Couch to 5K
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Should I enter a 5k Race for Life?

I've just discovered that there are two 5k Race for Life runs being held locally in the next couple of weekends.

The first is in quite a hilly park so I am giving that one a miss as I don't have experience of hills yet, but the second is in a much flatter area so I was thinking of signing up with my 14 year old daughter..............

...........but I'm feeling a loss of confidence.

The last couple of runs have been fairly tough.

Yesterday I tried to a Fartlek approach and totally failed, only managing a couple of 60 second sessions of running faster and then totally giving up after 20 minutes. And today's 5k run wasn't easy.

I'm finding that I prefer running in the evening - the couple of times I've been out in the morning have been much harder - but the Race for Life is at 10am.

The other thing is that I haven't run with other people (apart from my daughter and Mr Locket) so I don't know what it will be like with crowds (apparently approx. 3000!)

I don't know if I will be able to go as slowly as I like or if I will feel compelled to run faster (at other peoples' pace) - and then give up exhausted.

Should I try a few Park Runs first to get used to running in company?

What do you think? I've just checked and there is a R4L in Newcastle in July which may be better.

13 Replies

go for it!

The more people the bigger the crowd you can hide in. I think it will be ideal. That sort of run also, by virtue of the numbers and nature of the event means it naturally has a huge variety of abilities.

Go for the flatter one though if it worries you, don't over implicate it for your first outing. Not that you wouldn't be fine either way.



I did mean complicate not implicate!


( :-(])


f it appeals to you, you should probably give it a go, especially if you have your daughter to run with. I must admit, I've toyed with the idea and been really put off by the idea of the crowds and not having anyone to run with - I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable but that's just me - I don't much like crowds anyway. I don't think you'll need to worry too much about your ability to run the distance though - I think you're more than capable.


Lots of people walk these races - the important thing is just getting around. I'm sure you will be far from the slowest there - remember that you must measure your achievement by your own standards, not by anyone else's! I think it sounds like fun - I'm going to do my first one in a fortnight - and although I've been getting embarassed about running 5k while some people are running half and whole marathons at the same time it's been a great motivator. Think how good you'll feel when you finish it!


If you've finished C25k then Race for Life shouldn't be a problem. The fields are huge and it's very good humoured. They split the field into runners and walkers and sometime joggers and pushchairs. This year I was a jogger and managed to run the whole way having got to week 6 in C25k. I passed lots of people who had started jogging but were walking for a bit. In previous years I ran a bit and walked a bit having joined the back of the runners start. It's not at all competitive. The one I did this year didn't even have a clock at the start/finish. It's for a good cause and there's a great atmosphere, so go for it.


Do it! I did it last year totally on my own (doh playing football that day) and I walked the entire course. It was last June, noon and an incredibly hot day. I weighted 21 stone and it took me 1 hour 20 minutes to complete but the feeling I got when I finally finished was beyond words. TBH it nearly killed me, I did it on Epsom Downs on a course, designed by a sadist, that only goes uphill. Wanting to run it this year was one of the main reasons for being here.

This year I'm doing it at Kempton Park (flatter!) and hope to run most if not all of it but if I end up walking then sod it, I'll still finish in a better time than last year and make a couple of hundred quid in the process.

Don't worry it really isn't a race. There is a warm up before hand and then there are 3 waves of startes, runners, joggers and walkers. You just follow your chosen flag, I am going to start at the back of the joggers and I might end up making my first overtake! I have my tu-tu and wings along with bright pink karrimor top (I have a pink glitter wig too but not sure I'm brave enough for that one yet!). I will be running on my own again this year but doh will be coming along for support. More than happy to link up with anyone else running at Kempton - as long as you run slow - just PM me.

Its a fun event for everyone, people even jog/walk with their dogs and children in pushchairs. Loads of people took picnics and made a day of it, there is all kinds of entertainment laid on. Lots of people chat to you, I walked the final km with a total stranger and we finished hand in hand in tears together with loads of people cheering us on.

Everyone is so supportive, the important thing is that you are doing something for someone else, its not about how good or fast a runner you are. Please just sign up and start raising money.



Well if that's not inspirational, I don't know what is, well done and good luck :)


Come on Lucy you can do it I entered to do mine and its less than 3 weeks away.

The one thing I would love is if we could advertise C25k at these venues for all those walking it who might one day like to jog it.


I was thinking the same thing yesterday, great minds eh!!x


Do it!! You don't need to run fast, there are all kinds of women doing this, some run, some jog, some walk, It's entirely up to you, I've done two previous race for life 5k's and to be honest it was ok, not too gruelling and the atmosphere keeps you going, there is a lot of encouragement on the way around, you'll love it :) Good luck!


Yes! Go for it! Sod the hilly one, do the flat one, I'm sure you'll do great, and the atmosphere will be truly amazing.


Go and buy a plain white T shirt and get the words 'NHS C25K Rocks' printed on it, people are bound to ask about it, I agree this is the best program ever.

Good luck with your run, go for it, you have nothing to lose and what a gain it will be for you.


Lucky I would say go for it! There no pressure that you have to run as like others have pointed out there will be plenty of people walking so if you get tried you can have a walk and then start again.

I have just finished week 4 and I'm petrified about week 5 but I have entered the Race for Life in 5 weeks so I have to complete the programme!

I am also petrified of doing things in front of other people and always get an upset tummy when I get nervous and I am also running on my own. I work in my local shop and lots of people have seen me out running with my dog and asked what I was doing so I will be asking people to sponsor me. I'm wondering a realistic time frame to aim for though and I suppose it depends how I get on on week 5 and beyond.

Although I am nervous I am also thinking that it will be a great experience and that the other runners and the crowd will really help with motivation to keep going ;-)

Also can anyone tell me what the difference is between jogging and running as I'm not sure and want to make sure I start in the right place. Thanks


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