Nervous about running in public!: I’m ready to... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Nervous about running in public!

No-more-couch-bum
No-more-couch-bum
54 Replies

I’m ready to start getting fit but I’m really nervous about running in public! I don’t want to feel like people are watching me or making fun of me because I am super unfit! How do I deal with this? Otherwise I can’t wait to start my couch to 5K next week!

54 Replies
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lauralm94

I was just about to post the same thing!! Going to start in the morning but more nervous about being out in the open than the run. 😰 Hope you get on ok!

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No-more-couch-bum

I think it’s something we will get used to! It’s definitely been holding me back from doing it before. Just hoping I (and everyone else) has a good experience!💕

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lauralm94

I’m sure you will!! It’s just that first step... 😂🤦🏼‍♀️ for me anyway! Good luck! 💖

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Hidden
HiddenGraduate
in reply to lauralm94

Once you get out there and in “the zone” you won’t be too bothered. I definitely felt a bit silly when I first started but then you just carry on 😊

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Pianism
PianismGraduate
in reply to Hidden

I just started this morning and I felt like a complete idiot... for all of 2 minutes, because focusing on just keeping going is enough to block out all the other bad thoughts. Best wishes to everyone starting out! Keep in touch.

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Hidden
HiddenGraduate
in reply to Pianism

Keep it up! You’re doing brilliantly!

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Misslovely

Well done for doing it No-more-couch-bum & to you too lauralm94

Id say headphone on, head up, eyes forward and who cares?

At least youre moving, doing more than most who are still sat on the couch! And runners wont ever make fun of those starting out!

I do mine on the treadmill as the concrete impact aggravates my ankle and knee Good luck xxxx 💜

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lauralm94

Ahh thank you!! You’re right there - no need to focus on what anyone thinks I suppose! 😂🤷🏼‍♀️ Xxx

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UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreAdministrator

Welcome. Those people who see you don’t remember you, you’re nothing more than an insignificant moment in their day... sorry to break that to you! I see countless runners daily when I’m driving, running, shopping or whatever and maybe they get a smile and a nod... but I don’t actually remember them. Besides, most people are so focused on their phones that you could run past them naked and they probably wouldn’t notice! You’ll never be judged by the runners out there... if someone laughs, the joke is on them because they can’t do what you are doing... they can’t be bothered. Get out there and impress yourself, nobody else you encounter on that run matters... it’s all about you. When you finish the run, let that smile grow, that may be remembered, that may make a small difference to the world.

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No-more-couch-bum

Wow! These are great words, thank you :)

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nickhard
nickhardGraduate

Slow and steady is all that is important. You can work on your form later. I look bad when I run but I feel great after a run, that's what is important!

Go get 'em!

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Jalapenolover101

My favourite moment,

I shared this before so sorry if you've heard it. I was passing a family on my route through my local cemetery , it's a nature reserve too, so nice😉, however.... the family where obviously there to pay their respects.

After jogging up this way and down that way we passed... I was struggling on the last run of that week......I didn't want to intrude on their moment. We passed again, I will never forget that mans comment!

'More power to yer elbow! Well done lass!'

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ktsok
ktsokGraduate
in reply to Jalapenolover101

That is an excellent comment! Not sure what why the elbow becomes the focal point of your power but I like it 😂

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Nellytheelephant

I found actually going out and declaring myself ‘a runner’ by far the most difficult part of starting. I was surprised at myself, I’d never have put myself in the self conscious bracket before, but I ran in ordinary clothes and out of public gaze for a couple of weeks. I didn’t even tell my husband and family.

And, surprise surprise, when I did ‘fess up everyone was lovely, and supportive, and it really was no deal, I feel a bit foolish to have worried.

When I’m out now I’m either invisible to people or they are very positive. No-one really gives a fig about what you do - so go out and enjoy.

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LexusC
LexusCGraduate

Do your thing girl.

Music on and just concentrate on doing it session by session. You'll be surprised at how supportive people are and some are really jealous cause they'd love to be doing it too. Don't worry about about other joggers either as they speed pass you. Just get the minutes in. And always give yourself a pat on the back when you've done it. Just because you did it. Good luck.

