Couch to 5K
62,241 members94,997 posts

The beggining

Hi there,

Not really sure how this all works but oh well! I am very unfit, overweight and want to change my life. May seem small to some but i was doing no exercise at all. I began three weeks ago walking at least 5k 6 days a week (which was enough to get a good sweat up for me). I thought i would start ct5k. I have done my first two runs and i really struggle. Am i too unfit to do this? I do manage it (just) and feel wonderful afterwards but not sure its getting any better, next week i have to run for 30secs longer (doesnt seem like much) but im not sure i can do it. Im still doing the runs and walking 6 days a week at least 5k and have changed my diet for the better. Can anyone suggest anything? Any other exercises i could do? Also not seeing much change on the scales and i get very disheartened. I have no idea about all this stuff..literally been a couch potato all my life.

Thanks all :)

49 Replies
oldestnewest

I was like that but on week 4 now and me and my friend but feel like we are finding that bit better as you go on because your running for longer you are getting into more of a rhythm rather than stopping and starting 😊 keep going!

1 like
Reply

Thank you! I find that even after the rest time im struggling to continue. I am doing w1 run three tomorrow so will see how it goes! Maybe i need to chose somewhere flatter without incline! Thank you for the inspiration!

Reply

I'd definitely find somewhere flat if I were you. I've just graduated and anything more than walking up hills still scares me 😊 But it sounds like you are doing great, and you will make progress.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you :) i will have to do my research as i have been running in a park that is quiet (self concious) and its all incline or down hill and neither seem to be working very well!

1 like
Reply

I either run on the treadmill or canal I tried in a park but it was too hilly

1 like
Reply

Rebecca, I have only just joined here though I have been doing the programme since January - yes, I've had time off with an injury, holiday and I have repeated a lot of runs. I am now on W5 - I have repeated R2 5 times so far and will do so until I am comfortable with it. It is not quite following the programme but it has worked for me.

You manage it - there is no "just" - you manage it. Your stamina will build and you will amaze yourself. A great tip that someone gave me was to run as slow as you dare. I ran like a runner at first - striding out, panting like crazy and unable to keep up with myself. After this advice I took much shorter strides - imagine your laces are tied together and, if I was tiring, I would slow my number of paces. It worked and, when at one point I couldn't run 3 minutes, I ran 9 minutes straight this morning. Twice.

So you can do it. Just have faith in yourself. Come back and tell us how you are getting on.

Good luck, runner.

4 likes
Reply

Thank you for the inspiration! I didnt think about repeating some runs as i feel i wont be ready for week 2. Im only slowly jogging, like probably only a tiny bit faster as someone could walk. Im not moving fast at all. I just find i struggle to breathe and legs are burning constantly! Hope tomorrow goes well and thank you for the tips. I will keep pushing on :)

1 like
Reply

I have done what I feel right, using the plan as a guide - Michael Jordan talking at me is a huge advantage, Jo Whiley was just too nice. I am 61 and have never done serious sport. I need to succeed, not fail, so take my time. Just faster than walking pace sounds good. you will soon build it up adnd you will be surprised at how quickly this happens.

Good for you for giving it a go. Keep us informed about your progress.

3 likes
Reply

If you managed your first 2 runs you are not too unfit for this. You managed it, that's the important thing. Do your third one then move on. Trust the programme. I am in week 8 now and have thought several times how will I manage that increase. But every week I have done it.

Just keep going, slow and steady, until you have managed to complete the 3 runs then move on to the next week. You will get there if you keep at it.

You get fitter as the weeks progress. Good luck.

2 likes
Reply

True. I have suprised myself to be honest. I never in a million years thought i would even be able to jog for ten seconds and although i feel kinda awful while doing it i feel great afterwords! Thank you for the inspiration. I find i focus on 'unable' to do things before even trying!

2 likes
Reply

I hadn't exercised in 15 years till Jan this year. Massively overweight. My four year old asked why his mummy was round! I graduated 3 weeks ago. It was hard. I have now lost 2.5 stone with more to go. I run late and early and aim not to be seen. I thought I was too unfit. The program took me 11 weeks. I am still a chubby mummy but I run 5k 3x a week (not quicklyl!!) it is transforming my life. I am 41 and thought it wasn't possible. Stick with the program- they know what they're doing. I found repeating a run when I struggled helped. Who cares if it takes longer than 9 weeks- still better than being sat on the couch!! We Girls can!!

