Speed for walk & run at week 1

I am a "Newbie" and an ex-rugby player, who's morbidly obese with arthritic knees. Been told I need to lose 61kgs; currently 140.4kgs! which will help with the knees, heart and Type2 diabetes!

I'm setting up my treadmill tomorrow and commencing the C25K from Monday. I've listened to the week 1 podcast but I'd like to know how fast to set the treadmill for both the walks and runs and then how much to increase it too as the days, weeks and months progress. I'd eventually like to complete the 10K followed by half marathon of 21K.

Many thanks in anticipation for the community's help, guidance and support

Regards Buddh4


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36 Replies

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  • Welcome! Throughout the program, the goal is to complete each running session. For many of us that started out as unfit, the running part speed is as slow as you can possibly go. You can work on speed after you finish the program, for now it's building endurance and the habit of running.

    As for the walking speed, most people I know did a pretty quick clip. I'm a plodder by nature, and I get shin splints if I walk too fast. So my walking speed is very slow, but it didn't hinder me in the program. So I'd say just give it a go and see what feels best.

    Let us know how it goes.

  • Many thanks for your advice

  • Good for you! If you could face playing rugby, which I really love watching but regard as legalised fighting then you're obviously brave and tough, so you will sail through this (not literally as that would be cheating).

    My walking and running paces were very slow when I was doing the C25k plan. I needed the walks to get my breath back for the next run so I couldn't think about walking fast! Most of us would say just concentrate on doing the walks and runs and it's much better to do them slowly but do them than to start off like a bat out of hell and find out that you can't finish a session!

    And, of course, do keep telling us how you're getting on.

  • Many thanks for comments and advice

  • Hi Buddh4, I'm starting on Monday too.. Just wanted to say Hi! and you're not alone!! :) Good luck, stick it out and I know we can do this!! Yeah!

  • Many thanks for your comment be good to hear how it goes for you

  • So day 1 done, I must admit it was a bit of a challenge, but I set a gentle pace and was able to complete it! Felt tired and went to bed early but woke up feeling great! :) How'd you go?

  • Slow and steady was what I was told when I started. Stick to the three runs a week if you can. Don't overdo it. And most of all, enjoy it! πŸ˜ŠπŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

  • Many thanks for your comments and advice

  • Hi Bud, rugby would have stuffed you knees up, however you may find getting off sugar will help you take away some of your knee pains. Not just no sugar in your tea but sugary drinks, food...... If you combine sensible eating with running, you will have the best of both world.

    I think your speed should be what is comfortable for you and as you go along with the program, how much you can push yourself. Keep in mind that you should take it easy so you can do it and won't give up. Listen to Laura.

    My running is outside so I don't know exactly if there is a specific speed. Somehow I doubt it. The idea is to get you off the couch and run for 30 minutes, then once you can do this, you can worry about speed.

    Good luck with your running, and try to go outside for it, it is wonderful.

  • Slow and steady... it is the way, and I should imagine that applies to the treadmill too.

    One thing that Laura, your guide throughout the C25K programme says, early on, is that we should imagine if we were running on one side of a hedge and if someone was walking the other side, looking over at us...they should not know we were running,, i.e. no bouncing up and down by moving too fast? Just set it at a slow walking pace and see how it goes?

    Thing is.. with the issues you have mentioned, you need to take this gently. You need to listen to your body, especially your knees...many of us have twingy knees and if you already have problems, then be very aware of them. Warming up will, be essential and there are, strength and flex exercise linked to this site...and also after your exercise, massage and stretching etc...preparation is everything :)

    It will build up very slowly, as the programme is so structured.. and you can adjust speed as and when you feel it is appropriate. The whole idea after the nine weeks...or however long it takes you, is to build up to being able to run, however slowly, for thirty minutes...comfortably. Rest days are crucial.... and if you need to take more than one, in between each run that is not a problem. Do your strength and flex exercises on those days... any other exercises will help too. Cycling, swimming...low impact ideally, because of your knees.

