Couch to 5K
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New to couch to 5k, lots of questions. Please help

Hi, I'm new to couch to 5k, I havn't started yet, but I'm miserable with my weight and really want to lose weight. [I have recently quit smoking 3weeks without now, so time to tackle weight!]

I'm worried about looking silly, either at the gym or down the country walkways near me :/

I have no idea what kind of trainers to get, any ideas? Keep in mind I'm a student and can't afford any expensive ones. Also in need of a sports bra [Every time i have previously bought one i could never breath properly in them, which wasn't encouraging atall, where can i get a nice one that won't cost me an arm and a leg?]

Do i do the 'podcasts' 3 times a week? Should i have a day inbetween each for rest? What if i cant complete a week?

Please help! many thanks


20 Replies

Hi Natwii! First of all welcome to the community and allow me to apologize for the intrusion of advertising by the person posting previously. They have been reported dozens of times.

To begin with just wear your ordinary trainers and gym gear (depending on the weather, of course!) then when you get the bug you can think about proper gear! I've been running 3 months now and still haven't got all the proper gear yet, but that hasn't stopped me running 25 minutes non-stop and enjoying it. So, just get out the door and do it for now. Look forward to reading about your first run. Just follow Laura's instructions, 3 runs a week with a day's rest in between. If you have REAL difficulty, just repeat the run. No stress, no hassle and we are all right behind you. GOOD LUCK!


hi Nat,well done for giving up smoking you are brave to tackle that along with starting c25k but I am sure you will succeed! Don't worry about what other people think.I felt self conscious when i started running as i didn't like my body. i covered up in a massive black hoody but now i can run for over 30mins and i have lost about a stone in weight and i now can wear leggings and a top that fits me and feel ok about my body! I would recommend a sports bra and they can be dear but try asda or marks as there are cheaper ones out there.just start in your normal trainers,you can get a better pair if you enjoy the program and continue with running. I really recommend c25k cos you can just repeat a week if you're finding it tough. But have faith in yourself even if you think oh no I can't run for 2,5,10 minutes just HAVE A GO because I surprised myself that I COULD do the next week... GO FOR proud that you're trying which is a lot better than sitting on that couch! Good luck x


Thanks for all the help guys :) really has cheered me on about starting it.

I'm worried about getting pains in my shins because i get them when walking up hill, so that was the thought on would trainers help that.

I think i'l have a look in asda or a sports bra :)

thanks much [starting on Monday O_O eeee... i'm rather excited now :) ]



I am also self conscious about running in public so have been doing my runs at dusk. This means investing in something hi viz - I got a cheap hi viz Sam Browne type belt from Amazon.

Suitable running gear does not have to be expensive. I got my first running outfit from TKMaxx, have since topped that up with some stuff from Aldi. The Aldi offer was about 10 days ago but my local Aldi still has a few tops and jackets (hit and miss on sizes though). If you have a Sports Direct shop near you that will also be worth a look - they've gone bust so practically everything is reduced. Any comfy pair of trainers is ok, but if you have shin pain you may want to get help on fitting from somewhere that does gait analysis.

Just follow the programme - I'm over 60, overweight, hated sport at school to the extent that I'd hide in the changing rooms to minimise the chances of having to do anything. I didn't believe I could ever do this, yet 9 weeks on I've amazed not just myself but friends and family by my ability to run (albeit slowly) for 30 minutes. You will do the same. And you will be helped by this very supportive community.


Hi Natwii!

I'm pretty new too, and I was terrified of starting and of people

seeing me. I was scared to even go and buy some jogging bottoms in case people laughed!

I picked up everything I needed from Sports Direct. Cost me £53 in total.

I got a pair of jogging bottoms (£10), a sports bra (£7), some basic nike

socks (£6) and some trainers (£30). I picked the ones that said "running"

on the description and tried them on until one felt comfy.

Not exactly scientific, but it worked! We have a fancy running

shop up the road, but I'm in the same boat finance wise.

As for the programme I do one day on, one day off. So Sat, Mon, Wed, Fri,

Sun, Tues, Thurs, Sat...etc etc.

If you cannot complete a week after the three runs, I'd suggest repeating

the session until you can do it, and then progress. I did week 1 for 5 runs

because I felt like they were too hard. I'm now on week 2. We all go at our own pace.

You can do it, and this community are fantastic at spurring you on. If I can do it

at 5 stone overweight and having never done exercise before, then I guarantee anyone can!

We are behind you, YOU CAN DO IT!! :D (and trust Laura!)


Have a rest day in between the podcasts; Laura will tell you everything else you need to know. If you need to repeat a week then this is fine and most people find themselves doing this at least once. If you can post each time you run, with any questions you have then this helps to keep motivated; the site is very very friendly and helpful :)

Good luck x


Sports direct sounds like a good place to go:) I'll definitly be going there when i can! at the moment i'l just have to run in flat flat flat! trainers ><

i'm deefinitly starting to tihnk i can do this though, its a no pressure thing isnt it, if its too difficult repeat the easy level until you can do the next :)

thanks guys for all the help!


I would recommend a decent sports bra, especially if you are anything bigger than a B cup. It's worth spending the extra money as it will save you a lot of pain and discomfort. You also don't want to end up with your boobs down by your knees now do you?? It's too late for mine, being middle aged and having breast fed two children, I could flip mine over my shoulders and put them in a back pack! Try Shock-absorber bras. They do one that is specifically for running. They're not cheap, but will mean you don't have middle-aged boobs on your student-aged body ;-)


I repeated runs quite a few times in the first few weeks until i was ready to move on. Tis programme really does work, so stick with it and you will amaze yourself and others. My experience is that you will encourage others as well as get encouragement just by being out there, so don't be shy. I could not complete a 60 second jog two months ago and now I can go for 30 minutes non stop, which is amazing, as is the fact that you will soon be joining the many others on here telling their success stories and sharing their challenges. Good luck!


