Couch to 5K
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W1R1 I'm so unfit

I completed my first session yesterday and decided to go along the sea front. I felt really positive and enjoyed the first 20 minutes but I had to walk 2 of the jogging minutes. I am overweight and have bad knees but I really want to turn my life around. I kept walking though and did an extra 5 minutes at the end to try and make up for it.

I feel really unfit and demotivated. Will I ever be able to do this? Should I repeat W1R1 tomorrow?

9 Replies

Don't let it get you down, you've taken the first step (no pun intended...) It'll get easier. Take it slow, go at a pace slower than you think you can achieve, to conserve energy for later in the run. It sounds like you burnt yourself out too soon (easily done) - pace doesn't matter, its about building up your stamina at this stage. Go again tomorrow and remember to take it easy and let us know how you get on.

Also have a read through the other posts on here, which will make you feel better about not being perfect from day one (because none of us are) and hopefully inspire you to keep going.

Good luck :)


I completed my first one yesterday. I found that I lagged in the middle and felt myself slowing down a bit. I put my mind elsewhere and i found myself not thinking about all the odd pains i was getting. No pain, no gain!

It's no quick fix, one run won't make you insanely fit, but I reckon after week 1 you'll feel amazing, that's what I am hoping for! Maybe go for brisk walks in between your workout days?


Oggy82, you'll similar stories to this, this is mine...

Like you, week one was monstrous for me.. Ten weeks ago i weighed 304lbs (21st10lb), my blood pressure was 133/98, i hadnt done any running since the hated cross country in my mid teens, and that was mostly walking!

Two days ago I finished my third non stop thirty minute run and graduated the programme (i have a nice badge next to my name now :) ).

It is tough, but you just keep going. I did it on the treadmill which is a touch easier to begin with as you can measure your pace exactly etc.

You look ahead at the times, 'god, how can i run for ninety seconds when i can only manage sixty by almost blacking out?' Then, it becomes three minutes? How do i go from ninety seconds to three minutes, then five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes and then half an hour without stopping.

But you can and you will. Your body adapts, it really really does.

I weighed myself this morning, i'm 263lbs (18st11), i had my blood pressure taken last week and it is down to 117/86, my resting heart rate has gone from mid to high seventies to mid to high sixties, and two people yesterday, entirely independently told me i looked ten years younger.

(i am doing slimming world also, a perfect combination, a diet that gives you the energy you need)

One thing i wish i had done earlier, and if you have bad knees it should be something you do *right now*. Get your 'gait' analysed to make sure you are wearing the right kind of running shoes.

If you have a local DW fitness they have them in their sports shops, but other running shoe shops nearby might also have them. They video the bottom half of your legs running on a treadmill in the store. They slow it down and you can see how your foot hits the ground and how it and the ankle roll, and how you then push off. Having the wrong kind of shoes causes major problems for your knees.

My knees only started to hurt on the longer timed runs, but one week i had to take about six days off for the pain to go away. The pain was exactly where the guy who analysed the video said it would be!!!

I am just waiting for my new shoes to be delivered and i'll be off for my first post graduation run!


Wow, well done, what an inspiration - you must be so chuffed! :)


I felt exactly the same on my first run. I thought I am seriously not going to be able to do this! But...I am now on Week 2 run 3 and I cannot believe the difference I am feeling already. My breathing has become easier and I'm certainly feeling just that little bit fitter.

Keep going. You've made the biggest step by starting :-)


i felt the same as you & was going to repeat wk1 but after posting that on here some nice people talked me into going onto wk2.I did this today and yes it was hard but not as hard as i thought it would be,i know were your comming from im over wait stick with it good luck.


Please don't be so hard on yourself. If you've got bad knees it's amazing that you even tried, and even if you didn't jog every time you were supposed to this time doesn't mean you won't next time, or even the time after. You won't regret it if you keep going, but you might if you don't. Good luck!


The first three runs (week 1) are all the same, so I'd just keep going this week and see where you are by the end of the week. You did really well for your very first run - going from zero to exercise is hard!

You may find that you can complete the whole thing for W1R2, you may find that you have to walk a bit. Either way, what you're doing is great because it is moving!


You have done the hardest part already by making a start. Remember that it's not a race and you can take it all at your own pace - every time you get out there and give it a go you are making a positive difference to your health and improving your fitness. xx


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