Couch to 5K

Hills, weight loss, stress busting – it has got it all!

Hi All,

Having been a lapsed gym-bunny over the past year (excuses are long hours at work etc., I know excuses, excuses) I discovered this program a few weeks ago. I live in a rural part of Northumberland and really wanted something to do to improve my fitness, reduce stress levels and trim some unwanted weight. Also I didn’t want the drive to the gym etc. that eats into my valuable family time. Although I had worked out regularly at the gym in the past I had never ran outside.

I have just completed W5R1 and am feeling really good about the program. Reading all the blogs and questions on here has really helped. Up to this point I’ve just read and absorbed and thought- yeah I know how you feel, but now feel ready to share a few of my own experiences.

C25K fits the bill for me, I walk out my front gate and begin my warm up walk. This is up a very steep hill, which was tough the first couple of weeks, but now is perfectly normal. My route is also hilly and as the weeks have progressed I have hit those hills at different times, sometimes at the start of a walk but more often than not at the end of a run – killer, but all I have done is reduced my speed and dug deep – I haven’t stopped once.

Completing my W5R1 I really saw the benefits of this hilly running. OK the first 5mins was a killer up the hill however the second was up one of the smaller hills and my recovery from it took no time at all! Running outside along rural lanes is amazing, the smell of the wild honeysuckle in the evenings is stunning.

The weight is finally starting to come off this week, however the change in shape is more apparent. My legs and bum are looking toned and I can see a real difference in my waistline even if the scales are only showing a 2kg loss.

I was on holiday in Greece last week and sneaked my shoes and sports bra in my suitcase – completed 3 runs although it meant running at 7am to avoid the heat. My husband and kids didn’t even notice I had been out! Again it was a hilly area but I didn’t give it a thought, just got on with it.

My sporty daughter also started the program with me, she has been a great encouragement. She is running faster than me but is off on 2 weeks holiday so I am hoping to be able to challenge her a bit more when she comes back. We have set the date for our first 5K run together too!

I am sleeping so much better too, a real plus for me. Have had aches and pains along the way, a gait analysis at a local sport shop explained why I was getting a dull ache in one knee in particular so have got proper support for that now.

I just know I am going to keep going to graduate and keep the running up as part of my week.

So don’t be scared of hills or running outside, watch your shape and not the scales and enjoy your running!

3 Replies

Congratulations on doing so well, especially with the hills! I find them killers... I know what you mean about your shape changing, mine is too and boy, I'm glad I hoarded all my old clothes from years ago - they're all one size too big now whereas before I looked like a sausage. I'm in week 7 now and finding it fairly tough and trying to avoid too many huge hills until I get more stamina both physically and mentally for the long runs as I don't want to stop mid-run. I salute you for your attitude to hills!


Thanks Suki,

I must admit one of those hills nearly stopped me in the first 8mins of W5R2 however the second was easier and when I was finishing I was running down one of the slopes so just kept going after Laura said I could walk (it was raining and I decided to get home quicker!)

I know what you mean about mental strength, I do have to dig deep and convince myself I can make it! Hoping to do run 3 tomorrow so it will be interesting to see if I can recover and keep going after the hills!


Wow. You are impressive and determined. Thank you. I have some nasty hills where I am, and they drive me insane, but as long as you keep going, I think its ok.

Also taking the running stuff away on holiday next week.. quite excited about a change of scene!

Thanks for your post.


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