Hardest at the start of the run: I'm on week... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Hardest at the start of the run


I'm on week 4, I've done 1 & 2, I'm finding it hard to fit it in with life right now so getting 2 runs a week instead of 3. When I'm doing this i find the first 3 minute run period almost impossible, I feel like my legs were made of lead, I'm out of breath and really struggle, it's much harder than the 5 minute runs, any way to improve this?

12 Replies

Maybe warming up longer than 5 minutes would help? Other than that I don’t know what to suggest... for most runners the first 5-10 minutes of a run are the hardest.


A lot of folk are subconsciously tenser at the start of a run, which causes physical tension affecting pace and breathing. Maybe encourage yourself to go just a little slower at first and tell yourself repeatedly how much fun you’re having ?!

Maybe try more dynamic stretching and a longer warm-up

Will definitely give it a go thanks


That's so common Crocheting me included. First 3 minutes I think I'm never gonna make it. I think for us recent couch potatoes that first three minutes is just the heart, lungs and muscles waking up to the idea that we're not actually sitting down! Just embrace it and then settle on to your nice running rythm

Hi! Great that you find a way to keep up with the program!

I had the same issue of finding the beginning of the runs rather hard and it helped making the 5 min warm-up a bit longer (like 7 or so)! Not sure if it is the best advice as the program is based on the combination of walks and runs, but it worked for me.

I guess slowing down your pace could also help. Good luck with the next ones!!!

I think if i slow down any further I'll be going backwards 😂🐚


Your body at Week 4 is still getting used to this level of activity. It’s completely normal and nothing to stress about. The genius of the C25K is that it WORKS! Once you’ve graduated you’ll feel amazing, but at this point allow yourself to feel exactly as you’re feeling. Try and keep at it though - get up an hour earlier perhaps and get your run done. This is what I do and it’s an amazing feeling to have started the day with something so positive. Keep at it!!!

Unfortunately i have a 2 year old who is regularly up for 2+ hours in the night so don't think i could manage getting up any earlier on the nights I'm allowed sleep, she goes to nursery 2 mornings a week just so i can run 😀


I'm a C25k grad and I still find the first 5 minutes of any run the hardest. I focus on my breathing and on relaxing my legs into the movement of running. In my experience more stretching doesn't actually make a difference to this first 5 experience. But by no means should this stop you from succeeding at C25k - it didn't for me!!

I found first 3 mins hardest as well , but I felt once I was in a comfortable stride which I found on the 1st 5 mins all went well.

So i tried some extra stretching and an extra couple of minutes warm up and it helped a bit so think i will keep doing it, thanks everyone

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