What I wish knew in W1

Hi Gang,

first of all thank you all very much for your suggestions for the FAQ. There have been loads of really good questions in there (and a few we will draw a discreet veil over). Now have plenty of material to work with, and also a couple of ideas for spinoff episodes. Do keep them coming if you have any more.

I am just in the final(ish, I keep telling myself) stages of editing the W1 runs, and doing the voiceover narration (a lot of the field recording audio is too windy/noisy etc to use, and I think the FAQ is clearer added after).

I have been trying to allocate the FAQ questions roughly to the weeks when they start becoming pertinent.

For W1, particulary W1R1 I have focused a bit more just on the worries one has going out for the first time, and how it actually feels.

I am keen to get the W1 ones really right, because if people don't engage with W1 they won't continue: either with the videos or the programme, and also W1 is the time when one is most wracked with doubt and in need of encouragement.

So could I ask another question:

What would be the one thing that most worried you in W1? What would be the one thing you know know that you wished you knew then? What would have been the one question you would have asked?

thanks again all


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84 Replies

  • Hello

    Im only on week 3 run 2 tonight so very new to running.

    I think my worst worries prior to setting out on my very 1st 1 minute run were;

    What if I cant make it?

    What will I look like?

    Daft really as I did make it and got lost in the run that I didnt care who saw me or what I looked like.

    Great idea putting all this together.

  • As I found the first week the hardest the big question going through my head was " will this become easier?" as I couldn't imagine going through the whole programme as a coughing, spluttering crimson-faced collapsed heap.

    We just have to trust the programme and the experience of others but during that first run I really thought I'd be the one person not able to do the programme.

  • A big one for me was what if people laugh?

    Is all the anxiety and difficulty worth the benefits of running?

    I know that's 2 but honestly I kept asking myself that for quite a few weeks of the programme.

  • Hi Rig,

    I remember thinking, why is this so hard?, There's nothing wrong with me, I should be able to do it,(I,e run for 60 seconds...) other people do.......of course, we learn that, yes practically everyone can run, but your body has to learn it, and years of a sedentary life style take time to reverse.

    So you will feel out of breath, it will feel awkward.......but stick with it...



  • What if a neighbour or someone I know sees me dressed to go running?

  • That actually happened to me on week 1 run 1. She offered to be my running buddy

  • Is that a euphemism?

  • Things I know now:-

    Other people are generally far too busy doing what they're doing to notice you. And if they do? They have no idea how long you've been running. You could have just run a marathon for all they know 😉

    Good socks are worth the money, but always try to buy them when they are on offer! (By the way? Never let your nonrunning friends/relatives know how much you paid for good socks!)

  • That great anxiety of stepping outside in 'running gear' - will I look an idiot, how do you run, will I look silly running, who might see me, what will they think.

    Most of all - why does one minute running last forever but the walking break is over too quick am I recovered enough to do the next run.

  • I go early when there is nobody about! On the other hand, do we care what others think? No.

  • I don't have running gear just walking trousers and punk rock t-shirt. It will do.

  • I was worried about bits of me jiggling, but I have rarely noticed it in practice!

    Not exactly a question, but when I started C25K I assumed the intervals used in the programme were there to make things easier at the start, whereas I now know there's a lot more to them than that. I think I would have been interested to know that C25K is a proper training regime :)

  • One bit of advice. Don't do what I did and trip over a root, branch or whatever (I never found out what exactly) and crack a rib. It's not much fun but it hasn't stopped me running and is of course a brilliant excuse for 'taking it easy'

    I'm now on week 8 with

    graduation so close it would take more than the odd cracked rib to stop me.

    Good luck with your running.

  • That it's not really Couch to 5 K but Couch to Running for 30 minutes Three Times a Week

  • agree

  • Agree

  • Never cease to be amazed by this.

    What difference would it have made to you in Week 1 to have realised this?

  • Hello. To run 5k in 30 mins you need to run 6min k's. That is much faster than most people start out at and if you aim for that at the beginning may well give up. 10 min per k may me be reasonable for beginners which equates to 50 mins for 5k. If I had known not to aim for 6 min per k and gone slower it would have made an enormous difference.

  • I see.

  • Or even Couch to Jogging for 30 Minutes Three Times a Week

  • :)

  • I know what you mean but when I say I am doing 'Couch to 5k' others 'get it' almost immediately. And it's not inaccurate because the 9-week 30min goal is just an important milestone on the way to the (to me at w8) sunlit uplands of 5k.

  • It's tricky of course because the FAQ s here are likely from a self selecting, biased sample; the people who are wanting advice and reassurance. There's probably another set of people who confidently do the programme without worrying about red faces, heart attacks, wobbly bits or people laughing. I suppose those people would have different queries.......is it possible to imagine what these would be?

