Couch to 5K
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Does it get easier!?

You hear this question a number of times in the forum.

I was reminded yesterday by my daughter of my coming in after my first few C25K runs and talking about how I had found it so difficult to keep going for just 30s/1m/xx insert appropriate time! Now having graduated in November I still find it hard going. The difference now is that the time and distance has got longer and further.

I think the truth behind the answer is you make it as hard as you want to. Whether you push yourself faster or further is really up to you. What I do know for sure is that during my C25K I was for most of the time going really slow! I am not a lot faster now most of the time, but those faltering walk/runs all build up the strength to run faster and further. Personally for me the slow and steady was exactly what I needed.

Today marked a couple of milestones for me. Having started C25K the last weekend in August 2017 to get fit and lose weight and coming on this forum to see "this is not a weight loss program" I carried on regardless!! What harm could it do!!

So today I recorded a weight loss to date of 3 stone and to top it off ran for 8km - it took me just over an hour and was tough going but from being unable to keep up 30 second runs to running for 60+ minutes continuously - it felt great!! Additionally a mid week 5k for the first time under 40 minutes gave me time to celebrate what I have achieved so far.

I say so far, because it's not over. I reckon I have a long way to go. Plenty of more weight to lose. More hard runs to run. More goals to set for myself and to try and topple.

Whatever your stage in C25K whether it be starting out on week 1 or week 101 achieving a worthwhile goal is probably always going to be tough going. But the feeling and sense of achievement is so good. Keep running everyone, don't push yourself too hard but set your face to the task in hand and go for it.

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Very well said! It’s so good to be able to look back and reflect on your own progress every so often. I’m currently on my nth restart, having previously graduated three times in the past five years! It’s tough going, but I know it’s worth continuing for all that...

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Good luck with your nth run through. You know what to expect 😁

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Wow - fantastic run! And we'll said Richard!

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Well done Richard! 8K!!! It seems only a few short weeks ago that you were wondering how to proceed further. Since then you've done nothing but set yourself working towards the goals you've wanted to achieve. Your own progress in your own way. Great job!! 👍🏻👏👏👏😀

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Thanks Sandra - I might have an easy week next week!! Just try and get some solid 5ks under my belt - I think for me going for 10k is too early. But at least now I see it as achievable whereas early January I would not.

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Great point. I've sunk a few years into this endeavor and many days it's still tough going. Most of the time it gets easier after the first 10 minutes or so, but some runs are just so darn tough. But I love it, and it sounds like you do too. And we get faster and run further. And best of all, those easy runs with the runners high are SPECTACULAR!

Happy running.

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A few weeks back I posted that I did not love running but I love the benefits. It's beginning to change 😀.

Running so far has been good to me despite how hard it can be sometimes. I love that I am getting outside, I work indoors all week so it's great getting out. Being chased by a small Terrier this morning was amusing and frustrating but gave me a good chuckle.

These things all help to create a healthy relationship with running.

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Well done! Great to hear your experience, I am on week two but incredibly slow, so can't see myself doing 5k in less than 3 days at the moment!

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Don’t worry about your speed for now. Your body will start being able to cope with more and more over time. When I graduated I couldn’t see myself getting to 5k. I was around 3.5k! Go you 👍🏽

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I’m about to start week 6, Every Monday I meet the running group and every week I’m at the back lol but I don’t care I keep it slow and steady and yesterday I jogged for 20 .. hut hum yes 29 mins !! I still can’t bekeive it but I’m so proud of myself .. my hubby followed and said ‘I can walk at your pace’ so I said I don’t care I’m our I’m moving and I’m doing x so the moral of my story is take your tine you will do it x good luck

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Ha ha I can relate to that. I remember many of my C25K runs when I stopped running and walked and my pace went up!! But that’s where the speed doesn’t matter because it’s a different motion. Go you - keep going forwards.

