Beginner struggling to keep up: Hi. I’m new to... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Beginner struggling to keep up


Hi. I’m new to this and started about 4 weeks ago. I’m very overweight and repeated week one twice and week two twice. I’m still struggling - my breathing has got better but my legs are so heavy and painful and I’m worried about week 3. Do I repeat week 2 again or just try week 3. Wondering how long it takes to feel the benefit. On verge of giving up!

15 Replies

Great for getting started, whatever you do don't give up. Make sure you're drinking plenty water 7 days a week even more when it's warm that should help your legs and make sure your going slow good luck 😊

SMxxx in reply to Buddy34

Thank you I’ll definitely try to drink more water. Thanks for your advice


Don't give up, you found week 1 hard, but you did it. You found week 2 hard, but you did it. Your breathing is better. So in summary, you ran week 1 and week 2 and improved your breathing. In just 4 weeks. Inside your body things are happening too. Your muscles are getting stronger, your circulation is improving. Benefits are already happening.

Many people repeat weeks, it doesn't matter. You are out there trying and exercising. If everyone on here were natural born runners in the peak if physical fitness then we wouldn't have started here, we'd be on some other forum. We all struggled. Some managed it in 9 weeks, others took longer. Some managed 5k, others didn't, but we don't care. It really is the journey that counts that helps your mind and body and links you to lots of other people who all struggled...and survived.

We are here to help and motivate. Post more often if you have to. Ask for a kick in the pants, or encouragement or motivation, there's always someone to help.

As mentioned, make sure you drink water every day, at least 2 litres. It really does help with heavy legs.

Take it slow. Take 2 days between runs if you want.

Don't give up !

SMxxx in reply to backintime

Thank you that’s really helped motivate me. I’ll get back out there tomorrow and drink more for sure.


Don't give it up, you got this. I'm 7 st overweight and know how you feel. It's hard work but will be worth it. I'm about to start week 4 and I know the longer runs will be harder but I'm looking forward to the challenge and if I don't do it I'll just try again, and again. Repeating weeks is just getting more exercise so it's all good. It takes as long as it takes and at a pace you can do. The people on this forum are fantastic, so much great advice and inspiration. I say try week 3 and see how you get on? If you find your struggling then slow down. You got through weeks 1 & 2 so you can do week 3. Good luck!

SMxxx in reply to philevans68

I’m about that or more so thanks that’s helped 😊

Sounds like you're doing great. I repeated weeks on more than one occasion and I think it only makes you stronger. You are taking control and not giving up. Every time you do a run, whether it is a repeat or the next one you are making progress. Think about what you've achieved already. It's about the process and getting out there, and you are doing it! Just keep plodding away.

I got out of breath taking a basket of laundry upstairs 6 weeks ago 😳 I just got so sick and tired of being obese and tired. I haven’t repeated any weeks, just slow down if you have to. You look at the next week and you think....’no chance’, but every time, I’ve surprised myself. It’s 50% psychological. Even if you have to dig DEEP, if you’re completing the runs you are progressing. It’s not easy, you have to find some determination. You’ve done so well!

JerichomileGraduate in reply to BeBopTalulah

Yeah! Great points BeBopTalulah, slowing down really helped me too. Every single run helps us get a little stronger, a little calmer

SMxxx in reply to BeBopTalulah

That’s definitely me! Thank you!


Hiya.....just sending you some moral support 👍. Honestly you’re a star for getting started. Lots of people never even start. Take it really nice and slow Trust the programme it will support you. We’re all cheering you on. Know you’re doing such a good thing to care for your mind and your body 👏👏


Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

This guide to the plan is essential reading and includes advice on pacing.........slow down, hydration..........drink more and it after every run.

You might find the link in the guide to the post about mental approach helpful too.

You can do this.

Enjoy your journey.


Hello! Well done for getting started and try to stay positive. You'll continue to see more and more changes as you do it and it doesn't matter how long it takes. Each time you get out there and have a go you're getting stronger. Keep coming back to the forum for all the support you need. It is great back up for moral support and anything you're struggling with. With the heavy painful legs it is worth making sure you're doing a good warm up walk and you can do some exercises to warm your legs up too which I find helps. Also make sure you're doing lots of stretching afterwards. It gets easier and all the time invested in it is going to be great for your overall health and state of mind! Happy running!

Wow what a supportive group. Thank you all so much. It’s given me hope I can do this! Thank you all 😊


Hi there. Please don’t give up. This forum is really good, everyone is very supportive. Go at your own pace and just try W3. I was daunted by it as I started W3 on Thursday but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Good luck and keep us posted👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👍🏻

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