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Couch to 5K
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I find my non-runner friends don't really care how fast or how far I run. After being inspired by the stories I read on the forum I'd post my progress. I'm 43 and was a little overweight.

I started Couch to 5K in September as a challenge from my wife, several of her colleagues started the program at the same time. I used to cycle a lot but I had not done any serious exercise for around 5 years and have never done any running. My first run I remember feeling sick and dizzy but Sarah Milligan (on the App) kept me motivated. I kept with the program apart from an illness for 3 weeks in October and ran week 7 just before Christmas. My distance ran at that time was 4k.

Whilst away from home over Christmas I decided to see if I could do the 5k, not worry about the 30 minute time and just go for it. Well 5k came and I realised I had plenty more energy so ran to 6k. I think my time was around 32 mins for the 5k.

I was overjoyed. I've kept running since at the moment my distance target is 10k (currently at 9) and my time target is to consistently get a sub 30 mins 5k.

I like gadgets and what helped is that I got a running watch a couple of months ago so I can review my runs in detail.

I've had a few tendon and or muscle strains over the time and I've been doing a few exercises to help. At the moment my right calf is painful due to running the 9k.

12 Replies

What a fantastic achievement Wiggle_On!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽You’re certainly an inspiration!! Thanks for posting!! You’re doing an amazing job!! Stay well hydrated and remember to stretch and massage those muscles!! 10k here you come!! I don’t know about Wiggle, but you can certainly run!! Well done!! 🤩🤩🤩❤️


Thanks for the advice,

I try to stretch daily even if I'm not running as that is what helped the tendons in my ankles recover.

When I started running I had a lot of trouble with a weak ankle left over from a sprain around a year ago.

All seems good now though . I have to focus on not breaking myself . . .as running is a lot higher impact than what I was used to when I cycled some years ago.

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I’m glad it’s good now Wiggle_On. I have to try to remember to do my stretches too. I have a bit of a weakness in one of my knees. It can feel a bit tender sometimes, but luckily it’s not gone beyond that. Anyway looks like you’ve got all bases covered already!! Brilliant!! 😍😍❤️


That's why I like this forum, as you said other people are not interested but that's ok they have other interests where on here you can talk and talk about running and everyone is interested in what you do . So keep going and keep coming back here 😊😊


I am new to the forum as well and I have found much encouragement and enjoy reading the posts..some are really funny but true! It seems everyone is happy to help even if they are at different stages of the c25k.... Enjoy posting your progress!


If I’m reading that right you skipped the end of the programme? This isn’t recommended as it steps up within the 10% rule to minimise injury risk. You also haven’t done any consolidation which all runners should do every few months and is highly recommended at the end of C25K or at the 5k mark. I’d then do it again at 10k and so on.

While your achievements are great, I’m hoping that you just rein it in a little and have a consolidation week or two to allow a rest for the joints, tendons and ligaments from relentless progression as that increases injury risk... and you are referring to a few issues, including a current one.


Thanks for your reply,

I'm aware of the 10% rule and I also know I'm pretty much consistently trying to push too hard and I have to reign myself in. I usually know when I've done too much and really I've been lucky with regards to injury. I've had ankle pain throughout the first few months of the C25K in both ankles intermittently and other strains which have healed thankfully.

Until I hit week 8 I was on the program. What do you mean by consolidation? I understand the term I guess, but in terms of running? Do mean spending enough time with the runs you are familiar with?

my runs/rest days over that last couple of weeks have been..

4k with 2 days rest

6k, 1 day rest

6k, 1 day rest

5k. 2 day rest

7.7k (calf quite hurt after that run prob should have done 7k), 2 days rest

5k, 1 day rest

5k, 1 day rest

9k (calf hurt but less than on the 7.7k run), 2 days rest most likely

I should probably reduce distance step up on my long runs going forward .


Yeah... consolidation is much the same as in common speak... so if you hit week 9 at 15km a week run that distance again for a couple of weeks and then onwards... should maybe then again at 10k which maybe 30k a week... just a break from constant pushing it up really. Some plans even, especially marathon plans also have a cutback week, so 10% up and then instead of consolidation every few months, hit a cutback week in and give your legs a real rest.

Distance isn’t the only issue of course, varying the pace is good... long run should be easy, as should most runs. Hope you’re doing that... in theory let’s take that last 3 runs you did, so run 1 could have been a parkrun, and a PB attempt, so that’s your quick run, finish on empty stuff.... run 2 is recovery 4/10 effort, finish with some left... then 9 is long, but still low effort, not finishing on empty... so run 3 although long is easier than run 1.

Some depends on where you want to go with running... some 800m athletes use a marathon as training, but that’s unusual, same at 5k, most cut long run to 20 or less. There’s a kinda weird long and longer run thing that is growing in popularity too, which to me is more beneficial at the top end of the distance scale logically... something I may look at for a marathon plan.

Your recent weeks look pretty good... I’d consolidate at some point soon still... I think I’d bag the 10k though first 😂

Sorry to be negative in my original post, I think I read it half right, hate to see people hurt unnecessarily.


No worries, you seem to be doing great.


Well done 🙂

Slow down though. No need to hurry. Running legs are built with slow runs and rest days Going too quick before they’re ready results in injuries.

Easy does it 💪👍😃


Have you read the guide to post C25K running? healthunlocked.com/couchto5...…….what-next

Suddenly deciding to run further than you have ever done before needs to be done under some structure and guidelines, or you may increase the risk of injury by doing too much too soon.

Take care.


Well done on your progress so far! You're right, non-runners aren't interested, which is why this forum is such a great place :D You will find it really helpful for sharing your highs and lows, asking for help, and reading about others' shenanigans. You can also benefit from the vast experience out here, some of which is kicking in already ;) Happy running!


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