ! Don't measure yourself against others- you may need more rest days, you may need to repeat runs, you may be covering less distance ... It's all about YOU and the journey to be able to run for half an hour however long it takes. I started in March . All being well I will graduate next week - five months later!


Drink plenty of water . Before you run. After you run. On rest days ... You need it ! I haven't been taking water with me on runs though I just bought a hand held water bottle for when I do longer runs, or runs in the heat (a rare event here in Scotland)


This is a key bit of advice in the forum - as I've said its not a race! It's all about stamina and keeping going so do not run too fast ! If you have energy at the end of a run Laura lets you speed up-(that hasn't happened to me yet) but don't start off too fast or you will tire yourself too quickly ... Slow down then slow down some more !!

Onwards to week nine and thirty minute run tomorrow, on the trail of the graduating musketeers!


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26 Replies

  • Wow Hilary ! This is a brilliant post , absolutely spot on !

    You've captured it all perfectly , Excellent advice .

    Good Luck for tomorrow ! :-) xxx

  • Fantastic post, great advice there. 😄

  • Brilliant post!

    Although "don't peek ahead - especially week 5" that would have me straight on the fast forward button to see why 😁 Mind you I have to admit I'm one of those who likes to know what's up ahead so I had already checked the format of each podcast before I started the programme.

  • Good point. I have to say I kept checking ahead too but it freaked me out a lot and I would have been better not knowing.

  • Really great advice! Well done, you're nearly there!!

  • Sums up all the great advice on this forum!

  • Great advice. Thanks for summing up. Peeking ahead worked well for me though. I researched different programmes before I got started and preferred the progression of the c25k programme. Maybe just me, but that is how I work best in all aspects of life :-)

  • Beautifully written post and absolutely spot on. Should be compulsory reading for everyone starting the programme. Good luck for your run and join us soon.

  • I would add 'Look BACK at your progress if you feel you are not improving or capable of improving - see where you came from to where you are now'


    'Read as many posts as possible - it will educate you, support you and be in your 'reserve tank' when you run out of confidence in yourself"

    Will be cheering you on tomorrow Hilary :)

  • Excellent points Irish-John . If I had has ten I would have said use the forum ! The boost you get here and practical advice really helps. I also think it helps knowing others are in the same boat as job! My run will be after work tonight and I'll post after ... However I do!!

  • Am now going to check out the photos of running shoes :-)

  • Got it in 9!!!

    Good post... it sums up everything we learn... best bit, as we always say is slow and slower!

    I feel lots of folk will benefit from reading this... I am a huge advocate of 'Your journey'... it is... and we all, must do it in our own way... :) I was the original Grey Snail.... now running 9 K... at my age!

    Good luck on this final week.... well done you and you know what the rule is....slow and steady! :)

  • Totally agree with these and sums up advice I was given by everyone on here during my journey, I finished last week, it's a great feeling - have to say slightly missed Laura this morning with her encouraging words, can't say I missed her music thought enjoyed running to my own choice!

    Good luck on your last week Hilary! 😀

  • I actually am looking forward to running without headphones and just hearing the world. But I will miss Laura so much.

  • Thank you Hilary. Lots of good advice and reassurance there, particularly for those of us near the beginning of the experience. I'm on week 2 :-).

  • All great advice Hilary! And as someone else who had an extended time on the i/c during the programme - I know just how special graduating is going to feel for you! All the best☺

  • That's great - thank you Hilary.

    I'm just starting and feeling rather worried about being able to actually run for any length of time, but these tips are really helpful.

    Good luck with week 9!

  • Don't worry, we all feel like that but bit by bit you get stronger till you really can run for 30 min. The programme is great. It really works. I've never been a runner but I did the programme aged 49 and now I love running. Stick with it and always try to think positive. You can do it!

  • Maybe add a 'don't beat yourself up if you have a bad run or don't fully complete a run, tomorrow will be better'

  • Or rather, the day after tomorrow will be better...

  • ad infinitum

  • All good stuff here. Thanks all

  • I'd mostly agree.

    But I think sometimes people forget that some people really do not have the money to risk up front on running shoes (not even from somewhere as disgusting as Sports Direct) or clothes.

    I started running not in scabby trainers because I didn't own a pair but in walking boots and ran in normal clothes (including a long knitted skirt through the woods) Even now I don't wear techno fabrics except that I have some cropped running bottoms for the hottest weather, otherwise I wear cotton leggings and t shirts that I already had and wear normally. The first purchase I made was the sports bra, not shoes or lycra.

  • Fair enough point. I know the first run I tried was in walking boots and normal clothes and it was a complete and utter disaster !!

  • Great advise and so glad I found these tips your an inspiration & will keep me motivated for my last 3weeks continuos runs scare me!!!!! But slow but steadily I will get there😃phyllis

  • You will get there! Trust the programme and repeat as you need to till you feel ready to move on. Once you get used to running without walking breaks it's actually easier as you don't lose the momentum !

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