I'm starting Couch to 5K tomorrow and i've got... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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I'm starting Couch to 5K tomorrow and i've got a few worries.

16 Replies

So I am unhappy with my body and have decided to start Couch to 5K. I've got the podcasts on my phone and am ready to start tomorrow morning. I've tried diets and exercise before but never stuck to it, I just give in. How can I stay motivated? I really want to stick to it.

I don't have proper running shoes. I only have Nike 6.0's which are great trainers, would it be alright for me to wear these?

Also, should I have breakfast before I go or when I get back?

I'd appreciate any helpful comments.

16 Replies

I always had a problem staying motivated with stuff like this before so I'm a bit surprised I've actually finished!

I find that when my family and friends knew I was running, it made me more motivated to keep going out because I wanted to show that I could do it :) Also when I was feeling really unmotivated I found putting on my running stuff (mainly sports bra aha) would make sure I went out - once I'd changed into it I couldn't let myself stay inside!

After a while you get the running bug and I hate not going out now, but I find it much more difficult to go out if I leave it more than 2 days between runs because I lose the habit a bit

When I run in the mornings I usually have half an apple or half a banana as soon as I get up then by the time I've got ready (10 minutes ish) that's settled a bit and it means I'm not running on empty - then have my normal breakfast when I get back

Sorry mini essay - good luck! & don't be disheartened if you find it difficult at the beginning, it makes it even more rewarding when you complete it :)


Hi! I've just started week 5 of this program, and before I started it was ultimately a weight loss gain. Within the past few weeks my attitude has changed ENTIRELY! Couch to 5K has already increased my fitness levels, and regardless of losing weight or not, I feel so proud of myself. I believe that the achievement you get from completing each challenge will be enough to keep you motivated :)

As for trainers, I'm still using a £5 pair I got from Tescos... they are doing me well at the moment so I'm sure your Nikes will be good enough to get you started! One day I'll treat myself hehe.

Eating wise, I find if I eat anywhere up to 2 hours before my run, I end up with a stitch (I also LOVE looking forward to eating after my run, probably weird :P). However I also couldn't run on an empty stomach. Hopefully someone else will have breakfast knowledge!

Good luck with starting the program, it really is fantastic! :)


Shoes should be ok for the first week but longer term it would be a good idea to have your gait analysed at a running shop so that you are running shoes that will support you.

I find a banana and a drink before a run works and full brekkie afterwards.

Keep blogging for support and motivation- it works.

Please do not be unhappy about your body - your picture is lovely (sorry to be personal) - Running will def. help your body confidence, it has for me. It will tone you up and you will feel stronger.

Good luck! It is normal to find the first run a bit of a shock to the system.


The best advice I can give you is to choose a time frame and stick with it. As an example, let's say you're normally free between 8am-10am. Choose that 2 hour slot to do your running. Each podcast is only 30 minutes. Just keep telling yourself that you can do it! Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to go running, if you think it'll help. Tell people you're doing this. Tweet about it, blog it, put it on your facebook profile. That way you'll have a record of your thoughts, feelings and accomplishments.

You don't need proper running shoes. As long as your trainers fit properly, are comfortable, and support your heels and ankles, you'll be ok. Oh, and the tread needs to be in good shape to help prevent sliding and skidding while you're running.

I've personally found that eating before I do any exercise makes me move slower and often gives me heartburn. For me, the best thing to do is eat after I've exercised. Plus exercising boosts your metabolism, so if you eat after exercising you'll burn off the calories faster. ;)


Hi have you tried using MyFitnessPal? (free app and website) it's really and easy to use and you can off set exercise (including C25K) against your meals.

It sounds cheesy but when you can track your progress on the site it gives you a real boost. I lost 2 stone using it before I even started Couch to 5K (mainly through controlling portion size - definitely get some accurate kitchen scales).

As for shoes the early runs are so short that as long as they give your feet support I wouldn't worry. I only bought proper shoes after week 2 and finding out that I was enjoying it.

I run at the crack of dawn (cool, quiet and the birds are singing) and all I have before the run is a small glass of milk and a small glass of water. BTW breakfast tastes really good when you get back.


Trainers: As long as they're comfortable, they'll be fine for starters. Once you get in to it I'd recommend a session with a running shop to get fitted for decent shoes.

Food: Everyone's different, to begin with though the runs are short enough that you don't need to fuel for them specifically, just try not to run straight after a meal.

Mostly, try not to worry too much, take it easy and enjoy it!


