Couch to 5K

Hi All,

There's a been quite a bit of talk about the couch to 5k programme recently. I've decided to take the plunge and lose some belly, walking and running 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (I want my weekends off :D).

I'm 6ft tall and currently I weigh 208kg, or just over 17st (crikey!). I need to get that down a bit before I die of a heart-attack, or so-says my girlfriend :eek:

To get started, I've downloaded the podcasts that you can play while exercising from the NHS site, here: nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

I'll try to share my experiences, good and bad here.

Anyone going to join me?

Alex.

55 Replies

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  • Pooch to 5k

    Yep, there's also a training programme for your dog: poochto5k.com/

    However, I haven't yet found one for my fat lazy cat... :eek::D

    Alex.

  • Hi Alex. Yes I am doing the couch to 5k. I will also let everyone know how it goes. Start off gently that is important so you dont damage yourself. Good luck! Maybe we can build it up to 10k?:)

  • Great!

    Let's see if we can get any other joiners. I'm thinking of starting by fast walking at least a few times, because honestly the shape I'm in right now wouldn't hold out for even a few times a minute run.

    In principle I'm starting Wednesday, but I really need the courage to get up early, especially if it's cold and raining outside. But let's see.

    Did you start yet? If yes, how far along are you?

    Alex.

  • Good luck Alex and Haze - I started a similar programme about this time last year and it's the best thing i ever did - I've caught the running bug and have entered my first half marathon!

    Go as slow as you need to start with - and make sure you have the right shoes that suit your foot type/running style or you won't be able to walk let alone run!!! ;)

  • Good luck Alex and Haze - I started a similar programme about this time last year and it's the best thing i ever did - I've caught the running bug and have entered my first half marathon!

    Go as slow as you need to start with - and make sure you have the right shoes that suit your foot type/running style or you won't be able to walk let alone run!!! ;)

    Thanks very much MCW! I need all the encouragement I can get, and for sure I won't be pushing any limits any time soon. To start, I'm thinking of taking brisk morning walks until I have enough stamina to jog a little.

    Alex.

  • To start, I'm thinking of taking brisk morning walks until I have enough stamina to jog a little.

    Alex.

    Yep thats the way to do it. Walk fast enough to get a bit breathless without gasping. Slowly introduce a bit of jogging and increase the jogging a bit at a time. Little and often to start. Once you get into it take note of what MCW says about the trainers. They can be fairly expensive ( £80 - £100) but worth every penny specially if you are doing it on the roads. Dont waste money on cheap crap. You will probably find you have muscles you never knew existed but a bit of aching wont do you any harm.

    Good luck

  • I am only on week 2 so still a lot of walking and intermttent jogging. I agree with MCW it does become addictive, I know this from past experience. As far as trainers go what about Hi Tec Silver Shadow they are not so expensive but a great trainer and so comfy. Anyway good luck and keep me posted. I am out training tommorow night so I will let you know how it goes.:D

  • Haze, that's great, I'm only a couple of weeks behind you. I am interested in how it goes for you for sure. I can well imagine it becomes addictive, once I've overcome the skippy ball I have for a stomach. :D

    To start I'm going to use some old trainers I already have, especially as I won't be putting much pressure on anything at first, but for sure, once I get serious I'll invest in better shoes.

    Alex.

  • One of the guys that works for me followed a couch to 5k plan a short while ago. Worked brilliantly for him and he's now a pretty damn good runner.

    I'd love to do such a thing but the excess weight along with having a knackered back dictates what I can do. For now it's cycling and the gym. I used to run lots so hope that I can get some gentle running in again prior to going in to get surgery.

  • still more walking than running

    Hi. Went out tonight and I am still doing more walking than jogging but I love the buzz when I get in afterwards. I know this will take a while to build up stamina etc given that I am 55 and a little overweight. I will keep going and see where it gets me. I wouldnt have done this if I had still been smoking, I wouldnt have thought there was any point.

  • Well done Haze! :D

    I think the best advice anyone gave me was to find some sort of training plan - my first "run" was 1.3miles of going too fast for bits, staggering, walking whilst gasping for breath, going too fast again - and I suspect a bit of crawling at the end! I couldn't walk for abut a fortnight afterwards as I was approaching it all wrong!

    I just found the schedule I followed >> This one 'ere

    I started off like Alex doing Monday, Wednesday and Friday - but added Sundays too as soon as I got a bit better at it. I also joined a running club for beginners who were following a very similar schedule that started at the same time - I still go now but with the group who can actually run!

    I'm trying to work on getting a bit faster now I can keep going for long-ish distances - and of I still haven't sold running to you, I've lost 2 stone since I started!!!! :cool:

  • Hi Haze,

    Well done on getting out there! I haven't even stepped outside yet, but my gear is on its way so I'll be starting soon; at first with walks like yourself. I've decided to check out the neighborhood and find some pleasent trails.

