Couch to 5K

Newby here

Hi Guys

New to this group and this running lark.....started walking/jogging beginning of January I was nearly 16st, smoking like a train and abit partial to a few Stella's at the weekend..also 5'9 and 48 years old.

Decided to get fit and lose far I'm doing ok..lost 11lbs and am doing 3.75km in 30 mins best time as of writing this was 8'00/km aim is to do under 8'00 by the second week in Feb....or should I take it easier andd speed up as the weight comes weight is 13st

6 Replies

Hello and welcome. Well done on the weight loss and the change of lifestyle. It takes a lot of guts and determination to do what you've achieved.

You've done really well with the running too. Are you using any kind of programme? If not you might consider doing the C25K which takes you through each run slowly and safely with walk/run to begin with. I see that you're already running for 30 minutes which is brilliant but the big plus of doing the programme week by week is that it builds up running legs gradually so we are more likely to sustain running longer term. You can download the app on the home page here or the podcasts from ITunes. Consensus here seems to be that the podcasts are better. Take a look and see what you think but whatever you do I wish you luck with your goals.

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I would suggest that you don't see running as a way of losing weight. It will certainly help alter your body composition, and in the long term help you convert fat into muscle, but you cannot outrun a bad diet. So you're doing the right thing by sorting out your diet. Running will, however, help immensely with your health and fitness. Rather counterintuitively, however, the general consensus seems to be that if you want to get quicker, you need to run further at a slower pace. So, rather than trying to run the same distance again and again, each time faster than the last time, you'd be better served by running further. This is so that you can expand your aerobic capacity. The c25k programme, that this forum promotes, will help you do this, and I'd recommend taking up the programme. Even if you don't do the programme, it would be best to not put your body under too much stress too soon. The chances of injury to beginners is high, your body needs to get used to running (or exercise generally). So take it slow and take rest days. Rest days are when your body will actually build muscle. Seeing this as a lifestyle change might also help. Rather than rushing to accomplish something arbitrary by February, you need to see it quite holistically and make it part of a routine, though goals are really useful. So a slow build rather than overloading the body too soon. If you get injured your time on the couch will add up to far more time not running.

It sounds like you're doing good things, but perhaps building up slowly to a 5k might be the way to go. So you could start increasing one of your runs every week, assuming you're running x3 a week. The recommendation is to not increase your distance by more than 10% of your TOTAL weekly distance each week. So assuming you run 3.5 k x3 a week that puts you at 10.5k a week. (Now some time for some probably dodgy maths) You could start adding on 10% of that to one of your 3.5k runs. So make one of your runs 4.5k. Do that for a week or so, then do the calculations again and add more on to one of your runs, or work on getting each x3 run to 5k, adding to a total of 15k a week. If that makes sense. Best of luck.

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Well done so far.

I wouldn't try to aim for any particular pace at this stage. Speed will come naturally with improved stamina and as such the best approach would probably be to gradually increase your running distance from 3.5K to 5K and beyond.

Be careful though and don't try to rush it, as a rule of thumb the total distance you run shouldn't increase by more than 10% each week.

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Hi Adeb,

Congratulations on your weight loss and your running.

I've just read your post, plus the replies from Irishprincess, mooning and Dunder2004.

They have covered everything, speed isn't the issue, its distance and building up your stamina that will really help you.

As you get fitter the weight will shift, you'll sleep better and feel great.

This site is filled with lots of people who will help and advise on anything.

Good on you for starting to run, i'm sure it will give you some fantastic goals and experiences.

All the best.


Just wanted to add my congratulations for your weight loss and running!


Thanks for the input and kind comments I'd just like to update you on my progress so far. So today 19/02/17 I achieved my goal of 5k..I know you guys say not to dwell on times and distance in the early days but I needed to know that I could do it even at this early I managed 38mins time with interludes of pace walking and that that bench mark has been laid my next goal is consistent running for that distance. I have have taken up squash which seems to have helped immensely with stamina.....I'm loving the changes already...just wish I'd done this sooner

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