Couch to 5K
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1st time running! Anyone else new to this?


I am new to the NHS couch to 5k 9 week running plan, already 1 week in, and (I think) I'm starting to enjoy it. Me and my sister are doing this together for different reasons, mine being; wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle involving regular exercise, and wanting to look good for my upcoming graduation ;D

So far me and my sister have the same feelings about the running program; we love the idea! and the first run of week 1 was fairly easy, the 2nd not so ( our bodies knew what was coming :D ) However having completed the 3rd run of the week, we both wanted to carry on, even after the ever helpful Laura told us to warm down! However, we feel fab already! We can not wait to see how we take to the gradual incline of the program. Were curious to know what are other peoples experience of stepping up a notch are? as week 2 starts tomorrow and we want to be prepared almost! We really would like to see this through to the end and hopefully to continue. Has anyone got any advice/tips for newbies?

I hope to post on mine and my sisters behalf, to help anyone who may be a few steps behind on the program seeking help, as I have done. Reporting on our progress, weight loss, and asking questions along the way :D

Thank you to my friend Nicola for telling me about this - getting me back onto the wagon when I was on the verge of giving up.

8 Replies

Well done to you both for taking the plunge and starting the programme!! Starting out is the hardest part!

It's really great that you're enjoying week 1 so much! I did too, and I enjoyed pretty much the whole programme. For me, pretty much every week of the programme followed the same pattern: the first time it was hard, but I enjoyed actually managing to do it; the second time it was easier, and I enjoyed that fact; and the third time I really enjoyed it and felt that the next step would be a nice challenge.

You've asked for advice, so here's mine, for what it's worth: :-)

Firstly, take it easy and don't try and go too fast too soon. Enjoy the progress you're making, and never lose sight of how much you're achieving, but don't try to go fast. There's plenty of time to work on speed later on. If you actually do manage to do the full 5K within 30 minutes at the end of the programme, you'll be in a very small minority! :-)

Secondly (although, really this should be another 'firstly' point), don't beat yourselves up if/when you have a bad run. We all have them, and they're part of the process. Normally there doesn't even seem to be any explanation. A friend of mine at work, who runs marathons, has a poster up next to her desk which says "Even the worst run ever is better than no run at all". A lot of people on here seem to find that after a really awful run, the next one os often brilliant. Again, no fathomable reason!

Thirdly, remember that the beauty of this programme is its flexibility. You can do it in your own time. If you feel you need to repeat a run before moving on, do it. A few people do manage to finish in 27 runs, but again, they're a small minority. But we all get there in the end.

Finally, keep coming to this forum - it's a brilliant friendly, supportive, sympathetic place where everyone knows how it feels, and the advice and virtual hugs (and the odd kick up the bum when it's needed) are flowing.

Again, welcome, and enjoy it!!! :-D


Thank you Stefliser for the advice! Trust me, it is greatly appreciated. What you have said has made a lot of sense to us, and we have had the opportunity to talk about this with each other and realise that we need to pace ourselves. Where as before my sister would be slightly faster than me on a few occasions and visa-versa. Admittedly we felt a little disheartened when we struggled with W1 R2! but we know now that repeating a step isn't such a bad thing, so thank you for that :D

I will admit i wasn't expecting this much feedback. How helpful is this :) I live it. Expect to her from me at the end of each week :D (and your right! this is like a virtual hug)

Thanks for your support x



Welcome to both of you. :-)

I second Stefliser's advice and would just add that REST is just as important as running... Don't skip your rest days and even take more if necessary: your bodies need the time to recover and build up stronger muscles... :D


Hello! I started the program 6 weeks ago (I'm on week 5 - 1 week off due to snow). I don't know what it is about the program but it seems to be changing my attitude to exercise! Always avoided most exercise particularly running!!! It's hard work mentally as much as physically with each increase in running time. It's quite hard ignoring the gremlins in my head! However the sense of achievement is very rewarding. Good luck - I'll look forward to your blogs :)


Welcome to you both! Advice - same as Stefliser really!

Slow and steady! The most likely time to have a horrible run is straight after a good one, because without realising it, full of confidence, you tend to speed up for the next one, and then don't know what has hit you! (Slight slopes have a similar effect.)

Oh, and one little thing that came up a while ago - if you're running with someone else, do be aware that it can be harder to go at your own pace, and going just a little bit faster than you're comfortable with can be enough to make it very hard work, especially as the runs get longer. So you might want to work round a way to go at slightly different paces later on.

Enjoy yourselves! :)


Welcome to you both :) I agree with everything above and most of all about taking it steady. Listen to your body, if you're tired, slow down, if you're out of breath ,slow down.....but don't stop running. Even if it is more like a fast walk ( which I have done a few times) it doesn't matter, just keep running!

I'm now on W7R2 and 7 weeks ago I wouldn't have thought it could happen, but if you keep with the programme it really does work :) And of course keep visiting the forum, so many people, so much help advice and support. Good luck to you both on your journey to fitness :-D


Hello there and I too am starting week 2 tomorrow - best of luck and it's nice to know I'm not alone. Great that you have a running buddy.


Hello Stefliser, con-brio, Helenf28, Greenlegs, Rockchick69 and CheshireCatkin

Thank you all for your replies, and being so welcoming (over the internet :P )it really has helped! In a reply to everyone, sort -of. Stefliser! THANK YOU! you've been our topic of conversation for the night, It's been a great help :) and we defiantly will be using the forum regularly!!

We are taking the rest days in between very seriously at the moment, the aches and pains getting better after each run we do :) Running has certainly changed my attitude already, Im doing a dissertation at the moment at uni, and I'm finding that its a good method of de-stressing! my sister also feeling the same way :)

I see what you mean Greenlegs, we do seem to have different paces at times, but we are close enough to let each other know what we need from each other :) so good idea for when the runs become more advanced, to maybe distance ourselves for a while, Thanks.

thinking logically, if we get tired we should slow down etc, we just thought we had to keep up sort of speak :S so we know to take that into account now. Cheshirecatkin - good luck to you too, We're feeling confident to start week 2 tomorrow. I share your feelings, knowing your not alone and that others are doing this too! really helps boost your motivation (I think anyway)

Thank you all for your comments, you may think their only minor points to raise, but trust me they've helped us both. Expect weekly updated from me on here, and probably more questions as time goes on :)


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