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Couch to 5K
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How realistic should I be?

I recently built up the courage to try C25K that I downloaded awhile ago. I have always wanted to enjoy running, the notion of putting on trainers and just going sounds very tempting....but I have never been a runner, even when I played rugby at uni, I hated training runs 😒 and now I am 45, very overweight (19stone) and had a dislocated patella nearly 3 years ago.

Despite this I decided to bite the bullet and have completed week 1. I am slow in the jogs and manage just under 3k in the 30 mins. Feeling a bit despondent about it and really can't see how I will ever build up my strength and stamina. I am also following a healthy eating life plan with Slimming World.

Any advice on how to overcome early week blues after an exhilarating start? TIA

11 Replies
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I am sure you will and 3k in 30mins is as fast as my running in week 7! All life has ups and downs, just take it a step at a time and the exhilaration will return as you progress. don't worry about speed at this stage and the programme will sort out the stamina.

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Hi, you have done the hard bit by getting out there, just follow the programme you will do this, keep posting as you progress and ask advice from the amazing people on here. There are two wonderful wise mentors who will guide you through it, best of luck.

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Very well done getting started - you've already done the hardest bit. 2 months ago I felt just like you do. It seemed like a very long way back to any kind of fitness from where I was. I just completed my first parkrun and can't quite believe how quickly I've gone from total couch potato to embracing running at an event.

Just stick with the programme - I think it's very well designed to build up your strength and stamina. I started feeling really good around wk 5 and only really this week (wk 7) I've stopped thinking I can't do it.

You can do it!

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3K in 30 minutes this early in the programme doesn't sound slow to me - your former sport experience is obviously standing you in good stead. Keep up that kind of level and you will achieve your goals with flying colours. Have a read through the threads here and you will see that you are far from doing badly.

Don't expect more of yourself than the programme requires and you will reach week 9 and complete the plan. You can then assess how well you have done - I predict you will be more than happy and ready to go on in whatever way you want to.

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Be realistic. Slow is fine but realistically you can do it if you follow the programme and focus on number of minutes run, not speed or distance. There's plenty of us who have done less running before (none in my case), older than you who manage it fine. Keep going. Keep posting. You have made a great start.

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A quick comment here: if you STOP, you are guaranteed not to get fitter OR faster. And isn't running slowly better than sitting?

And -- in a couple of weeks -- you're going to start feeling AWESOME. Trust me.

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Have you downloaded the NHS C25K programme...because at this stage you really should not be aiming at 30 minute runs..?

nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

Week 2 begins with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternates 90 seconds of running with two minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes... so... I would not fret about speed!

Th only way to do this, is slowly, steadily and by following the programme carefully... each run, each week builds up your stamina and strength. Combine it with a healthy eating regime( Not a diet) and exercise on rest days. Swimming, cycling walking etc... or try the NHS Strength and Flex which many of us have used.. rest days too, are essential :)

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

If you are carrying extra weight and having had a knee injury. you do need to take it gently :)

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Thank you for your words of wisdom. I am using the NHS app and will be starting week 2 on Monday but I hadn't heard of the strength and flex one so will definitely check that one out :) thanks.

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So.. slow and steady does it!!!

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Best advice I can give you is - read the early posts of graduates. We all had those 'blues' at times, we all second guessed ourselves, we all thought it was 'too good to be true' etc :) But - we made it and (barring any medical or physical drawback) you can also :) Just take it slow and steady and at your own pace - the programme is a framework, a 'one size fits all', but it will bring you to graduation. Less than 10% of us in a recent survey had graduated 'on time/with distance' - but had gone on after graduation to 5K and beyond :)

Wishing you many happy miles in your future :)

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You're doing great!!! Banish those blues. You completed week 1, and now onward to week 2! Slow really is the name of the game. Once the program is done and you can run for 30 minutes, that's when you can work on speed, and only if you want to.

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