Couch to 5K
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Hi

I have just started C25K - have completed week 1, and 2 runs in week 2. Finding it hard to run for 90 seconds, 6 times. Not surprising, perhaps, as I haven't done any running since I was at school, and even then I would try to avoid it. Perhaps I'm too old to take this up? [You can tell my age from my username]. I can't quite imagine running for 3 minutes at a time in week 3 (next week). Should I repeat weeks 1/2 until I'm stronger/more able?

Also feel incredibly embarrassed going out to run - think I must look like a complete idiot. Does anyone else know what I mean?

However, I have more or less completed each run so far, which has felt fantastic when I reached the end. So I can see the benefits and would like to progress. Any advice would be very welcome, thanks!

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Age is not a limiting factor - there are people far older than me on here (and I’m no spring chicken!) who’ve successfully completed the plan and carried on running! If you’re in branch doubt as to whether your general health is ok for you to start running, then do consult your GP - but if you’re generally hale and hearty, don’t let a number stop you! 😊

I think the vast majority of us on here can absolutely identify with the self-consciousnesses on the early weeks. Be assured though that this does fade as you gain confidence. Trust the programme - it’s well designed to build up your stamina. But if you do need an extra run or two in any given week to make sure you’re ready to move on, that’s absolutely fine. After a few weeks you’ll probably get used to the idea of moving on even when you really don’t see how you’ll be able to - then you’ll find that you were ready after all!

And above all, welcome. You’ve find exactly the right place for support and encouragement here! :D

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Hi RainbowC

Thanks for your reply and for welcoming me! My general health is very good - absolutely no issues. Just haven't done any running for many years. So I'm sure you're right - age should not be an issue.

I'm sure the confidence level will rise as well. This morning I had convinced myself that it was too cold to do the run, but then I went out after all. During my circuit I saw the same people several times and greeted them - I wondered what they thought of me. But in the end I guess I have to stop thinking about that and just enjoy the achievement.

The support and encouragement is just what I need!

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Certainly age should not be an issue. Both my husband and I are 70 years old and we started and completed C25K last year, and like you had not run since our school days. Yes, it was a struggle to begin with, but we persevered and did it. The sense of achievement was overwhelming and was worth all the effort we had put in. I understand the feeling that people are looking at you. Believe me this will pass; after all there are so many like us all doing the same thing. Keep going and don't give up.

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Wow that is very inspirational. Perhaps I can do this after all! Well done to you and your husband.

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Thanks Jo and good luck to you.

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Whilst I’m a mere whipper snapper at 44. I too had done nothing since school.

The whole program is hard but do’able.

Stick with it! We were all at that point!!

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Hi there

Thank you - it's good to hear that other people think it's hard as well - not just me then! I will try to stick at it.

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Keep Going Jo, your doing amazingly well. I'm just about to start week 3 so keep in touch and just take one run at a time. If you cannot do 3 minutes just add another week 2 run then try again xx

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Hi Michele

Just one run at a time - what good advice. I keep looking weeks ahead and thinking - I can't do that, but actually I should just be thinking about the next run.

Let me know how you get on with week 3 - good luck! xx

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Well done you!! Don’t think you are ever to old. Take your time, go at your own pace! There is no hard and fast rule! I’ve started my journey today and struggled but completed it. Go within you comfort zone however maybe try to go along with the pace you might surprise yourself xx good luck.

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You're right - never too old! And I do need to set my own pace instead of sticking rigidly to the programme in spite of what my body tells me. However, the programme is really useful in terms of setting targets. Also, I have Sarah Millican as my coach on the app, which is great!

Well done with the start to your journey - keep it up! It's right what people say - the most difficult bit is getting off the couch and doing the first run. Good luck xx

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Ha how funny! Bet it’s intersting and is from my neck of the woods! Hope you can understand her 😜. X

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Yes she's great - says thinks like "well done, flower". x

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Welcome. I felt the same about W1, W2, W3 and W4. Due to do W4R2 tomorrow. Do you see a pattern developing? :) I'm starting to trust the programme.

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Thank you. Oooh Week 4 - can't imagine that at the moment. But you're right. Before I started I wouldn't have imagined running for 60 seconds 8 times, or running for 90 seconds 6 times, but I have done both of those. So just need to keep going!

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Exactly and I didn't believe it possible either! :)

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Ps I was quite self conscious initially and this has faded not least owing to the reminders on here about being out there rather than on a couch.

