Failed to complete my first run: Just had my... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Failed to complete my first run


Just had my first run and after the third 1 minute burst I felt like I was ready to collapse in a heap. I forced myself to do another burst so at least I managed to do half however it was tough going and I felt quite deflated afterwards.

My challenge for tomorrow will be to do 5 of the 8 rather than just 4 but still, how could I let myself get this unfit??!!

50 Replies

Still off the couch tho and making an effort. Keep at it and you will surprise yourself. Don’t get downhearted just use the disappointment to become more determined. You will get there.


Don't feel deflated, you've done amazing to get started on the programme! You should give yourself a rest day tomorrow & go back to it the day or 2 after. Lots of wiser & more experienced people will be along soon, but just wanted to say well done, keep going, you can do it!


Just did mine!! Walk and a gentle trot/jog. Don’t power out the blocks.

Great your out there rboyd 👍👍


Check this out.... lots of useful tried and tested advice.

Then... after your rest day tomorrow ( the rest day is essential) you head out again.... slowly... and steadily....

The only way is up...but gently! :)


No 'f' words allowed!

Slow and steady is great advice. Honestly don't bolt just take it nice and slow. Also as people are already saying rest days are important and feel proud of yourself for having the determination do this, you said you'd powered through even when you felt tired. Keep it up! :)


I bet you’re going too fast! Slow down and then slow down even more 👍🏽


Don't feel too let down.....on my first run I did 30 second run and 90 sec walk as I was so unfit. Why not give that a try 8 times with your warm up walk up and warm down and go on to 60 secs next time x good luck


Hi six weeks ago I was breathing out of my arse after 30seconds and I learned a valuable lesson from these guys and gals..... jog very slowly and try to breath slowly too. If you concentrate on breathing slowly then the run goes quicker. Try downloading a meditation app like “calm” so you can control your breathing. We are all here if you need us for advice. I’m a newbie too, I’m Steve 😁

Turn your disappointment into a challenge. You have not given up 😊I found my breathing got easier, I literally run at 🐌 snails pace and can't go any slower! I take more than one rest day and I find posting on here gives me support .


If one rest day isn’t enough take two rest days, take your time on your runs. Remember it’s a journey not a race😊

I don’t care if it takes me 6 months to get to 5k but I will get there and so will you.

As everyone above has said--go slow. Then slower. Then even slower than that. If your "running" pace is slower than your walking pace, that's fine. You're training your body to do this thing, and you're not going to be Usain Bolt from the start. Or ever, most likely, but you will be a runner by the time you've finished.

OldflossAdministrator in reply to ranjo

Very, very well said... you have got it perfectly....!

AlMorrGraduate in reply to ranjo

Even Usain Bolt started, probably at age 7 when he was at Primary School, slow and steady indeed, although I would like to 'run' a little faster than walking pace that's up to you, good luck.

Also, you didn't "fail." You got off the couch, you went outside, and you ran more than you have before! Every step is a good step.

You must rest tomorrow!!! It's great that you made the effort and did half. We have all been there, slow it down and build up slowly. Good luck.


Please don’t feel deflated. You got out there, and you have a plan, so keep plugging away and you will get there and feel better for doing it. It might take you longer than 9 weeks but that really doesn’t matter.

You know when tv does action replays in super slow mo mode, that’s the best way to run...

Rest a day or so, whatever you need to feel fully recovered. And run like a slower version of the slow version of slow mo.

Did I mention slow?


You’re not supposed to have a burst of anything on these runs! Slow it down and it becomes doable.

It won’t be easy but most of it is in the mind. If it is physical then you are running too fast so as everyone else has said, slow it down

Also you need a day off between runs - especially as you knackered yourself!

You have done the hardest bit which is to start! Just rest and then go again and yes super slow jog is better than nothing! Repeat days if needed but just keep going x

Very soon you'll look back at this post and it will make you smile at how unfit you thought you were at the start - like the other 1000's of people on here at the ate in the best place for all the support you need....through the good and the bad runs 😁


Don't feel down about it you be done the most amazing thing by getting of the couch in the first place. Have a day off and try again. Remember it's gentle jogging not a sprint. I'm now about to start week 9. I couldn't run to the door never mind for 28 mins just keep going don't give up. If you don't do a run keep going till you do. You WILL get there !


