First run... feeling deflated : Just done w1r... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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First run... feeling deflated


Just done w1r1 and I am beyond deflated. Harder than I thought, only managed 2 runs and the rest power walking. Didn’t help that I didn’t plan my route very well and ended up going up steep hills.

Plan for next time is the plan my route! And ensure no hills 😬 (at least not until I can handle them!)

37 Replies

Me thinks you ran too fast... you have to run at a speed that you can still talk with someone in full sentences. If you can only gasp out yes or no, then you're running too fast. Your breathing should stay even and you should not start gasping. Again, then you run too fast.

Couple of years ago I made the same mistake. Ran in a group of Start to Run and I tried to keep up with some folks. Wrong! They ran much faster than me and the result was, I could not keep up and had to stop. Now I run at a very slow pace, I always say I can have a chat with a snail. But it makes that my breathing remains calm and I don't feel out of breath after a training (am at week 3).

So: slow down!

G'luck and have fun!! :)

Mef95 in reply to BlackScorpion

Believe it or not I was running fairly slow! It’s because of my weight and fitness level I struggled. I’m over 22 stone!

Jell6Graduate in reply to Mef95

Ahh, don't go fairly slow, go incredibly slow, it's ok for the pace to be slower than a brisk walking pace, the action is different. Read some of our first posts. Mine damn near killed me, I tried to do it running 🤣. Don't be put off, take your rest/repair day and have a slow go at it again.

Make sure you hydrate well the day before.

This programme is a life changer, stick with it.


Mef95 in reply to Jell6

Thank you! X


Well done for getting out there. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are at the very beginning of your journey. Keep going and give yourself time to gain fitness. Don’t judge yourself until you’re at least 4 months in because you will be astounded by your progress. It just takes time but I assure you the rewards will come. Keep at it!!

Mef95 in reply to Dodgylungs

Thank you!! I know what I did wrong... I didn’t plan my route properly. So when I do my next run on Saturday I’m going to make sure I don’t have no monstrous hills to tackle!

DodgylungsGraduate in reply to Mef95

I’m on my 15th consolidation run after completing the programme and I still struggle up a small incline let alone hills. I ballooned to over 17stone during the first lockdown (having been 14stone just before) and I couldn’t run further than 3mins outside (despite having been a regular treadmill runner). My weight is slowly coming down and am on a healthy eating lifestyle plan (notice I didn’t say diet) to compliment my running. If you keep this up and look at your diet, you will transform yourself in a few months. The weight will come off slowly and your fitness will improve slowly. Don’t be in a hurry, give yourself time to get healthy and run on the flat as much as possible: the hills simply sap energy at this stage.

Mef95 in reply to Dodgylungs

Great advice! Yes I’m also adapting a healthier eating lifestyle (diet, I hate that word!) so hoping to see results soon.

DodgylungsGraduate in reply to Mef95

Keep at it and you will see the results but it all takes time. Think positively about every run. DO NOT criticise yourself. Pat yourself on the back every time you get out there. Doing this will extend your life, so give yourself time for the miracle to happen.


Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started

This guide to the plan is essential reading

and includes advice on minimising impact, stretching after every run, hydration and strengthening exercises, all of which will help.

Enjoy your journey.


In my first time through Week 1 (back in March), I went through a graveyard on the crest of a hill. I found myself having to do a short climb up of about 3 metres.

I could have done that with no problems if I'd walked it. I'd walked that route many times. As part of a run? I felt as if it nearly killed me.

The rest of that run was a disaster, with me getting a stitch, stomach cramps, palpitations, cold sweats, etc.

Find a level course for the first few weeks. Hills are hard.

Mef95 in reply to nowster

Yeah I’ve planned my next route and it’s all flat. Once I’m used to doing it I’ll slowly introduce gradual inclines


Two runs is better than no runs and the power walking is exercise. Don’t be too hated on yourself. Just try again in a day if so and Goooooo Sloooow - like, slower than you thought it was possible to go.

We nearly all felt a bit shocked at our first runs. It’s about bouncing back and trying again. You’ve got this !!! 👍🏼

Mef95 in reply to JetsNanna

Thank you! I’m still feeling motivated whereas normally I would want to give up...that tells me my mindset has changed and I do really want to do this!

JetsNannaGraduate in reply to Mef95

Stick with this forum. You will get all the support, advice and ‘cheerleading’ that you need to get you to graduation 😊


Don’t be deflated. It is harder when you first start. Keep the hills till near the end or the end of the programme. You went out and did it, that’s the main thing! 😀

Mef95 in reply to Pinkpig20

Definitely! Feeling more positive after reading everyone’s replies. Can’t wait to get back out and try again, on a flat surface 😂

Pinkpig20Graduate in reply to Mef95

Yey! 😀


At least you did it and yes it was tough But it will get better. Don’t be down hearted and do please continue. I spent my whole c25k running round a field.