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To be honest, the embarrassment factor is still quite an issue for me. I go out quite early to avoid as many people as possible. I'm embarrassed to be seen struggling to complete a run, no doubt looking like an idiot. However, I guess I need to get over that! It doesn't help when you see someone running like a gazelle.

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The gazelle's journey no doubt started at the beginning too. And anyway, I am actually in greater admiration of those I see running/walking who are significantly overweight and have been brave enough to get out there. That's courage! No need to be embarrassed about making a commitment and being dedicated to it. In my world, having reframed those feelings, I now characterise that as something to be extremely proud of and you should be too. You'll get there.

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Wise words. And great encouragement - thank you. I think you're right about not being embarrassed - just not quite there yet.

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Certainly, you should not feel embarrassed, but if you do try your running in an area that people don't know you, say in a park about a mile from where you live, that way the 'warm-up' would be the walk to that park.

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To be honest I don't know many people around here, so am not too concerned about seeing someone I know. I get embarrassed being seen by anyone, but am determined to overcome!

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I am 71 and started doing the C25k last Autumn, however, with all the ice and snow I will wait until Spring and start again, but what I found when I was running that runners going in the opposite direction gave me a wave, that did not happen when I was on the walking part, you have the correct attitude in being determined to overcome any embarrassment, good luck.

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Thank you, and best of luck with re-starting the programme. It was a bit icy yesterday after a very cold night, and there were parts of my route which were a bit slippery - luckily I was walking at that point.

To be honest I think I need to smile and wave as well at other runners. On my very first run a proper professional looking runner said good morning and gave me a smile. I was quite taken aback!

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I'm ten years older than you. Many on here my age or older. Do yourself a favour and do this. You will be mobile and healthy when your peers are having hip and knee replacements or are wheelchair bound or unable to walk more than a few yards because of obesity - at least that's my experience. As for feeling silly, we all feel self conscious to begin with, but as your confidence grows, you won't care. Runners tend to be almost invisible anyway. People might or might not glance at you. They never seem to judge you. You can do this. Before long you will be hooked and will be drooling over the kind of clothes you would have done a body swerve to avoid pre running ;)

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It's very reassuring to know that oldies can do it too. Your advice is great, thanks. I look forward to trying on those clothes!

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That's the way. Nothing like a wardrobe of eye searing lycra to get you in the mood ;)

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Not a concept that I could imagine entertaining up to now! Something to aspire to!

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I actually loved reading your post 'FlickM3', especially the part you said about us older guys who are running 5 or 10K races, those peers of us, the same age or even younger who are having hip and knee replacements or are in wheelchairs and are obese. The reason for them being like that is simply the lifestyle they have led throughout their lives.

I know a person who is younger than I am, he's been in hospital many times and admitted it was all due to his lifestyle, he admitted he never did any exercise, drank too much and smoked 40 cigarettes a day, he told me if he could start all over again he would do all of the things I have done during my life like cycling, long walks, exercising at home, not smoking or drinking (I have a little wine on Christmas Day) and now having a go at C25K.

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It makes me so sad seeing friends whose lives are ruined because they havent kept even moderately acitve. I know two people who have had strokes because of being overweight and inactive, leading to high blood pressure. Having said that, there are cases where people have massive weight gain for medical reasons, but so many people could avoid it. I’m naturally lazy, but I do love running, and Im forced to walk with the dogs every day, plus I dont drive so have to walk quite a bit just to get from A to B. Thinking back to when I was younger, I never thought of myself as being sporty, but I was walking, running, cycling, riding, canoeing, and never thought of it as exercise because it was all activity I enjoyed. And I think that’s the key. If you dont enjoy something, you wont keep it up. And the surest way to make sure you dont enjoy soemthing is to turn it into something you have to do.

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Welcome and well done. It took me 3 attempts to complete the programme and was equally embarassed by my large not runner shaped self!! Now i don't really care as have only ever recvd encouragement! But 2 bits of advice - get proper running shoes! Go to a proper running shop and they will help. One of my early attempts failed because of poor shoes and posture. Which leads to second- kerp your back upright. I used to watch my feet and ended up damaging my back!! I love running now but give yourself time and be gentle. Its hard at times but so worth it!!

Good luck xx

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Great advice - I have bought proper running shoes, so that's a good start. I must admit I do watch my feet, so will try to stay more upright. I'm a bit concerned about tripping, I suppose. I will try to emulate your perseverance.

Thanks for your best wishes xx

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It's all been said.

Trust in the programme.

Go slowly, then slower still. Your slowest run can we'll be slower than your walk.

