I run.. for the first time: I'm so scared of... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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I run.. for the first time


I'm so scared of running outside.. and inside. I'm so embarrassed, I hate myself as it is.

Going outside for me is a challenge, it makes anxious, I can't even imagine running outside.

Specially In this small village, where everyone knows everyone.

I'm scared of running inside because, I am scared of finding out how bad I've gotten. How unfit, I've become. It's terrifying.


I did a 20 minute Cardio, after that. I 'run' on the cross trainer (elliptical). Which, I would like to know... does that count as running?

Either way, I don't have a better way to train for running.

I am extremely EXTREMELY!!!! Out of shape. (It's a long story) but I hate myself for it.

So after 20mins of Cardio, I run 1.2km (0.746 miles) in 7:55m.

How bad is that?

17 Replies

I have no experience of gym equipment as I always run out of doors, but anything that you do that is exercise is going to be beneficial to you. Well done for starting.

Your post screams anxiety and I gather from one of your responses that you are only 17. Do you have a parent or carer who you can discuss this with. You are at a vulnerable and self conscious age and I don't know your village (as far as I know) but I doubt very much that anybody is going to judge you harshly if they saw you exercising outdoors..........in fact, I am sure the opposite would be true.

Your feelings are echoed by many new runners of all ages, most of whom discovered that they become invisible, to all intents and purposes, when they run outdoors. People will pay you very little attention.............they are too wrapped up in their own lives to notice you for more than a second.

Developing an exercise habit is a great thing to do for anyone. It will build your self esteem and confidence as well as strengthen your body. Doing it outside is so much healthier and life affirming. I would love to hear that you have plucked up the courage to venture outside. Just try a walk around possible routes and just note how much attention you draw............very little, I suspect.

I hope someone can answer your specific question about the trainer. Keep us posted on your progress.

Good luck.

in reply to IannodaTruffe

Firstly, Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to me with such care. Thank you.

Yes, I am still (kind of) young.

I've always been the type to be athletic, Good at sports.

At the age of 15, something happened. And I guess it impacted me a quite a bit.

(Though, I'm taken care of. I have doctors that help me. Thanks for your concern)

Regardless, in result I am very out of shape as of right now.

And I have to do something about it.

My village is small, so small so that I know basically everyone here. I'd run past my teacher. Then past my friends' parents, the parents of the children I take care of. Ect.

Hopefully, I'll build enough courage eventually. Thank you

(P.S : Pardon my English, It's my third language)

in reply to -CAT-

I know thats difficult to deal with u. I only run in my town when i m short on time. Otherwise i run on the outskirts or early in the morning, but i see people then too. Listening to music redirects my attention and i focus on my form, speed or just running to a good jam. Kudos to u for doing what u r doing.

Cat - you have taken a big step. Good for you. Keep going and keep posting here. This is a really supportive place and we are all rooting for you. Don't be scared.

in reply to Tomstevenson63

I run in a small village also. I like to wear sunglasses...they tend to help me be less aware of the people around...who don't really bother to look anyway. Keep it up and well done!

in reply to RAnselm

Maybe, I'll try that. I still don't think I'm quite comfortable enough. But definitely would try it in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

in reply to -CAT-

I hope it all goes well for you. I actually started running a couple of years back (and then stopped for ages) and the runs were at night - have you got some who can go with you maybe?

in reply to RAnselm

No, unfortunately I don't.

A friend of mine use to run with me, but he tragically left us during the summer.

Thank you, Thank you so much.


Oh Cat I feel for you, I really do. I was so terrified of being outside where people could see me, that I literally ran round and round my garden for the entire programme. Countless people told me that no one takes any notice and I knew it was true but it didn't lessen my fears. I finally ventured out (post graduation and very early in the morning when less people were around).

Someone earlier suggested running in sunglasses and that was something that was suggested to me too. I don't know why the sun glasses made a difference but they did! I think it's like an extra layer of protection, just something else between you and the big wide world.

I really hope you continue with the programme. I can vouch for the fact that it not only improves your health and fitness but also your self confidence and self worth. Good luck with everything your doing to improve your health and fitness. Keep posting here and let us know how you're doing😊😊

in reply to McFitty

Thanks a lot, I appreciate you answering.

Hopefully, I'll build up enough courage eventually. Everyone says that nobody cares about you running... but it does seem that way.

Specially young people, like myself. Seeing someone in our school run around our village is quite odd.

in reply to -CAT-

I was thinking that. Cat think of the other folks especially girls who live in villages in other countried. Some of them become famous marathon runners. Some of the have their siblings cover for them so they can run. If u luv it. Do it! Even if it is a little at a time. U r an inpiration, maybe the young women will be inspired too! U inspire me!

Hey Cat don't hate yourself mate, you are beautiful, you are you and that's all that's important, you have made a start and whatever happens you are the bestest so GO for it.... 😉


I know exactly what you mean. I come from a small village on the east coast of Scotland and it’s impossible to go out and not see someone you don’t know!.

However it being a small place means I could get up early and go for a run on the outskirts . We’re lucky to have a coastal path that few people use in the mornings and the ones that do are either walking dogs or running themselves and I normally get a nod or a small wave from anyone I pass if anything at all!.

The more you do it at the same time the more you find you meat the same people doing their daily routines .

A few weeks after I graduated I found that there’s a local running club !😳. Full of people just like us.

Keep up the good work. It’s amazing how well this program works . When I started I was a wheezy mess after 5 mins and thought I’d never run for 30 mins continuously, but I do now and love it.

As you complete each week your confidence will grow as you smash each challenge. It doesn’t matter how far you run only the time you run for is your main goal here.

You can do this ! 👍. Looking forward to hearing your journey on the C25K .

Don’t be discouraged! But my experience of the cross trainer at my gym is that it isn’t the same as actually running. Whilst it has the benefit of zero impact on joints it doesn’t give the same fitness effects.

Why not try the running machine/ treadmill for an experiment and do W1R1 on it? I did all but one of the 27 runs on the gym treadmill and now use nothing else and love it (used to hate the thing!).

The brilliant thing is that you’ve come on board though. Keep in touch by posting about how you get on. Don’t give up - we only live once and the programme is a brilliant way of getting fit.

People also find that over the 9 weeks it boosts confidence and lifts mood. I started off calling myself “not a runner" but had to change my name at week6 when I realised that I was - me who hated running all my life!

Hi and well done starting out. We all/most (me included) have started somewhere or other to try to get out of the sedentary lifestyle. Up until a little over a year ago my lifestyle of laziness was slowly attempting to kill me so I got up joined the gym, started eating healthy and of course I was very slow at machines at gym etc but then built up stamina and strength then started the amazing c25k this April and now running 3 times a week with with extra walking, tennis, swimming, gym . I'm not a fast runner or swimmer etc but I still do these and enjoy them immensely. Like someone had put about wearing sun glasses....I also do this and would say try it.

The more you get out there and run the less you will worry about seeing people you know.

Running is both beneficial mentally and physically.

It does not matter if you are slow at running or not, all that matters is your doing it and you will build up stronger legs as time goes by. Good luck 😉 keep going 😊


The first one is the hardest but you can do it. You’ve got this 💪🏻🏃🏼‍♀️🤗

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