Going to start couch 2 5k: Hi im new to running... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Going to start couch 2 5k

Hi im new to running and have heard about the couch to 5k from a nurse at my doctors office and have decided that i am going to do it, just need to get some decent running shoes.

im a little nervous about starting i have severe asthma and another chronic illness but im not letting them rule me any longer they have for many years. does anyone have any advice for me how many times a week should i go out for i was thinking 3-4 days a week with a break in between each session.

9 Replies

Hi. What a great decision to have made. You have come to the right place, this forum is full of fab people who give great advice & support. It all makes a difference & we have all started from a place where we weren't sure we could do this but, by some kind of miracle & with help from each other, we have or are getting there. The programme really works so the first thing to do is download either the app or podcasts from nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/... The podcasts have Laura to help you, the app lets you play your own music & choose one of four celebrities to be your trainer.

Best advice is if you are finding it tough slow down then slow down some more. Speed and distance are irrelevant to start with. Good luck & keep posting. Happy running :-)


Welcome, you've found your way to a good place. Have you downloaded podcasts for c25k? If you follow the program you only run three times a week (before I started I thought it was every day so it was a relief to find out it was only three times a week!). It's important as a newbie to have rest days between runs as you are conditioning your muscles and the time not running is needed for muscle repair. Lots of people do other exercising on their rest days, I tend to stick with walking. As I understand it it takes about 12 months to 'get your running legs' so even after you complete c25k you're a fledgling runner!

I presume the nurse has taken your health problems into consideration? Check with your asthma nurse if you have any doubts but go slow and steady. As long as you keep posting / reading you will hear many people telling you slow is best: it is, if you struggle with the runs slow down even more.

Anything that improves your fitness is a great thing to do and well done on taking control back!

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Hi kit5un389! Brilliant decision to start c25k. It honestly is life-changing. I can't answer your questions re. asthma but I'm sure there are plenty of people on here who will.

Regarding the programme, the basic rule is that you MUST have a rest day in between each run. Just start with the week one runs, take it slow and steady and keep posting on here so we can cheer you on 😊


And don't be awed by the word "run". The programme is designed to take you gently from a brisk walk (with short jogs at whatever speed you're comfortable with), through short runs (again, at your pace) and only on to running for 30 minutes when your body is ready for it.

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There are lots of us who have succeeded with the NHS C25K programme with a whole variety of complicating health conditions sometimes several of them - and asthma is quite a favourite... lots of experience on the forum if it does give you a bit of bother.

So pleased to hear that it was a practice nurse who told you about the programme - it was a practice nurse who got me doing it too, not because she told me about it but because she was so appallingly unprofessional!

As others have said, one of the really important things about the programme is that you *don't* do it every day (so your intention fits perfectly). Not only is this important because it is a running programme and you need a non-running day in between for your body to do what it needs to do for you to run again safely, but also because it is very achievable. So many people decide they want to get fit and they go at it like a bull at a gate and either get injured or life gets in the way and suddenly its all over. The C25K route is a great protection against that.

For what it is worth, I started in lightweight walking boots because I didn't possess a pair of trainers. Opinions may differ but if you have trainers, it might be an idea to just get started and use the carrot of getting running shoes for a few weeks down the line. You'll be starting to have an idea about how you run and what sort of running you like doing (for example, I use trail running shoes because I like running off road)

You've had good tips... I'll add another: not only does the 'run' just need to be a running motion, your walk doesn't need to be that fast either, if you are not already fit. My other tip would be that if you really can't sustain a running motion in a run section, walk the rest of the podcast and don't try to run again that session. You'll then have a very clear marker for next time so that you are still likely to be making obvious progress even if the full session takes a while to crack.


Hi and welcome to the forum. The plan is structured to build your stamina and train you to run by gently increasing the minutes you run.

It really works, follow the advice on the podcasts, just run nice and slowly and steadily do some gentle stretches afterwards and enjoy your success.😊

Good luck, let us know how you are getting on...


Read the early posts of Graduates :)

We have overcome pretty significant fears and doubts on our journey :)

You can also, I promise you that :)

Very Best Wishes to you on this path that will literally change your life in so many ways - and all you need do is trust the programme and run with us.

We might run on our own - but us lot on the Forum never run alone :)


Great decision to start this. I find it hard to get my head round how much better I feel since doing C25K. You can take it at your own pace but it's such a great feeling when you progress through the weeks. Good luck !


My father-in-law has asthma and ran all of his life. It hasn't put him off. It didn't put Paula Radcliffe off, either!

I would echo what other posters have said. Your aerobic system really develops when you're going at a slow pace - whatever feels easy/comfortable for *you*. And it's your aerobic system which is arguably the most important for anything from 5K upward. Don't be scared of what feels like plodding. My mantra for the beginning of any race and any 'easy' day is "go slower. no, slower. even slower" because I pretty much *always* set off too fast to really get the specific benefits of that workout.


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