    Like Stav says, it seems once you get started it seems to work well for a lot of people. So Stav, regardless of weight issues, and depending on doctor's orders you should try and join us at least in a walk. What do you say?

    Good luck to us all!

    Alex.

  • Well done Haze! :D

    I just found the schedule I followed >> This one 'ere

    I started off like Alex doing Monday, Wednesday and Friday - but added Sundays too as soon as I got a bit better at it. I also joined a running club for beginners who were following a very similar schedule that started at the same time - I still go now but with the group who can actually run!

    I'm trying to work on getting a bit faster now I can keep going for long-ish distances - and of I still haven't sold running to you, I've lost 2 stone since I started!!!! :cool:

    That is inspiring. I used to read runners world all the time it is a brilliant mag and gives great tips. I am out again on Saturday, I am training with a girl from work she is doing the Manchester 10k. I would really like to be able to do 10ks again. Well who knows maybe I will. I will keep you posted how I am going but thanks for the encouragement.

  • Hi Alex, lets not forget that walking is really good excersise too and is less strain on our joints. Good luck and I hope you find some nice places to walk. :)

  • Hi Alex, lets not forget that walking is really good excersise too and is less strain on our joints. Good luck and I hope you find some nice places to walk. :)

    He he, my new running shorts arrived today, but luckily my shirts still aren't here. :D I still have a couple of days respite before the first attempt (at walking, lol). Am I chicken or what?

    Alex.

  • Hi Alex, the hardest bit is that first step out of the door! It is only when you get in and you feel great that you are glad you started it. I am going out again walking/jogging tommorow. I hope the weather is good it is a bit blowy at the moment.:)

  • I must say when I hear others such as yourself, it's easy once you get started... I just need to get started.

    My shirts and socks showed up today, so I'm fully equipped. I have the kids for the weekend, and I definitely don't want to start with them around (they would kill themselves laughing, the little buggers :D). So Monday it is then. :eek:

    Have a great walk/run tomorrow, and hope to start sharing some sporty news from my side soon too.

    Alex.

  • Hiya Alex. I've just started the couch to 5k today after downloading a free app onto my ipod touch.

    Just started my Couch to 5K regime....5 things noted......

    1). I get very, very red when I exercise, I look ridiculous (forgot about that!),

    2). Half an hours exercise and I'm knackered... I'm so unfit,

    3). These iddy biddy ear-phones you have to stick in your ears are shite. Mine keep popping out no matter what size I try, even those that curl over your ears. I'm gonna use my 80's walkman headphones....what the hell I already look shite from the red face.

    4). the couch to 5k app is great 5).

    5). this exercise m'larkey makes me feel like having a fag to lose weight rather than exercise...don't worry I won't smoke but it's a helluva lot easier.

    Anyways....after cooling down and my face returning to just a slight pinky colour, I feel a load better for doing it. Like you say it's just the motivation to get your ass out that door and do some exercise. The endorphins must be flowing cos I feel great. Looks like I'll be doing the same on tuesday. Hope the weathers good. Just try and push yourself to do it.

    Lisa xxx

    Thanks for your idea on doing the couch to 5k...I'd have never had thought to do such a thing. Having the app on to tell when you to walk and run, with your fave music on the background keeps you motivated as you exercise. Thanks Alex.

  • does anyone have a link for a free couch to 5k for the android phone we have some other app that tells us how fast and how far we went but the couch to 5k sounds better

    boo

  • Hiya boo, here's one I came across. I think you get music with it too. Unfortunately I couldn't use it as Apple doesn't support Adobe Flash Player. Android does though but you may have to download the flash player.

    nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/couch-5K...

  • Well, I can't say I ran but at least I got out there and walked 1.25 miles today. That's a start. Next shot is on Wednesday, still walking, but this time doing 1.5 miles around the perimeter of a local park.

    How's everyone else doing?

    Alex.

  • Thats the way to do it Alex gradually build up. Its a bit like stopping smoking, it gets easier as time goes on, well thats the theory anyway.

    Well done getting yourself started

  • Hi Alex. Went out last night for jog/walk or maybe that should be walk/jog. Getting better and I seem to be enjoying it more. I am glad you have taken the first step to getting out the door (always the hardest) we can only benefit from this. Well done! and we will keep going!:D

  • Just complete day 2 of couck to 5k. Bloody hell that was hard going but actually managed to keep running on the running parts and near collapsing on the walking bits ha ha ha. My thighs and calves are aching like buggery...question for you all....If I'm still aching on my next run day (thursday) should I then run on top of the aches and pains???? I did this today but didn't know whether I should do or not. Anyways, keep at it Alex and everyone else....now I've gotta sort out my putrice red face!