    The videos sound great btw. Well done 👍

  • I was pretty confident, so I refer you to my "question" above :)

  • True but those peopel are probably less in need of encouragement and advice. If you are out there doing you W1 seconds runs thinking "Shall I have the red snapper for supper or the tiger prawns?" or "Did Jess really cheat on poor Dom with Mike the moment she left the villa?", then you probably aren't scouring YouTube for C25k support videos.

    Although I might put my red snapper recipe up in one of the nutrition videos.

  • Please put your red snapper recipe up! I can even volunteer to idiot test the recipe; I have some in the freezer and have no clue what to do with it.

  • okay. am doing a mini series on lean wild game meats atm but will pencil in the snapper for next

  • Thank you. Though lean wild game meats also sounds tasty. Where will I find those, please?

  • I have actually just posted the first one today. Will check with admin if it is okay for me to post a link.

  • admin approved:

  • Week 1 is a shock to the system. The muscle pain in the legs can be a shock also. Going up and down stairs for a couple of days after a run can be uncomfortable. That shock considering you are just doing 1 minute intervals can be tough to process. Some may fear that it will last the whole regime for 9 weeks and may be put off.

    It's amazing when after 9 weeks of the programme a person can run nonstop for 30 mins and wake up the next day with no muscle pain and looking forward to running again. It becomes habit forming if you follow the plan and stick to it.

  • Things I wish I had known I week one. That everyone is able to run but you need a training programme to gradually work up to it.

    Things I know now starting week 5 - You will find that you look forward to running! Its free - after years of spending 100's of pounds on gym memberships I find it much easier to open the front door and get out there!

  • Awesome, well done!

  • Yes, I absolutely agree. When I started I hoped to finish the program and be able to run in order to stay fit. I never dreamed that I would end up addicted to running!

  • It is hard to ask a question that is not from one's own perspective... but..the two things in Week 1;

    The thing that occurred to me and would be my question;

    Is this a sensible thing to do?

    And, what I wish I had known in that very first Week 1 that I now, know, ( specific to me),

    Age is simply a number and will not prevent anyone classed as senior, from completing this programme.

  • Hello

    Thank you for doing this, its a great idea. I will be starting week 8 on Friday and I think the main problem I had at the beginning was breathing. I really struggled for breath and every time I stopped was practically hyperventilating.

  • This is a fab idea! I think it will be really useful for so many people.

    I'm currently in week 7, and for me by far and away my number 1 worry during week 1 was worrying about what other people would think of me - particularly "will people look/laugh at me" and "will people be able to tell that I've never done this before". In the end, for my week 1 runs, I ended up just running around the outside of my block of flats repeatedly as I was too scared to venture any further!

    The one thing I wish I'd known was that it's ok to go super super super slow. I remember feeling like a complete fraud classing my early runs as 'runs' as I was going so slow. But thanks to this forum I know that it's ok, and that the important thing is to keep moving, and not stop. Oh, and decent running trainers are a must!

  • What should I wear?

    Do i need to carry water?

    How do i choose a suitable route?

    Should I eat before I run?

    Sorry for their simplicity but Im a detail and planning type person so such things matter😩

  • Yes, as so many other people have said, on w1, my biggest concern was being spotted in running kit by someone I knew (or indeed anyone at all) Hence getting up to run before 6am. Little did I know, strangers couldn't give a damn about my fitness regime, and the universal response from people I know was to be impressed. All that anxiety for no reason. :)

  • My expectations of myself were too high . I thought running for a minute would be easy , I lasted 27 seconds . Running for a minute is easy if you have had plenty of practice , for a complete beginner , who was totally unfit , it nearly killed me . Also if you don't complete wk1 in 1 week , it really doesn't matter , it's getting out there and trying that counts

  • Question with my pretend 'more confident runner' hat on:-

    I don't feel like I'm really pushing myself 'that' hard, can I skip ahead a week?

  • I wish i had been reminded to breathe out because I kept holding my breath and how to stretch to prevent the aches!

  • you'd still have had the aches. But they're like a badge of pride

  • I don't find I ache now I know how to stretch. Or have I just got fitter?

  • Nah, you're just not trying hard enough. lol

  • You're probably right... Lol

  • Definitely 'what will people think if they see me'. Don't give a hoot now as I feel very proud passing people then seeing them again half an hour later and I'm still running. It's like a badge of honour! ☺️

  • Currently on W8 R2 and have started and not finished a couple of times! The absolute best advice was posture. I had to stop at one stage as my back was so sore I was on diazepam for 3 days! Stand up straight, core in, shoulders back and look to the mid distance not your feet. Saves a LOT of pain later!!! That and a good sports bra and invest in the trainers (injured ankles previously!!) Xx

  • That when I mention I'm doing it people will say oh, I'd like to do that too!

