Embarrassed: Hi I'm finding it difficult to... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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michaelbartley1965 profile image

Hi I'm finding it difficult to start and do my first run I'm embarrassed I won't be able to do it and if people see me trying to run and laugh and say look at that fat lad. I can only think of going out really early in the morning when no one is awake to save my embarrassment

16 Replies
AlMorr profile image

Please don't be embarrassed, you don't need to worry about what people think, if you go to the nearest park you will see many runners of all shapes and sizes, same as at parkruns as well.

Get out there and begin C25K with run 1 of week 1, "go you"as they say here on the forum. 😊 👍

Wenderwoo profile image

It’s hard to take that first step, some people say W1R1 is the hardest of all the runs, and many for the same reasons you describe here. I’m a person who doesn’t really care what other people think, but I know not everybody is like that. If it makes you feel more comfortable then get up early and do it when there are less people about. There are others on here that I know have done that. But I think it’s fair to say that once you get into it, and gain a bit of confidence you’ll find that you’ll just want to run, regardless of what anybody thinks.

Also, keep posting on here and you will be amazed at the support, tips, advice, but most of all the friendliness of this group of lovely people 👍😁

Sar9 profile image

Don’t feel embarrassed at all.

No matter of shape or size, the only thing I think when I see someone running is “wahey... go you!” “I should really be doing that too” 🤣

You won’t care once you get out there and start enjoying the programme 🤙🏼 don’t overthink; just go for it!

I had exactly the same concerns seven weeks ago. I even ran in "stealth" mode (decent running shoes but loose jeans and a fleece) for a while so that I looked like I was just rushing down to the shops. But I quickly learned nobody notices you. I can honestly say that the only reaction I've had from the public has been friendly waves from other runners passing in the opposite direction.

When I started I really struggled to run for 60 seconds - but I followed the lots of good advice in this forum and took it really slowly and strictly observed the rest days. Seven weeks later and I ran a total of 10 km this week (admittedly in three runs and still pretty slowly) - that was just fantasy a few weeks ago and I hardly believe it now.

The C25K programme has been finely calibrated over a couple of decades and if you follow the rules, and keep the speed down so you don't get too out of breath it is amazing what you can achieve.

Yes, this is an issue. I’ve had ‘fat boy’ yelled at me by kid’s in a passing car. I think it’s one of those things designed to try and get us back on the couch. I say, go for it. Get out there and run. Even if they shout it, own it and then work on running for fitness/weight loss. Go for it.

Foxglove2 profile image
Foxglove2Graduate in reply to Andrewmcc

Ha ha they're in a car, the moral superiority is with you, not them!

PolicefoxLyn profile image

It's daunting for everyone. I'm 50 and I started on 1 Jan when everyone was sitting in their living rooms looking out!

All you can do is own it. I went on Facebook and announced it and asked everyone to cheer me on if they saw me! I know I've spurred on two friends as a result.

In honesty, no one is really looking at you or thinking anything. It's unlikely anyone will be in a position to see you at the start AND end of your minute so really if they saw you they wouldn't know if you'd just run for a minute or 30 mins.

Good luck xx

Btw, I'm slim but I struggled to run for a minute at first. By 8 Feb I could run for 30 mins. You won't be struggling for ever x

You’re not alone. Most of us have felt very uncomfortable about leaving the house to run.

The thing is... people are too busy to notice. Not being harsh but they don’t care. How many people do you actually remember when you’ve been out?

This is for you. You are worth it. Getting out there is massively empowering.

The people pointing and laughing? In our imaginations.

Go for it 👍

Buddy34 profile image

This is something I've posted lots of times . Before I started running I would see people out on their run and say to myself ' I wish I could do that' . I was full of admiration for them .

As AlMorr says there is people of all shapes , size and age which go out running.

If you really want to go out early in the morning to start with then that's okay as well . But you will find as you go through the runs and weeks your confidence will be boosted. Good luck 😊👍

Speedy60 profile image

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you feel like that. When I started c25k, I wore baggy clothes and didn't run until I was a long way from my house. Within a couple of weeks, I was so involved in what I was doing that I no longer cared what anyone else thought. I've since discovered that two of my neighbours are actually envious of what I do, so you might actually be inspiring people!

Top tip: put headphones on and play some inspiring music.

Good luck!

diahug profile image

What you feel is completely normal. I’ve never ran before starting this and am overweight. I did my first run and felt like my heart would pop out of my chest during the 60 secs run. 8 weeks later and I’m running 28 mins. Trust the programme - get out and get the first one done! You’ll feel great

Welcome to the forum.

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

If anyone laughs at someone who runs a bit then walks a bit, then the joke is on them, because they obviously know nothing about run interval training.

If you follow the pacing advice in the guide, then you will be able to do this.

Forget about what other people think...... this is for you, not them.

This plan has transformed thousands, if not millions of lives, making them fitter, healthier, happier and at less risk of future life limiting conditions.........do it, you won't regret it.

Enjoy your journey.

MartinKH profile image

Some fantastic advice by all above posters.

Perfectly normal to feel self conscious the first few times going out, it’s a new thing ( and a great thing) that you are doing 👍

The first few times I went out a few months ago, I thought what would people think of me.

After getting out a few more times, I had the answer..... I have no idea what they think and I stop thinking about it.

As Sar9 wisely says, don’t overthink it...just get out and enjoy yourself.

Enjoy the programme, you will get loads of support on here.

I felt the same when I started. In fact I didn’t even tell my husband I was going to start C25K and didn’t tell him I was doing that first wk1r1.

I’m still self conscious but once I’m running I’m focusing so much on what I’m achieving I don’t think about it.

Perhaps wearing a baseball cap would help? I would never have dreamt of leaving the house dressed how I do for a run. Bright running shoes, tight leggings and a very bright top (still scared of traffic!).

When I came in from my run last night hubby said you look like a nun wearing that massive headband. My reply I couldn’t care less what I look like it’s keeping my ears warm and earbuds in!

I promise once you’ve taken that first step it’s worth it! Good luck!

mom24uk profile image

Hi Michael and welcome. 👋 I can completely empathise with you but try not to let what other people think or say affect what you want to do. I started on dark mornings and the odd evening for the same reason but as the weeks go on, you'll find that you care less and less. Maybe you will inspire others to start, and if you follow the program and the advice from people here, even if you have to repeat weeks, you will be able to do it. Go for it! We'll all cheer you every step of the way! 👍

Foxglove2 profile image

You're amazing for having got this far to really want to do it! Go for it - I felt exactly like you when I started but other runners are lovely - always a smile and a thumbs up. And remember: you'll be lapping everyone sat on the couch.

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