People are generally friendly out there. Greet them and they will reply. There are some ar""h"""es (sorry but there are) but you just ignore them. Most people don't notice you too busy with their own world.

And anyway who's to say you're struggling because 60 secs etc are hard, or because you are on the last mile of 5, 10 etc? Not that it matters.

Enjoy it, it can help change your life!

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Thank you! I did start off week 1 trying to run too fast, but have adapted to a slower pace now, which is working so far.

I agree that most people are probably too busy to notice me - I will try to feel less self conscious next time.

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Just to repeat what everybody else has said - if you're in good health then you can do this. Trust in the programme and don't be tempted to look ahead. I had struggled with running before finding C25K - I didn't know how 'bad' I should expect to feel, if you see what I mean. When I was gasping for breath should I push on, or should I stop? C25K is brilliant in that it pushes you just enough and if you follow the programme you will soon be running for 30mins. Like you and many others, I felt incredibly self conscious when I first went out for a run and I deliberately chose a quiet running route, but that feeling soon disappeared, so do persevere. Good luck!

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Thanks for the advice and best wishes - I am touched and very encouraged by all the replies I've received to my first post. It makes me believe that I can do the programme.

I felt fine after my run yesterday, but today my knees ache a bit, so perhaps I should be doing some stretching exercises after the run, rather than just the warm down walk. I'm not due to run again until Friday, so have 2 days to recover.

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Try these

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

It's all been said here but you're doing brilliantly 🙂

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Hi Princess - these exercises look like just what I need - therre are also some specific exercises to strengthen the knees - all looks very useful.

Now I just need to solve the problems of runny nose/watering eyes and earphones popping out when running!!

Thank you so much for the encouragement!

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I agree with everything said above.

Well done to you for making such a great start: that is the hardest bit of the entire programme and one that an awful lot of people haven't got the grit to attempt. So, you have no reason to feel embarrassed, but you would be entirely justified in feeling very proud.

Actually, most people out there hardly notice you when hyou are runnin-.unless they are a fellow runner, or you have pricked their conscience as they know they should be doing what you are.

The programme is brilliantly designed and has coaxed thousands through: just trust it, especially when some runs feel a bit hard, as they will.

The members and facilitators on this site are brilliant...full of expert advice and real encouragement: they are your second wind.

Good luck!

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Thank you, thank you! I'm so impressed with people like you and all the others taking the time to encourage and advise. I wasn't expecting such a positive reaction, and it has really strengthened my determination to continue with the programme. I will report back on the next steps!

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Hi, I'm 58 and like you haven't run since school. I am just about to start week 3 and I didn't even think I would get past week one but I gave it a go and surprised myself by completing it along with week 2. I'm not sure how wk 3 is going to go but like a lot of people say 'have faith in the programme, it does work' so keep at it we got this. x

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Hi!

It's very refreshing to find so many people like me doing this programme (ie not in the first flush of youth, and haven't run for years). Well done with Weeks 1 and 2. I still have my 3rd run of week 2 to do, and the second one wasn't that brilliant. So I'm wondering about repeating week 2 before doing week 3. However, given everyone's comments I think I'll try a week 3 run (assuming I complete week 2) and see how I get on.

x

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I was exactly the same in Week 1 and on the 3rd run I did it. It all just seemed to fall into place. Keep at it you're doing really well. x

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Thank you, I will persevere! x

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I’ve often found run 2 to bee the hardest in the week - maybe it’s because run 1 has novelty value and fresh challenge (and new music because I use the podcasts), run 2 I know what’s coming enough to think it’s going to be tough, and by run 3 my fitness has caught up slightly and I’m more confident because I’ve already managed it twice. Or something!

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That's exactly what I have found so far, perhaps for different reasons. In week 1 I chose a very stupid route for run 2 and nearly got run over! In week 2 I encountered quite a few people during my second run and became discouraged (ie I stopped running). My third run is happening on Friday, so I intend to carry on regardless of who I meet on the way.

Or at least that is the plan!

Thanks for your insights.

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Feeling fantastic is a good look! Also I started at 66, no natural runner, and am gently hooked 9 months on. I wish I’d started at your age 😉. This forum and the podcasts have been crucial for me. So I hope you manage to overcome your gremlins - when they loom, give them a cuddle and send them back to the sofa.

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Hi Gillma

Thank you for this - your comments and all the other replies I've had are really helping to spur me on! I hope I can achieve what you've done (ie graduated and kept on running).

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I love the idea of being 'gently hooked' - kind of describes how I feel too! :-)

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