W1R1 - TOTAL BEGINNER!: Hi! I’ve done my first... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Hi! I’ve done my first run this morning and found it harder than expected! I occasionally practice yoga and just wondering if you would recommend doing this on the days I don’t run? Or is it better to have a complete rest day?

27 Replies

Hi, well done for starting. I am just a few weeks ahead of you and remember w1r1 well! It was so tough but I just kept going and still think of the first run as being one if the hardest so far!!

I was having a total rest day inbetween but have now started doing yoga once a week and am considering swimming once a week too. I have seen lots of people recommend doing anything other than running in your rest day such as yoga so you are already in a good place 😊

Ah that makes me feel a bit better then! I don’t know why I expected it to be so easy when it was my first run in a very long time!!

Fab thank you 💕 swimming is a good idea too! Might try doing a bit of both!

Ideally, I don't think you should do any other cardiovascular activity or strength exercises on the same day but does yoga fall into either of these categories? It probably has some core strengthening at least is my guess.


Well done that's the hardest run of the programme, it gets easier trust me just take it slow and steady, I can't help with the yoga question but good luck and enjoy your journey 💪👊

Leanne-Amy in reply to Hidden

Thank you! Glad I managed to make it through without stopping, think I might need to slow it down for my next run! 🤗

Hidden in reply to Leanne-Amy

The best advice I was given was to stay hydrated and go slow, then go slower 😊 and I graduated on Friday so believe me it works 👍 after w1r1 I thought it was going to be a tough 9 weeks but with the support and advice from everyone on here I enjoyed every minute of it, I'm sure you will too 💪

That first run is definitely the hardest, yoga is a great way to stretch on rest days, have fun and enjoy your running adventure

Thank you!


Welcome and well done getting started. That first run remains the toughest one I’ve ever done (and I’ve done 13 miles since) so yeah, it’s not easy. Slow it right down if you’re finding it tough... there is no too slow!

Rest days? Not sure what they are 🤣. It’s a day where there should be no high impact work, so yoga is a great thing to be doing on your non-running days.

The guide to the plan contains most of the information you need healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

For the other bits... we are right here, come talk to us often... we got you... and you got this.

Thank you so much! So helpful! And good to know I’m not the only one that found run 1 tough!


Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

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

Yoga is fine, as is any non impact exercise for rest days.

If you found it tough, just slow down.

Enjoy your journey.

Thank you!!

Good luck!


One I'd like to congratulate you on w1r1 and getting passed it. I think most of us whom have graduated 🎓 from the app. Thought never can I run... Well I've completed the app twice. First time around I was just over 17 st and had to take my 17 year old son with me. Yep I was on high blood pressure tablets. Just in case I kneeled over with a heart attack. But 2 years down the line I'm running 7ks now and do want to complete my first half marathon before I reach 50 year's old. So I'm no longer the 5k lady whom would have thought it all those year's ago I'd be running.... Definitely not me... But I definitely have the running bug I run with a bunch of ladies every Wednesday night to keep me motivated. If I can run at 45 year's old and never ran since leaving school. Any one can do this app... Good 🍀 luck on this wonderful running journey.. Yes only 1st 11 lbs away from my weight target again. Of 12 st x

Leanne-Amy in reply to Suzi73

Wow amazing! Well done 🙌🏼


My first run was so hard!

It made me puff and pant and certain, previously-unused leg muscles complained strongly the next day!

The best advice I could give is: walk your walks briskly, run your runs slowly. It helped me to do Japanese Niko-Niko style jogging, then in my later weeks, increase my pace, when comfortable, then slowing back down to Niko-Niko when I began to tire.

I do strength training 3 days a week, these are on my non-running days. I have been doing the gym for a few years so have built up a decent core and upper-body strength, but have tight hamstrings and dodgy knees so need to take care warming them up for runs!

Good luck with your runs! :)

Leanne-Amy in reply to pippkins

Makes me feel like I was worrying for nothing now! So many people saying they struggled too!

I’ve not heard of Niko-Niko style before - I’ll look it up! Thanks x

pippkinsGraduate in reply to Leanne-Amy

You're welcome! :)

Yes, it's like jogging slowly with smaller steps, your body still does the "run" motions, but in a more gentle way. I found that my stamina gradually increased and I could then increase my pace to that of "regular" jogging.

Good luck!

Leanne-Amy in reply to pippkins

Ah that sounds interesting, I’ll have to give it a go! Thanks


You have done the hardest bit and actually started.. Use the grads on the forum for motivation and enjoy achieving each run... Have fun

Leanne-Amy in reply to Pdb48

Thank you!!


Well done on your first run! Big step!

It’s tough, but you will surprise yourself as you work through the programme, our bodies are amazing things!

I personally didn’t do any other sort of activity and my main focus was just the running. I ran every other day consistently (apart from my sisters wedding) so completed the programme slightly quicker. So I guess it’s not necessary in order to be able to complete the programme. The rest days were much needed.

Now I’ve graduated I’m looking at a new plan which includes other types of strengthening workouts too. So I guess it can be helpful and perhaps help with the running side of things too!

Completely personal 😬

Good luck on your journey!

Leanne-Amy in reply to Sar9

Thank you! And well done, what an achievement!

Well done on getting started and getting through the first run! I remember causing on my bed and thinking I was going to die after I did my first run. Keep going and let us know how you get on 👍

Thank you!!

Well done on getting started, I’ve just finished W1R3, I found the 2nd and 3rd runs much easier and at this stage just had genuine rest in between.

Leanne-Amy in reply to Mid1ife

Thank you! That makes me feel much better about tomorrow mornings run!

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