Nervous!: After years of not looking in a full... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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After years of not looking in a full length mirror I’ve decided to take responsibility and improve my health and fitness and see any body change as a welcome by product. Ready for Day 1 of Couch to 5K tomorrow. Friends have laughed at it but I won’t be put off! Any hints and tips grateful appreciated!

25 Replies

Take it slow and steady it’s not a race. Take your time, always stretch, always take your rest days and always stay hydrated today to run tomorrow ok. We are all here for you, we will not judge and well will not laugh at you, we will however advise you and support you ok😊

Good luck Ninalou

in reply to Hidden

Thank you for the tips, I have a feeling it will be the support from here that gets me through. Having read through some posts everyone seems so helpful and friendly!

in reply to Ninalou

It hurts when friends laugh but be assured you will have the last laugh. Just trust the program and you’ll be fine. If you don’t feel ready to move on just repeat the run or the week if you need to. This journey is yours so enjoy it

No tips or hints to offer as I am a Newbie too. Never been sporty in my life before but now I've started - I know that there is no going back for me 😊

Just wanted to wish you all the best and "Good Luck" at the start of your journey to a new you.



Hi Ninalou.

There is a useful starters' guide:

There is a huge amount of information in there, so you may want to read it in stages. There are links in there to even more useful things as well.

My simple tips:

- Appropriate clothing and footwear

- Drink 2-3 litres of water on excercise days

- Eat a small fruit snack half an hour before each run

- Don't eat lots after running

- Gentle jogging is all that is needed to start with!

in reply to RobW73

Hydrate well... every day...not just run days:)

I'll keep it brief so at this point you're not overwhelmed & tailor it to help with those nerves and stuff to know right at the start! :)

1) There is no such thing as too slow. You are far more likely to go too fast, so when it doubt, just go slower! Don't worry about being ridiculously slow. If you're feeling a bit foolish about how slow it is, then it's probably the right amount of slow. (Some of us were already fast walkers when we started and spent the first few weeks going "I can walk faster than this, WTH?!". So don't worry if that's the case for you too.)

2) The important thing is to finish, not how fast or how far you travelled. See above. Don't compare yourself with anyone else, don't have expectations of having to be a certain amount of awesome, your goal is just to manage to complete the session you're on. No judging yourself (I'm saying this because your friends don't sound like they're going to be a fat lot of good in the boosting self-confidence stakes! ;) ). Every attempt is better than still being on that couch! If you have to make like a tortoise to get through it, so be it. If you have to try it a second time, it's all good. The whole thing does NOT have to be done in exactly 9 weeks, repeating is fine. Life WILL get in the way of the "perfect" timeframe. :)

3) Don't be scared, every last one of us had the "my lungs are exploding, omg I can't even run for 60 seconds, I'm going to die" in week 1. We didn't die. We learnt to run slower so then lungs didn't feel like they were exploding; henceforth it's just your mind panicking you can't do it as times increase each week and then eventually your mind learns too, that hell you CAN do this! :)

4) Though there's a lot of walking at first, perhaps worth mentioning that you do get hotter than you expect running? I can't abide running hot so worth mentioning if you're like me. Maybe think layers you can shed off rather than going for super toasty if the weather is still pants where you are.

The hardest bit is starting, so just get on out there and keep on getting out there and we'll all be here cheering you on. :)

Yeah, the above is "brief" for me :D

Fantastic advice

Love the advice re going slow: I have just completed W1R2 and was thinking that I was running slower than I walk - thanks for the reassurance!

in reply to MamaKeeves

Glad to hear it was helpful. I think it's really hard working out what the heck pace you should be at when you first start, I worked off a mental checklist for weeks "Do I look ridiculous? Yes. Great. No? Slow down then" LOL :D

Love that! Managed to finish W1R3 today and didn't feel too bad so looking forward to W2 now - still focusing on finishing rather than speed😂

in reply to MamaKeeves

Go you! :)

Yeah, that's the mindset to cling on to - in the last few weeks you'll find that makes it soooo much better.


Sounds to me as if you have just the right attitude to complete this. You absolutely can and will if you follow the advice for Newbies (see the pinned posts) and take it nice and slow. Do the post run stretches to avoid injury, and drink plenty of water. Our bodies- all of them - were designed to move so trust yours and it will repay you. Good luck.


Go for it, I’m at end of week 3 and absolutely loving it. I had exactly the same issue as you with friends laughing at me. 3 weeks later same friends are starting to ask me ‘how are you getting on’ I am an overweight grandma but absolutely loving this process. Great support and advice right here. Trust the programme and believe me your confidence will grow with it. X


Well done you for making the decision to take control of your health and well being. C25K is such a great programme for your health and your confidence. I have found that it has made me feel very differently about my body and I now think more about what my body can do than what it looks like. Good luck !


3 words. "Stick with it!" Lean on this forum when you are finding it tough and doubting yourself. The buzz you will get from achieving each run will be immense - your self confidence and belief in yourself will grow! When I started this (50 this year, unfit and 3stone overweight) I struggled to run for 1minute.... I completed Week6 yesterday - running for 25minutes solid! I have this forum to thank for that 😊 Enjoy your journey! 🙌


Check this out and welcome to the forum:)

Slow, steady, take the rest days without fail, keep posting for great support and enjoy :)


You can do it! Just go like a 🐌 and don’t worry about the laughing you will have the last laugh 😊


Well done for deciding to do C25K. You won't regret it. Follow all the great advice that's been given - especially to take it slow and steady, always take a rest day between runs, always do the stretching. Keep posting here and you will be amazed at all the advice and encouragement you will get. Oh, and ignore your "friends". Good luck! x 😀💪👍


Be brave and go for it. I only started this week so 'hello' from another newbie.

Have to admit I was worried about people laughing, so snuck out in the car and ran on a nearby trail :) but to be honest once i got going i was listening to Sarah Millican and radio 2 and didn't notice what anyone else was looking at.

Well done you for wanting to improve your health and fitness. Take it one step at a time. You can do it. Don't go too fast. Nice and steady wins the race. Please let us know how you get on. I have just completed my third session of week 1. Feeling very proud of myself and much more energized. Good luck for your first run. We are all behind you xx


You should feel great for taking control and starting C25K, deciding is half the battle xx I have lots of week 1 people like me on my profile if you want to have a look.

You guys are just brillliant! Thank you a million. Day 1 complete! Felt really hard and absolutely amazing all at once. Yay!

in reply to Ninalou

That's fab to hear. Described it perfectly there as somehow eek and yet also wonderful! :)


Look in that mirror properly, find something to love in that image. It's much easier to improve something that you like than not 😉

Tell yourself you're done ignoring yourself, that now you'll be looking after yourself. Mean it and believe it.

Start putting the right fuel in and use your body! Move! Stretch, run, walk, dance. Fall in love with movement again. Find music that makes you move and just get up off that couch and burn some calories.

Drink more water based fluids. Stay off the booze, it's sugar you don't need.

Get on the programme. It's so fantastic and it teaches you more than just how to run 👍😁

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