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Couch to 5K
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Day 1 complete and it has wiped me out! Is this normal?

I knew I was out of shape but I didn’t realise it was this bad.

So for over a year I’ve been walking a good 5k every day to get to work and back so when I started this I thought at least I’m not going in completely blind. Now I know better.

I thought it would be a good idea to integrate this into my walk to work so I did day 1 this morning and struggled a little towards the end but I got through it, arriving at work a sweaty mess but I did the cool down walk before going in.

I had a little bit of a high despite the tiredness for a little while and felt great but not long after that I crashed completely. I was dizzy and lightheaded, weak and could barely keep my eyes open or focus on my work. On top of that I’ve been really nauseas and I’m still recovering now at home.

So

Is it normal to react like this or should I be worried? It was only 8 minutes of running, is this kind of reaction normal for a beginner?

If it is normal can anyone recommend the best way to prepare before a run and the best way to recover afterwards? Either way, I think I’m going to be doing it on the way home from now on.

13 Replies
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In terms of preparation, make sure you're well hydrated the day before a run. For the run itself, go slower than you think it's possible to go.

I'm sure some more experienced runners will have lots of great advice to offer, but if you're concerned it's probably a good idea to get some medical advice.

Good luck, and I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress.

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I definitely did not prepare well enough for this. My Friday run will be after work, I’ll aim for a suitable snack about an hour before I leave and have a drink. I’m still finding my feet (I think there’s a pun there but I don’t have the mental energy to work it out right now) but I’ll get there, just need to plan my runs and recovery better

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Sounds like you're definitely on the right track. Keep going; we will all be cheering you on!

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It's totally different to walking, stick with it. Try not to do it as your commute to work so you get chance to have a small rest and a good drink afterwards (water not wine 😂) I'm starting again after a break of a couple of years. I used to have my breakfast afterwards which again gave me a chance to sit down before work! Don't give up and make sure you do your brisk warm up and cool down after... Good luck

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I’ll stick with it, I loved it and I definitely need it. But for now I think I best stick to evening runs on work days, otherwise I’ll never get anything done. On the plus side, if I get fired I can run whenever I want!

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Well done! You persevered and you did it. Did you have anything to eat before you ran? I used to go out on an empty stomach and just drink water. After a few runs I felt completely washed out. I couldn’t believe how tired I was. I’ve now started having half a slice of toast with mashed banana or avocado and I feel much better for it. Even a banana on its own which I’m going to try next. I’m still trying to work out how long before my run I need to eat it but I’m sure it makes a difference for me. I’m thinking an hour - an hour and a half. I also find it much better to do my run in the morning so I’m with you on that one. I’ll be watching for your next post - let me know how you get on!

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I didn’t eat enough and it was right before the run so definitely bad preparation. I pretty much started on impulse, the time just felt right, I’d only downloaded the app the day before. My next run is Friday, I’ll do that one after work I think and leave morning runs to the weekend for now, at least until I’m able to do it without impacting work because I was useless today. I would prefer mornings but I’m not there yet.

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So, you’ve already got it sorted! You’re moving forward already. That’s great. Just a bit more preparation and you’ll be fine. I’ll be looking for your post on Friday! 😀 Good luck!

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Your time estimate for toast and something is pretty much spot on, an hour or two would be ideal... just a banana probably best at the hour end of that scale.

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W1R1 first 60 seconds nearly floored me! You are so not alone. Keep the pace slow and then slow down a little, you will be just fine. Your fast walking will help, last night between last two runs I could tell I was walking slower than on the last break and boy did I pay for it when the next interval started.

I usually do a headspace exercise about an hour before my run... and I walk more than the five minute cooldown. Check out the stretches too for after your run, they will help.

Congratulations on taking the step to start this, and completing day one. Enjoy your journey.

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Thanks I’m enjoying it so far, I really needed a longer cooldown time but I didn’t have time before work for more than five minutes. I think pace was ok generally and by the time the last 60 seconds rolled around speed really wasn’t an option. It’s strange how those 60 second runs last a lot longer than the 90 second walks...

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Yeah, I guess in the run you want it to be over and in the walk you don’t want it to end!

Some runs will make you struggle, some will come easy, treat the two the same, enjoy them and be proud of yourself. Keep loose on rest days and look at other exercises... anything but nothing and running. Yoga is good, cycling (not too strenuous), swimming, walking, the choices are endless.

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Well I walk every day anyway so that’s the bare minimum at least

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