Thinking of Starting c25k: I guess the first... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Thinking of Starting c25k

LiziJ profile image

I guess the first thing to say is that I a: overweight but want to get fit again. I have done quite a bit of walking training and two ParkRuns which were almost all walking. I injured my knees in the first Parkrun and after the second I have a lesser knee injury. So I feel that I need to train properly but C25k seems to already start at quite a high level. Is it suitable for people like me - overweight woman aged 60.

21 Replies

Hey. You want to try it so that means you are half way past the battle of succeeding. Cto5k works with you and it really is amazing how quickly your body adapts to the plan. The first session starts with a walking bit as a warm up and then you run for a short time and walk for longer. The best bit of advice I was given was to go slower than you think you should. I still remember my first session. It was daunting and I was unsure and unfit. I was overweight, 39 and beetroot red at the end but I did it and stuck with it. I'm a little stubborn so I went alternate days consistently and the plan worked. It will for you too. If you find a session tough redo it until you finish it but I think you will surprise yourself. Good luck. Trust the plan and go slower than you think you should. 😊

IannodaTruffe profile image

Welcome to the forum.

You will find plenty of people like you on this forum, who are just loving the way their lives are changing through a simple exercise programme.

This guide to the plan is essential reading and includes mention of an 83 year old graduate.......... don't write yourself off at a mere sixty years of age.

Enjoy your journey.

Smelliepoo profile image

Yes you can! I recommend looking up Japanese slow running. It is better for the joints and makes it a bit easier too. If you go too fast you will wear yourself out or cause an injury, and neither of those things are helpful!

Get your body used to it first. Good luck! (keep us posted)

UnfitNoMore profile image


Weight isn’t a deal breaker... we’ve had people graduate C25K at 20 stones and more. Likewise age, I believe we had an 83 year old do this before my time, but I have seen a fair few in their 70s and many in their 60s successfully do this.

How’s that knee right now? In the “how to run C25K”/FAQ in the pinned posts are links to exercises that are great for strengthening knees... worked wonders for me, pain every day from 16 to 46... now pain free for 15 months. There’s also the strength and flex plan to get all of you stronger and thus more injury resilient. If your knee is still in pain though, it’s worth getting it checked out before starting any exercises just in case your injury would be worsened by any of them.

The biggest key to running C25K is to run slowly... if you can’t talk in full sentences while running, you’re going too fast... there is no too slow. Running slowly actually develops distance runners better than pushing hard too, so it’s a win-win.

This plan does start with cardio workouts that meet NHS guidelines for health almost immediately, which is great... brisk walking is cardio as well as running. The beauty of this is that as soon as your heart rate is up a couple of minutes into warmup, you’re getting the benefit... your fitness is rising... and that means it will get easier to do this.

If you don’t fully complete a run, repeat it... we have no prizes for beating each run on the first attempt... the only prize is a fitter, healthier, happier, probably smaller, maybe lighter you at the end of it... to get to the end of it, all you have to do is keep crossing the start line. Don’t worry if you don’t complete a run... some of the most inspirational people around here did a lot of repeat runs and weeks

Post here often... we will both cheer you on when you’re on a high, and when you’ve had an awful day and/or run we will pick you up and get you to that next start line.

Can you do this? I know you can... enjoy your journey.

Amazing start already completing two ParkRun's :D Enjoy the next chapter of your journey :)

Annieapple profile image

I recently graduated & I am 67 so you can definitely do it!! The first run getting out the door is the hardest bit. After that you just follow the program. You will get lots of help and advice here so keep posting & let us know how you are getting on.

LeeU profile image

Weight? I restarted the program in May this year, at the time I was easily over 25.5 stones, more likely over 26.

So far, through a mixture of diet change, the running and things like extra walking and swimming, I'm down to 21.5 and still going.

If you are worried about your knees you could give the program a go on a treadmill if you have access to one or there is a gym near by that you could use as it will reduce the impact on your feet and legs.

If not, then Japanese slow running may be a better approach for you.

The main thing is, enjoy the journey.

You're already getting out there, which is the first big hurdle for many.

I can only echoe what everyone else says, you can do it.

