Couch to 5K
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I started C25K last week and so far everything seems to be going fine. I will be starting week2 later today and im not too worried BUT

Will this really work? When i look at whats to come i find it difficult to imagine that i will ever be able to run for 3 minutes straight let alone 30!. I really want to do this and i was wondering if there is anyone out there who felt the same as me and has gone on to finish/ do well with the program. I suppose i'm just worried im setting myself up for a huge fall if i fail.


18 Replies

Hi Sinope82,

You will not fail! I felt the same when I started and now I am the biggest running bore trying to talk everyone I know into doing C25K. The beauty of this programme is that it guides you, step-by-step, from your couch to being able to run 5k...It's designed for novices and, as long as you follow the instructions (do not try to go any faster or run for longer than Laura tells you) and are disciplined about not missing your runs, in just over two months not only will you be running for 30 minutes but you will be enjoying it too.

One additional benefit from doing C25K, on top of being more fit, is that it has given me a massive confidence boost - being able to run for 30 minutes only weeks after I thought that I can't to even do 30 seconds has made me realise that I can tackle other daunting obstacles in my life.

Good luck!!!


Yep, it's working for me. Lifelong non-exerciser, 29 years old, BMI overweight (mostly round the tummy), from a very non-athletic family. Have (weakly) tried regimes in the past including gym, running without a programme, cycling etc but never kept going with anything consistently.

I'm at week 8 now, graduating next week if everything goes to plan. Some of my thoughts about the programme:

- you only need to worry about the run right in front of you - I tried to avoid thinking too far ahead so I didn't psych myself out e.g. I only ever download the next week's podcast the night before the first run. Perhaps you should take the same approach?

- sometimes your body gets stronger faster than your mind. C25k will test and strengthen your mind as much as your body e.g. there will be times when Laura tells you your body is prepared to run for X minutes, but you'll say 'no no no, I can't' in your head. When you overcome that mental barrier it's the best feeling.

- even if you fail the first time, C25K is a free resource available to you at any time, forever. I know that I might falter in the future and have times where running is low priority, but I am glad that I can go back to a point in the podcasts, even to the start, and try again to get up to where I am now. Some graduates even go back to the start and jog/run the whole series again so that they continue to benefit from the structure

- also, anecdotal evidence from the forum suggests that weight only starts to come off when you hit the longer distances, so if weight loss is a priority for you, know that it won't happen straight away. At week 8 I've definitely toned up and starting to feel a bit slimmer but it took a while for this to happen.

I feel G.R.E.A.T by the way - much happier and in control of life. I would recommend this to anyone.


Yes, stick with it & it will work - it might not always be easy, there may be challenges ahead but when you overcome them I promise you'll be very proud of yourself.


everybody feels like you at the beginning! I've never heard from anyone who felt confident but there's lots of help here and the first thing to say is "Trust Laura". It's a great programme and it really works. Just go at a pace which suits you and be prepared to slow down if you ever need to, but don't give up :) look forward to hearing from you again very soon :)


Believe it or not it definitely works. I was never very sporty didn't do much exercise, and never was good at running especially! But I just stuck to the plan and couldn't believe what I was achieving each week. There are good days and bad days, but you'll be surprised what your body can do.

If you are ever finding a week difficult you can repeat weeks, it doesn't matter if it doesn't take you 9 weeks.

Best of luck , you can do it!


dont look at whats ahead ~ just take each run/week as it comes & perhaps, as mentioned before, only download the very next run the night before you need it (& dont listen to it until you run!).

the plan is very structured & eases you into running. but take it slow! slow & steady is the way to go. &, lots of us havent reached that 5k at the end, but HAVE reached 30mins so then you have another goal to work towards when you finish. the magic 5k.

we have all felt like you at some time during the plan, but it is amazing how fast your body adjusts ~ I still cant believe how quickly I can go back to walking & talking straight after running. before this plan I would be out of puff for ages.

listen to laura & come back & let us know how you are finding the runs. good luck X


I second everything that the others have said above. I'm on W5 now and simply cannot believe that I can do this C25K thing, but it appears that I can! Every week I've been worried that I won't be able to do the following week's programme, but every week I have managed it. And the funny thing is, it doesn't seem to get any more difficult, which must mean I'm getting better at it! Good luck with your journey and keep us all updated.