    Lisa xx

  • Hi Lisa, well done I bet you feel great! I went last night with aching legs from Saturdays run. I think if you stretch and warm up properly you should be ok. You have done really well to be able to run as much as it says you should at first. I am struggling with that. As i have told myself I am 55 years old and 2 stone overweight so it isnt going to easy is it. I intend to keep it going and I will enter 5k runs and hopefully get up to 10k. One thing is for sure Lisa it wont do us any harm. Keep on running!!:)

  • ...question for you all....If I'm still aching on my next run day (thursday) should I then run on top of the aches and pains????

    Firstly, well done :)

    Yes do go out again on Thursday. You'll be surprised that it actually doesn't hurt as much as you'd thought it would. Be aware if you're running into or with the wind. That does make a big difference in the early days. I tend to run into the wind on the way out and sail back when returning....easier to look cool and fit in front of the neighbours :o

    As Haze mentions... stretching and warm up before and afterwards. Once you get going past counting a minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, etc you'll find that you're body runs and your mind seems separated from what your body is doing. A great place to be :cool:

  • Hi Haze and Lisa,

    Great to hear I have some running buddies (well, me walking and you running for now, he he :D).

    I'm taking part in a running forum since last week, and everyone says it gets quite addictive once you've got started and have a few miles behind you. I sure hope it does, because I want to be addicted to something healthy for a change.

    The experts do warn not to get carried away and do too much, especially in the beginning. The feedback I got was that too many people go out a few times and think they can push the envelope, resulting in injuries. It's better to take it easy and listen to your body, repeating the weekly schedule for as many times as is needed in order to avoid overdoing it.

    Hey ho, I'm off for my next walkathon tomorrow... Already!!!

    Alex.

  • Hi all!

    My wife did the Couch to 5K a couple of years ago and now she gets really frustrated if she can't get out for her running "fix"!

    I believe the most important piece of advice that she was given was from her boss who is also a keen runner (regular 10k+) and has many, many years experience. He says that you must give your body a chance to recover, especially in the early days. So, if you go out on Monday then rest Tuesday - train Wednesday, rest Thursday etc. As others have said, warm up is vital but so is the warm down. Don't go out if you are still hurting from a previous run because you are leaving yourself open to injury and frustration. Just leave it an extra day.

    Hope that helps. Good luck to you all! :)

    Phil

  • Thanks for the advice everyone....I didn't warm up or warm down when I went out to run the first time and as I'm a little older and more unfit than usual it felt like every muscle in my body was killing me two days after running. As wellas you lot pointing it out, my hubby also said I should do some warm up/stretch exercises before and after running to alleviate muscle pain. I know, I know sounds like common sense but to be honest running has never been my exercise of choice before...I usually swim or go on my exercise bike.

    Hats off to everyone who runs...I think it's the toughest exercise their is in the beginning. At least on the bike the force of pedalling helps you halfway round again and swimming you are buoyed and glide through the water. Running is a hard slog. Hopefully I'll get to a point where I "get in the zone" and have that feeling where my body is doing the work and my mind relaxes like Cav says. I shall give running a miss another day if I feel so awful two days after again...I've looked into it a bit and if your aching too much, running on top of that can cause damage in the long run. I'll see how I feel now that I've actually stretched and warmed up/down this time. Thanks again for the advice it's really helped.

    Lisa x

  • Thanks for the advice everyone....I didn't warm up or warm down when I went out to run the first time and as I'm a little older and more unfit than usual it felt like every muscle in my body was killing me two days after running. As wellas you lot pointing it out, my hubby also said I should do some warm up/stretch exercises before and after running to alleviate muscle pain.

    If you're going to continue with the running then do add in the warm up/down and stretches. Another beneficial trick is to have a bath afterwards and....soak!

  • 10k

    Well I am signed up to do the Manchester 10k on Sunday! God help me! It is for a charity very close to my heart which is Alzheimers. I know I am only on week 2 and a bit of the couch to 10k but I will be walking most of it. I want to get back into running and these events are great. I will warm up and down as you so very sensibly pointes out Cav. Anyway I will let you know how I get on.:eek:

  • Wow - good luck Haze! I haven't got any races entered until the Nottingham Half in September, but I've just entered a competition to win a bespoke training plan for it. :)

    Advice on the stretching - I've always been told that it's best to do dynamic stretches before a run (ones where you're moving - for example swinging each leg backwards and forwards as far as you can, then out to the front and side to side - also ankle circles holding each leg out in front) - then static stretches after(ones that you hold!)

    I must admit I'm naughty and always forget to stretch though :o

    Lisa - I find a nice gin and tonic really helps with the aches! ;)

  • Thanks for the advice mcw. I admire you doing a half marathon. I only ever did 10k even when I was running regularly in my thirties. You are so right about running though it is hard hard hard but dont you feel great after!:D I will tell you honestly on Sunday afternoon how long it took me.

