How perceptions change!: When I started Couch to... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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How perceptions change!


When I started Couch to5k just over a year ago at the ripe of age of 49 (just about to hit my 50th milestone birthday), I was at a family and friends gathering, and mentioned to a few people my new found exercise routine, and how I was doing... (didn't tell anyone, except my husband, for the first few weeks as wanted to see if I could actually do it!), well my news was met by much negativity, and talk of 'why ever are you doing that?' and 'at your age' and 'on your own as a lone woman' etc etc. and one close family member being very negative asking why ever had I taken up the plan. I remember feeling very depressed after this reaction, and posting on here, and being cheered up by all the wonderful comments you all gave, so thank you.

Anyway, following on from that, I have graduated from the programme, and continue to run 3 times a week, in all weathers and throughout the winter months, two 4-5k runs in the week, and a run of anything from 4k to 16k (10 miles, my longest run to date!) at the weekend. That family gathering was now over a year ago and earlier this week, I met up with the close family member who was much against me completing the plan. Well, they had a friend visiting, and the subject of my running was brought up, and guess what!!!!! after the friend asking the same negative question of 'why on earth you doing that, bad for your knees etc', the close family member replied, ' Yes, she runs regularly, she loves it, and runs all over the place for miles, and has done so for over a year now'..... she sounded so full of praise for what I have achieved, and part of me did want to say, 'well that's not what you said a year ago', but I was just so overjoyed with her and the turnaround in her view.

Shows how perceptions can change!!!!!

20 Replies

Funny isn't it - I remember bumping into a neighbour coming back from wk1 r1 and her telling me I looked dreadful, what was I doing. She also told another neighbour she'd seen me. Few years later she has told me how much she admires my running, saw her yesterday on way out and she said "Good luck with your run". The other neighbour has done the programme herself.


Love this post! 😀 Like you, I rediscovered running just before my fiftieth and it does seem that running divides the population - some stand in admiration whilst others can be quite negative and almost disparaging. Like you, I am proud that this body can do things now that it couldn't thirty years ago! That's down to a great programme to get us going but then our own commitment and hard work to take us on to those longer distances. There have been times along the way when it would have been easy to give up and retire to the couch again but I guess we're hooked now and that 'ain't never gonna happen!' Keep running and good luck!😀🏃🏽‍♀️

I love this post and it is so true. I remember coming home from the pub in tears when I first started as a group of "friends" had had a good giggle about me running, as they had seen me on one of the walking breaks and they thought it was so funny I had called myself a runner. Now after a triathlon, 2HM, many 10 & 5 Kms I always get introduced as a runner now and asked what I'm training towards.

Brilliant turnaround story - we should never apologise for calling ourselves runners whether 60 seconds, km, miles, hours, whatever. You should be proud of your achievement and I always think the negative ones really should take a cool long hard look at themselves in the mirror. Why decry another persons objective and in your case mega success? What a winning runner you are. An inspiration to an older, creakier version and I am sure many others too. Brilliant stuff


What a fabulous achievement all round. And I hope the bite in your tongue heals soon... you were very gracious.

The other week I was at an event and there was a discussion in my earshot with people saying how very bad running is for you* - including from someone who is in a professional position where they will be giving healthy lifestyle advice to the C25K target audience. I was out of it, for complicated reasons I'll not go into, but my husband** piped up that I go running. I swear I heard a touch of the "Ner, ner, ner-ner-ner" in his tone.

*I am sure there are ways you can make running bad for you. C25K and its aims are not one of them.

**This the man who said there was only one thing worse than cross country running and that was cross country runners and who would get up and leave the room if there was any reference to my running (once I couldn't manage to keep it secret any more)

mand3966Graduate in reply to GoogleMe

Thank you, I love you comment about biting my tongue!!!! So true!

People don't like change generally which is why some say rubbish stuff that has no substance in evidence. You've handled the negativity well and just proved them wrong. Good for you!


Love this..... what a great post... and what a super advert for C25K!

Well done you! Plus what a fantastic journey you have had and are still having :)

What is the quote...

" Let then say what they want... just keep doing, You!

mand3966Graduate in reply to Oldfloss

Thanks Oldfloss, you were indeed one of the many people on here how encouraged me on my journey, and kept me putting one foot in front of the other to achieve my goal, and boy, do I feel better for it! x

OldflossAdministrator in reply to mand3966

That is kind of you... and you are doing wonderful job out there! Maybe some of the positivity which is simply exuding from you will rub off on the negative folk! x


Lovely post - and, yes, it's hard to stick to your plans when others are negative. But, if you do, there's bound to be a Shirley Valentine moment coming down the track. But oh the value of peer support while still in baby shoes - fantastic and you're a great advert for this😀

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Gillma

Isn't she just!


Great story ! I'm 49 and wk 7. It's all a struggle but I'll do it! Half the people around me were negative, exactly the same, running is too traumatic for the body, you'll kill your knees and generally 'why?' The other half are super sporty and didn't get why I needed a 9 week programme to run 5k! They said ´just do it, get out and run' (they have no idea what a couch potato is!) Well I'm plodding on on my own, very much like the fact that I'm on my own. (But with the amazing support I find here ) I have never mentioned it again to the sporty crowd, but the disbelievers are very impressed that I'm still going and that I'm going to finish!!

Froggyrunner, we're in it together. We will finish, we will have shiny badges and we will prove the super fitties and the nasty negativies that we are couchkillers

froggyrunnerGraduate in reply to Jancanrun

Yes yes yes!!!!

We are couch killers and can stun a cushion just by putting trainers on.... ;)

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Jancanrun

Love it!!!

GillmaGraduate in reply to Jancanrun

My fave cushion looking v shocked!

mand3966Graduate in reply to froggyrunner

Great reply froggyrunner, well done getting to wk 7, you are so nearly there! Like you, I very much like the fact I have done this on my own, and can feel very proud of myself, as like you can too. Keep up the good work, look forward to seeing you graduate in a couple of weeks x


even a little envy maybe, well done you!

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