Afraid of Running!


I have been going to the gym 3-4 times a week for the past month.

I love doing weights and can definitely see an improvement on my arms,shoulders and upper back. I also enjoy leg presses and sit up/crunches....

What I dislike with a passion is running - I can't do it!

I currently do 20 - 25 minutes fast walking (6.5ish) on an incline of 6-7 on the treadmill which I do get hot and sweaty from and probably burn up to 200 calories.

However, I would like to be able to run to speed up this process. I have tried walking for 3 minutes then jogging for 3 minutes but to be honest I am knackered after this. (This also slightly embarrasses me at the gym when ext to someone who is running for half hour or so)

Has anyone got any tips to 1) get over the fear of running and 2) how to start/progress?

Many thanks


  • BerryH
    BerryH Posts: 4,698 Member

    First up, running isn't compulsory. You're far more likely to stick and get results with a range of exercises that you love! Walking at that kind of incline is awesome and gives you close to the burn of running.

    If you still want to go for it, three minutes is a loooong time to start with. Try cutting it back to one minute or even 30 seconds and go really, really slowly at first, so you only need to breathe every three steps (left, right, left for each in or out breath).

    Many people here have had success with C25K which takes you from running 1 minute at a time up to full 30 minutes. There's a link to the various versions here:

    You might also have more success running outside than on the treadmill. That way you can adjust your pace to what suits you rather that having to stick with the speed you set the treadmill at. Plus it's far more fun!

    Here's a link to my beginner's running tips which might help:

    Make note of the first point:
    When you start out, it’s HARD! Even if you think you’re fit, running is so different to anything else you’ve done before you will get out of breath quickly. Stick with it. Can’t manage a minute? Go slow. Still can’t? GO SLOWER!

    Good luck, come back and let us know how you get on! :flowerforyou:
  • tonilizzy88
    tonilizzy88 Posts: 968 Member
    hi there. i was EXACTLY like yourself 4 months ago. i HATED running but then i moved house and my nearest gym is 30min drive away and i thought no way. so i put my trainers on and ran all of 30seconds and thought i was going to die!!!

    but i wasnt going to be defeted i went out 4times a week and each time it got a little easier.
    today im running between 5-7miles without stopping 4 times a week.

    if someone as unenthusastic about the outdoor trainning as me can do it so can you chick,

    a lot of people use couch to 5k and they say it really works, i cant comment as i didnt know about it until i was already there lol.

    hope this helps,
    if you really want to do running take it one step at a time ur legs and lungs and also ur head will need the time to get use to the exersize.
  • Spence_
    Spence_ Posts: 139 Member
    You'll be amazed at what 3 weeks will do to your running fitness. Maybe download the 'couch to 5k' podcasts? I think they're free and they build you up to a 5k run by using jog, walk, jog, walk intervals. Good luck! Running isn't easy; that's why we do it.
  • Articeluvsmemphis
    Articeluvsmemphis Posts: 1,987 Member
    just build up your endurance. there's no magic bullet, just jack the speed up and start running. don't go too fast or too slow. start running and find a pace where you don't feel like you're going to fly off but you can keep good form, it doesn't hurt to run and you feel you can last a little while. even if it's a couple minutes, track it. i think i started jogging for 1-4minutes. i built up to 8ish now. going for 10 soon.don't worry about other people. most of them are in their own zone focusing on doing the best in their workout, not yours. i mean yeah they look around, but who are you losing weight for? yourself, so you have to put in the effort
  • Meggles63
    Meggles63 Posts: 916 Member
    As someone else mentioned, try running outdoors. I cannot stand the treadmill! It's so much nicer, and if the weather allows it, I think you'll find it more enjoyable and distracting. I'm very lucky in that I live in NE Florida, and I can basically run year-round. I never thought I could do it either, but after 9 weeks of C25K, I'm hooked. Good luck!
  • bexblonde
    bexblonde Posts: 80
    I used to hate running on the treadmill! I got persuaded to start Couch to 5K and I am loving it, I can't believe what a difference it is running outside. Obviously there are downsides e.g. bad weather but overall it is so much more enjoyable.
  • Kirsty_UK
    Kirsty_UK Posts: 965 Member
    When you first start running, 3 minutes is a LOT!!!! And not necessarily due to fitness.

    Try doing 1 minute jogs with 1 1/2 min walks and work up from there.

    ps When I first started, I found jogging the full minute hard, I was counting down the second from 30seconds in! Two weeks ago, I ran 5.5km non-stop in around 35minutes. Build it up gradually :)
  • oddie1983
    Hi All,

    I would just like to thank you all for the tips and experiences shared on my post, it has made me feel much better!

    I will look into the couch to 5k as it sounds like it has benefited a lot of people.

    After all this I may be like Forrest Gump and just run and run and run (hopefully I don't get a beard!)

    I will keep you updated on my progress

    Thanks again
  • GMC_81
    GMC_81 Posts: 193 Member
    I agree with the others who said getting outside might be a better option for the running.
    I'm currently doing the NHS C25K plan (they even have a really supportive website too), its really good and I'm on Week 7 now, from the first week running 60seconds seemed hard, now I'm out doing 25minutes at a time! I'm no speed demon by any means (average around 5mph) but I can burn around 215cals in those 25mins.

    Good luck in what ever you decide to try.
  • meerkat70
    meerkat70 Posts: 4,616 Member
    I'd agree with Berry about getting outside. Running is far more pleasant outdoors, and you're a bit more immediately in control than on the treadmill. (I really really don't like the treadmill - it makes me get a tiny bit panicky when it suddenly seems to be going faster than me!)
  • Pangea250
    Pangea250 Posts: 965 Member
    C25K, it'll get you running in no time! Just Google it for how to do it. Or download any C25K app on a smartphone. You can do it - I did!

    As far as where to run - I started on a treadmill (now called the dreadmill). I was afraid to run outside, thinking I'd look silly. But once I started outside, I find it *very* hard to run inside. It's too easy to talk myself out of time on the dreadmill. The beauty of outside? I run out in 1 direction for 1/2 my planned distance, then I have no choice but to huff it on back.
  • omma_to_3
    omma_to_3 Posts: 3,265 Member
    I currently do 20 - 25 minutes fast walking (6.5ish) on an incline of 6-7 on the treadmill which I do get hot and sweaty from and probably burn up to 200 calories.

    Um, holy crap. I can't even run that least not for any length of time. I think I am physically incapable of walking that fast. Wow.

    I agree to try C25K though. I have NEVER been a runner, not even as a kid. I'm still not a running, but I'm on week 5 now and doing well.
  • meerkat70
    meerkat70 Posts: 4,616 Member
    I assumed that was kph, not mph?