Don't be worried about looking 'silly', you just need to start. I remember not so many weeks ago posting a question about starting the programme and I was SO encouraged by other members comments that I forgot all about my reservations and just started using the podcasts. Have faith in them, they really work. I'm now on Wk 9 with one last run to go. Listen to Laura, (the voice on the podcast) she knows what she's talking about, and you'll be fine Good luck!

PS A good bra is a must. As others havesuggested, Asda stock reasonable ones and also you might try Primark


I'm going to see if I can get a decent pair of trainers and a good bra [My family have said they will chip in some money as they really want me to do this as well] :) Going to start on the 12th so i have time to get everything i need [plus I'm still getting over a nasty bout of bronchitis D:]

I have been really encouraged by the people on here, and I'm now looking forward to it.

Does it make a difference if i do this on a treadmill at my gym? and if so is it that much of a difference? 'coz i think i'd rather do it at my gym, then i could have a soak in the pool, jacuzzi and laconium to relax afterwards

Nat x


hiya Natiil!! welcome to this running malarky!!

I wholeheartedly agree with everything that's been said here.

to add my own little advice, if I may ..... I too was very conscious of going out and starting this program. but, eventually, I did and it really wasnt so bad. its all in our minds.

all my running stuff is from aldi or sports direct. nothing brought over £15.00 so far. i would say running waterproof top, trainers and sports bras are a must for now. work up to the speciality running gear as and when. unfortunately I am rather top heavy and i have to double up on my sports bras when i go out running, and theyve cost me a pretty penny :-( however, I think M&S have some good bras. try em on and have a running on the spot session in the changing rooms to see if they're any good!!! debenhams had some on in the sale too.

first time out, i went out when it was just getting dark - no one could see me properly then!! I also wrapped a light jumper round my middle so no one could see me bouncing bum!! every little helps for that first time :-) (have to say that I dont do that any more because to be honest Im too busy trying to survive the sessions to worry about what I look like!).

you definitely need to rest between runs. for week one you need to do the podcast run three times before you move on to week 2, and so on for each week. Laura tells you during the podcasts what to do.

you can do this!! we're all here on this to support each other through the highs and lows. everyone has been where the other is at one stage or another. its a really great community and the people are lovely.

please let us all know how you get on. keep blogging.

best of luck!!



Asda do some cheap running gear in various sizes right up to 22 (my size) I did find it more comfortable than the cotton Tshirt and leggings I wore to start with.


Hi Nat, welcome to the community! You will find lots of really great advice and support on here. I would echo everyone's comments. Getting out of the door is the hardest step. Once you start you will amaze yourself with what your body can do and how quickly it adapts. The programme really is great.

Also I saw a lot of comments about sports bras. I just want to put in a recommendation for this one, that I recently bought from M and S:

(ooh sorry for the long link!). It has really good support (i'm pretty top heavy) but also so lightweight and reasonably priced at £18. It has loads of great reviews too. Well worth the money in my opinion!

Good luck! :)


Hi Nat, welcome to the site, i think the most important thing to get right is the sports bra, in the early weeks you can run in normal t-shirts and joggers and trainers, as you progress and the runs get longer you may need running trainers. I got my running clothes from sports direct online, arrives within a couple of days, and sainsburys.

Follow Lauras advice and dont worry if you need to complete a run, a minute when you start off feels like you've run a marathon, and its not unusual to have the odd ache at the start depending on when you last ran. Goos luck and let us know how you get on :)


I'm hopefully going shopping tomorrow [If the person whos taking me shop[ing isnt too tiered!] Going to check round sports direct, marks and sparks and some other places before making a decision [Unless of course i find the perfect one, which never happens!] Planning to start next Monday so i have a week to get over being ill :) Can't wait, so excited!

But can anyone tell me if it makes a difference if i run on proper ground or my treadmill?

many thanks! xx


Running on the treadmill is a bit different to running outside, but if you will feel more comfortable running on the treadmill then go with that. I think for the shorter runs (Weeks 1-4) it will be fine, but you may find it boring as the runs get longer, there are more distractions outside to make you *forget* you are running! :) I started on the treadmill, but found I kept clock-watching on the longer runs so moved to a mix of treadmill and outside, and now I would rather run outside.


goodness rubbishrunner i need lots of distractions to take me through the runs so Im with you on running outside!! took me a bit to pluck up the courage Natwii but I cant imagine running inside now.

I think treadmill -v- outside running has been discussed many times - see tags.

(ps - rubbishrunner - are you not thinking of changing your name? im sure it was mentioned when you graduated. WASrubbishrunner gets my vote :-) )


HI, as far as the sports bra goes, I would really recommend tesco. As a busty lady, I find the asda ones about as much use as a chocolate teapot, and they rub too. Tesco do some really good ones for £6, I find them very comfortable (I know - a comfy bra!!) and supportive, and they are also well cut under the armpits so hold your sides in too. They do a range from medium support to total support, and go right up to a g cup. I thought that the asda ones give you a 'sausage boobs' kind of look too. Not good!


Go for it Natwii :-). I didn't go and get any particular gear, just jogging bottoms and t shirts that I already had and it's fine. I too worried about what people would think - but have found that most people i meet or pass are encouraging rather than laughing at me. And some don't even notice. It took me 2 weeks to do week 3, on week 5 now and this is definitely the best programme I have followed. Just keep doing what Laura says and you will do it. Looking forward to hearing how you get on :-).


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