Couch to 5k first timer

First time out this morning after not having run since I was at school 25 years ago!

I did have to stop half way through for a few minutes to catch my breath ( which I know you are not meant to!) but other than that, I kept going.

I've signed up for a 5k colour run in July - is it realistic that I will be able to run it without stopping if I follow this programme? I don't want to embarrass my 12 year old who will be running with me !!! I know that distance may not seem far to some but to me it feels a long way off !

Any tips appreciated


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10 Replies

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  • Absolutely, of course you will. I too am training for a 5K race – the race for life in July, such an amazing event, I do it every year but this year I want to be able to jog around the entire course. Enjoy

  • Follow the programme. It takes at least 9 weeks to finish. Go slow and steady throughout and at the end you will be running for 30 mins.

    Few actually cover 5k at graduation but you can run the race with a few walks. Many many others will do similar.

    So yes it is an absolute possibility! Go for it but dont stray from the programme or you may end up on the injury couch

  • 'Catch my breath'.

    In that case you are running too fast. You should be able to hold a conversation whilst running. It is going to feel very, very slow. But that is OK. Once you've strengthened your body and completed the C25K program (note: the aim of the program is to run 3 times a week for 30 minutes, not necessarily run 5km) you'll be able to think about running faster, or further. But there is no reason why you can't run for all of the Colour Run in July (unless you overdo it and get injured).

    Slow and steady completes the course.

  • Definitely slow and steady but I respectfully add a caveat on the holding a conversation bit.

    For whatever reason - in my case Asthma - some can run well but not have the breathing regulation that allows this or the "Take x amount of steps per breath" advice that also crops up.

    It takes time to build up stamina, which is what the programme is about - not necessarily speed or distance. Darn few are running anything like 5k in 30 minutes by week 9 but those who take it slow and steady do graduate in their own time and then go on to build up distance and speed. :)

    Main thing is to avoid injury, one of the few "Cardinal Rules" is to observe the Rest days.

    Read the early posts of graduates as they were starting and progressing in the programme, there is a lot of inspiration and lots of helpful tips based on the real world experience in them, wish I had found the Forum before I did when I was starting :)

    Wishing you many happy miles in your future - slow and slower still to begin with just like the rest of us :)

  • I would also say that 'slow enought o hold a conversation' is a reasonable rule of thumb, I wouldn't worry about taking little breaks for breath in the first week or two. I paused to lie on the floor a couple of times in week 1 and also once to throw up quite spectacularly.

    %k by July is definitely doable. And simple as anything if you stick with the programme. There may be times when it doesn't seem easy, but you got this.

    One tip for your colour run though - cover the inside of your car with one of those polythene decorating sheets when you get there. Otherwise your upholstery will never be the same again. I say this from experience.

  • Great advice! Thank you

  • now I think of it, my profile picture is from the Clour Me Rad race where I failed to heed my own advice and subsequently drove around with a psychedlic kaleidoscope car interior for months afterwards. Although living in Glastonbury that did not pit me too out of place.

  • I'm 58 never run before

    Managed to graduate a month ago by following the programme since January

    Kept following Laura's instructions and now have cracked the 5 k ( but took 35 minutes)

    Keep going and look at the forum as many helpful tips and advice

  • You'll be fine. Just slow right down from the start next time. And if you're starting to feel tired, slow down some more.

    Don't worry about the colour run. There will be those that run it in super time, and those that walk the whole course. And everything in between. The important thing is to do your best, have fun and soak up the atmosphere. Are you doing the program with your 12 year old?

  • He is super fit so once I gain my confidence perhaps 2 or 3 weeks in, he will join me

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