  • Boosch, I couldn't run today as my knee has swollen up and feels really hot and aching. I suppose I should have thought this might happen as I've had "runners knee" or chondromalacia patellae in the past. Will have to stick to cycling which is ok but doesn't make me feel the same as when I'm running. Damn stupid knees! Might actually ask the doc if I can have a referral to see a physiotherapist but will probably have to wait a year to get an appointment. Feeling overall pissed off as the motivation is there but my body isn't!!! Thanks for all the encouragement guys but I'll have to rethink my exercise regime I think :(

    P.S. Love the picture sue!

  • Thanks for the encouragement and the funny pic Sue. Sadly, even my walking hasn't taken off properly yet. For one I've not really been in the mood, but also I've been put off by skin irritations (I have a rare skin disease). Still, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon.

    Alex.

  • 10k

    Well I did it! It took me 1 hour 33 mins, I ran and jogged around the course and I really enjoyed it but clearly I need to get some training in before I attempt another one. I will stick to 5k for now.:D

  • Woo-hooo! Way to go Haze!!!

    It makes me think I really need to get going... and I will, I promise!

    Alex.

  • Thanks

    Alex it was hard! I got sunburnt aswell but I am still glad I did it! Pity you dont live near by I would come and drag you out with me!:D

  • Oooooohhhhh just come across this thread:eek:

    I've signed up for a 10K midnight walk for the local hospice at the end of June.

    Got to go training - see you in a few days:confused:

  • Alex it was hard! I got sunburnt aswell but I am still glad I did it! Pity you dont live near by I would come and drag you out with me!:D

    Blimey, I'm glad I don't live anywhere near you! :p

    -------------

    Magwillz,

    Good luck with the training!

    Alex.

  • Oooooohhhhh just come across this thread:eek:

    I've signed up for a 10K midnight walk for the local hospice at the end of June.

    Got to go training - see you in a few days:confused:

    My sister has done these midnight walks and she has a great time!

    Good luck with the training! Let us know how you get on.:)

    Blimey, I'm glad I don't live anywhere near you!

    Just kidding Alex, you can lead the horse to the water but you cant force it to drink!

  • Just kidding Alex, you can lead the horse to the water but you cant force it to drink!

    My ex-wife would beg to differ :D

  • Woohoo way to go Haze! (I used to have a great picture of some boingy kittens for celebration-like occasions but I've lost them in between computers!) :D:D:D

    I did 10.7 miles tonight, my "long" runs have been gradually getting shorter and shorter so I had to see if I could still do double figures - I'm knackered now but still appear to have legs!

    Love the pic Sue - made me giggle.

    *chases Alex round the block* :p

  • Fantastic to see all the jogging posts here.

    I used to run/stagger the 5k race with work every year, and recently got back to it.

    I went from 5k to 10k in 2010, half marathon in 2011, and I just completed my first ever marathon 2 weeks ago in just over 4 hours. The feeling was unbelievable at the end.

    Keep it slow in the start though and remember to rest every other day. It's so frustrating to go over the top in the beginning and then get a niggling injury that puts you off again.

  • Well, how shameful. Almost two months later and I still haven't started the C25K programme. :mad: Getting off the cigs was way easier than getting off my ar*se!!! Can someone please give me a push? :D

    I hope it is going well for all you runners... Let's hear from you.

    Alex.

  • Do you mean like this :p

    I was rather hoping for something more like this! :D

  • I do admire all you runners. I just can't do it - not laziness, but running brings on my asthma like nothing else. I like the idea of the sponsored walk though, might see if there's anything similar happening round here.

    Have you seen this BMI comparison thing on the BBC?

    bbc.co.uk/news/health-18770328

  • Have you seen this BMI comparison thing on the BBC?

    bbc.co.uk/news/health-18770328

    I'm not sure if it is just me, but the calculator doesn't seem to be working. Even if I say that I weigh 300 kilos (I only weigh 178Kg), it still tells me I have 0 BMI and that my BMI is less than 100% of all males on the planet!

    Alex.

  • You filled in all the other bits too, right? Age, country etc?

  • Yep, I filled in everything. Does it work for you?

  • Yes, it's fine.

    Quite gratifying results :D

  • OK, I think I worked it out. Either the calculator doesn't seem to understand the metric system, or I don't understand how the calculator interprets the metric system. If I translate metric into the imperial (is that what you call it?) system, I'm more obese than 96% of the world's population!!!

    I still think something is messed up...

    Alex.

  • Aha, I got it working now... Silly me, I was entering my height as 183 instead of 1.83 (metres).

    Ummm, I don't like the results at all! :eek:

    Alex.

  • *popping in to chase Alex around the block again* :D

  • Have found a jogging companion for your cat. x ;):D

    Aww, Sue, that is soooo cute! That cat looks just like one of mine!!!

    Alex.

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