Fat kid at school, over weight all my life, not exercised in 25 years, occasionally started things but never followed through until this programme.

I don't know what it is but it's great, glad there is these blogs or I'd be boring friends evn more than I am already.

What you got to lose!


As you are mentioning the 3 minutes.. I remember that as one of the worst weeks during the program for me. I felt absolutely wiped out and very nearly gave up at that stage, thinking it's not for me, I can't do it! Then on week 4, it just clicked. I got on with it, trust that my body will do what it's suppose to and although not every run has been perfect since,I've enjoyed the process. I graduated Sunday, what an amazing feeling.

Keep going, push yourself through the hard bits, repeat a run if you really feel you need it, but just don't stop! You'll get there, really. Good luck!


Just following from what everyone has already said! I think that everyone feels the same at the beginning (or I definitely did!)

I also second the idea not to look too far ahead. I could barely run the first 60s, and scared myself a few times seeing the huge jumps!

If you struggle with a run, the program is completely in your control - you can choose to repeat weeks, repeat runs or keep going on a week before you feel ready to move on! Just remember to try the future runs, don't think you won't manage them.

I found the 3 minutes my favourite. I managed my first three minutes much more easily that I expected to, and (was my first run in a gym) I couldn't help but have a huge grin on my face!

Good luck, and definitely trust Laura (as much as you'll want to yell at her at times!)


How did you get on? I did my first run of week 2 today as well. Pretty please - I didn't have to stop at all when I should have been running :)

I agree that running for 3 mins sounds impossible! However, there are plenty of people here who have done it, so it can't be! Keep in touch via this forum and let's get each other thru this week and next?


Hi Sinope Just browse some of the profiles of the graduates (those who have completed the 9 week programme) and you will see that we come in all shapes, ages and sizes. Many of us shared your doubts when setting out and lots of us (me included) really struggled with week 1 but I guarantee that if you stick with the programme you WILL be running for 30 minutes by the end of it. This is a very well thought out programme, it is hard but not TOO hard. Not everyone makes it through to week 9 in 9 weeks - it took me about 4 months for various reasons but if you need to there is no shame in repeating a run or a whole week. The important thing is to get out there. You're already lapping everyone still on the couch! Good luck :-)


Thankyou so much, really needed to hear that im not the only one who was nervous starting out. Went out and did my 1st run of week 2 last night and surprisingly it went well! Got through the whole thing without stopping and managed to run for the full 6 sets so im very pleased with myself this morning.

Going to keep going and take your advice and trust Laura, Im actually sort of looking forward to seeing how far i can push myself, all be it slightly nervously

Thanks again and i'll keep you all posted on my progress


sinope82 and nickinocki - I just completed W2R1 on Sunday and amazed myself that I managed to do all of the runs without giving up! I was totally convinced I wouldn't be able to manage it but I did and, while it was tough, it was not impossible as I feared. Like both of you, when I think of running for 3 minutes I feel it must be impossible - and the thought of 30 minutes is completely ridiculous! But I have been taken aback that I have managed this at all (I would describe myself as EXACTLY like 29_and_counting in every adjective!) so I am just trying to have faith in the programme. It is so reassuring to read these posts and know there are others out there who feel just the same. Good luck for W2R2 - I am off out this evening and nervous but excited!


Hi gillyb - good luck with the W2R2 - let us know how you get on. I'm planning to do mine tomorrow :)


That makes 2 of us i'm planning to do w2 -d2 tommorow morning before work. Good luck to both of you :-D


Yep i just ran for 25 mins yesterday after gasping for breath after running for a minute the first time. Stick at it. It's more a mental exercise than a physical one


You'll do it Sinope if you just do what Laura tells you. Stick with her instructions and trust her to get you round. You'll do it if you just hang onto her every word. Ignore the music. If you can put up with the music you can do anything! I just kept running so I could get to the end and turn the music off! Keep the podcast running til she tells you that you've done for the day as she might give you a useful tip right at the end. Put yourself in Laura's hands, Laura in whom we trust. LOL


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