P.s I lost a stone in weight through doing this programme

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No-more-couch-bum

That’s really impressive! Thanks for the lovely words :)

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Hidden
HiddenGraduate

Just go for it! When I see other people running I’m always impressed that they are out running!! The fact that you want to get out there and fit is amazing. You will be absolutely fine 👍 😎

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E27M14
E27M14Graduate

Start in the dark..... early in the morning or later in the evening. Lots of people on here have the same concerns but you will soon find that no-one cares. If people even notice you they acknowledge you with respect, but mostly they are too busy with their own lives!

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CaffeineBomb
CaffeineBombGraduate

I agree that most people don't notice or don't care (although I've had lots of positive comments, friendly smiles etc) but I get that it's nerve wracking putting yourself out there. As you get fitter and can run further and for longer you will have more confidence I promise! Until then, try and pick a route and time when it's less busy with other people. I find early morning in the park is good (am about to go out now!). Just a handful of dog walkers if that - and they're usually ready with a "good morning"! Good luck and enjoy getting the running bug - this is a fantastic programme that really works.

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Agelesslass

Don’t care what people think, just do it, it’s your life, your fitness, nobody will mock you, they’ll be envious if anything.

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Fit2Sing
Fit2SingGraduate

I agree with everything already said! Congratulations for getting out there, have fun & good luck, you've got this 🏃‍♀️😀

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Pianism
PianismGraduate

Thanks for this post and for the responses. Same boat here - first run on Monday next l and walking Park run this morning so I'm right in the middle of getting through this! The good news is that this time next week, that potential barrier will be in the past and forgotten!

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ktsok
ktsokGraduate

I’m sure you have never looked at someone running and thought about making fun of them! Even if they are huffing and puffing... you might have a moments concern about their health (I have seen someone who looked on the verge of collapse, and have felt that myself lol), but it’s never negative. Don’t know about you, but I have always admired people for getting out there and doing it (even if I thought they were mad to enjoy running!). Having said that, I run on a private estate so barely see a soul, and do feel a bit daunted by the prospect of, say, a busy Park Run... but I guess we can disguise ourselves as runners then 😉

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Fabulous450
Fabulous450Graduate

Hi there!! First of all, well done for deciding to do this!! That’s fantastic! You’re in for such a great experience. 🥰!

Well, without making this reply too long to get to parkrun, I’ll give you the edited version of my journey.

1. Never run for any distance, avoided intensely at school.

2. Never thought I could be seen in public running. Planned to do C25K in the gym.

3. Did W1R1 at the gym, then car broke down and was a right off! Blown gasket! 🤦🏽‍♀️

4. No way to get to the gym, decision time, stop or go outside and run in public. After a nerve racking thought process and pacing up and down, scared as hell, I go out at rush hour, no less. Talk about extreme! 😱

5. However................Absolutely amazing feeling. It’s like a parachute jump, (not that I’ve done one🤷🏽‍♀️)! I realised that day, I was going to be ok. I was going to do it and nothing was going to be able to stop me. In a lot of ways, that car breakdown was the best thing that could ever have happened to me. 💪🏽👌🏽

6. I completed C25k in July, on my birthday and I loved every bit of the experience. Don’t get me wrong, there were challenges and doubts, but I just promised myself I would go out there for me and see how it goes. And I’m still going🏃🏾‍♀️.

The best thing I can say to you right now, is do this for you! Do it your way and my moto for running outdoors with my perfectly imperfect self is “Out there, don’t care”! If anyone doesn’t like how I look or run or just wonder WTH this person is doing, well.........”overt the eyes”! 🤣! This is my time! And TBH most people just smile and say hello. And even if they don’t, I do! Go for it!! Have fun and it will all work out just fine!!

P.S new car, but never went back to the gym! I was having far too many great adventures outdoors! ❤️

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No-more-couch-bum

Your journey is very admirable! I definitely think it’s something that will get easier, just need that initial push :)

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Fabulous450
Fabulous450Graduate
in reply to No-more-couch-bum

That’s for sure! Have fun!! 😍❤️

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Runningone
RunningoneGraduate
in reply to No-more-couch-bum

If you have a Park Run near you try it there. I started off doing the Park Walk then started running a little then decided to do C25k with my daughter and we are on Week 8 Run 2. Just love running now and it's great with all the other Park Runners some run some walk and run and some just walk. It's a great experience and no one judges you and just encourage you on your journey to fitness

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Oldfloss
OldflossAdministrator

They won't even notice you.. folk are too busy with their own lives...Many folk feel like you and soon they are out there, in the most funky of colours, rocking the runs!!

