Help!: I finished the programme at least a month... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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I finished the programme at least a month ago. Then I got ill with a stinking cold for weeks. I’m back on it now but I’m not getting any faster. I drag myself through the 30 minutes but it’s the same speed every time.

I’m VERY overweight and haven’t really lost anything doing this. But my lungs feel a lot better - which is why I did this. But now I really want to be able to go longer and faster.

Could I run every day?

8 Replies

No... you can’t skip rest days for a year or more... you need to allow the muscles to condition fully.

To lose weight you need to address nutrition... maybe join Weight Loss NHS on here.

Now, speed... yes, it will come running the same 30 minutes each time out... slowly. Running every day wouldn’t help that regardless of the fact that you really shouldn’t go daily yet. If you want to bring your 5k time down, follow a 5k race plan. You’ll get varied runs, some will go longer than 5k, some will be shorter and faster. Many apps offer these for a small charge... one or two give them away. See if you like the variation and how you go with it... it will be a few weeks before you put all the work into practice and go for a faster 5k though.

I should’ve said. I’m nowhere near 5k. I’m doing 2.5k in that time - max.

I’m so frustrated.

Don’t run every day and don’t be frustrated! Think how far you have come to get to this point, remember week 1 and the distance you’ve travelled since then! You are still a very new runner, in time you will gain speed but don’t worry about it for now. I graduated at the beginning of June, I had a short spell on the IC afterwards but since August I’ve been out there running 3 times a week including 5k once a week. A couple of weeks ago I felt like you, that I really wasn’t improving and that every run was still hard work. Then something shifted and recently the runs have seemed easier and I’m getting slightly faster. Try and focus on enjoying the runs you’re doing, take it easy, pace and distance will come in time. 👍😊

Thank You! That gives me hope.


It’s important to rest your running muscles, but you can do other things on rest days - a gentle stroll, go for a swim, boogie round your kitchen etc. As you get fitter you turn fat into muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat so your shape will change before your weight is much affected. The good news is that muscle burns food much faster and more efficiently than fat, so as long as you generally eat sensibly the weight will start to go in the end. Stick with it ! We’re all behind you !

Poor you. Hope you're feeling better now. Your post sounded similar to my experience so I thought I'd reply. I completed the programme in July, have been running ever since, eating healthily but haven't lost any weight either. However, as you said, I certainly feel fitter so intend to keep going. I was also struggling to increase speed initially. However, I'm now following c25k+ which was created by the same amazing lady and this has made a difference as it builds speed, stamina and technique. Good luck with the next step. Don't give up! 😊

As the others have already said, definitely don’t skip rest days. You’re guaranteed an injury which could lay you off for months.

I’m gradually getting faster without trying really. I am gradually increasing the distance weekly on one of my runs. As your running legs become stronger, you too will see a difference. The fact your lungs are feeling better is fantastic news. It means you’ll be able to put in a little more effort to better effect.

Could you incorporate inclines/small hills? They are priceless for building fitness and will also do wonders for your waistline.

Please don’t be despondent. You will get there. Look how far you’ve come! 😀👏👏😀


It will come. The resting also heals any minor often imperceptible damage to your joints too. Think hoe skin on hands gets harder when you do lots of manual labour. You can also think of Yoga on your off days. I thought it was all hippy dippy stuff till I tried it it really s=does strengthen and tone. I follow an online you tube one by Adriene Mischler. Have a go but like the running don't expect to be able to do everything at once. Diet I follow quite strongly low carb though I do indulge, have a look at Tom Kerridge Dopamine diet and try to understand where he is coming from then use that as a basis. I have lost over 20lbs but also put on some muscle. Keep us up to date with your journey!

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