Knackered on 3rd day! : So pleased to have... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Knackered on 3rd day!


So pleased to have completed the first week of NHS C25k but today, the final day of the three sessions, was bloody hard work. Far more difficult than the other two. Anybody else had those experiences in the first week?

50 Replies

Firstly well done to you! Yep - was thinking about this just yesterday - how hard week 1 was and the thought of running 2 mins on week 2 was awful! However, I’m around 2 months post-graduation and I can tell you it does get better! Just make sure you go really slowly and keep hydrated. Keep up the good work and let us know how you’re getting on. You can absolutely do this

FatmanGoThin in reply to VG11

Thank you much for that ❤️

weeallymGraduate in reply to VG11

I'm getting ready to head out on my 2nd run of week three At the end of week one I was panicked by the thought of adding 30 seconds to each run but I love the app and motivation throughout each session First run of week 3 was horrible but I just kept going and was so proud to complete it. I think the sense of achievement I get from completing each step is what keeps me going along with success stories like yours Thankyou


Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

Everything going on in our lives can impact on our performance as a runner. Restedness, hydration and nutrition are at the top of my list of variables that need to be optimised to enable enjoyable running.

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.

Thank you IannodaTruffe for the link to the guide! I have started again the plan yesterday: completed the plan 2 years ago, went up to run a 10K and then completely stopped. It feels good to be back in my running shoes but I though I was in much better shape!

Ha! I think that’s what we all feel like when starting. Judging by some of the comments and experiences related here.

You’re very kind, thank you for this ❤️

I'm knackered too and I've only done the second set 'walking'! But if you think about it it took (mumble) years to become a slug soooo to get to 5K in a couple of months is pretty good eh?

Absolutely makes sense that. It certainly won’t take AS long to get running if we’re careful eh!


Well done FatmanGoThin it gets easier as you're stamina increases and those running muscles develop, keep going at it 🙂👍

FatmanGoThin in reply to Imc50

Cheers, thank for the uplifting comment. I know it will and I’m over the funk of the not too good session today 👟💪🏼


Errrr absolutely FatmanGoThin !!! I was so pink I’m sure I could seen from space and I thought my lungs were trying to escape!!!’re not alone...but as you progress through the programme & your stamina improves....& you also realise you’re starting off too will suddenly & without realising it, start to take less time to recover, your breathing will be calmer and you’ll look forward to the next run...Slower than slow will get you there 💪🏻

Thank you, I’ll remember all that and “GO SLOW”, I’ve been controlled with the speed in the first session but went a bit quickly in the second, then the third one came around and...I got nothing 😂! Next time it’s back to snail pace! I live in a village where there a lot of runners who are perfect specimens and I try to avoid all the good ones so I don’t feel like a pudding on legs BUT, they started somewhere too so I’ll remember this. Thank you 👟👍🏽❤️

Sparkey5000Graduate in reply to FatmanGoThin

Absolutely nailed it there....they all had to start somewhere! As you progress you’ll suddenly realise you’ve stopped thinking what others might think of you. Always remember no matter how disappointed you may feel after a session, you feel better than not going and you’re doing better than anyone on the couch 😊 Happy running....onwards and upwards to week 2 🎉🎉

Thanks so much for your gentle words there. Cheers 🤛🏼💪🏼👟❤️

MummycavModerator in reply to FatmanGoThin

Haha...if you’re a pudding on legs then I’m a Yorkshire pudding on legs!! Who cares?! We’re out doing our stuff just like them 😉

Run46Graduate in reply to Mummycav

Did you have to mention Yorkshire puddings 😋 I'm hungry 😆

MummycavModerator in reply to Run46

🤣🤣 it’s always Yorkshire pudding time 😋

Week7Graduate in reply to FatmanGoThin

I suspect that most of those " perfect specimens" are either so busy with their runs that they only half notice you, or if they do, like all of the rest of us think " GOOD ON YOU FOR GETTING OUT THERE AND TAKING POSITIVE STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH !"

FatmanGoThin in reply to Week7

Yeah, agreed. Just out enjoying the running fun 🙌🏽👟💪🏼❤️


Slow is the word. Most people do less than 4K doing 30 minutes at graduation. I did about 3.5K. I haven't upped my pace significantly but I have run 5K twice now since graduating 8 weeks ago. It takes me just under 44 minutes, but it is at a pace I can do comfortably and be ready to do 2 other shorter runs in the week and other non impact exercise.

The point is if you go at a slowish comfortable pace you will finish the programme without injury and be ready eventually to move on to longer distances. I am looking to move up to a 50 minute jog/run on Saturday and a 60 minute jog/run well before the end of February, ie ca. 7K. I would never have dreamed of doing that after Week 1 in early September (which I had to repeat as I ran too fast so couldn't complete it first time). Trust the programme and, more importantly. trust yourself.

Enjoy yourself too!

FatmanGoThin in reply to Rennur

Thanks, I will remember all that. Well done to you too and keep up the great work 🙌🏽❤️


You’re doing something new and your body has to get used to it FGT! Make sure you do some stretches before you head out, drink plenty of water and take it really slowly. If you try and run too fast, of course you’re going to be knackered!

I’ll get that in my stubborn head, thank you 👍🏽❤️


Yes, my original W1R3 (back in March 2020) was horrible. I inadvertently had to do a little hill climb. I had palpitations, a stitch, a cold flush, and felt like I wanted to be sick.