    If you have a chance for outdoor running. maybe take it... softer ground can mean less impact.. unless it is frosty! You may find the fresh air makes you feel better too ?

    Your other issues... :) Type 2 Diabetes... just take a look, maybe, at Michael Mosley's eating regime


    My husband is Type 2... hormonal, not weight, but... we use many aspects of this regime.. apart from the fasting.days... and our main aim, is to enhance our already, healthy, (but not difficult or boring) eating pattern, just with a tweak... very low carb'.

    We find it easy to do and follow... his blood sugar levels are hugely improved and he has lost some weight too; combined with daily exercise and regular walks, he feels trimmer and heart healthier. The same goes for me.. combined with my running, I feel fitter and healthier too :)

    You know there is a saying, eat less,( not saying you eat a lot), move more.. well you are about to do one of those things :) So.. halfway there... :)

    You have great plans and that is wonderful, but just take it steady and literally one step at a time.... start this and follow it through.. so many of us have run this path and are running this path and the support on here is amazing. Lots of advice, and lots of encouragement. Post your runs, successes and setbacks, all you will get, is support and empathy.

    "This is the beginning of anything you want...", so keep posting and go for it :)

  • I am type 2 Oldfloss and used the Blood Sugar Diet in July/August with great success (am thinking about doing it again come January)

    Re. knees, I have had problems with cartilage/meniscus. Out of desperation I started taking glucosamine (although a lot of reviews about it said it didn't work, other reviews were glowing about its effects!), and my knees have been better since I started taking it although I also started doing strengthening exercises too at the same time so can't definitely ascribe the success to the tablets.

  • Great positive reply, I am sure this will give Buddh4 ,lots to think about and work on...you sound to be living proof this all works... :)

  • I take glucosamine sulphate and fish oil and haven't had any issues with my knees since but I also made some other changes like wearing patella knee straps under the kneecaps when I run and only running on soft ground if at all possible. So hard to say what has actually made the difference. Gluosamine is worth a try though.

  • I read that book & thought it was brilliant, but then again I'm a Micheal Mosley geek anyway!

  • Welcome. I run outside so don't know about speeds but when I started the advice was slow and steady. My suggestion is that you think of a speed and then lower it. If you find it is too easy and slow gradually increase it so that you are confident and don't tire before the end of a session.

    Good luck, slow and steady is the motto so that are unlikely to injure yourself.

  • Slow and steady, I'd say. No point starting off too quickly if you're going to end up injuring your knee!

    I also find that cycling is great cardio and is especially gentle on the joints while helping you build the required stamina.

    Whatever you do, start easy and gradually ease yourself into it.

    Good luck! I wish you well!

  • Many thanks for your comments and advice

  • Many thanks for your advice

  • You are doing the right thing, this will be so good for your health. I suggest you set it slowly for the runs and then adjust as you progress according to what you are able to. The aim is to complete it and it's not ablout speed. Are you also on a weight loss programme too? The two combined will be so good for you... good luck and keep us posted 😎

  • Many thanks for your comments and helpful advice

  • I have never used a treadmill, so unfortunately can't advise on that. I did the C25K a year ago and am very glad I did. I couldn't imagine not running now but week 1 was hard when I started. I really recommend doing the programme. It will give you a huge sense of achievement and a feeling of well being. That's a lot of weight younwant to lose but bit by bit you know you'll get there and once you see some changes, you'll really feel encouraged to continue. It is the same with running, bit by bit you'll get there and once you see you can run for 8 min or 20, you'll feel absolutely amazing. Six months from now you'll be in a much better place. Good luck with it, I'm sure you won't regret taking up running. Try to fit in some swimming, cycling or leg exercises to get your legs muscles strong enough to take pressure ofyour knees.