But it's not about running, it's not a competition, it's not a race. It's just about getting moving. If you fight it hard, you're going to fast. Slow down. Easier said than done I'm finding, but that's the key.

And dont think about doing it without being a regular on this board.

There are so many motivational stories and people of all kinds of ages, weight, and fitness levels.

If you want to do it, we'll all support you.


GoGo_JoJo profile image

This programme is for absolutely everyone! Everyone needs to do it at their own pace but yes, you can absolutely do this... and you won't regret it 👍🏻😉

Do read the guide in full and always listen to your body.

Wow what great motivational comments. Thanks everyone. I will check out the links for overall body and knee strengthening too. I plan to start on Friday which is my next regular exercise day and I plan to do this c25k while continuing with weekly parkruns. Great to have found this wonderful supportive forum. Thanks!

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to LiziJ

We recommend that if you are doing parkrun that you do your C25K programmed workout and walk the remainder, to avoid being tempted to do too much too soon.

Wenderwoo profile image

Hi, I’m 59 and overweight, but walked quite a lot. I’ve also had dodgy knees in the past so very similar to you. I had never run before, but would like to eventually do Park Run so needed to train. I now on W3 and it’s going pretty well.

I’m sure you will be fine if you read the How to guide post, and take it really slowly - and I mean slowly.

Looking forward to reading how you get on - I think you’ll be amazed 😁👍

Congratulations on your progress so far and yes will take it slowly. I am prepared to do that and also to repeat days if necessary until they are doable. Also to do part-days if I can't manage the whole thing. Avoidance of injuries is key for me as I had a history of it when I was fit before despite doing lots of gym strength work. However, starting at the beginning again now and expecting it to be hard.

It worked for this overweight man aged 68 at the start. And that's after 55 years of never having even run for a bus.

The key to this is slow, much slower than you'd expect, in fact, slower than that. Anything more than very slow can wait until the body is ready for it. This is the way to avoid injury.

Like you I am over 60 and overweight - 62 with a BMI of 29 - and like you I had done some walking before beginning C25K.

It's been good for me - just did my Week 9 Run 2 this morning. Based on my experience you should be fine.

Shepsbird profile image

Of course you can do this!!!! Go for it!!! I’m rubbish at advice so I just read lots from all the lovely people on here!!! You can do this!!!!

ArthurJG profile image

I was two stone overweight and aged 58 when I started. If you can walk for 30 minutes without stopping you’re fit enough to start C25k. If not, build up your walking first.

Fabulous450 profile image

Ah LizJ this is perfect for everyone! 🤗

You follow a programme that makes sure you don’t over do it! It’s so good that as I grew stronger, there were a few times when I wanted to go out on my rest days 😱.

I found that the biggest challenges are in the mind and it can take some effort to push through that doubt (as you may be experiencing now). Been there too and still go there, but this is where the Forum is so amazing!! You are you. You follow the programme and do it your way. It’s not about times and having the same experiences as others, though it’s rare that you’ll find yourself in a situation or a feeling that someone doesn’t say “me too”, when you share you concerns on the forum! 😍And we share how we got through that 🤓 and most of all we will remind you that you can do it.

We are a strong group of cheerleaders 📣 to help you on your personal journey! We’ve had so much from being part of this running community that it’s a pleasure to give back and help others along. We know because we’ve been there. The first time you go out and start will be a day that you’ll remember and you will have a lot more joy to come too. Just take it slow. Have fun taking time out for you. Yes, you’re allowed to have fun!!You're giving yourself time!💪🏽 One slow fun run at a time. You can do it!! 🙌🏽😉

Keep us posted! Happy running! ❤️

I'm 60 overweight and just finished week 1. Did week 2 r1 yesterday. You can do this. Go at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Run123456 profile image

Only you know what’s right for you but when I started I honestly struggled to run one minute. I have had hip surgery, have spinal issues and frankly was a bit fat too. But I am doing my final run of the programme tomorrow and while I still run that 30th minute with a sense of disbelief that I can do it, I do it and if you want to, you will too. Good luck x

johnm12 profile image

Oh Lizzie. It seems to me that you are already on a good track. As a formerly overweight bloke of 59, the programme has great benefits. Take it steady, the programme is very progressive and admins very helpful. It really is life changing.

See you out there!

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