New me: I’ve always hated the idea of a gym and... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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New me


I’ve always hated the idea of a gym and knew it wasn’t for me so I bought a dog and started walking her for miles in the beautiful countryside on my doorstep.

This proved to be better than not moving at all but I was never out of breath as said dog stops very frequently to sniff.

I was inspired by friends on social media who post about C25K and Parkrun so I downloaded the app.

I’m now on week 8 of C25K and feel much, much fitter - plus the dog still gets walked but that’s on top of my running.

Completing week 9 is now in sight and I am looking for support now and once I’ve finished so I can get into a solid habit of running.

17 Replies

I'm in almost exactly the same position as you... running in the countryside with my dog, although I think he's finding it a bit too much now on week 8, so may have to leave him at home from now on - he generally covers at least three times the distance I do! Obviously I can't help with post-grad support, because I'm just starting week 9, but I can honestly say I actually look forward to the days I run now.. hoping that will keep me motivated to stick with it. Winter is the only thing that worries me....

Thank you for your reply Zutter, I actually have to leave my dog at home when I run and then take her out later, she would be too distracting otherwise but hats off to your dog for being your faithful running partner!

I too am worried about the winter mornings, it’s going to be very different in the cold and the dark and I just hope I will stay motivated. At the moment it’s beautiful out there on my early morning runs and that helps massively.

in reply to Rinkydinky

Winter is wonderful; its easier to pile more clothes on than take them off 👍😉 it's all about routine, you'll be fine! 😁


I’m also wondering how to keep my motivation up once I graduate (hopefully this Friday morning!). There’s something about having ‘weeks’ and specific sessions to go through on this programme that has got me out of bed on more than one occasion when I’ve not had much motivation.

Having said that, I’m looking forward to exploring more around where I live eg. not being limited to the c25k session time and seeing just how long it’ll take to run x route.

I’ve already bought myself a neon yellow long sleeve running top (called a jacket but it’s not substantial enough) in a recent sports direct sale so I’m hoping having something I’ve spent money on that I need to use will help!

Unfortunately I have family commitments every Saturday morning so parkruns won’t be a regular thing and the nearest running group to me is still quite far away and looks super serious. Finding a running buddy in my village might be a good idea though as then that’s a commitment isn’t it ☺️


Hello, I graduated last month and at first floundered around not knowing what to do or how. Did a few W9 runs 'cos I was a bit lost. However on this forum there's lots of support and advice. I found Oldfloss's recommendation to start off with consolidation half hour runs, really helpful. Try going somewhere different, and have some fun.

There are other podcasts, e.g.NHS Choices 5K+, I'm doing those now to build up speed (I'm a snail), stamina and strength. They are about 30 minute runs, and really good. Parkruns are good, and you don't have to do the 5k in 30 minutes! You can walk, jog, run whatever you need to do 🎉.

Keep coming back to the forum, all the support you need is right here. Good luck with the final week, I hope the runs go well, and enjoy your running 🌻


Well done for getting this far 😊

Most people consolidate for at least 3 weeks either repeating week 9 or slowly building up to 5km, just do whatever feels best for you.

You can try out parkrun (free timed 5ks every Saturday morning) and see if that's something that you enjoy.

There's also the bridge to 10k forum which you can have a look at, there is also a pinned post of what to do here

Thanks kirstyb these are excellent ideas, I’m certainly going to repeat week 9 for those three weeks for a start, it really helps having my coach Sarah M in my ear.

southlundon I’ve just today ordered some posher running gear I think to cement the idea in my head that I’m a proper runner now!

I think I will have a look at some hi vis items soon - that’s a good idea as I’m going to change my route from rural footpaths across fields to a narrow pavement at the side of a busy road, there are no residential streets as such near me and I’ve taken a tumble a couple of times due to the uneven ground.

Thanks for your support.

in reply to Rinkydinky

I run on rural roads but went over a field this week and really enjoyed it - perhaps off road trail running might become something I do more of in the future! Big yes to the hi vis clothes too - when I was driving round here in the sun, whenever I went into shade it became really difficult to see if anyone was at the side of the road at all, so I reckon hi vis helps in the sunshine as well as the gloom and dark.

And one thought I've had about using the week 9 sessions for a few weeks is that I might leave lovely Jo Whiley behind and try the others - perhaps Sarah M one week, Laura the next and end with Michael Johnson! :D

Thank you Gran4z, I really enjoy my running and I hope it will continue for a long time. 🏃🏻‍♀️

Nearly there Rinkydinky! Remind yourself of where you were when you started and how much you struggled in the weeks prior to this one. You’ve overcome those weeks. You can do this!!!

in reply to Tjar

Thank you Tjar!

in reply to Rinkydinky

This group is amazing. I’ve been helped lots, so hoping to pay it forward by replying to others. So, happy to help! 😁


What you do depends on what you want to do, only you can limit yourself. The first step is undoubtedly consolidation and then you can choose what direction you want to go in, 5k, 5k faster, 10k, half marathon, marathon, whatever you choose there are plans aplenty to help and this forum will always be here to support you

Thank you Berksrover 👍


You are doing great to have got this far, have made some really positive changes to your lifestyle and are almost ready to climb the graduation podium with your shiny graduate badge!

When you finish the world is your runway and you can do whatever you like!

I have done about 3 weeks of consolidation runs. I’ve found Strava really good to maintain my motivation coz as a typical bloke I’m well into all the stats! (You can never have too many stats!).

Sounds lovely where you are - enjoy! 😀

Well done! I started the C25K last year but didn't formally 'graduate'. The thing that bought me my 'staying power' was a bunch of similar aged ladies starting out running too. It's amazing what the power of a group can do. Looking to complete my first 10k in September. Good luck and keep 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃🏃

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