    Seriously, I spent so long procrastinating because I was worried about my knees. I wish I'd have trusted the programme more that I wouldn't get injured

  • Mostly I was concerned about people seeing me just running for a short while then having to "give up" and walk. Of course now I know walk breaks are, or can be, a useful training tool and lots of runners use them.

    Secondly, route planning, I couldn't always work out where to turn round and head home, as I got quicker each time I went out. These days I don't care if I have more than 5 minutes cool down walk.

    Neither of these were a big problem, just something I thought about. Oh, and would I drop my phone on the floor....

  • Agree with Curlygurly2 about looking silly stopping and starting (which is one of the reasons I hid in a gym until I started the continuous runs)

  • For me I wasn't worried at the start actually running in week one as I have no shame (I'm a youth leader) and I am doing it to improve my lung health as it forces air into every area of the lungs. My big worry (as I always look at the whole program) was the big jumps in W5 and 6 and then jumping to 28 mins and 30 mins. Now I'm there (just had a shower after W8R2 I know those worries were unfounded even after taking a week break because of heat and to rest injured knee. Just whoever you are you can do it just take the time you need and if you don't manage a run just do it again on the next run day and put the programme back. The 9 week programme will have taken me 10 weeks and I walked every day for 4 weeks before starting it so a 14 week journey for me.

  • You CAN do it

  • I was most worried about being too unfit having never felt confident enough to do any kind of sport.

    I wish I had known that the pace is so well calibrated that it really is manageable and each week sets you up well for the next.

    I would have asked whether it is really possible for a middle aged, slightly overweight woman to make a success of the programme. I'm just back from completing W8 R2 and I am confident that I am going to be able to complete W9 next week and I'm absolutely loving it. I could never in a million years have imagined doing this 10 weeks ago! It is a fabulous programme.

  • I wish I'd asked more about the correct shoes & insoles as I struggled throughout my life through bad posture. That would have saved me from a painful knee injury, followed by another on my ankle. I felt that something wasn't right during the very first run but stupidly pushed through the pain.....

    Gait analysis, strength exercises, new gear and this forum fixed it completely. Should've know better. Do NOT ignore the warning signs!

  • Even when it feels really difficult you ARE progressing

  • Sounds like a great idea. Can I add my vote please for "will I look stupid" and "what if I see someone l know" (which actually happened right at the end of a difficult week 6 run, but by then I didn't care!).

  • I wish id have known that you dont have to full on run. I wish id have known that its okay to go at whatever pace you feel comfortable! I spent the first couple of weeks trying to hard to run at a pace that i thought i was supposed to be running at rather than one i was comfortable with. Since slowing down to a more comfortable pace have found it easier :)

  • I started the programme as a measure against stress so my first concern was 'will this make me feel better'?

    I didn't feel a dramatic impact after week 1 or even week 2, but eventually (together with other steps - Headspace etc) it has started to make a difference.

    So I think the message should be not to expect too much from the programme too early, but to stick with it and really give it a chance.

  • Exercise definitely helps me and I am a naturally anxious person. For me the benefits are when I can achieve what I need to with comfort as you can relax more and enjoy it more. I am not at that point yet with running but I remember 10 years ago moving from walking 6 miles to 7 miles the extra mile had me asleep on the bed I was so exhausted so when you are on that learning curve it can be more stressful because all the concentration is on reaching markers. I used to be a musician and an hour reading and playing music could be stressful but then you reach a point where it becomes more natural and you are away improvising and that is when it becomes fun and an antidote to stress.

  • Will it get any easier? Why is my nose running? Why do I feel sick? Will my legs ever work again? (I stepped off the treadmill and almost fell because my legs were wobbly on W1R1)

  • I was worried what people might think of my big wobbly body trying to run but I soon realized that they really don't care! So go for it!!!

  • Can I run every day?

  • Why am I getting so out of breath (I thought you had to run fast - as in running for a bus just when the doors are about to close! Slow down until your breathing feels comfortable, there's no rush - as your fitness improves, your speed will pick up naturally.)

    How do I handle starting off cold and ending up overheated? (Wear layers, or just learn to tolerate being a bit cold initially)

    Surely synthetic running clothes make you even sweatier, isn't cotton better? (No, you need a wicking fabric, and the difference in comfort levels will amaze you)

  • I was relieved that someone (i.e. Podcast coach ) actually got what unfit is. Praise for managing 60 seconds so I feel it's normal that is really hard and it's not me that's totally useless...

