Starting to run again after 20 + years - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Starting to run again after 20 + years


After a health check just before Christmas ( good timing by the way...) I had a shock when I was told quite sternly to loose weight and to reduce my relatively high cholesterol . Loosing weight was tough but starting the excercise was scary. I kept on putting the moment off until my son introduced the c25k app to me and urged me to try it. It’s been 4 weeks since I started and I am , amazing , myself by quite enjoying it. It’s not fast and I get bright red by the end but I am determined to get to the point when I can run for more than 5 minutes without keeling over. I have a date with my son to run the local Park Run which I really want to keep....however all my running so far has been on the treadmill . The question I need some advice about is - when I eventually tear myself off the mechanical road is how hard will it be?Please can you let me know?

13 Replies

Running on the treadmill versus running outside can be quite different. Some find the treadmill easier and recommend setting the incline at 2% to help counteract this. Others (myself included) find the treadmill much harder. For myself it has to do with the mental stimulation and distraction I get from running outside. Hard to say which group you'll belong to. Either way though, for your first foray outside, pick a flattish route if possible and don't go into it with any expectations. Give it a try and see what you think. When you get to run your park run, enjoy the experience and feel no pressure to do anything other than run your run. My closest park run is 5 hours away so unfortunately I have no experience with it but am so envious of those who are lucky enough to have one available to them.

MargoblueGraduate in reply to SaskAlliecat

Flat is not a problem near where I live - finding a hill more difficult! And I fear walking long parts of the first big run will be what I will do...but I have at least 6 more weeks to go until then and first I have to survive a 20 min run either on a treadmill or outside. When you are as unfit as I am that’s a daunting thoughtful...

SaskAlliecatGraduate in reply to Margoblue

You've got it. Trust the programme. It has worked for so many people and I have faith it will work for you as well.

Running is Running outdoors or Indoors.👍

If you use one deg incline on your treadmill this will better simulate and ease your transition to outside.👍

If you use park, Fields, Woodland surfaces this will also ease your transition to outside.Level plain as opposed to uphill and most impact downhill also plays an important part initially.👍

Apply all the points in the FAQ Posts,on maximising the cushioning effect on your body, legs and joints and reducing the impact which can initially cause joint niggles and maybe pain.🤔

GA, shoes ,posture,breathing , running form, strike, strike area, pace and many more running details all play an important part in reducing the impact and maximising the cushioning effect.👍

The transition from one to the other can be seamless in either direction.This is bourne out by all abilities and the elite people in many many disciplines.👍

Examining your daily routine to eliminate point loading situations and no impact on repair days can help also.👍

No fear only enjoy. Avoid anything that introduces tension to your running in or out.👍

Hope this helps allay any concerns you may have.👍

Maybe keep an open mind,it is a resource to be used on your individual journey.🤔

Enjoy your journey.👏👏

You will surprise yourself without doing any of the above, how seamless your move to the PARKRUN will be. Even if you have to walk some of it.🌟👏👏

MargoblueGraduate in reply to Tbae

Journey it is.. and all this advice is useful but at the moment I am still struggling to run let alone worrry about strike posture etc. That might come back to haunt me but I bought some new running shoes last weekend and was properly fitted for them with insoles to correct my very flat feet so that has helped a lot.

Tbae in reply to Margoblue

Great about your shoes.👍

Nothing will come back to haunt you.

You are a previous runner🤔, so just do that, slow and steady and enjoying each run one by one and one foot following the other.

The PARKRUN with your son is for all abilities and just to be enjoyed like the C25k programme.

Enjoy it and believe in you.

You can do this👍👏👏

We are all different 👍🏻 Go and do the park run with your son and enjoy it ? You don't know how lucky you are to have a son that actually wants to run with his mum 😌

MargoblueGraduate in reply to Jen58

Hi Thanks for the advice . I fear that the Park run is still about 6 weeks away maybe more if I repeat a few weeks!

I am aware that it is only really thru the help and surport of my family that I have got to this point .

As the weather improves I think that I will venture outside but it is not easy to wean yourself off a habit . I also have old problems with knees and think that the hard pavement might prove a problem...

Thanks again

Hi I don’t run on a treadmill so can’t compare. I am completely new to running. I too had some running shoes fitted. I love the variety of running outdoors, there is always something new to see along the route and that keeps me going. I am now running 5k something I never thought I would do. Good luck when you don’t venture outdoors

Go outdoors.....go on, go on, go on


I’m on my 2nd attempt at c25k after lapsing post graduation last time. First time I did it all on the treadmill as I was worried about my knees but started running outside once I graduated. It is different. I found breathing tricky at first but you get the hang of it and time goes much more quickly. I have a good playlist and try to avoid roads and pavements. It is much more exhilarating running outside. I’m mixing it up this time round but trying to run outdoors more as it saves time not having to go to the gym

Well done for taking the plunge! When you do the Park Run don't worry if you have to walk some of it, some folk walk the whole thing and many (like me) walk parts of it. Good luck!


Thanks for the support. I did eventually go outside to the park but found it unbelievably hard! Not made any better by my running tights deciding to start to fall down 😆

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