Like others on here, I don't like the word "burst". To quote Marge Simpson "Slow and steady wins the race". Another thing to remember. Just because it says week one, you don't have to move on from that until you feel comfortable with it. We did week one three times! No doubt we will do week two a couple of times at least. You have started, an important milestone and probably the most important. Keep on keeping on.


Congratulations on starting! This is the hardest step! And you came here and wrote - this forum is amazing and it was great move! So well done!

4 of 8 runs completed is a win! Congratulations!!!

Remember about having at least 1 day rest between running days ;) You can do it! Keep going! Beginning is the most difficult.

Have a nice, relaxing day!

Well done for setting yourself another challenge! You have the right attitude, alot of ppl would have quit there but you have a plan. Like lots of people have said.....I bet you tried to go too fast. Good luck. Let us know how it goes. I am on w2r1


Don’t go today. Take a rest day and try again tomorrow. Like other comments have stated, you have already done what thousands of others are still talking about doing and actually got started! I talked about it for month before finally getting started and it gets easier with each run. Good luck 😁

Well done you for being so honest, but you are too hard on yourself. The fact that you have gone out there and had a go is brilliant, just take it easy and keep your pace slow, we are all here to learn and grow and it does not matter how long you take to complete the course. "Smile" and enjoy the little victories, you have made a start.

Your 60 secs don’t need to be a ‘burst’, just a steady run. Make your first three really slow and see how you go 🧐


Don’t let it stop you! I didn’t manage my 1st run completely either and I thought I was ok fitness wise 😉 x

I have now 1 run 🏃‍♀️ to go wk9r3 😄!

You can do this! believe in the pod, go at your own pace ( mine is snail 🐌 ha, ha) and know the 1st few times are the hardest . Your body will adjust and start to change which is an added bonus 😄

🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🐌🐌🐌 still better than sitting on the 🛋 x


You are taking that day off running in between? That's vital if you want to build up the fitness.

Obviously we've all yelled "go slower" at you... that may also need to apply to the walking. Plus when the running starts to feel tougher, try the effect of taking smaller steps and if you are nearly there, run pretty much on the spot if you really need to.

I was a fellow struggler with the week one session. I'd rather be that way and be still running 6 years after graduation than have it be a flash in the pan.

I was no better when I started - I found W1 ridiculously tough. I would suggest slowing down a little - speed is irrelevant at this stage - the goal is to complete as many of the runs as you can - I had to get my other half to pause the app in W1 so that I could sit down and catch my breath. Trust me - you can do this and you will be brilliant. Rooting for you.


Well done on all counts (except for trying to go too fast!). Brilliant that you started, but awesome that you already want to go out and do better on your next run day. It's a fantastic program and this forum has wonderful advice and support. Slow down. Enjoy. You can do this ☺


not sure if it's been said already as I haven't had chance to read the replies.. but I graduated about 3 weeks ago and found the first couple of weeks really tough ... I was VERY unfit

Yet the other day ran continuously for nearly an hour - which tbh freaked me out! so if I can do it you certainly can...

my top tips -

**stretch well but gently before you go out the door

**take longer for the warm up ... I did 10 minutes brisk walking before even turning on the C25K app!

don't give up you will succeed and it's so worth the effort :-)


As everyone else has said


If I were you I would keep doing week one until I master it ! It really does not matter how long this takes - you done the hardest part - getting started - the only way now is up - you can do this !

Week one was a shock to system to me and many others !

Good luck and remember you are doing this for you so be selfish and grab it and master it - you can do it !

It will get easier x i felt like this when i started but im about to start week 9. Keep going and just forget about the bad runs and remember you still did it. Just keep can do it

Reading this did me the world of good! I found it inspirational! I am one of those who read the posts, still hovering on the brink of jogging (though I do walk 6kms daily and do weight training). The thing is, none of us likes to hit the wall, to really struggle, yet, how could we possibly be fit to jog just from day one. I do know from past experience, that we get fitter so much quicker than one would imagine possible. So I assume your next post will be one of amazement at how fast your body adapts to physical challenge. Keep posting, and take it slowly, NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. PS It's raining here in France, heavy rain, so that's my excuse for reading and not running. I know I'm a wimp.


Slow slow and slow again. I’m on week 7 now and on my first week I thought I would die...

We all found the first run very difficult,and honestly,coming from a person who also was so unmotivated after the first tough run,you will shock yourself how much easier you will find the next run. You need to push yourself and do the full run no matter how hard it may be. You were also probably going to fast,snail pace until you progress more. Well done!!


