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Couch to 5K
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So I'm 35 with a 3 year old and a teacher. Trying to get exercise into my life as I have put on quite a bit of weight and have a family history of heart disease. I also don't really want to be seen running! I have never ran before (apart from at school) am asthmatic and gave up smoking 3 years ago.... any help or advice of how to start would be greatly appreciated!!! 😬 thanks in advance x

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First of al, well done for giving up smoking, that is the best start to becoming healthy!

Your asthma does not need to exclude you from running eventually, I know plenty of runners who are asthmatic but my advice would be to discuss it with your asthma health practitioner. It can be managed during exercise.

General advice would also be, given your family history and that you are new to it, to consult your GP to discuss a programme of exercise.

If you don't feel ready to run yet, don't. It's not easy and starting in a negative mindset won't help and will be counter productive.

There is an app called walking for weight loss. That may be a good place to start. This can lead on to a walk/run programme, such as couch to 5k. Running isn't for everyone. although, in time you may find that you would like to give it a go. Exercise releases the endorphins, a natural high and is addictive.

Look at your diet too. Adjusting exercise habits is great but build healthy eating habits in too. This will add benefit both in terms of aiding weight loss but also fuel your exercise plans.

Try resistance work, great for toning muscle. Cardio work is great but other than a few muscle groups, won't tone your muscles, so yoga, kettle bells, light weights are good, building up the reps and classes such as Zumba, good fun and beneficial.

As a mother of a little one you can put her in a buggy and power walk, if you buy basic equipment, such as small hand weights, kettle bells and exercise DVD's. Then if you can't get to a class or are strapped for time you can use these.

I have a treadmill I use if time is pressing and can't get out for a run. I also have some other aforementioned items to use, I'm not a gym bunny and prefer to exercise alone. I am a single parent to a 21 yr old (at uni) and a 12 year old but have been running since my youngest was 4. I have also found that running and exercising has time modelled good habits and my daughter is a keen runner and adopts healthy choices.

Finally don't beat yourself up. You have taken some really important steps to addressing your health and everyone starts somewhere.

Good luck 😉


Hi and welcome:)

You have made a start already, by deciding to do this and coming onto this great forum, which is for folk following the wonderful C25K programme :) Here is the link:)


Lots of the forum family are asthmatics, and they will give you loads of sensible and useful advice. ( Obviously, checking in with your asthma nurse or GP before you start,is useful too)@_

Initially...just start this programme :)

The mantra, that you will hear, all the time, is slow and steady and that is the way,honestly :)

Tailor the programme to suit your lifestyle...many of the runners on the forum have a young family and time consuming jobs...they will give you some wonderful advice. I have a new granddaughter and have had to manage my running and exercise programme around her for a while now..it's great! When i was still working, I got up really early and exercised before anyone else was up. Still an early morning runner now, although retired now :)

(As a teacher, maybe you could get your school governors and Senior management to agree to a lunchtime running session as many schools are doing currently... certainly you could do the first few weeks of C25K with the children... you doing your programme whilst they run. I watched a great feature on the National news about it yesterday :))

C25K is not primarily a weight loss programme, but will get you fitter, mentally, ( as an ex- senior teacher I know how important that is :)), and physically, and make you leaner and tighter:) There is a link to Health Unlocked Weight Loss Programme.. which, may suit you. Many folk on here are on both forums and feel it really works well :) Here is the link :)


So.... follow the programme sensibly. The slower the better, to start with. Rest days are essential, and if you need more than the one day in between your three runs, then take them Other exercise, like walking on the rest days is great. Swimming, cycling yoga, running around after your little one... all good .

Post regularly, as the forum friends have loads of advice..all levels of experience and having felt many of the things you may feel... listen to them and listen to your body. It is the best guide to what is happening with you .

As for not wanting to be seen running.. again, loads of posts on this... just do it.( As teachers we are on show so much anyway, you should be fine ).

This is a fantastic forum for followers of C25K and the inspiration you will find here is limitless. There will be lots of Newbies starting out on their running journey as you are...so, post your runs, your successes and setbacks... ( we never use the f**l word here).

The next step is yours.... and a favourite quote of mine..

" Confidence is the best outfit...rock it and own it ".

Looking forward to your first post :)


Forgive the long ramble...I am famous for my rambles ( or infamous ), as you may find out as you travel along. :)


Well I did it! Sat with my coffee at 6.25 and thought 'oh sausage it!' .. got an old pair of trainers on and took the springer spaniel with me. I live on a farm by a river (though a few other houses around) and no one was about! Yay! ... I only managed 25 minutes with short bursts of jogging (that the dog loved) but back home and ready for the day. I think early morning is the way forward for me! (The 3 year old may have to wait a while before he gets to join in lol - once the stress levels have dropped a bit!)


well done!!