Be proud.. you are going to be out there and changing your life!! Slow and steady and start with confidence...

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Bear7
Bear7Graduate

Firstly well done for deciding to start this great plan. When I started I was a lot overweight & walked faster than I run. I did all my running outside & one of the roads I had to run down was full of factories & there were always blokes outside on their cigarette breaks. Of course they fancied themselves really clever shouting at the "runner" so avoided it for a few weeks as I was so self conscious. I then got the running bug, got fitter, got more confident & really started to enjoy my runs so decided to run on this road again. Whether they still shouted I didn't know or care as I was lost in my running moment with great music & I graduated last October. I received so much support from family, friends & this forum that it really doesn't matter what these other people do or say & probably most people are just getting on with their lives & don't even notice you. I'm still overweight, still run slower than snail pace but have invested in some snazzy activewear & bright coloured trainers lol. I haven't been out for a bit due to illness & injury but can't wait to get back out there. If I can do it any one can, so good luck & have fun!!!!!

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Silverfox1943

Maybe find a park or a field to start; less people. Once you progress you will need longer routes to follow, that gives you variety and to think about. Slow and easy will help your progress.

I've done all my running outside and love the feeling at the end.

I didnt listen to music but followed Michael who talked me through each stage; invaluable.

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Willunga

I felt the same but there are so many runners out there who are beginners, older etc. I had to think “how often do I look at the joggers I see?” Never!

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No-more-couch-bum

That’s very true :)

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johnt46
johnt46Graduate

Hi, I live in a Village, so I know a few people, no matter which way I go, within 1/2 mile I'm out in the countryside and, like you, I was nervous about running in public. My route is popular with walkers and and dog owners, but I found most just greeted me with the usual "hi" or "morning" etc., as before, and those who knew me well a thumbs up! So go and do it, after all, it's our health we are looking after!

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No-more-couch-bum

Thanks for everyone kind words of encouragement. I’ve loved reading all your stories and advice, I definitely feel more at ease about running in public now too! Thank you all💕💕

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Mercmancouchto5k

Hi No-more-couch-bum, (love that name). I have the benefit of age and it's great that many members have advised just to brush it off and not to worry. But some people do worry a lot about what strangers would think. To demonstrate to my sons when they were much younger that it doesn't really matter what you do in front of strangers because it is extremely unlikely that you will ever meet them again, I lay down on the floor with my arms crossed over my chest in the foyer of the Trafford Centre one day when there were about 50,000 visitors. The scary thing is that after two minutes, absolutely nobody stopped to ask if I were OK. Not only do they not care what strangers look like, they are very unlikely to approach you because of their own fear of unexpected situations. They just carry on as if nothing has happened. Scary thought, eh? BTW, if anyone ever stares at me I just beam back with the broadest smile I can make showing all my teeth. That normally makes them look away very quickly. :-)

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linda9389
linda9389Ambassador

If you're anything like me you will wrap up in black and baggy clothes, go to a remote field, at an unpopular time of day and keep your head down! Seriously, I did. I progressed to the streets of an almost deserted army base around week 3 (same clothes). Eventually my daughter forced me onto the streets of our town (where I was spotted, ugghhh) and that's what I've done ever since. One day, around graduation, I realised I had just run through town, among Saturday shoppers, and held my head up high with no thought of embarrassment or whether people were looking. That realisation was one of the highlights of what has now been 20 months or so of running.

You could do it my way, and look forward to the inevitable glow of pride when you realise you truly believe you are good enough to run in public .... or you could try to get over that right here, right now, because no-one else cares or notices, and you are the one off the couch and out there - you have the respect of all who see you.

Whichever option you take, enjoy your journey and very good luck to you :)

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Rebuild

LED head torch. It is still dark fairly early and dark in the morning too. Would not recommend early mornings for women though due to crime statistics. Also see if a pal will join you.

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Monkey2019

I felt like this too. Have completed my second session of Week 1 today and it was SO much more enjoyable than the first! I find listening to music really helps and I try and focus on what I’m doing rather than anyone else. If I can do it then anyone can!!!! 😀

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slowjog1

Most people will think good on you for getting up and out. Go for it and do it for you!