FatmanGoThin in reply to nowster

Bloody hell, that sounds rotten!! Onwards and upwards and I’m sure it gets easier. 👍🏽🤛🏼❤️

nowsterGraduate in reply to FatmanGoThin

It does. I eventually did week 1 three and a bit times, properly advancing on to the rest of the programme in June.

My problem then seemed to have been related to poor hydration.

Well done on completing your first week. Try adding in more rest days. You don't have to complete the programme in 9 weeks. I'm nearly 66 and am now doing week 5 having started 16th November. Do what works for you. I learnt that from the lovely people on this forum. You can do this. 🏃😊

Thank you Motowngal! I’ve gone for the anti-inflammatory rub today and the impact pain is becoming a distant memory! I’ll keep it slow and have a tube of that in my back pocket too 👟🙌🏽❤️


Hi Well done and yep. I repeated week one for 5 sessions and repeated as I went through until I felt able to progress. You will get there, it does work 😁

Thanks for that encouragement. If it’s worth doing properly, it’s worth taking the time to get it right 👍🏽👟❤️


Yes, absolutely. To be honest, each week was a challenge for me and it felt I was just making it through each time. Just don’t go too fast and it does get better! Keep going and you will be amazed at how quickly you improve.

Looking forward to that time when it’s easier. Thank you 💪🏼🙌🏽❤️

Hi, I remember week 1 and it was so hard. I am a big bloke and was down the park running up a football pitch. Finished the first week and never thought I could move on. I had difficulty running the length of the pitch. My tip is to find somewhere out of the way and don’t think about what you can’t do. Finish week 1 then move onto week 2 and the next run. Honestly if you take a run at a time you will break it down into little chunks. Trust in the app and you can do it. I had Laura as my running pal and still miss her words when I run. I would say that if you have done week 1 which is the hardest, you can smash week 2. One mistake I made was listening to people telling you they had run 5k in the half an hour. Just forget about that and concerntrate on just running. I am a slow runner and it takes me 50 minutes to do a 5k and nearly gave up as I thought I was too slow when compared to others. What matters to me is I can jog for an hour and get my heart rate up and just do my own thing at 63. Good luck mate you are doing this for you. What does it matter if you get hot sweaty and out of breath. I used to be self conscious but no one really noticed you, still like to run round the playing fields though rather than the street 👍

FatmanGoThin in reply to J2l8

But at least you get there! It doesn’t matter about pace. I guess that can always be improved upon as you get stronger but it’s the completion that’s important. Onwards and upwards ❤️🙌🏽

I finished my first this week also. Like you I found the third day hard (as well as the first). Try not to be put off and get reluctant to do the next one. My first of week 2 is today. Good luck with yours.

Wow! Hope it went/goes well! Thanks for the words of support ❤️

I had this exact same problem, I actually spent my second week doing some optimised runs before I moved on to W2. I realised that at the end of W1 I was running too fast and was just tiring myself out. After asking for advice on here everyone said to go really slow, you don’t have to be fast for it to be effective! This video really helped me when it came to pace:

It’s really easy to feel disheartened after a difficult run but keep going, find the small things that help you like a good podcast, upbeat music, focusing on specific points throughout your run etc. You’ve got this and there are plenty of people here to help you if you ever need it ☺️


Hi FatmanGoThin and congratulations on completing your first week. This still happens to me even now - the same run that I've done several times can one day seem much harder! As others have said it can depend on hydration, getting enough sleep and nutrition. Your body is adapting and growing muscle and that takes a lot of energy and you're developing stamina and endurance which takes time. Listen to your body and maybe slow down a bit to allow you to keep running and allow the process to happen.

Thanks, yeah I’ve noticed being inexplicably more hungry. I’m a greedy sod anyway but this is different. Time to listen to the body and do the right thing 👟💪🏼🙌🏽❤️

Well done on your first week , I completed my first week yesterday so happy days , good luck with W2 we can do this

Damned straight 🙌🏽❤️

You’ve got this 💪🏻 X

Thanks mate ❤️


Congratulations FMGoThin! Well done on completing week 1. Your body is adapting, soon it will be lots easier 😊.

FatmanGoThin in reply to Frenc

Baby steps, as they say, eh! Thank you ❤️

Yes I found run 2 wk2 floored me. Not hydrated enough and tried to go a bit fast. I'm now at the end of wk8 and believe it or not it does get easier. Keep going you can do it 🏃‍♂️

Yeah, must watch the speed because I can build on that later. Keep going yourself as you’re definitely doing a great job 💪🏼❤️


Well done, pat yourself on the back. My tip is to watch a YouTube video on japanese running as it is useful when getting tired or going up a hill. The key think is to keep moving however slowly. I’ve had brisk walkers (and not so brisk ones too) pass me as I kept moving at a snails pace. It does get easier and there’s nothing wrong about repeating a run or runs to feel confident about moving on to another level but equally you do want to push yourself a little bit too. X

Hey! Thanks for the kind words and the bit of advice about avoiding speeding walkers 😃. Seriously though, I’ll take that onboard! I did my first day of week 2 today and calmed the pace down a little and was surprised when the podcast had finished because I was really not tired at all. The advice I’ve had so far has payed of dividends as I feel I’ve not done as much damage this time 🥳. Time will tell when the rest of the week goes on but we’ll see. Thank you again and happy running 💪🏼🤛🏼👟❤️

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