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Thank you everyone! This place is great!!! So do I go tomorrow morning or have a morning gap!? 😳


Hi, and well done. I am just a few days ahead of you. You should leave at least a days gap between runs.

If you haven't already, then download the app as it will help you plan your week out.

Good luck. See you at graduation!!

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Thank you!


Hi! Lots of great advice already given but I just wanted to say well done & keep going! You should be proud of yourself that you've decided to make some changes to your lifestyle that will be of such benefit. I'm a teacher too & asthmatic. I'm at the end of week 7 C25K & had only run at school before (& hated it!). Although I rarely sit down at work I now have so much more energy & feel more positive when it gets stressful. One thing that has helped me keep going has been planning runs before each week starts as the job is so crazy that I can end up home late & exhausted. My asthma has been ok but I did find it hard with the cold air in winter. Keep posting & keep going!!

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I can't add much more to what the guys above have said but wanted to say that I did/do not want to be seen running either. I was lucky enough to find a good treadmill reduced in price and started out just walking. I'm very overweight so my first 20 minute walk at 3km/h nearly did me in! I enjoyed walking an got up to 5kms in under an hour. Then I found the confidence to start the C25K program.

I'm on week 8, still very overweight and more focused on diet now that I'm feeling fitter. I have also braved walking outside with ladies from my village and last Saturday I did a little one minute run outside.

Take it slow, don't expect it to happen over night, it's a gradual thing, but you'll get there.


I totally recommend C25K as I graduated over a year ago and feel so much healthier and fitter. I now run 4 times a week 3 x 5 plus a long run, usually 10k. I am 53 years old and still have just under a stone to lose. I have lost 2 stone already. However, I recommend counting calories because I have not found exercise plus eating what I want loses weight. I even put weight on while running because I thought I could. A great free App is My Fitness Pal and you can track food on there and pick up tips too. I recommend going out to run, no one is the slightest bit interested and it is much more fun!


I see from the comments above that you've already answered your own post. "Oh sausage it!" is just the attitude. :) Well done for getting out there already!

I too have asthma* and started the C25k plan three stone overweight and equally self-conscious and fifteen years older than you and I did it. I didn't know about this forum then but I'm sure I'd have worried less if I had been able to hang out here and see how many others were just like me and experiencing the same things as I was.

Couch to 5k is a brilliantly worked out program. If you stick to it you're more likely to avoid injury by overdoing things before you're ready but you also make great progress. It pushes you QUITE hard but not TOO hard, which is perfect.

Remember to report in regularly and tell us how you're doing. And as you run, think of us all cheering you on from our ringside seats in cyberspace.

(*Take your inhaler with you each time!)


My niece has two little uns, and is a teacher, so finds it hard to find time to run but some kind person has given her a proper running pushchair! Result!

As a teacher I appreciate why you might not want to be seen. Them pesky kids get everywhere!

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Good positive influence for the kids if seen though?

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Read the begginer posts of now-graduates :) You are not in any way "terminally unique" :) This programme is literally miraculous in my opinion - and as someone who started with a few handicaps I think I can honestly say I'm the least likely graduate :)

Starting is easy and hard. I thought I was going to die on day one physically - and felt mortified mentally. However, without really understanding it at the time I knew there were few options apart from the Cardiac ward or a Stroke or just a disgustingly decrepit old age waiting for me if I didn't do something about my health.

That "negative" motivation quickly changed to what has become literally a major source of joy and comfort in my life - running changes so much more than merely fitness levels :)

Read as many early posts of present-graduates and I believe you will see yourself there also ;)

Best wishes for many happy miles :)


So good that you decided ​to give it a go. Follow the C25k plan and you'll be as hooked as the rest of us. I'm asthmatic too but manage perfectly well most of the time. I just make sure not to run if i think I'm starting with a cold. Check with your asthma practitioner if you need reassurance - I did :)

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Hi, I've just finished c25k week 3. I'm in my early 40s, very overweight, with 2 small children and a hubby who works long hours. Since starting I have adopted your 'Sausage it' attitude and head out 3 times a week around the hubby. I run at the same speed as i walk and couldn't look less athletic if i tried. But. I . Don't. Care! I am doing it, I'm loosing weight and inches and i feel great! I recommend the podcast and get out when you can. See you in another few weeks, when I will be a racing snake. LOL.


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