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Sybilw
SybilwGraduate

No matter how slow you are (that’s the trick to learn early on!) you are just passing walkers and always going faster than they are so no need to worry. If you meet a runner they started once too so know your effort. I’ve been running since April and only had smiles from / been ignored by most people so it’s all been good (I’m as self conscious as the next person). I have however had words of praise from two people - one a neighbour but the other a stranger. Those words will continue to inspire me for the rest of this year!! Go for it - it’s worth it. Good luck

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Crolla

I was like this before I started running because I always thought I ran stupidly (think of Phoebe in Friends) but I have always walked a lot, so this programme where you intersperse the running with the walking was very helpful. I stopped worrying about how I looked and concentrated more on the direction I was going and the people I passed on the way as I ran round the park. I've got very used to seeing the same people walking their dogs and that's a lot of fun. Honestly, you won't regret it. I think the vast majority of people you'll see will either not register you're there or they'll respect you for having a go.

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No-more-couch-bum

I love the comparison to Pheobe ha! Thanks for your advice :)

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Purple70

I feel the same, I have done 2 runs from week 1 and I did them when it was dark lol! To be honest I was concentrating so hard on what I was doing that anyone I did pass I didn’t really notice anyway! Good luck x

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IannodaTruffe
IannodaTruffeAdministrator

Welcome to the forum.

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

Enjoy your journey.

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Hardlife

Hi I was the same when starting out.But I notice now that running either night or day people are ablivous to you.I would not recommend though using headphones.You can't hear whats behind you.I run with my lurcher x staffy and came up behind a woman with headphones on,it was a busy road/path and we had to grind to a halt because she had no idea we were on her heels.We had get around park cars and back on the path again.frightened her because she had no idea what was behind her at 100mph.Well not quite 100mph.lol stay safe out there.

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AceitGirl
AceitGirlGraduate

Somehow I felt like that before but the real truth out there is miles away from that feeling. What I find is I celebrate every step during my run more so when I meet people doing nothing, driving or even shopping. It wakes up a small voice in my head that I have chosen to do good with my time for myself and my health. Nothing makes me feel better. The more I meet people the better I run. I could never imagine running on a treadmill. Honestly you will be surprised how you just get on with it and never notice what onlookers do.

All the best.

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thisfishcan
thisfishcanGraduate

I started in January and ran in the evening when it was dark. I had my hood up...thank goodness it was cold at the time to justify this. After the hood came the baseball cap...helped running in the rain too. By the time the clocks went forward in March I was already a graduate, so a bit more confident. When it became too light in the evenings for me, I took to the trails, which i now love. I still do feel embarrased somedays before i start my run, however i always feel great after. I plucked up courage to do my first park run on new years day...a big big deal for me. Doing so made me realise runners come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and ages. Enjoy your running journey and remember most of are insecure at times, but we just get out and do it.

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Notsobigdoug

No one will look at you and judge you for trying to get fitter. Just have your headphones in and forget the outside world for 30mins

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mrrun
mrrunGraduate

When you are out there do you study and remember every driver, runner, pedestrian, etc..? Equally, nobody will notice you, and that invisibility is one of the perks of our hobby.

On a different note, you are doing this for yourself, primarily, hence just go and do it. It cannot be simpler than that. Keep us posted!

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YouCanDoItMan

I've just completed my first week and so far the three runs have been at either 6:30 am or 9:30pm so not many people about. When I have met people we have always exchanged greetings, and that adds to the feelgood factor.

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Soulanubis

I was nervous (and still am) I have just finished week 1 and go out early in the morning to avoid other people. I wear my cap and keep my head down and concentrate on what I’m doing, My run is more like someone’s fast walk and I’m fat but At least I’m getting out there and trying. Give it a few weeks I’m sure I will stop going out in disguise lol... It is tough at first but I feel a lot better after for getting out there and doing it!

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PaulS83

Me too, but it’s the right time of year to go covert under the cover of darkness.

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Nita49
Nita49Graduate

I initially thought the same when I started, but decided that I wasn't going to waste energy wondering if anyone is looking at me, life's too short for that.

This is about you and what you want to achieve, so go for it! Who cares what anyone else thinks??

Headphones, head held high and look straight ahead 👍

And guess what.... Someone might look at you and think "good for them" or "I wish I was brave enough".... You might unknowingly encourage others to get out there as well 👍

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Darcyduck

I started last week, on my first run I felt very self conscious, however I soon got absorbed into the app & Jo Wiley encouraging me 😊 also , I can honestly say that I can’t ever remember a time I judged anyone I ever seen running/ jogging. Good luck 🏃‍♀️

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