Is it normal for beginners to struggle on the ... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Is it normal for beginners to struggle on the first week?


This morning I did my second run for week 1 and struggled a little bit with the running- I could only complete 6.5 of the 8 60 second runs. I had some water before I went out but not breakfast because it was only 6:30am.

I haven't ran properly since around 7 years ago when we used to do cross country at school and the past year I have mainly been in bed due to my mental health.

So I was just wondering if it's normal for newbies to struggle on week 1 and if eating something beforehand would help my stamina?

Thanks :)

5 Replies

It’s normal to struggle with any of it unless you are already a runner! My guess is you are going way too fast.

Try an experiment. What is the slowest you can run? Try it - both feet have to be off the ground at some point each step. Now try to go a bit slower. And now slower.

I’ve found I can run slower than my natural walking pace if I try hard enough. Find a speed that means you are still “running” but you can complete the full length of every run. You’ll need this when the runs get longer!

It is “very slow jog” speed for most of us.


Hi there

I think it is quite normal to struggle . Don’t worry about it. There is no need to rush or feel hurried. Take your time 🙂👍

Yes, it is perfectly normal to struggle; I know I did! Good advice to slow down - speed is not important here, and stamina and fitness will come with slow running, it just takes time.

I run on an empty stomach in the morning. Drink plenty of water the day before your planned run, and have a good breakfast when you get in. Eggs or porridge are great!

Don’t worry. The key to success is persistence. You will be amazed at how quickly you will improve and start to notice increased fitness.

Sadie-runs x


Yes it is completely normal to struggle,as for eating before a run ,thats a personal choice,I always run on an empty stomach, if I eat then I have to wait a couple of hours, otherwise I'm in danger of heartburn at best or being sick at worse,maybe you weren't hydrated enough or maybe as Jay said you were going to fast?



I thought it was compulsory 😶

Yes, I'm sure if you are really just getting off the couch it's normal, but that just makes it more of an achievement, when you look back later in the programme.

This will be great for you physical and mental health. Well done for starting 🤗🤗🤗

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