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Well done, yes I do know that walking briskly at the same pace as running is less tiring but nevertheless if you want to run just do that, you will get faster soon, ha ha, then your husband won't be able to keep up with you unless he runs with you as well

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Thank you :-)

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Very well done Richard...yuu have come a very long way indeed.. and this post will help many who are following you:)

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Thanks OldFloss - mid run reminds me that I still have a long way to go! We all help each other - I think it was FlickM3 that made me realise I needed my inhaler even though I don’t usually use it!

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We will get there...:) xx

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Brilliant post and well done for the 8k, and for the amazing weight loss :)

You are so right. they do say it never gets easier because you keep setting new goals, but what an amazing journey you've had.

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I think we are all doing b£##$y marvelous. Getting off the couch is no mean feat alone and we all have different paths along similar journeys. Your path seems to be a lot hillier than mine 😉

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Well done, and thank you for a very encouraging post.

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You are welcome - keep up your running.

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What a fantastic achievement Richard.

I started and graduated around the same time as you and still find it tough going but the sense of achievement and feel good factor when it’s completed is amazing. Like you I have also lost weight so the health benefits make it all worthwhile.

Keep up the good work.

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Well done to you too. Felt like a drowned rat yesterday - the Couch is a much drier place. But agree it feels good to sense you have done something worthwhile. You keep up the good work too.

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Wow!!!! That is amazing!! Well done you and thank you for the inspiring post!!

I’m only on w2, and have seen an improvement since last week. It may be minisculex but it’s there. I run slow. Sarah Milligan says a gentle jog, I can still sing out loud to my music -who cares who’s listening- it’s what keeps me going!

I felt a tad discouraged when it said it’s not a Weightloss programme but like you thought well keep going! And I have.

Well done you, be proud of yourself. Slow or not, keep looking back to August and remember how far you’ve come.

Well done Xo

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Thanks Lunachic - the early weeks I found really tough as it’s both body and mind that you are fighting. You just have to believe in yourself and keep things at an easy pace.

I had Sarah as a coach - loved her squeaky voice and some of her comment s chuck!! I have had to be tough on myself with some of my eating habits but could not have got this far without the running. Keep running - don’t worry about your speed it’s the actual running rather than speed that helps to build up your stamina. Speed can be worried out post week 9. 🙂

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Great post...so inspiring. Well done Richard7

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Thanks Clairey - initially I found Post Grad running a little bewildering not quite sure what to do. The freedom is great but the choices of what to do each run are so wide. I hope you have found your stride. Myself at the moment I am “playing” with different runs.

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That’s so true I graduated last September and have spent a few weeks on the ic I was going too fast, now I run slowly! I have just got the 5.20 k last run in 47mins. Everybody says you have good days and bad days I think I can’t be running on my good days!! But the feeling of satisfaction and achievement after you’ve finished wow. I will keep going as the thought of going back to the unfit and overweight state I was in is not an option .

Keep going it’s so worth it .

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Thanks Rowville - 100% agree it’s how far we have come that is now driving us not to stop and go back! Well done on your 5ks - it would a few stern words for me to up my distance to 5k on Jan 1st - a new year present to myself.

I have introduced a bit of variety into my runs - different routes some hillier than others. Also setting myself different goals. A certain distance in a week or best 1k time etc. But like you say, some runs are better than others. If you don’t get personal bests it doesn’t matter, being outside getting fitter keeps us healthy and preps for the next run. Keep up the good work. No going back. 🙂

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Great post, Richard. You've done incredibly well, congratulations. Thank you for talking all this good sense, it's a great help.

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And to you for graduating - so glad you couldn’t find a dart board!! I hope your running is going well.

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I went through a sticky patch of dodgy knees and viral infection and hadn't run for a month. Until this morning, when I started week 1 run 1 again! It'll be interesting to see if it's easier or not the second time. Quite frankly this morning wasn't a doddle ...

We are not supposed to be but I am a little envious of your 8km run. For me it's the stuff that dreams are made of, a great achievement.

Good luck to you and happy running.

