Started C25K today- any tips?

I finally got my treadmill delivered and my new running shoes and socks. Did the first day of C25K and I felt the burn in my shins/calves but nothing terrible. I can see how out of shape I am though- slow and jelly legs after. Anyone do this program? Any tips? General running advice? Thanks!

Replies

  • allother94
    allother94 Posts: 588 Member
    I did it. My advice is to run slower if you need to. I was trying to run a 8 min per mile pace all the time, but I quickly hit a wall around week 4. Once I slowed down to a 10-11 min mile pace, I finished the program and lost 30lbs in the process. I was running 5k twice a week after the program for a while and dropped another 20lbs, but started lifting weight heavy and stopped the running to help gain some muscule.
  • BarryTone99
    BarryTone99 Posts: 9 Member
    Don't be afraid to stay on Day 1 for a while. Once you are confident with Day 1 (maybe a week or two down the road - at most), then go ahead and start the remaining days. It is a simple program that works.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 5,554 Member
    allother94 wrote: »
    I did it. My advice is to run slower if you need to. I was trying to run a 8 min per mile pace all the time, but I quickly hit a wall around week 4. Once I slowed down to a 10-11 min mile pace, I finished the program and lost 30lbs in the process. I was running 5k twice a week after the program for a while and dropped another 20lbs, but started lifting weight heavy and stopped the running to help gain some muscule.

    I can only agree: go slower if needed.
    I started waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay slower than the poster above. I started around 6.5kph (15 minute mile), when still obese. At that speed I could run for a fairly long time without my shins and calves killing me, while running just a bit quicker would 'kill' me very quickly.
    Two years later and I can run for an hour or more without any problems (11-12minute miles) and quicker for shorter distances.
  • TX_Bluebonnet
    TX_Bluebonnet Posts: 244 Member
    I don't know which C25K program you're using, but I highly recommend the NHS one because they have an excellent and very supportive forum. https://healthunlocked.com/couchto5k I don't think I would have finished the program without the forum's tips, encouragement, and support.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,596 Member
    I agree with the above, go slow, really slow. It should feel like a slow jog, not a sprint. If you have trouble with a session or a week, repeat it if you need to. That said, trust the plan. There is a point around week 4 or 5 where there is a big increase in time/distance spent running. It is really intimidating. I didn't think I could do it, so I split the distance in two. The next session, I did the full distance without any problem. By increasing the time you run, you gain confidence in your ability to do more than you once thought possible. It is a good feeling. The plan I followed had the option to run either by time (10 minutes) or distance (one mile) in the later weeks. I chose the one that had me running the longest. Don't think that that means you have to run 10 minute miles. I tried and couldn't do it and felt like a failure until it was explained to me that the plan was either/or, not both.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,693 Member
    Did it years ago when I was first losing weight and getting into shape. My advice would be not to worry about speed at all...the primary objective of the program is getting you in good enough shape that you can jog 30 minutes non-stop. For most people just starting a running program, that is likely not going to be a full 5K. I was able to do a full 5K after the program, but it took longer than 30 minutes. I didn't start working on my time until later.

    There were also a couple of weeks that I had to repeat...I don't recall the weeks specifically, but they were more towards the end of the program. So don't worry if you have to do that along the way.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    +1 go slower than you think you need to. Endurance comes first, speed comes later.

    Also +1 you will need to repeat a day or week at some point, and that is OK. If you don't finish a workout, or if you *do* finish but barely, do that one again until you finish it with confidence. If you get to the end of your cooldown (or the start of your cooldown!) and need to collapse into a chair for a few minutes, repeat that week until you don't need to do that anymore.

    I also just picked C25K up again, finished W2D1 this morning (in the rain, even!). I've spent the past year and change rebuilding my cardiovascular fitness by walking, so I have a very strong base to build on for running. I also did a lot of lower-body-focused resistance training, not in preparation for starting to run again, I had a different goal I was working towards, but it probably has helped. This is probably my 4th attempt at the program, and it's the first time I've finished workouts and been able to just keep going about my business right after. Breathing normally and HR back to normal resting range immediately, even after coming up the stairs to my 2nd-floor apartment, which is an incredible change of pace from when I would be winded and heart pounding *just* coming up those stairs, without the half-hour of walking and jogging before that.
  • minnelizzy
    minnelizzy Posts: 45 Member
    I am so slow though! I walk at a 3.5 and feel great. But then I run, even at a 4 and feel the burn and winded so easily and early. I know it’s not about speed, but endurance at first and just being able to sustain the run, but damn. I am out of shape. I’m 5’3” 170 so overweight but not morbidly obese and people think I’m younger than 41. Obviously my body is saying differently 🙄 it’s really disheartening to know I’m this slow.
  • matt9712
    matt9712 Posts: 50 Member
    Take it slow and ease into it. Don't wanna over do it and get frustrated with an injury
  • kdhaile
    kdhaile Posts: 26 Member
    Start off much slower. Especially in the beginning when they say walk you should be able to hold a conversation witout being out of breath. When they say jog pick it up a bit but not so much that you are out of breath. I have used the program in the past with success and then fell off but back on now.
  • briscogun
    briscogun Posts: 1,135 Member
    Echoing a lot of the comments above. I've done the program like 3 or more times now and here's what I've gleaned:
    • Go slow. It's about completing the segments NOT how fast you complete them. No prizes for speed.
    • Give yourself permission to fail. You will probably need to repeat days if not whole weeks. It's ok. That's pretty normal. Just keep trying, you'll get there.
    • Warm up before and do stretching afterwards. Key to NOT getting hurt.
    • Do NOT run on consecutive days. Take the required rest days between runs.
    • Find good music or a podcast to listen to. Really helps once you get to the longer segments/runs.
    • Get good shoes! Get fitted at a running store if you can. This will save your legs/knees/feet.

    It's very fun to see how quickly your body will progress through the weeks! Good luck!
  • Magic_Chicken
    Magic_Chicken Posts: 141 Member
    Go slow!! I think when i first started it felt like my "run" was slower then my "walk" haha. Repeat the days if needed before moving on. Get a decent pair of shoes. And enjoy it!! :smiley:
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,415 Member
    I agree with all above. Take your time to get through the workout sequence, repeat workouts as much as needed, shoot for a slow pace.

    I did it when I was about 55 and now I'm 60. I stayed with several of the workouts until they became comfortable. Even when I could run the full 5k, went back to the later workouts to increase speed. It took nearly a year before I felt comfortable for the whole 5k even at 10min/mi. Now, I can go for as much as 6mi without a problem (still at 9-10min/mi) and I have done one half-marathon. My best 5ks have been at an 8:30min/mi pace. (Not bad for a dino.)

    I have to say that I was surprised by how long it took to build up to it, since I exercised regularly on bicycle, elliptical, rollerblading, and swimming. Running is a whole different thing!