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Couch to 5K
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When can I start?

Hello everyone ,I am 64, just had major abdominal surgery ,last Monday to be precise,with removal of a large mass,and my womb,ovaries,tubes and cervix! During surgery they had to cut and stitch my bladder. I have challenged my oncologist to a Half Marathon next year! I have been told it will take at least 12 weeks before I will be anywhere near back to normal. I found this group and am desperate to start the challenge.oh I forgot my heart is enlarged on the left side!! Please encourage me and tell me there are others in my situation who have beaten surgery to be able to run. Thank you.

9 Replies

Hi Elthuin, I admire your determination and ambition, I will leave it to others to offer appropriate advise, but I shall follow your 'journey' with keen interest


Ahhhh the software lost my lengthy post ;-(

Hi Elthuin and welcome.

As Simon says, you need to consult with your medical team before you embark on any fitness.

But if you are unable to start running for 12 weeks or whatever, it may be possible for you to start sooner with walking. Walking is an under rated activity, especially if you are walking a brisk pace for 20-30 minutes 4-5 times a week (or even every day). Walking will help you to start develop your aerobic capacity and strengthening your muscles (as will swimming) in preparation for when you start the c25k podcasts.

Another option as your walking develops is to use the podcasts, but when the delightful Laura says run now, you simply walk briskly as opposed to running. This will help.

But whilst this community will support you, you need to consult your medical team before starting any exercise regimen. But start walking as soon as you (feel?) you are able to.



It sounds as though what you need at the moment is rest and recovery time after your surgery. I would focus on that if I were you and talk to your consultant before trying anything. Once you have been given the OK by them, then I agree that walking could be a good route in. Take care and I hope your recovery goes well.🙂

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Hi Elthuin . I hope you are doing ok following your surgery. Great positivity and determination shiny right through in your post!

I would say you need to be advised by your medical team and your body! From experience, earlier this year my husband had major surgery, chemo etc etc etc. It took slightly more than 12 weeks to get over the surgery, and then the chemo started so had to go with how he felt at any one time dependent on where in each round he was.

He couldn't run but he didn't sit on the couch either. We walked every day, from day one after surgery. First just up the ward, then to the ward entrance and back, then along the corridor a little etc. Following discharge three weeks later we walked everyday, somewhere green, peaceful, good for the soul😃. Each day we walked a little further.

Now he can walk as far as he wants for as long as he wants and as fast as he wants once more!

It took him about five months in total to get to this point. But as I said earlier, you must take advice from your medical team, both from the surgical side and the oncologist, every patient's journey is different .

My OH could join the C25K now if he wanted to, but unfortunately he is not a runner, too much impact on his knees and legs in his younger football, squash etc days.

Instead he has recently joined our local gym so he can complete low impact cardio activities, and swim!

So go for it but please work with your doctors to be sure you do the right thing at the right time. I suspect you may be able to build you walking now as a starting point. If you do try keeping a weekly log of distance so you can see your gains!

Good luck and keep us all posted on your journey!


Some good advice here, especially the daily/weekly log.

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This post says it all really, Elthuin . I've nothing more to add except to wish you all the luck in the world, and hopefully follow your progress on here.

All the best.


You sound very determined, which is great! I'm sure you will achieve your goals and there is some great advice on here. Good luck with your healing - keep posting!

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Goodness I love your determination! I would listen to what your doctors tell you. After I had a C-section I felt great and kept doing stuff. When I was still bleeding several weeks later, the health visitor asked me what I was doing and I said everything - just because I've had a baby doesn't mean the house cleans itself and things like the dishwasher and washing machine fill and empty themselves. I received a very stern talking to. I won't give you a stern talking to, but what you have had sounds like major surgery, so I would put all that determination into healing, then start training when you are properly mended!

That said, when you are ready walking really is a good start. Just be careful. What's a few weeks between friends?!


Just found your post from 7mo ago,

re recovering from surgery !!

How are you progressing ??

For starters (regardless of surgery), your first goal is to get up to 10mins of a specific exercise/activity at one time in each day.


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