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Couch to 5K
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Newbie needs help!

Hi everyone,

I'm 66 years old and since retiring from my job as a teaching assistant 6 years ago (and giving up smoking 5 years ago), I've become a real couch potato and have put on about 2 stone! I seriously need help, as my daughter is getting married in December and I want to look and feel my best, but I lack motivation and am ashamed that I've let things get this bad, as I used lead an active life, being a member of a ladies tap-dancing troupe. At only 5' 1 and a bit ", my hips and knees are beginning to feel the strain of the extra weight, but I'm worried that I'm going to make them hurt even more. Also, as an OAP, I do not have a lot of disposable income to spend on gym memberships and the like. Please, someone, point me in the direction of some nice gentle exercise to get me started. Thanks

10 Replies

You've found the right place to get started!

Download the app or podcasts for couch to 5k, get your trainers on and out the door you go and it costs nothing 👍

Follow the program religiously and remember the run sections are a gentle slow jog

Keep posting and reading posts on this fabulous site and let us know how you get on and we are all here if you need any advice or motivation 😉


This course was designed for you. I got into it after reading an article about starting running when I wasn't even thinking about it but the guy made it seem doable, so I searched the web and stumbled on this programme. The great outdoors is free. My biggest expense was a " decent" sports bra, as I had some old but good trainers. I haven't lost any weight (on Week 8) but I know I've slipped off the low carb diet i usually go for. I definitely feel fitter and clothes fit better. Must cut down on the junk food now.

Good luck.


The C25k is an excellent programme which works for all ages, sizes etc. However if you have any concerns why not see you GP before you begin the running to get the go ahead?

Meanwhile why not start walking regularly to build stamina ready for the programme and to test those hips and knees perhaps?


Unless the GP says you should not, this programme is eminently Doable by you, at your own pace. About the only "Cardinal Rules" based on real world experiences are not running on a Rest Day and not running more than the presented time on a Run Day.

Read the Beginner posts of the graduates and you will see an awful lot of us brought a lot of doubts, worries and trepidations with us - and at least two of us have physical problems that lead us to believe we would never be able to run the distances we do now :)

This Forum will help and support you all the way too. We may run on our own 'round here - but we never run alone :)


No need for a gym or expensive kit that can't be used for other things. A smart phone or mp3 player are helpful to play either the app or the podcasts, but not totally necessary as you will find a link in the pinned posts window for a wallchart download of the plan.

This programme works because you are in control and progress at your own pace. Follow the plan but if you can't complete a run then simply repeat it. There are many who have graduated in their sixties and wonder why they left it so late.

Keep posting and ask anything that you need to and you will realise that this forum is one of the most positive, supportive and life affirming places on the internet.


All of the above- would echo, get a good sports bra.


Hi Shelleyuk. I am 63 next month and i have just finished week 3. Overweight and lazy, if i can do it anyone can. The first step out the door to start is hard and the first 60 sec run is brutal but oh the feeling when its done!! The advice and encouragement on this forum is brilliant. Go for it!!


I am nearly 60 and I can't afford the gym either but no matter. Running outside is free, as is going for a walk 🙂

Not doing anything to improve your health etc is not an option. Get to it and begin this programme 🙂 Why not get your tap shoes out again 😃 Go walking! Just start moving and don't stop!

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There are so many people in a similar position and they are all making progress at their own speed and in their own time,

So can you! If you want the gym for some reason, many GPs are able to give patients a free pass to improve health. However I think getting out in the fresh air has loads of benefits on top of the exercise thing

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"They" always advise that you check with your doctor before you start a new exercise regime, but they should encourage you to improve your fitness.

As others have said, the programme is definitely doable and many have started from a very low level of fitness. The best two things about it are that you really can do it at your own pace, repeating weeks if necessary and that you can tell that you are progressing.

If you're really unsure about being able to start the programme, then start by checking you can walk fairly briskly for 20 minutes or half an hour. There's another forum for people who are walking for health for various reasons: healthunlocked.com/walkingf...

so you could have a look get some encouragement there too. Of course you're welcome here and we'll help you on your way.


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