Judging from your lovely picture there are lots of us who have done C25K who are much older than you and with less than perfect bodies! I was very self conscious when I started too and went out of my way to avoid people I knew but as I have gone through the programme I find I care less and less. Now I think that most of the people I see when I am out running could not run for 30 minutes and I can! I agree with the others about trainers. The ones you have should be fine for starting off but if you can afford to go to a proper running shop (once you are hooked like us!) it is a good idea. You can often get good stuff in sales etc. The good thing about running is that apart from trainers you don't need anything else to get started if you already have a phone that plays the podcasts. Good luck. Let us know how you get on on the blog. :-)


I found this forum gave me the support to carry on.Sometimes I knew I would find it hard, like when the weater forecast was for rain, or if I felt my motivation slip, but if I posted my worries on this forum, I got lots of supportive messages popping up on my phone, and this really cheered me up and gave me the strength to do it. Laura has such a nice voice too, and every stage of the training pushes you a bit, but not so that you feel it is impossible. A key thing for me is to get all my kit ready the night before-for example my favourite running socks, my ipod charged up, the bra, all this is laid on the floor ready to go. Then in the morning (no breakfast) I put it on thinking 'probably I'll run, but I might not' and then when the kit is on I think 'well I might as well do a bit now I'm dressed'. Then while I'm running I think about the shower and breakfast to come. One time I ate first, and I ran faster, but didnt feel well. So now I would make sure at least 2 hours went by after eating before I would run. Go for it, you really wont regret it!


Hey Hey,

I'm on my second week of being smoke free and the C25K has really kept me motivated. They are such great podcasts. It doesn't feel like a horrible chore and if fun to do when someone is encouraging you to keep going (well in your ear anyway). The only cheeky thing I did was skip the 3rd 1st week podcast and went straight to week 2. Although I was a smoker I have played rugby for 3 years so it felt a bit to easy for me. But I wouldn't recommend that :)

I thought it was going to be really hard but you just have to push yourself to get up of the couch and put on the podcast. I did my first week at night but I've now found that morning is best for me with no food in my stomach...I kept getting stitches.

Trust me you can do it!!! Just put on those trainers and get going. xxx


I am 26 years old and 16 stone I can honestly say I thought I couldn't run, I haven't done any exercise in over 4 years and that was a once a week class and a half hearted attempt at that. So 3 months ago I bought a bike,went out once nearly passed out from how unfit I was, I was on my bike for 3 minutes and its been sat rusting since...

Well today I did my first run, I used an app endomondo to track time, Cal's and distance, I covered 2 miles!!!!!!! I used the warm up walk to get to the park and ran every path I could find. There were lots of teenagers on the park and I felt very self conscious but they didn't bat an eye lid....can't actually believe I did some exercise lol

in reply to girlygirly


I plan to start 5K today this afternoon round my local park and admit that the possibillity of someone seeing me trying to run makes me feel self conscious particularly as I have an ample chest however I wont let this put me off. I will post this time next week to let people know how my first week went. How many times do you need to do week oine?


Put your faith in Laura! If you do exactly what she says, she'll get you to 5k/30 minutes of running. I don't know why but the encouragements in my ear work where other fitness regimes have failed. Try to just get to the next goal - end of this minute of running, end of this podcast, end of this week... before you know it, the fitness is improving and that makes you want to do more.

But also, if you don't get into it... don't beat yourself up. You'll find something, someday, that you do enjoy.

I wear a pair of TK Maxx Nikes that I bought for about £10, and run on an empty stomach first thing, eating something as soon as I get in.


At the beginning I stayed motivated by remembering that I am doing this for my health, not just to lose weight - and also remembering that it's only 30 minutes :-) Once you've got through the first couple of weeks it will be easier to stay motivated because you will be feeling so good. Like lots of others here I can't eat before running, but I do have a strong cup of coffee to get me out of the door. Good luck! x


Thank you to everyone for all your comments, they've really helped. I did my first run today and at first I found it difficult to pace myself and control my breathing but I got the hang of it. I also met this really nice lady who was walking her dogs. I felt quite conscious running past people but they would just smile. I had to take a break in the middle of the podcast to catch my breath properly. I have half a nutrigrain bar, I also got a huge blister from using my old pe shoes rather than my nikes so I'll use my nikes for my second run.

in reply to ShannonH

Well done you for getting out there! Pacing and breathing comes with time. For now just being out there is brilliant! Re the blister, thankfully not a problem I have had but lots of people on here swear by Sainsburys own brand running socks. Keep up the good work and we will look forward to seeing the next blog! :-)


Just keep on keeping on and before you know it you'll be a runner. Starting is the hardest part, and you've started.

And those Sainsbury's socks are good!!


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