10 likes
Reply

Thank you so much for this response! I want to do this more than anything i have wanted to do in my life. Im trying to turn it around now, so i can go and do everything i want to do. I also like to do it very early or late so no one see's me. I need to lose at least 4-5st. This is exactly the inspiration i needed! Thank you!

3 likes
Reply

... go you!!! we girls ( ha.. I am a bit old for a girl) we can and we do... We rock!!!!

3 likes
Reply

Hi... welcome and well done !

You are here.... you have begun and now you carry on, with all of us here to help. No you are not too unfit, just as I am not too old!

Slow... slower and slower still ! Take every run as slow as you like.... relax and just move slowly and gently.... every single run you do makes you stronger.

Throw the scales out.... make sure you have a healthy eating regime and not a diet! Take your rest days... walk on them or swim or do yoga... try the strength and flex as many of us have when doing C25K...

nhs.uk/Livewell/strength-an...

And... start feeling positive.. channel all that you have done into positivity...move forward gently and enjoy the journey.... your muscles ,your stamina and your well being will all start to improve....:)

"It might not get easier...But,,, you get stronger..." you can do this :)

3 likes
Reply

Thank you! :) i find calling it a diet makes me want to eat rubbish even more! So i know just say im eating healthy (trying my best anyways) not much of a fruit and veg lover so thats a struggle! Thank you for the inspiration! I do feel better in myself slightly, brighter and actually feel motivated to get up in the mornings!

1 like
Reply

I'm just going into week 3 and I'm loving it. Never wanted to run and also overweight and I put on weight last week on the scales which was a bit disheartening but a few of my friends said they did when started this so try not to focus too much on the scales but how great you feel. I'm definitely going to head out very slow tomorrow as recommended by others. Keep going you're doing well and I know some people who have struggled to complete week 1 so if you're doing that already you're doing great!! Keep going

2 likes
Reply

Thank you! Your doing great also!! Yeh the scales have always been a struggle with me..if i dont see the numbers going down i feel its not worth it! But im working on it! Final run for week one tomorrow, scared but looking forward to it! :)

Reply

You can absolutely do this! 💪🏻 Slow, slow, slow is the key. You have already said that you felt great after the runs you've done so I would focus on this! When I wasn't looking forward to a run I just concentrated on how great it feels afterwards to get me through.

Also I started this with several stones to loose but I made a decision on week 1 to stop weighing myself and I've not checked since - and (after 20years of nearly daily weighing) it feels great. In the past I would let a slight gain or even maintaining weight really derail any fitness / diet efforts ('what's the point' etc) This time I trusted in the plan, focussed on how great it makes me feel, and I know the weight is coming off as my clothes are getting looser.

I would definitely recommend ditching the scales at least for the 9 weeks and trying a different measure of what success looks like to you - the weight loss will just be a side effect :) xxxx

4 likes
Reply

Thank you..i even found myself checking this morning after brekfast and i only checked yesterday :/ ive seen people suggested measuring waist and things? Where abouts would i measure or how often? I feel i would get less down with that :)

Reply

I really doubt that you are too unfit if you have managed the first two runs - well done!

I didn't manage all of the run sections on W1D1 and it took me 3 days to recover from it. I came home sweating like a racehorse and struggling for breath and was set to give up were it not for this site.

Go slow (even slower than you think!) and stick to somewhere flat if at all possible. Try not to look at what's coming up in the weeks ahead; a massive part of this is mind over matter and you will doubt your own ability if you look too far ahead.

Trust the programme - you have done the hardest part by getting out there for the first time. You can do this!