Agreed with what everyone is saying, well done in getting out there and doing it. And yes, definitely check on our early posts - I started in May this year and you’ll find a post saying how I was nearly physically sick!

If you’ve got a smart phone and you are interested, stick a running app on it, I use Strava but there are loads of others. Found it very interesting to find I was running at 6min/km on my very first run. I still can’t do that consistently 😂

You’ll find loads of support on this forum, and I believed I wouldn’t be able to run 5k or 30 minutes in my life - I was wrong!


But you did the hardest thing of all, which was getting out there and doing it. Well done!

When I started C25K I was very clear with myself that my target wasn't actually to run 5K, or even to run for 30 minutes. It was simply to take exercise 3 times per week. The fact that I am now running for 25 minutes non-stop is a bonus.

Don't get despondent - just keep getting out there and you will get stronger. Good luck!

Mef95 in reply to BellaTheCook

Thank you!


Well done for starting and honestly don’t feel defeated! You have made a start and feel very proud of yourself for taking that first step.For the first two weeks I ran back and forth on the same street as it was nice and flat. I had a certain point that I would turn around and run back the way I came. I made my warm up walk fit around getting to the street and then cool down back to my house.

Also agree with others just keep pace super slow to start off.

Wish you all the best for your next run 😀👍🏻

Mef95 in reply to Indielass00

Yeah that’s pretty much my next plan, my warm up walk will be walking to the 1 road I’m going to do it on 👍🏼😂 it’s flat, quiet and out of the way so no one has to see my jiggly bits 😂 thank you


Keep going, well done on getting out there, like everyone is saying, we all found the first runs hard 🥵, so your not alone there, not sure how to add links on here, maybe someone could put the japanese slow running, you tube video up, i know it helped me massively, on this running journey!!! 🐌🐌🐌🐌🐌

Mef95 in reply to Peter44

Thank you! X

Please don’t feel deflated. You went out and did it!! My W1R1 was awful. I managed about 4mins ‘running/jogging/shuffling’ in total. Ached loads. But was so pleased with myself. R2 was a bit better- probably about 5&half mins, but managed all of R3. Did W2R1 today and managed all the ‘runs’ apart from about 15seconds - wet/slippy path. My legs are coping ok, it’s my lungs/breathing that need work. Keep at it 🍀

Mef95 in reply to KJBishop

I’m proud of myself for getting up and moving! I wasn’t too achy and I didn’t struggle with my legs or anything, it was my breathing that was my issue too. Roll on the next run!


Hi there...huge congratulations on completing your first run!!! That is the biggest step over and done with...and well and truly taken!!

You know why you feel deflated, you’ve already explained in your post so that’s the solution, planning...I’ve been running for a little over 3 years now and I avoid hills like the plague!!! They just don’t suit me..if I start a run with a hill I’m bushed at the top, if I have a hill in the middle of a run it has to be more of a slope!!! And if there’s a hill at the end I want it down hill!!! I only do hills when I’m doing hill sprints and that’s not very often let me tell you!!! Try and stay on the flat as much as you can...& start your run slower than slow...snails pace is good...we’re all waiting for your next can do this 💪🏻

Mef95 in reply to Mummycav

Thank you!! Yes definitely realised planning is the way forward, I stepped out of my front door this morning and thought...right where do I go?? I winged it and it didn’t work! Got my next route in place. Back and forwards along the same country lane near my house (I can excessively pant and sweat in private then!) 😅

MummycavModerator in reply to Mef95

And it should be panting and sweating to be proud of x

Mef95 in reply to Mummycav

Definitely! I’m a lazy bum I’m not used to doing anything active apart from my job, poor diet let’s me down massively. My work shirts are a little tight and I refuse to ask for a size up so I’m just gunna have to lose the podge! X

MummycavModerator in reply to Mef95

And in my book Mef95 you have chosen the best way to tackle it...being outdoors , there’s just nothing like much to appreciate while you’re doing your thing...we’re all rooting for you x

Mef95 in reply to Mummycav

Definitely it’s refreshing getting outdoors instead of being cooped up inside! Plus it’s a much needed break from my toddler 😂 thank you x

I still plan my route and avoid hills at all costs!! They’re a nightmare! 🥵

I agree!! Will be avoiding them like the plague for now!


So proud you did it. I was regularly overtaken by walkers at the beginning.... still am sometimes! This is your journey not to be compared to others. 100% plan and slow down. 👌👌🤪

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