To steal a timeless lyric from the old classic "Steve Miller Band", I am now getting into the routine, and I've got to keep on keepin' on. I am pleased that by the beginning of week 12, I am now finally getting really comfortable with doing my 30 minute runs after finishing my strength workout.
(I know this is a running site - and I freakin' LOVE the C25K program - but I will digress just a little here.)
It seems pretty common for people in this community to want to lose weight; I count myself in that number. Running, especially if you are otherwise on the couch, is a fantastic way to improve fitness and even lose weight.
Strength training, combined with cardio (running) is even better. In order to be healthy, lose inches and keep off the weight already lost, it is important to lose fat, and preserve - or even build - muscle. Muscle is a hungry tissue, it burns perhaps 50 cal per pound per day, at rest. (Fat burns maybe 4 cal per day per pound.) If I were just running and doing nothing else, the muscles I use heavily in running (legs, lower back, bum esp.) would be getting a decent workout and would probably be preserved, but my body might start eating other muscle to fuel the running (such as from my upper body), rather than just eating up my extra flab. So I lift weights too - which tells my body that my muscles are off-limits as fuel, and sends it to the chubby sections looking for food when I run. As a consequence, although my weight loss continues to be pretty slow, I am staying strong, keeping my metabolism revved up, and less likely to gain the weight back.
So far, it hasn't made me much faster, because I am already tired when I start my runs. But I am finally at a point where I can manage the same speed and distance as before (when I went out fresh to run), following my other workout. If you are graduated, or approaching graduation and looking for something to do "in life after Laura", I hope you will consider some kind of strength training as a supplement to your new-found addiction to running.
***A special thanks to *sossylmlamoule* for pointing out that there is now a great Strength and Flexibility Series by the makers of C25K. (At the time of the original post, it was not yet available.) I read a bit about the program, although I haven't done it yet, and it looks like a really solid, well-planned workout series, designed to complement your C25K experience. I particularly like all the videos showing and explaining proper form, which is critical if you want good results without injury. It may be too easy for experienced strength-trainers (just as C25K would be easy for experienced, fit runners), but is a good starting point for beginners, and may still give good results for those who have already been doing it for a while. If nothing else, it is a good refresher on form, and may liven up your established workout routines.