Couch to 5K

1st Run

Well finally managed to start my 1st run yesterday and must say it was hard - I didn't plan my route very well and missed out one of the runs as it was all uphill and didn't have the energy to do it!!!!!! Please tell me this gets easier - as I cannot honestly see me being able to run for 5 mins never mind 30mins

:( Going to try my 2nd run sometime over the weekend as my legs are very sore and stiff today .....Any tips and feedback will be greatly appreciated :)

8 Replies


I did my first run last week and also struggled and had to push myself to finish all the runs in session, so instead of starting W2 this week I just repeated W1 again and tomorrow is the 3rd run. If on Sunday I feel it is still to early for me to start W2 I will repeat W1 again. I am of the opinion that I would rather take it slowly than push myself too much and cause myself any injury, as I do have a back problem and don't want to irritate it any. I found though that the biggest problem for me is not breathlessness but leg/calf ache, it has been worse this week. I think to myself that I will never be able to run for more that 60secs in one go, but I also thought I would never be able to stop smoking which I started at the age of 14, ending up on 40 a day, but I have been a non-smoker now since 2004, I found the willpower for that so will try to dig deep and find the willpower for this somehow. Well done on your first run yesterday, apparently it does get easier so good luck.


I would try to tackle the soreness and stiffness first so that you at least can run if you want to. The secret is to make sure you stretch out your various leg muscles after your run. This makes an almost unbelievable difference to the aches and pains you will have the next morning. You need to stretch at least your shins, calves, thighs, hamstrings and glutes - but if that sounds like a long list don't worry, it's only a two minute task. Look at all the help and suggestions at and at

Does it get easier? Yes in every way. You will feel so good about yourself when you first complete one of the sessions. Then by the second or third week you'll look back on how hard you thought the first session was and smile because you'll know you could now do it effortlessly. You'll start to look forward to each session and love the way you can challenge yourself with complete confidence you will succeed. Of course it will still be hard work because you keep pushing yourself to go further, but the work isn't dispiriting any more - it's an achievement. So, keep on running!

What can you do now? Have your rest day, do some very gentle stretches a few times, then try the run again. I bet you can do it successfully. Then see if you want to do week one for an extra session before you move onto week two.


Keep going! I didn't think I could get beyond 1 minute but I've just done 5 mins and working up to more. There's good days and bad days but I must be getting fitter. The first run left me aching all over but it does get better and those stretches help too (there's a few of us that claim a piece of chocolate after a run helps as well!)


Keep at it! I never thought I could do it. Honestly I struggled with the 90 second runs and like you I never thought it would be possible for me to run 5 mins. I just completed week 8 run 1 where I ran for 28 minutes. The feeling was fantastic! Go on, you can do it!


I echo all of the the beginning I didn't think I could run more than a couple of minutes and the thought of 5 mins, 20 mins to me seemed way above what I could achieve. From someone who has graduated and can now run 30 mins (did 39 for the first time today) and never believed it was possible YOU CAN DO IT. Alot of it is a mental challenge and if you follow the programme, repeating runs if you have too (nothing wrong with that as we all progress at our own pace) you will get there!!!!!

However, you do need to think about getting the balance right between repeating weeks until you are ready and the challenge..if you read the blogs already posted you'll see alot of us never think we are ready for the next one but go on to achieve the next one. Keep up the good work, you've done the hard bit by starting. Let us know how you get on :)


Yup I agree with all of the above, make yourself a cuppa and have a browse through some of the back posts of the folks here, as beckipeg says chocolate is essential and Ali is proof that the curry and wine training diet actually does work ;)

None of us will lie to you it can be shockingly tough and it can hurt a bit, sore and stiff is part of the deal, I'm hobbling about myself this evening

I got stuck on a hill in week 2 and had to walk it and start running again at the top

stick with it and strange things will start happening to mind, body and soul :)


Hi I have just completed 3 x week one runs but I didn't complete my first week 1 run either. Like you I didn't plan the route very well and found myself at my front door and, well, just gave up. For my next attempt I worked out a longer route and did it, I can't tell you how chuffed I was, I would have jumped up and down waving my arms in the air had I not been in the middle of a housing estate! Keep at it and you will get there. Trying to decide whether to start week 2 or do one more week 1 run this weekend, each new week seems such a big step up. I'm loving running (ok so its more high speed energetic walking at the moment!) but it will be proper running soon.


Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog - they have inspired me to continue will this programme. I probably will repeat week 1 as I am very unfit and really don't want to get an injury. Going to do 2nd run of week 1 over the wknd and hopefully will find this a bit easier. I feel really excited about doing my next run and can't wait to do it. I will defo do the stretches after my next run - It didn't say anything about that on the Podcast but it kinda makes sense to do stretching .....once again thanks for taking the time to leave a comment :)


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