Couch to 5K
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Week 1 Run 1

I write this with mixed feelings, today I did my first run and have to say I found it difficult. I think it is going to take me much longer than the 9 weeks going on todays performance.

My main problem was about halfway through I developed a thumping headache which didn't help.This quickly eased off when i finished but it did concern me.

Is there anything i can do to avoid this happening again?

On a positive note I'm pleased i've made the first step towards a fitter healthier me. Onwards and upwards I say as I'm determined to do this so any comments would be much appreciated please as i feel i need them at this moment in time.

10 Replies

Hi luv, we are all different so what works for one may not work for

somebody else. The body doesnt like running and takes months to

adapt to it. Why not try walking the whole distance rather than the

run/walk requirement? Ease into it slowly so its less of a shock.

When i started i thought i was going to die from my asthma.

There will be more advice forthcoming no doubt but please

remember to take your time. Good luck, Ed x


Hi, Well done on getting out for your first run. Did you have anything to eat or drink before your run? It helps to have a drink of water before you set out. Some people make time to have a light breakfast about an hour before running, I usually have a pint of water and a banana before going out first thing, and then breakfast when I get back.


Hello, welcome to the forum :)

I do similar to BettyJane, a banana and some juice about half an hour before I head out in the morning.

Don't worry if you take longer than 9 weeks, I think most of us here have taken longer for one reason or another- injuries, fitness levels, other commitments etc. Take it at your own pace, there's nothing wrong with repeating a couple of runs if you want to- but you might be surprised how much you can do!

One mistake that I made in the first week was running too fast. If you get a phone app that tells you your pace or just time yourself then you can make sure you're not going too fast. If you go too fast then it'll be hard to keep going over a long distance. I had to practice running slowly and it took me a while to get the hang of it!


My first run was almost enough to convince me I'd be unable to do the programme at all, I found it that tough. So much so that it took me all that day (I run very early) and into the evening of the next day before I felt it was even worth giving run 2 a try. To be precise, I found most of the eight running sections very difficult and was both lightheaded when I finished and had a rasping sound in one lung!

I'm delighted to say the second run went so much better, the eight runs weren't as bad, no rasping sound although I still have a bit of lightheadedness it doesn't happen every run and I'm at Week 4 now.

I hope this helps you to find it within you to continue.


Hi Luvleeju

Snap, I've just completed my very first run too. Well done us!!!!

I did more of a joggy-walk than a run, after all whose watching and it's not a competition!

As long as we keep going its bound to get easier.

Eating and drinking is really important, I think. Have you got one of those little water bottles in the shape of a doughnut so they are easy to carry?

I'm going to have to take it really gently as my heart races too much otherwise.

You've made a start and that's the most important thing. Every little helps....

I'll look out for your blogs.

Good luck!



Thanks everyone for your comments . I did have breakfast about an hour before but i do know i dont drink enough fluids have always been the same from a child. So I'm guessing the headache was probably that, looks like i'm going to have to try and increase my fluid intake.

I'm hoping my next run will feel a bit better atleast I know what to expect now.

I have downloaded the sport tracker app onto my I-phone so hope this will help and now I have read all your comments feel more positive again. Here's to run 2 on saturday.

Good luck Norni and everyone else who's a novice at this running buisness.


Joggy-walks are the way to go! I started off too fast in week 1 (though it wouldn't have looked remotely fast - but it was too fast for me at that point). Jogging as slowly as I could possibly go (slower than my walking - honestly!) worked for me, and now, week 3, I am surprised to find that I can now actually jog at a pace that looks like 'real' jogging - for a while anyway.

Well done for actually getting out of the door and being active - a huge achievement in itself.


well done for getting out of the door and doing the whole run! Def try and increase your fluids and like the others have said - a pint and a banana an hour or so before works a treat for me. also, slow, slow, slow - I am attempting to start week 2 tonight and like greenlegs I think my jog will probably be slower than my walk just so I can keep going for the whole interval.

keep going - we will get there :-)


Well done - you've done the hardest bit, getting out there and giving it a go!

You might find run 2 a little better as you will know what to expect. Keep going, you can do it! X


Julie, I was physically ill after a few of my first runs. I was pushing my unconditioned body harder then it was use to. Just do a light jog, one step above a brisk walk if you can. We found being intentional and increasing our water the days of runs helped as well. Try to eat a light meal/snack about an hour or so before, such as a slice of ww bread or banana with natural peanut butter. Do you have a tendency for high blood pressure? Just try to go easy and maybe it will help. Hoping the next run finds you well! Gayle


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