  • Ditto and like the podcast coach though wish some of the music wasn't so terrible. Sometimes though I am unsure if listening to the same as others' as I checked week 4 and it was 3 mins followed by 5 mins and repeat but read a few posts about week 4 building up to 4 mins. No 4 mins on mine straight to 5 mins so no wonder I am struggling as 5 mins is a long time when running. I am yet to fully find out as probably only managed 3 and a half mins before my heart was pumping out of my chest but maybe one day.

  • Had I known that on my W1 neighbours were going to be very encouraging and thought that I was very brave ha! I would not have been so nervous or self conscious .Ha! Soon got over that though.😄😄

  • I was worried about wearing lycra for the first time

    I drove to a spot where I wouldn't be seen by anyone I knew

  • I've always been a 2-mile a day walker, but my fear was that age 70 maybe I shouldn't be doing it. Even my doctor, whom I consulted on week 2 or 3, said it's an ambitious program for a 70-year-old so take it easy and let up if you need to. The important thing is that my son said, "This program is for EVERYONE." So I stuck with it, and I'm glad I did.

  • I lead walks and walk on others' walks regularly and ages can range from 18 to mid 80's and these are 6 to 8 miles with hills so I think you will be fine if you build up slowly. I am just mild running to add another string to my bow. I am a very good Walker but terrible runner :) . On walks I can give advice but on running I wouldn't dare

  • Ach! That was 3 months ago and I'm a runner now! :D

  • Cool. I don't check my e-mails very often. Maybe in another 3 months maybe I will too :) Watch this space. Saying that 3 months includes Christmas and New Year so very unlikely as I eat and drink too much at this time of year :)

  • Sounds like a stupid question but how do I breathe?

  • Given the time it has taken you to post two questions I am assuming you re breathing at the moment.

    Like that.

    As unconsciously as possible.

  • Well I logged into an old account for the first time in 4 months and I had many many e-mails so just going through them now and maybe going through them will give me the impetus to be more disciplined as what I do currently is run when I need to, to ensure I am in on time but as I said earlier I would not consider myself a runner. I am not fit enough to start with. It is easier to do a long walk when overweight compared to a run.

  • Have you actually started the C25k programme?

  • Yes but not in a major hurry. My runs are to work so I can't run too hard. I have more freedom at the end of the day but normally too tired. I am week 3 comfortably so technically on target but I will repeat weeks so for me it will be more like couch to 5K in 6 months :). I don't maybe sooner. I started with the app first week of Oct. Before that I was running but more aimlessly as in 8.45 and and still half a mile to go run sort of thing but I was inefficient and at the end of Sept I started looking for structure but even for a minute I was struggling as on my own I was stopping when I wanted whereas now I had a target so that stop when you feel like it style I am trying to stop doing now. I may need to complete week 3 again as still breathing hard at the end of 3 mins so definitely not ready for 5 yet. Also I have all 9 episodes now. I thought it was only 4 weeks as downloads stopped but probably my connection :)

  • Also when do you move on? If you try to move onto w2 but not consolidated the ability then w2 may not be physically possible

  • Well as long as you have managed w1r3 you are ready to move on to w2. The increases of the progressive overload hVe been worked out by scientificnessists. Until you actually can't do a run, keep

    Moving forward

  • Hello Rignold I am going to have to look into this as not that many runs on whatever podcasts I have downloaded on Kindle so maybe I am just doing my own thing. I can not download from Google Play on this so I may only have part of it. I will come back when I know more.

  • Just on that point further let's say you complete week 1 number 3 so as you say ready for week 2, in theory, but can not quite manage a minute and a half for week 2 so in that position would you recommend repeating week 1 to build stamina for a few more weeks? PS I have ASD so sometimes I do not communicate as well as normal people. By normal I mean neurotypical.

  • Stretching before and after runs. Didn't get around to discovering how to do that properly (and how much it helps) until week 7! And that running can make you feel great mentally as well as physically.

  • I wish I had understood that it's all about progress - not perfection. I also wish that I had not worried about what I looked like. I still look the same now and for sure passersby still don't know how long or short a time I run on any particular day...but back then I did not think of that, in my mind my running screamed 'can barely make one minute!' :)

  • I know a lot if folk have a concern around 'what if people see me run?'

    My concern was related to that but more along the lines of 'what if people see me walk and think I have failed in my run?' So much so that for the first 3 weeks of the programme, I ran back and forth on a short section of a back of beyon overgrown walking route!

    At the end of week 3 I realised that I had to find another route as I was running out of room!!

    Now, I realise that most folk are too caught up in their own lives to bother about me (they always were) and even if they did pass comment, I was plugged in and concentrating on Laura's wise words and could never hear them.

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