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That’s tough going. Well done for getting back out there. If you graduated in January you probably don’t need to restart - you might find picking a few runs from the different weeks is all you need to get yourself back to W9 form. It took me 2 months to get from graduation to 5k. Just keep plodding through the runs getting more and more distance in your legs. I suffer with my knees too and know how tough that can be. Good luck. 🙂

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Thank you. I think for me the blockage is more in the head than the body. My daughter (these wise children ...) has often said to me that many achievements are at least as much mental as physical. On so many of the long runs I just stopped and wasn't really clear why. No pain, fortunately, not even particularly out of breath. Just a feeling of not being able to do it, and tiredness, lack of strength.

Anyway, I'm back and I'll let you know how I get on. Have a good day!

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Really great post Richard7!

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Thanks Mimirossi - I hope you are running 5ks again and managed some ParkRuns.

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Wonderfully inspiring post, Richard. Thank you.

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Thanks Sheps - just read your last post - as a relatively new runner I never thought how difficult it was going to be getting out through winter. A bit late in the day I found a local gym that does a pay per day or week so am now prepared for the bad weather next time around.

Well done for making your restart - I have wondered whether restarting would help me to build up my speed as being fitter now I would be able to do each week hopefully in a much better/faster/more driven way. So see this restart as an opportunity. Good luck and keep at it.

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Yes, I am seeing it as a reboot rather than back to the beginning. I am definitely faster than last time already.

I have tried a gym but I struggle on the treadmill on the shorter times. It's rather an old clunky one in my local gym (5 minutes warm up walk away so very convenient) and trying to set it at the right pace takes as long as I should be run/walking. I wish I could preprogramme it for the day.

Off to compose a post about the goods and bads of restarting.

Thanks for your encouragement.

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Almost made me cry Richard7! I’ve realised that by running slow and steady I could do it. In the past I think I’ve tried to keep up with others (husband!) and it’s been disheartening. This time I’ve stuck to my speed. At our Friday morning group there are those ahead and those behind and it’s all excellent. What I’m most proud of is the times when I run on my own, despite the internal battle of ... I’ll stop in a Minute it’s too hard... I’ll just keep going for another 5mins...oh ok I’ll stick it out!!! So I/we graduated in December and the new group started in January. It’s so lovely to know you can do it... even if it never feels easier!

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Well done CandyCool - we should only compete with ourselves. We all have different paths and come from different levels of fitness etc. The mind games are sometimes harder than the physical side of things and it sounds like you are doing well to win those battles.

Keep going at your own pace. Set your own realistic goals. Go you.

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Well done to you and for the ability to stick at it. After you graduated from the C25K programme, did you start following another programme or just your own training regime ? I’m on week 7 and would like to keep going after week 9 but I need the support of a programme to help me.

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Hi Mulberry - firstly well done for getting to week 7 - no going back now.

Initially I just continued doing 30 minute runs - probably for a few weeks (I posted each week!) - but then in December I think I tried one of the C25K+ podcasts and used that for about 3 runs - I found that quite a challenge and will be going back to them soon. After that I have pretty much been doing my own thing. Mostly just trying to keep to 30 minutes. Most of my runs were along Canal towpath so nice and flat. In January I started to run into town which is uphill but then is rewarded by a nice downhill section. The hills whilst a challenge do help. So no programme just freedom to chose.

Good luck with the ongoing weeks - stay focused and you will get there.

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Love this post. Thanks!

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Thanks good luck getting beyond week 8. Hope you are over the lurgy

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Fantastic post mate. Perseverance and sheer bloody minded determination will get you to where you want to be. Great work so far 👍👏

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Thanks yep those mind gremlins are a pain!! I think next week I want to be shorter distances!! Maybe bring it up again the week after. Maybe I will get to 10k for my birthday end of March!!

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Well done, you are doing brilliantly. Your post is so honest and helps us who are still struggling along. Still can’t decide if I enjoy this running lark, it was so windy today had to keep arguing with myself to keep going😤, but always feel great when I get home. Onwards and upwards

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Thanks Oldmo - oh for sure I am still struggling too. I enjoy the benefits of running more than the enjoyment of running but it’s beginning to equal out!!

