When should you start to feel any benefit? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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When should you start to feel any benefit?


I'm 67, in pretty good health and active - 150+ minutes of moderate exercise a week (mostly walking and swimming). Why am I trying C25K? Two reasons. Firstly because the evidence suggests that a bit of vigorous exercise brings further benefits. Second because I'm told that running makes you feel good, and I won't know until I've tried. Well, I'm now on week 4 and feel no benefit. Just rubbish during the run and immediately after - and that's it. I read posts by people who say they feel SO much better even after week 1, so why don't I? I'll keep going but I can't envisage ever liking it!

3 Replies

Hey Oldman

I normally feel good when I run without effort and strain. When things click. Sometimes they don’t click at all, sometimes there’s struggle and only mental energy takes me through to whatever target I set out to do. But then, I don’t look at few random runs. The point is what overall benefits running brings me over longer course?

So here we go. I’m an ex-smoker in mid-fifties, pathetically unfit some years ago. Laughably even. I now run 4-5 times per week, never less than 5K at good tempo and once weekly go to double digits of up to 15K. Completed half marathon. My body never looked more fit and lean (excluding my early twenties) and I have never felt better in my movements and flexibility. My blood pressure, previously bordering on stroke levels, now looks good on young men.

Did I doubt myself? Of course! I had bad injuries but also convinced myself that I wanted certain changes and that was one of rare things where my natural stubbornness paid off. And now I can see the results.

Review your goals and long term targets, be realistic, take your time. When you see the benefits you will feel invigorated and even more positive. We all achieve things at different times and we are all on different levels, but do believe in yourselves and the things will click, sooner or later.


Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

The guide to the plan is essential reading healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Maybe you are just pushing too hard. C25K is all about gently building your stamina and slower runs are generally more pleasurable than those where you push your limits.

Unfortunately, a small percentage of runners never feel the the buzz of running, but it will undoubtedly be improving your cardiovascular health and I would be surprised if you cannot see an improvement in your recovery times by W4.


Before I started this programme I did very little exercise, and by that I mean almost nothing. The highs have come from endorphins but also that feeling of achieving something, going from being out of breath in a minute's run to running for 30 minutes. Also I feel good because I have combined this with eating healthier and looking after myself a bit better. You sound much healthier than me so probably haven't found these benefits.

Running is doing you good even if you don't feel it now. It is improving your heart and lung function and reducing your chances of disease. All these things will make you happier in the long run.

However, some people don't get that "running high" that others get. Maybe you will when you hit the longer runs from the end of week 5 or maybe you will get it when you compete in races or beat your times or run intervals at full pelt up in a hill in a hailstorm. Or maybe you just won't get that runners' buzz. I never got any joy from dancing and yet some people tell me that it's an amazing feeling. People are different.

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