Couch to 5K

Difficulties in week 1 :(

I have just started Couch to 5K and finding it really hard. I am a size 16 and would like to lose weight for my wedding in November.

I did my first run on Monday and I wasn't able to finish the program. I had to have 2 breaks and the last 2 runs I had to walk.

Did my second run today and was able to finish the program but still had to have a little rest in the middle.

Is this cheating???

I am really worried about going on to week 2 I don't feel I am ready yet. Can you repeat week 1 again???

I never realised just how unfit I really was.

13 Replies

Hi Frenchie2-11, I would recommend that you only move up when you've cracked week 1. If you move up too soon and you don't manage week 2 either, you're just going to get demoralised.

Trust me - your mind is your biggest obstacle here, not your body or your fitness. Stay calm, stay positive and treat week 1 as your first challenge. There is nothing wrong with repeating it over and over until you've managed it three consecutive times. And I promsie you that when you achieve this - you'll feel a huge confidence boost and you'll be ready to tackle week 2.

So just take it one step at a time and keep telling yourself that your body can do it - it's your mind that's the problem!

Good luck and keep us all posted with your progress


1 like

No, not cheating! Just do week one again if you like there is no right or wrong I would bet a fair proportion of us take more than the advertised number if weeks.

Its all good, don't worry it will pick up quicker than you think.


Well done. No you are not cheating. This is about you building up your strength. I nearly died the first time I did week 1 and had to have breaks and did not finish. Remember to go very, very slowly. Each time you do the runs you get stronger. I repeated week 1 until I felt that it was fairly easy (had to get my head around the idea that I was running). I'm now on week 2 and 1 1/2 minutes running is ok. I am nearly 50 and a size 18 so don't worry. Good luck.


Thank you everyone, you have made me feel so much better, I will repeat week 1 next week and see how I feel.

Thank you x


Hi like u I am also size 16 and I have managed to get to week 7 so far so don't let your weight be an excuse. my first week was really hard too but it is more of a mental thing, I thought I was gonna pass put running for 60 seconds and laughed at the thought of running for over 20 mins but I've done it and so can u, ignore what ur brain and your legs and your chest tells u and keep going its worth it in the end :) oh and congrats on the upcoming wedding :)


Yes - just to pitch in that I'm a size 16, 55 years old, started the programme in January from absolute zilch and last weekend ran the 3 miles for Sport Relief in 40+ minutes. I admit to being a bit knackered now (!), but managed week 9 again tonight, very slowly. Just take it easy, repeat as much as you need to (you'll soon be able to move on, don't worry - the improvement is exponential once you start), and don't forget to keep coming back and telling us all how you're getting on!


Firstly congratulations for beginning the programme, and for your upcoming wedding.

As all previous posters have said, you can repeat the sessions as many times as you like, its better to build up your confidence than beat yourself up about it.

I hope your next time goes well.


It took me nearly six weeks to complete Week 1 with about 10 days where I wasn't able to contemplate doing a session at all due to illness. I'd say think in terms of pacing yourself so that come what may you keep moving for 30 minutes *without* ever stopping to rest. I reckon it is better to do a few of the walk/run/walk/run intervals and then walk the rest of the session than to be stopping. It sounds as though you may have been going much too fast. It will also be easier to see the improvement as you increase the number of runs you do.

In a way, to those of us who are genuinely starting from 'couch' point, the word "weeks" can be misleading and distracting. It's an every other day 30 minute session and when, and only when, you have completed 3 of those as prescribed by Laura, you move on. To my surprise and delight I have completed weeks 2, 3 and 4 in the standard 3 sessions each, so although it took nearly 6 weeks for "Week One" it has taken less than 3 weeks to complete the next three "weeks" (because 3 sessions every other day is only 6 days)


Don't worry about it - I took five goes to complete three runs in the first week, but ten weeks later I managed to graduate. I also dropped two jeans sizes with a combination of running and a sensible diet. You can do it :)


As all the previous people have said, Don't worry about repeating a week, even if you have to do it 5 times, it doesn't matter, What matters is that you are doing it :) Please don't be disheartened, we have all been there at some point, honestly. I admire each and every one of the folks doing c25k, It isn't easy starting out doing something you're not used to, you're out of your comfort zone, You're running for goodness sake! Keep going Pleeeeease, You WILL feel the benefits of the plan, especially the new found confidence :) Good luck!


can not stress enough about the importance of "gentle jog" we all call it "running" but it's really not, and i would second about "walking" rather than stopping; that way your heart rate will stay increased and be getting the practice it needs. i am 44, size 14/16. smoked til 5 weeks ago and thought i would never do this. i am now at end of week 3 and have found it difficult but do-able. my "running" speed is very liitle over my walking speed for all the pod casts i have completed so far.and i read on here and in a running mag "no matter how slow we are, we are moving more quickly than the people sitting on the sofa"!!

keep at it xx


Hey Frenchie, don't worry about it at all. I just did week 1 4 times because I didn't do half the runs the first time and walked most of the time, so I really wanted to do it well before I moved on. Take your time, it is really important to just waddle along at first so that you can keep moving for 60 seconds. I wasn't running at all, just staggering really. Now I can actually lift my feet up and move a little bit quicker. Take your time and put the work in and you will see great results. Everyone on here is so supportive, keep letting them know how you are doing and they'll give you tips and advice.


Hey, i just want to encourage you to carry on. i no this post is old. but i have just completed week 1, but i did week 1 over a 3 week period. at first i had to pause it and stretch because my muscles weren't up to it. i am a size 24 and i have just moved up to week 2. i have lost a stone doing if you want to take up the challenge again, i recommend a slow progression is needed. Not to expect that you are going to be fit straight away. i have a 3 year plan to get fit and healthy. The fad diets out there are rubbish, exercise and good healthy eating is the way to go. its a lifestyle change. so i am not sure where you are at. but if you want to continue, do it! it will benefit you.


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