4 likes
Reply

Thank you! :) going to try somewhere flat today! When i jog i literally describe my legs are burning like someone has dipped them in fire and i cant breathe! But i will see how today goes. May have to repeat it if i cant manage week 2 :)

Reply

Firstly, you're building muscle and it's heavier than fat. Ditch the scales but if you want a benchmark pick a pair of jeans that are super tight and try them on once a week. You'll soon see the difference. Don't think about a diet, think this is what I do now. I've cut out sugar, alcohol and caffeine and I feel so much better. I'll have them as occasional treats now and the weight has fallen off me. I was chomping on cake every day and fooling myself it was ok. Now I don't I can really see the difference and everyone is remarking on how well I look! Even my husband.... Keep going, if you have to repeat a week then do that. Little steps. Make sure you rest and as someone else said maybe add in some yoga or Pilates for stretching and relaxation. You can do this

3 likes
Reply

Thank you! As a lot of family/fiance are dieting and my fiance is doing this also they are all weighing and ask how much ive lost. If you dont lose- youve done bad and you feel bad. I really want to burn fat? Will i do this eventually?

Reply

You already are burning fat. Any cardio exercise will do this as long as you're not taking in more calories to compensate. It takes time to kick in and all of a sudden you'll look down and see muscle where fat used to be. Keep at it. Try on those tight jeans once a week! You'll soon see.

2 likes
Reply

You can do this, you are on your way! Slow is fine, but also remember to walk slow enough to allow recovery between runs.

Good luck and keep us all up to date on your exciting journey!

1 like
Reply

Thank you! I will do :)

1 like
Reply

First of all, well done! You made the decision and you took action. A few months ago I started losing weight, gave up smoking and started c25k. None of it was easy but determination and commitment - which you already have!! - work wonders. Repeat weeks if you feel you need to it works just keep at it and take advice from the graduates they know their stuff!!!

About to enter week 9 so it does work if you stick at it and go slow!!!

Good luck!!!

3 likes
Reply

Wow youve done amazing! Im still trying to get my head around that this is a life change, not a diet that im going to stop one day! Once i stop focusing on the weight and worrying i think i will be happier :)

1 like
Reply

You can do this!!! I struggled on week 1. In now starting week 5. It isn't easier for me yet. I'm struggling to run 5 min just like I did for 60 seconds! The important thing is to see how far you have come, not how far you have still to go!

2 likes
Reply

Disheartened? After a lifetime of inaction and eating poorly you can't expect instant results. Weight loss and getting fit needs time and lots of input from you to turn around the years of neglect. Sure, you can turn it round and how, but you have to be prepared to put in the graft to make it happen. No slinking back to the couch when the going gets tough

I lost the lard and got fit, started walking everywhere, borrowed a dog and started this fantastic programme. i am never going back to where I was so I have to keep working on it

Be prepared to make the changes! Once you grasp change then you can move on with more confidence 😃👍🙂✔️

Reply

Yes i get disheartened easily. Its not a feeling that i can just get rid off. But instead of listening to it im just trying to push though and push harder to get the results i want. I know its going to take time but when i have went from doing nothing to doing this i look for something to show this is worth while, its the automatic for me. But i do feel a difference. So i will keep going.

Reply

Hi Rebecca I am on week 1 too and just done my second run this morning (ha ha, more of a walk with a few faster steps really), I live on the top of a hill so any run I do starts downwards and always finishes uphill. Any work out you are doing involving gradients is harder than doing it on the flat. So don't give up, you can't turn around your lifestyle in easy steps that don't hurt, and the fact that you are still going is a good thing.

Don't be hard on yourself - even I found that on my second run/walk I managed to do a slightly longer distance than last time. Have you downloaded map my run? - you can use it in the background on your phone for free and so that helped me this morning when I saw that despite feeling utterly knackered I had done a little more distance than Tuesday. Every day you get out there is a good day. Well done to you :)

2 likes
Reply

Well done! Going to find somewhere flat today! Well because i started with walking i am using map my walk and always still make sure i walk at least 5k on run days too and seeing the distance and the estimated calories lost really help push me on! :)

Reply

I felt exactly the same .. I struggled even after the 4th 60 second run on W1R1 🤣🤣🤣 Im now on W6 R3 .. Ive cried twice after finishing the longer runs as am in complete shock at myself! keep on a level circuit as long as you can & well done for starting xx

3 likes
Reply

Well done to you too! Thank you :)

1 like
Reply

Hi, Rebecca! Don't doubt. Take one day at a time and before you know it you'll be noticing the differences - I agree with the others that you should ditch the scales, and pull 'em out once a month to see how you're getting on, although as Brumgirl says, you will see the changes from the fit of your clothes.