I am a bit of a chicken and keep a close eye on the weather. Ran yesterday not because Sunday was worse than Saturday but because Monday was worse than Tuesday!! The mental struggle is sometimes harder than the physical - well done for make it back home 🙂

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Slow and steady - yup, worked for me too. I graduated in October and now run 5k about 3 times a week. I didn't do it to lose weight, but I have lost about a stone anyway!! It's all good ☺

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Unfortunately I still have about another 3 stone to lose!! But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Well done for keeping up the runs - it can be difficult at times fitting everything in.

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As the weight comes off it'll get easier and easier of course! And then you can start feeling smug, which is fun 😁

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Richard this is so good to read thank you for being so open.

I ran my PB yesterday 🤣🤣9.9k it wasn’t easy,in fact it was an effort for a lot of it and didn’t really want to go but knew I’d feel good for going afterwards .. I ran the last 10 mins out of choice as enjoyed, yes enjoyed! the last mile not knowing for sure how far I’d run, included a couple of lamppost sprints which felt good! Not sure what happened to the last tenth though!

I don’t sleep well and assumed I would after that long run but still pinged awake just after 4am 🙄! Really pleased with my progress 😃.

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Wow that’s great to hear. Sometimes we have to push ourselves out the door but like you say it feels good afterwards. 9.9k ... just a rounding error 😉 call it 10! I get frustrated sometimes when my watch says 5k and then it records on Strava as 4.9k etc - I now always go over my chosen distance by a little bit! I think I am maybe getting too obsessed!!

Maybe your body clock is telling you to go out for an early morning run!! Much too early for me! Personally I have the opposite can’t get to sleep until about 2 or 3 in the morning .. run or no run! Still happy running all the best for your next run.

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Well done Richard... I agree that by running at your own pace and setting goals you can go further for longer. I stopped the c25k program at week 5 and joined my local running club as they were starting their own c25k program ... It was a great springboard to get me to where I am now... within 6 weeks I am now running for about an hour and 8k and am really really pleased that my weight is coming down and in my overall progress. I too hated running with a passion but have to say my attitude towards this has now changed...if anyone is struggling on their own I do recommend running with others as it is a great motivator!! Keep up the good work. Never give up!!

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Thanks for that - I was out last week and saw a “rabble” at the end of my local Tesco - it was a local running club. Giving it some serious thought. At the moment enjoying doing my own thing but have toyed with doing ParkRun and Running club for a few weeks!! Just don’t want to slow the whole club down!! Just done a crazy thing and signed up for Ju-Ju’s 10k plan!! What am I doing!!

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That could well have been our rabble.. !! We run near our local Tesco!! Good luck on the 10k plan 😁 With regards to slowing anyone down you need not worry in that regard why don't you contact them and find out what they're about that's what I did I found our club to be not too serious and extremely supportive... I am not a fast runner and they ensure no one is left behind I am sure that will be the same for your local club. I never ran with a group before and it is very motivating.

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Thanks for the encouragement. I tracked then down. There are two running groups in my area but they seem to be led by the same people. This one is affiliated with Derbyshire Joggers! Nothing ever seems easy. They have 3 groups designed to help fit you into the right one. I seem to be somewhere between two groups. I will figure it out!!

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Those are great milestones Richard, huge well done! 😄

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Thanks Elfe5 - today's 5K run was tough going as I suspected it would be and slower than my last one but still good for me. I started this to lose weight and get fitter and can tick both of those boxes so am happy. But it's still a journey and I have a long way to go in both departments still. Next target Ju-Ju's 10K plan.

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Thank you Richard, that is very inspiring. I joined in order to lose weight, I don’t have all that much to lose but I cannot shift it no matter how hard I try or how careful I am with calories.. it’s “that” time of life I think!

Anyway I am taking lots of encouragement from your post, thank you and well done on all your progress! 😀🏃‍♀️

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Thanks Mo98 ... this is my 2nd time of trying to lose weight. Both times I hit a plateau. First time was Christmas a few years back and I ended up coming out of the plateau on the upward climb! This time around I am being more careful with what I eat but I am also running which is helping a lot. I think I have just passed the plateau and am still on the downward direction. Good luck with your efforts and don't get dispondent if you hit a plateau .. just like with your running stick with it. I am sure you will get there.

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