Disappointed ...and it's only W1!

I'm in my early 40's, about 3 stone over the weight I'd like to be, terribly unfit, hate ANY sort of exercise, and have a tendency to drink far more red wine than I know I should be!

I did research C25K before starting, and, based on other people's experiences, I thought I'd give it a go.

W1R1 was good; a whole lot better than I had expected. Not sure I'd go so far as saying I enjoyed it, but I headed home feeling quite positive and with visions of me being able to run for 30 mins at some point later this year. Then came W1R2. What a disaster. I couldn't complete the first 60 second run, and was crying after the second attempt. I walked for the rest of the time, cursing 'Laura' for her words of encouragement on my iPhone app. Arrived home feeling totally fed up, useless, defeated, and plain stupid for even attempting something like this while being such an unfit couch potato.

So what now? I know I'll get the "keep going" comments, but if I can't even run for 60 seconds, how on earth will I get past W1?! Maybe it's just not for me.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

24 Replies

  • Please don't give up... slow it right down, focus on breathing and making it to the end and rest before you go out again. It is hard but it does work I promise... and consider repeating each week twice ( loads of people do this) 😎

  • I guess you're the only one who knows whether it's for you or not. As I understand it (read graduates early posts for confirmation) lots of people struggled to run for 60 seconds when they started. I was one of those sickeningly (who knew how difficult that is to spell?) annoying people who loved it from the beginning but I was 2 stone overweight and 55. At the risk of provoking much yelling maybe you want people to tell you to keep going (or why post?). I've lost 8 stone and gone from barely able to walk because of a back problem to being 9 stone overweight to running for an hour. Took me years and many, many tantrums!

  • Well, you can run for 60 seconds because you did this is W1r1. Was it a case of over-confidence in W1r2? Did you try to run too fast, or where you tired, or hungry? Were you too hot, or too cold?? Do please try again, but remember it is just a very gentle jog in the running sections. If you have any 'running' apps on your phone, try and ignore them, or don't start them going. They will be a distraction at this stage. Speed, pace, distance. All irrelevant, only time and Laura's instructions matter just now.

    Picture yourself in 9 (or 18, or 27) weeks time, running for 30 minutes, toned, trim and having lost some weight. That is why you are running for these first 60 seconds.

    One final thing: I give you permission to repeat W1, but instead of walk/run, you can do walk/fast walk. You could do this for a couple of weeks, before trying walk/run again. Just to get your body conditioned for what is to come.

    You can do this.

  • Please don't give up. You've made the great decision to change and get up off the couch. You can do this!!

    You did wk1 run1 so there's no reason at all why you can't do wk1 run2. Just remember to take it slow slow slow.

    Remember the feeling after wk1 run1? It will be the same next time you do wk1 run2.

    Be proud of yourself for not just sitting in on the couch and for getting out there and doing it. Believe in yourself, you can do this X

    P.S I always found run 2 of any week the hardest, have no idea why! Perhaps it's because I'd find it once and maybe started off over confident on the run 2 and started too fast? Not sure 🤔

  • W1R2 is exactly the same as run 1. You know you have done it once so can do it again. Make sure you have taken the rest day, maybe take 2 rest days at the beginning. Then try it again, run slowly. Even if you don't 'complete' the run you will be getting exercise which will make you fitter and stronger.

  • Keep going. Slow and steady. Repeat the runs. I've had a week off due to a bad cold and I'm worried I'm gonna loose what stamina I've built but if need be I'm going to repeat one of the runs from week 2 as I had nicely moved into week 3. The first run I did I couldn't run for 20 seconds never mind 60 but I can now comfortably run for 90 seconds. Keep going.

  • Ok, so this is another 'keep going' post, but YOU WILL DO IT.

    Read as many posts as you've got time for and you'll see lots of people feel like you at the start and even later on in the programme.

    I graduated 3 weeks ago and still can't believe I did it or that I will finish my next run. But it just happens ... trust in the programme, keep it slow, slow slow and take your rest days. This is all about you so if you need to repeat days or weeks that's fine.

    Keep posting and reading posts, that's what kept me going and listen to Laura. Go Melanie Go!

  • Hi there, please believe me when I say you are not alone. I myself came home in tears after one of my runs as I was going through the program, so I know exactly how you are feeling right now, don't give up, we all have bad runs, I still do even now. Draw a line under it and put it to the furthest part of your brain. I might even suggest going back to week 1 to get a bit of confidence back, it is not a race to gradation it is a journey and it doesn't matter if you have to repeat runs, it is all about getting your body running in a way that it is the most comfortable with, we all progress at different levels. have faith in the program, it will get you there in your own time frame.

  • Please don't give up! Slowly but surely and be kind to yourself. I feel your pain but I guess I am a "glass is half full" kind of person and am a bit stubborn and don't like being beaten by anything. Even if you walk when you should run does it really matter? You are still out in the fresh air getting up your heart rate rather than sat on the sofa so it's still a plus? I am about to embark on week 2 myself and a little nervous but what's the worst that can happen? Nothing that I can think of. Go and carry on and let us all know how it goes👍

  • At the end of the day only you can decide to do this. Every graduate on this forum has had to do it for themselves and every future graduate will need to do the same.

    So, do you want to complete the programme?

    If you do, what are you going to do next?

    Forum friends will encourage, support, advise. But ultimately it is all down to you being strong enough to get out there.

    Get off the couch, get your shoes on, run slow and slower still. You can do this!

  • I can only repeat all the good advice plus you have started so don't waste that advantage. You had the drive to begin so you are already on your way, well done now just keep going little by little.

  • But you can run for 60 secs - you did it six times. Don't despair and give it another go, slow right down rather than stop. Head on through at your own pace. You might not be fit now but you will be - and even now your mind will play a big part.