  • Many thanks for your comments and helpful advice

  • Well done for deciding to start. As an ex-rugby player you've obviously been pretty fit at some time but how much you can manage now depends partly on how long ago that was. I would set the speed very slow for both running and walking and try it out - if you find it too slow you can always increase the speed but going too fast wouldn't be good for knees etc. If you have a smartphone another way to work out a starting speed would be to download one of the various apps available such as endomondo, strava or mapmyrun, start it up and go out for a short walk and put in a minute jogging a couple of times then read off the speed it has recorded and use that or maybe a fraction slower on the basis that you want to complete the session. It's worth remembering that many of us have been surprised by how difficult we found the first session, that completing it is important rather than speed and that if you aren't ready to complete a session at first it's fine to keep on having a go at it until you can (with a rest day between each try). Happy exercising!

  • Many thanks for your comments and helpful advice

  • Well done on committing to this, and for finding this forum. I started last week and have found everyone on here so helpful and supportive.

    So far, I've just done runs 1 and 2 from week 1, run 3 is tomorrow.

    I also have arthritis in my knees so am being very cautious, but so far so good.

    I'm using a treadmill and have been walking at 5.6km/h and running at 6.8km/h, and that's been fairly do-able.

    Someone else posted in response to one of my posts that having a slight gradient (0.5 or 1) on the treadmill is kinder on the knees. I haven't tied it, or read any more about it though so maybe someone else could shed some light.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  • Many thanks for your comments and helpful advice

  • no one can really tell you the answer to this you need to listen to your body. Some days you'll need a different speed too. I find I set off too quickly and have to slow down to either match the beat or get my breath sorted after panicking I can't breathe! Good luck on your journey and very well done for getting started 😊

  • Many thanks for your comments and advice

  • Great commitment...well done!

    I can walk at 6km, but I can also jog at 6km... So you really have to find what works for you as long as you can transition from a walk to a run then that's fine... Just keep it slow!

  • Many thanks for your comments and advice

  • I found when I started a few weeks ago, that I fairly quickly found my own comfortable speed. Having never used a treadmill in my life, I suspect that if you wait until you start the C25k, if you use an app to track your run, you'll see your comfortable running speed & then you can set your treadmill accordingly - if that makes sense.

    But as I say I have no experience of a treadmill, so I might be talking rubbish!!!!

    Enjoy your runs:). Your first one will go much quicker than you think. Before you know it s/he will be telling you it's your last one for the day. πŸ˜€

  • Many thanks for your comments and advice

  • Welcome! C25k is such a great programme. Following it is one of the best decisions you will ever make! People with all sorts of ailments have managed to complete it and I'm sure you can too!

    Everyone here, as always, has given great advice! Speed is not an issue at all. A 'run' is just above a walk, when both of your feet are off the floor at once (even for just a brief second). Slooooow down. Slower and even slower! Now slow down some more! You're probably still going too fast! Do your stretches, listen to Laura, take your rest days and you'll be a runner before you know it!

    I completed the first half of C25k on the treadmill so I totally understand anyone's decision to do it that way but I really would suggest that, at some point if you feel confident, try going outside! I never thought I would enjoy running outside but once I did I never went back to the treadmill again!

    Use the forum to keep you going - it's full of the most amazing, inspirational people on the internet who will give you great advice and cheer you on the whole way! You can do it! Keep us informed!! :)

  • Hi you're probably correct it is something that the position I played suffer from. With regards to Carbs in averaging 120g a day, don't drink tea, coffee or sugary drinks, even stopped diet drinks, just water at the moment. Many thanks for all your advice and comments most appreciated

  • At a similar weight, I currently walk on 3.5mph and run on 4mph. Sometimes on some of the shorter runs, I ran 4.2mph and once 4.5mph, but today I completed week 5 run 3 and kept to a steady 4mph. You need to feel comfortable and able to complete the run / walk session rather than run too fast and then give up :)

    I found music that has the correct number of beats, and that makes it much easier than running to Laura's music (sorry Laura!!) but you will need to know what speed you are comfortable with first.

    good luck!

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