Well done for getting out there. You've made a start. 1 minute at a'll get there.

well done for starting!! that is the most important thing so do not get disheartened as they say all big journeys start with a small step. Take your time don't go to fast nice and slow. you will find it will get easier each time you venture out. there is no law stating that you have to complete it in 9 weeks as long as you are achieving something and building on it YOU CAN DO THIS !!!!! best of luck

Please don’t feel deflated, you got out there and have made a start. I managed to get past halfway point but it took me 10months. The first run was hell. I’m not a runner or never will be so it doesn’t come easy. In the end I had to jack it in due to developing sciatica I was gutted. Since then I have joined my local gym to do excercise classes to build up my stamina and muscles then I’m getting back out there when weather gets better. I have a saying that I chant to myself when I’m struggling to do something. You might have lost the battle but you haven’t lost the war. Keep going at your own level and you will slowly get better. Good luck


Do not beat yourself up about it what so ever! The fact you actually made a start is fantastic, there is no hard and and fast rules on how long it takes... I have just graduated today after completing the nine weeks and today I felt like I could of given up. I used to run about 7yr ago and was pretty good and actually loved it but this time around I’m not sure I am as finding it tougher but I’m 7yrs older ☺️. If you need to repeat or even do less runs do it. We all have different levels of fitness... you will smash it I’m sure. Good luck on your journey x

You made a start, which is more than all the folks still on the couch did. Just go as slow as you need to ( I started off being able to walk faster than I could jog, but then got quicker over the weeks.)

I wonder if you went too fast? I remember my very first run and it hurt, particularly as I'm fairly sure I could have walked it faster, but it is really, really important to take it slowly. The difference between walking and running is the action, not the speed. I didn't get any kind of monitor till after I graduated. When I did, I was horrified to find my glorious 30 minutes took me just over 3k. So my next target was to build up the time and the distance. I did my first ever 5K in 45mins several weeks later. I never did try to speed up, but have occasionally done 5k in 40 mins. Speeding up happens by accident when your body is ready for it. Slow, slow, and even more slow for now will get you there. Promise!!


Iv not read all the other replies but something I found I was doing wrong was running too fast. It took until about week 4 to find out what my comfortable running pace was. Keep going 😊


I am only on week 2 and finding it hard ..i was panting and gasping so hard until someone on here said breathe deep and slow and that really helped. I also slowed the pace right down ..much better good luck

So many people have said what I'm going to say but just keep going. Take the runs slower, take the walks slower if you need to. Give yourself time to recover between each of the "runs" (you do not have to be Mo Farrah) so that you feel you can tackle the next one. Could you hold a conversation with someone else if they came and ran with you? If not, you are going too fast for yourself. The speed comes after the stamina. Well done for giving it a go, next time will be better :)

Well done for starting it and doing something. I did W1R1 yesterday and am very unfit too. I think the main thing to remember is it's better to go slow and keep going than set off too quickly. I still think I can sprint the speed I used to 20 years ago but then I remember that there is no way I can run at that speed now. Slow and steady wins the race. Main thing is don't beat yourself up over it. Chalk it up as experience and go slower tomorrow. Good luck.


Fffffffffff....I can’t say it...because there’s no such word on here!!! Yes, you did manage some of it so instead of focusing on what you didn’t do, focus on what you DID started this programme, that’s what you did....ok, you found it hard, but there aren’t many of us on here that don’t find at least one of the weeks hard...the first week I renamed ‘weak’ one...because it makes us realise just how weak we are...but not for long...soon you will look back on week 1 & wonder how the heck you found it so hard...I can promise you that!!!! There will be other weeks when you feel weak too...but you’re not, you have a strength inside that is buried & bursting to come out...& it will! Bank what you’ve done & try again...the programme doesn’t have to take 9 weeks just because that’s what it will take you as long as you need...keep going, you are doing fine...slow & steady...we’re all behind you


I only managed 45 seconds on my first ever run! Rest day today. Make sure you are not trying to go too fast, snail jogging is the key! I promise you it really does get easier, well done you for getting started x


Keep trying and getting out there. Lots of people are still on the couch!

I’m still working to get the motivation to start it all again after completing it last year, now feel very unfit again and nervous to try and get back to it!

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