  • You've done so well to get started. C25k is as much a mental challenge as a physical one and there will be likely be many ups and downs along the way. Also I don't think it necessarily works in a linear way, (as in each run is easier because you've already done the same before). I often found the first run of each week easier than the next two and now that I am in week 8, doing the longer runs, every run is an internal battle between me and the gremlins - but I know I will get there because despite my huge misgivings at the beginning of every week I have managed to do what Laura told me to. For now you just need to follow the advice on the forum and trust in the programme. In a few weeks you will see what I'm talking about. Good luck!

  • Hmmm.... that's understandable in a way that it would hit you harder to struggle with the second outing more than the first.

    But take it from me, as someone who spent a lot of time trying to crack Week 1, it does *not* mean you are not cut out for this. The people who succeed with the programme and keep running are not 'built like runners' or super-hard (well... some of them are) but people who get their heads round things not going well.

  • "people who get their heads round things not going well."

    Yes I agree - I think this is a huge part of the programme in fact: getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

  • Well done for making a start, deciding to have a go is an achievement in my eyes. I remember my first week well, in fact I can still recall every week and the fear I felt from reading on, as to what to expect. I can honestly say the plan works and you will do it. I remember willing Laura to tell me to walk after about 15seconds, my throat burning, legs hurting and struggling to get a breath. TBH I'm still willing her now. It does get easier. Trust me it does. I completed W9R3 last Friday, proud as punch! But from day 1 to now I still struggle with the first 5/10 minutes of running as I have to get the right pace, control my breathing etc. Keep at it, the longer the runs, the easier it gets because you will get into a routine, and how you feel after will be amazing. Well done, keep at it, YOU CAN DO IT! xx

  • Ok. I'm also early 40s and more than 3 stone overweight. Those early runs were really frustrating for me too. I just couldn't get my pace right, thought I was going to die doing the run intervals and found it hard to work out exactly where halfway was (which is a motivator for me). But I stuck with it and completed W8R1 yesterday which is a consolidated period of running.

    I've found that in the early days I was walking faster than I was running but that soon built up. The important thing is to stick with it. You WILL have bad runs but don't let them dictate the rest of the runs. You can do this and, in a few weeks (maybe even a few days) you will be having that positive feeling after your run.

    I found the interval running (which is what those early outings are about) far harder than just running for a longer period of time but you have to build up to them.

    If you are finding the app you are using is winding you up, change to another app. I use BBC Get Inspired and have Sarah Millican as my trainer. I like it because I feel I can relate to her so when she says something about what she finds helps when running I can think "Sarah! Who are you kidding?? You haven't attempted this!!" and it makes me giggle!!

  • I am only on w1r2 so have found your post and the responses helpful to remember that progress seldom goes in a straight line. There's something about the 'beginners' brain that possibly helps with the new regime at the start of each week. - perhaps it's a kind of curiosity adrenaline😉. I expected my run 2 to be easier than it was. It makes sense that the initial stages of any run are harder - and true for my walking expeditions too. It's like starting a cold engine every time...maybe think of it like priming a pump???Essential but slightly frustrating and doesn't take you far or fast (yet!). Trouble is getting past this initial 'block'...hmm, anyway thanks for your post, it's really got me thinking. Best of luck w ur next outing.

  • Hi Melanie, yes, lots of will say keep going and just keep doing week 1 until you think you can manage week 2, but if you look around the forum you'll find lots of other posts by people who were in a similar place to where you are now and have succeeded. I started the C25k programme a few years ago when I too was in my early 40s but never got past about week 5 because I stopped giving myself the time to do it. A few months later, I started again but had to stop due to a problem with my hips. Now I'm doing it again and it's working for me. But you said that you are walking - and that's a start. Don't give up, but even more importantly, don't feel stupid and useless because you absolutely aren't.

  • Melanie , I forgot to say I started with Active 10, and would happily go back to it if necessary (I keep it on in any case). The Active10 phone app logs your minutes of brisk walking on a digital pedometer/app - just keep ur phone on you. You set yourself goals of 1x, 2x or 3x 10 continuous mins a day of brisk walking. It was a good way to start moving.

  • Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. Unfortunately I've always been a 'glass half empty' person, and am not very motivated at pushing myself to do something like this. But somewhere inside my head that initial decision was made to get up off my backside and start this c25k; I just need to find it again.

    I'm struggling to decide on the 'right' time of day to go out too. If I could find myself an invisibility cloak to run under, then that would be perfect! Even pulling my hood as far over my face as I can stretch it is not enough anonymity for my liking! Lol. Just another hurdle I'm guessing.

    Thanks again 😊

  • Well done on facing up to your 'demons' That's the biggest step x

  • dont try to jog for 60 secs just try 30 secs then repeat w1 and jog for 45 secs , if need be repeat wk1 a 3rd time and see if you get your 60 secs . there is no time limit it takes what it takes, you have to be comfortable with what you do . only you know what you can do , but if you chat to ppl like old floss , miss wobble etc , you will see that nearly everybody will say go slow . now YOU might think your going slow , but i ask you to picture a snail going along along , now imagine him in slow motion and thats how slow you need to go. Dont worry about pace , the 1st 3/4 weeks seem all about building up your stamina for weeks 5 onwards. pace has nothing to do with it you are just building up to run 6x5 minute blocks . im 55 was 18.5 stone when i started my weight isnt my problem im just 3 inches too short for my weight

    dont give in just adapt the plan and keep at it . its not a test . you cant fail it , you can only give in

    just give it another bash , it does get easier , believe me , you just have to want it

  • Thank you.

You may also like...