One Year On...: It's a year since I began C25k... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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One Year On...


It's a year since I began C25k. It was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made.

When I first graduated I took a couple more weeks until I could actually manage 5k (in 45 minutes) and then for a long while I stuck with 5k or 30 mins, with my challenge being to do the runs on progressively harder routes - my town is nothing but hill but there is usually a choice of shallow, moderate or steep. I'd run up the hill first to make my second half easier. It took me until August to be brave enough to begin my run with the downhill bit.

It was in September my running took off. I bought some trail shoes, and went on some nice long countryside runs. Because you cannot run fast in the country when there are stiles, bogs, cattle, brambles across the path, nice views to stop and photograph etc, I slowed way down from what I had been doing on the roads, and that really helped. I completed the Bridge to 10k programme. When I did my first 10k I felt like I still had plenty in the tank, so I decided I'd do a HM.

I've entered a few races, though all have either been postponed or gone virtual. I have a nice shiny medal for a 10 mile run, and another for a HM. On New Year's Eve I did my first ever 5k in under 30 mins.

My sister was my inspiration for beginning C25k (she was on the BBC earlier this week in a segment on a morning show about C25k, she runs the London City Runners' C25k group) and for ages I was picking her brains on how to do this and that. She's still my guru, and she's way fitter, younger and faster than me. But I've run farther than her in one go, and she's yet to do any countryside running, so I'm looking forward to welcoming her to my routes when the lockdown eases, and she can have her first taste of trail running.

I had a BMI of 30 when I began. It's now 25. That's partly from burning calories running, but it's mostly from thinking, "Hmm, do I really want to be carrying this chelsea bun around with me on all my runs?" and not having the chelsea buns.

I've rambled on a bit - thank you for indulging me if you got this far - but I thought I'd share where it's possible to be a year later, if you are a dumpy middle aged woman who hadn't exercised properly in ten years, and use C25k as your springboard.

35 Replies

Congratulations on all those running achievements over the last year since you began C25K, excellent that you got a medal for your first 10 miles run and even better your first Half Marathon, onwards and upwards for you when event runs begin again for you to get more medals.

MagellanGraduate in reply to AlMorr

I’m really looking forward to my first non-virtual, in-the-flesh run. I think it might be the Brighton HM, postponed from yesterday to June or July.

AlMorrGraduate in reply to Magellan

👍 🏃🏾


Those are some pretty awesome achievements. You should be very proud of yourself 👏👏👏

MagellanGraduate in reply to AndrewJR75



Also applicable to podgy middle aged men! I think I will get to 10k before I dare trail running. It looks fun. Roll on end of lockdown so we can explore new places to run

MagellanGraduate in reply to Rennur

Trail running scared me a lot, I was so sure I’d trip on something. I still do it very slowly so I don’t trip, but I haven’t fallen over yet. Funnily the safest I felt all winter on the trails was when it was icy. The pavements and roads were smooth and awful but the trails were frozen in ruts instead of being muddy, so nothing to make me slip!


How inspirational! Thank you for sharing it.

MagellanGraduate in reply to TwiggyL



Brilliant and happy runiversary from another March 2020 starter...

MagellanGraduate in reply to Blueskyabove

Thanks, and happy runniversary to you too!


Brilliant hearing your story


Happy runiversary!

MagellanGraduate in reply to Jericho2332

Thank you :)


It so good to hear your story, as someone who is new to running, I hope it will be me posting up something like this in a year or so time 😃

MagellanGraduate in reply to joeyg76

I hope you get as much enjoyment from it as I have!


Really inspiring post! Your running journey sounds fantastic.! Well done on all you have achieved and the trail running sounds fab 👍🏻😀

MagellanGraduate in reply to Indielass00

It’s really nice, I have discovered all sorts of pathways and routes in the countryside outside the town, and managed to run to villages I can’t reach by road because the road is too fast and hasn’t any pavement. I enjoy looking at the map afterwards to see where I ran.


Inspirational! Well done and thank you 😃

What a brilliant story thanks for sharing

Loved reading your post - just starting out and I really want to keep going so that I can begin to enjoy the outdoors now that the weather is getting better (hopefully!)

What an inspirational post! Thank you so much and well done. I like the bit about carrying all that Chelsea bun around-hot cross bun in my case and Easter is coming. Maybe I’ll stay off them this year!


Very inspiring reading this post. Well done on your achievements. I'm a recent graduate and doing consolidation stuff, alternating 20/30 mins and 5ks and am doing slow jogging pace to 150 BPM music.... which I find lets me go further, so I like the idea of trying a bit of trail running.. a bit of scenery..... I'm 71 so hopefully being slow will prevent my tripping over anything, fingers crossed! You've given me a reason to try! Thanks.

MagellanGraduate in reply to BibaBear

Running through nice scenery is definitely the best. I hope you enjoy it when you try it.

BibaBearGraduate in reply to Magellan



Thanks so much for sharing your story, this is so inspiring and encouraging! I'm starting week 7 today and already thinking about what I want to achieve after I graduate, this has given me some great ideas 😊


What an inspiring post. I graduated on New Year’s Day and am finding the consolidation period really hard. I was expecting the shiny new graduation medal to suddenly make everything easy. I have Laura in my head telling me I’m a runner now, but not so sure about that.🥵Your post makes me feel good and realise I have to take the long view. I will continue to consolidate, but maybe stop comparing myself to others and expecting miracles overnight.😅

( I have to admit I still struggle with the Chelsea buns!)

Thanks for your post

MagellanGraduate in reply to Aveyond

You ARE a runner! I had some weeks and even months when things didn’t seem to be progressing: last June I almost felt as if I was regressing and in July I had quite a few runs where I ended sooner than I’d planned and was feeling a bit negative. It turns out stuff like that is normal, so if you’re finding the consolidation hard don’t feel bad about it. There might be changes you can make that might make things easier for you. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if it’s easier it’s not ‘progress’. Gentle and easy runs are good for you 😀

AveyondGraduate in reply to Magellan

Thank you, I appreciate your support. I shall move forward and return to your comments if I start feeling despondent about my progress, and remember your kind words. Onwards and upwards! (Well onwards on the flat a while yet😅)

👏 well done!! Inspiring to read your journey ☺️


This is a brilliant inspiring post!


That's really inspiring to hear and congratulations on your many achievments! thank you for the update - I graduated in January and have been struggling to motivate myself a bit especially after illness for a couple of weeks when I couldn't run at all, but hearing your story I feel an element of hope - I'm certainly nowhere near 5k in 30 mins (more like 4k) and I have good days and bad days, but new routes really help and so does the sunshine!

MagellanGraduate in reply to Karen59er

It’s rotten to be so ill, well done for coming back to the running after your enforced break.


Congratulations on your 1 year runiversary, and what a great, inspiring post, i'm only at the 6 month stage, but like you, so glad i started, it still amazes me how something so simple, like running, can make you feel so good!

Hope your 2nd year is just as rewarding. 👏👏👏


Congratulations, well done and it was a great read. You've achieved so much in a year. Very motivating. I'm sure you'll have a full trophy cabinet once lockdown ends and the physical races/runs restart.

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