Does C25K work? Success stories?

snaptom Posts: 14 Member
edited November 2023 in Getting Started
It looks like a good plan - I was just wondering if anyone has (or is currently) used it to help them lose weight and let them enjoy running?

I've always pushed too hard when I run and it just puts me off for so long.


  • Carnivorekat
    Carnivorekat Posts: 370 Member
    I am thinking about starting it although not quite yet, still have a way to go and going to build fitness up, but its in my long term plan as it really looks good and have friends who swear by it and say its brilliant.

    I don't want to injure myself and at this moment it wouldn't be wise to kick it in but if you are ready then give it a try
  • determinedbutlazy
    determinedbutlazy Posts: 1,941 Member
    Yes, it works. I started at 237lbs and I would get winded running for a bus.

    I ran my first proper 5k race after completing the programme twice, once on a treadmill and once outside. I ran it in 33:15.

    If you're motivated to learn to run, it's the best tool available. Make sure you invest in good shoes, too.
  • wizbeth1218
    wizbeth1218 Posts: 358 Member
    It absolutely works!

    It's a great program to ease into becoming a runner. I was 240 pounds when I started C25K. I ran my first 5K on April 20, and I will run my first half-marathon on October 5. I'm down to 185 pounds now.

    Sticking to healthy food choices has had a lot more to do with my weight loss than any amount of running ever could, BUT I have really enjoyed the process of becoming a runner. C25K was a great way to begin that process.

    And, from the Unsolicited Advice Department... if you haven't already done so, be sure to get fitted for running shoes by the staff at a REAL running store. The right shoes will make ALL the difference.

    Best wishes to you!
  • Mia_RagazzaTosta
    Mia_RagazzaTosta Posts: 4,885 Member
    A calorie deficit works for weight loss.

    Running is good for fitness.

    I used to run a lot. Ran a couple races too. I never lost weight because I never got my diet in check.
  • ChristiH4000
    ChristiH4000 Posts: 531 Member
    I successfully used C25K to go from zero running to running 3+ miles straight. My focus was not on losing weight as much as it was improving abilities at that point, but I wasn't exactly starting at couch because I was doing cardio classes and elliptical machines regularly. Running never was something I thought I could do or could enjoy, but now I can say that I can run, am a runner, and can walk away from a run without hating everything about it.
    Take it slow.
    Good luck!

    ETA: I was not eating at a deficit and therefore did not lose weight, but that's not to say that you can't lose weight while running, just need to eat at a calorie deficit.
  • angellmoore
    angellmoore Posts: 72 Member
    I didn't use C25K, but something similar. It's an app called Ease into 5K. Same idea though. It works! I started 4 months ago. I didn't (couldn't) run. The first week I thought I would die just from running for 1 minute at a time. Now 4 months later I run 6.5 miles without stopping. It's worth a try.
  • lfost917
    Started running with C25k 3 years ago and now I'm training for my second marathon!

    Its easy to push yourself too hard, so try to keep it lighter than you think you need to and you'll be more likely to come back for more. Running to lose weight is a good reason to start, but once you get that rush of accomplishment after meeting your first big goal, you will find so many other reasons to continue. Good luck!
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,420 Member
    I started Couch to 5k last November. The 30 second runs were a stretch. I'm now training for a half-marathon at the end of October. Running has changed me in countless positive ways both mentally and physically. I'd say it works.
  • rachface1234
    rachface1234 Posts: 227 Member
    I like it, I am actually using the couch to 10K app right now, training for a 5K October 5th, then a 10K in April. I started on week 3 because I've kept up some jogging and some cardio for a long time. I rarely do two days in a row, try to aim for every other day, and if a day is miserable or I have to stop for an unplanned break (trust me in the humidity/heat where I live this is sometimes a MUST!) then I just repeat the workout one more time before moving on. I've never been outside of a healthy BMI, I'm stuck towards the upper end ofr someone my height, so it doesn't so much help me with weight, but the endorphins, the cardio endurance, and mental health benefits are SO worth it. I love to announce (to poor ppl who probably don't care) that this morning I ran ... minutes without stopping! Longest so far is 40, up from originally 3! I def recommend it :)
  • asp415
    asp415 Posts: 1,492 Member
    Yes it most definetly works. I used the Zombies Run C25k trainer. The c25k program conditioned me to be ale to run. I went from a struggling torturous 60 seconds to now running from 2-4 miles 4 days a week. In the 8 weeks the program runs. It's a wonderful feeling to now be able to say I'm a runner, which is something I have never once in my life ever been. I won't say it was easy because it wasn't, but every week got a little bit easier.
  • steve2kay
    steve2kay Posts: 194 Member
    I did it a couple of years ago and have since run the Reading half marathon twice, and the Great South Run twice. I almost died the first week running for 30 seconds, so I'd say it worked for me.

    A couple of points about it:
    1) I didn't lose massive amounts of weight, because I wasn't tracking my calories - so I was fitter but still fat.

    2) I had to slow down. I found that running at 10-12kph comfortable but knackering (heart rate 170+), running at 8kph seemed more stilted but allowed me to go much further (heart rate <150). It also led to shorter strides which seemed to be better for my shins.
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,420 Member
    Its easy to push yourself too hard, so try to keep it lighter than you think you need to and you'll be more likely to come back for more.

    ^^^This. Also, join us over on the Couch to 5k board for motivation, success stories and advice.
  • mommamia9211
    I just finished week 2 day 3 and it went great. I'm actually looking forward to starting week 3. I was a complete non-runner prior to beginning and can not wait to feel the accomplishment of finishing a 5k when I am ready. I am doing this on a treadmill right now as I have a little one to look after, but hope to get outside for at least one day of each of the next weeks. I am also looking to lose weight. I cut my calories down quite a bit and am staying away from the junk. I am currently 180lbs and 5'6 so we will se how it goes. Hope to add insanity or Jillian micheals in on my off days starting next week.
  • KnickersInATwist
    KnickersInATwist Posts: 237 Member
    I've downloaded the app, going to start it tonight. I'll have to remember to follow the advice and not push myself too much! I have a tendency to push my limits and then I hate to exercise!

    Anyway... New start and all that- I'm quite excited to lace up my trainers and get going!
  • dandelyon
    dandelyon Posts: 620 Member
    If you push too hard (as you say in your post) then Couch to 5k would be a great program for you, and there is a very active C25k group on here as well. That would be good for you to join as they will help you look at your progress realistically :) There are many, many graduates on MFP.
  • kthealth
    Love it!! Our whole family just did it together - and we ran our first family 5K together! It really works :) And, now I am totally addicted to running :)
  • Thomasm198
    Thomasm198 Posts: 3,189 Member
    Q: Is it good for weightloss?
    A: No. A calorie deficit is all that is good for weightloss.

    Q: Is it a good programme?
    A: Yes. It's very good for getting somebody started with running. I started with C25K last year. This year, I've done 3 half-marathons so far and am training for a marathon at the end of October.
  • igotabulletproofheart
    C25K isn't a weight loss plan. It's merely a routine to condition our bodies to run ~5km in ~20min.

    Whether you lose weight is totally up to your diet. Exercise does little in this department.
  • rose313
    rose313 Posts: 1,146 Member
    I didn't lose any weight with it but it DEFINITELY works. You start seeing results pretty quickly, which is motivating. It does wonders for endurance. And almost anyone can do it.
This discussion has been closed.