It takes courage to take the first step towards being your own best friend by shutting up the gremlin telling you that you shouldn't go out there to run. Gremlins are clever buggers, don't let yours win! In six months time, you can either be in the same place as your gremlin celebrates, or you can be looking back at how far you've come. Believe in yourself; you can do this. Time passes anyway, so use it to make the change you want - you've already made progress!

3 likes
Reply

Thank you. Thats a really good description. Its weird i would always talk myself out of doing anything active. Now i dont let myself, as soon as ive made the decision i will not talk myself out of it again! Scales are gone! :)

2 likes
Reply

Hiya! I was full of trepidation and finding any excuse not to get going on the programme, I had the app on my phone for almost a year! A minute sounded like a marathon, then 90 seconds sounded like a marathon, then 3 minutes! I'm now up to run 3 of week 3 and enjoying it thoroughly. It's worth it if only for the feeling of exhilaration when you finish!

Oh and the weight will disappear, the stamina will increase and your mind will be full of smiley stuff! Go for it and well done so far!

2 likes
Reply

Well done to you too! Excited to start week two and see how i manage! I do feel better in myself and hope the weight comes off also :)

Reply

If you don't feel like you are ready to move on to week 2, repeat week one. I am similar to you, couldn't run for 60 seconds on week one, but by the end of the second week of week one runs I could do all the sixty second runs, so moved on to week 2. I repeated that as well until I could do the 90 second runs. Currently have done 2 week 3 runs, and can only manage about two and a half minutes of the 3 minute runs Will prob keep doing it until I can complete them, and then move on to week 4. I don't care if it takes me twice as long to complete the programme - I was so unfit before I started, it will be a massive improvement! Also, I am overweight (could do with losing 2 stone minimum), but trying to focus on the fitter thing before turning to the weight thing. (I read someone's story who said they didn't lose much weight at first, but as the got better and faster that helped with the weight loss. She also ate more healthily) Don't give up - we'll get there in the end!

1 like
Reply

Thank you :) i will see how i do today and may repeat this run before moving onto week 2. I just need to be more patient with the weight coming off. I just enjoy feeling the way i do at the moment! :)

1 like
Reply

I was exactly the same just managed the runs I'm now at the end of week six! keep at it and dont worry if you feel you need to reapeat some runs trust the programme and you will get there. what I've learnt is to go slow and steady not to go too fast and tiring myself out. Also I've not seen any difference on the scales but my clothes are feeling much looser, so don't pin too much on the scales and go by how you're feeling x

1 like
Reply

I felt the same too. I would also look at the weeks ahead and think no way can I do that. But take each run as it comes. I am now doing bridge to 10K and running 3 miles at a time. If you told me in 9 weeks ago I would have said that it wouldn't be possible.

1 like
Reply

Rebecca, I have to ask how you are getting on. Are you still with the plan? I do hope so because you made such a positive start.

1 like
Reply

I am! About to do my first run of week 4 this week! Scales are showing now, lost 7 pounds and 2 inches of everywhere! Im loving it and shocked with myself every time i run more! 🤗

1 like
Reply

That is just brilliant. I'm so pleased for you. I am on to W7 now and seeing the end in sight. No weight loss, though (she says, freely admitting to sitting here with a glass of wine and rare bowl of snacks).

Reply

Wow well done you! I bet you have gained muscle tho! But it doesnt matter, such an achievement getting that far!

Reply

Thank you so much. I have amazed myself. Now, if I just stopped eating too much, I might shift a bit of weight too.

1 like
Reply

When I started I aimed to get up to walking for at least an hour at a time, then a couple of 2-hour walks over the weekend before I began running. Did this for a couple of months.

The lungs and legs need to get used to longer periods of use and get the heart rate up.

I'm sure you'll get there. Takes different methods for each of us.

1 like
Reply

You may also like...