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I have never been athletic, major couch potato. I'm 28, 5'9 and around 210lbs. Sad, so sad. But I watch people in the park running and cant help but think to my self, "I want that". I want to be able to just go and keep going. I have always admired runners, you guys are awesome! The past few days, in the evenings I will put on my music and start to walk, then I will jog for a bit. I alternate between the two till I think I'm going to die! (about thirty minutes....lol). Is this a good way to start? My friend thinks I am going too fast but I don't feel like its wrong. 

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The Couch to 5k program is popular because it starts you out slow - 60 or 90 secs running, then walking, 1.30 running,walking, 3 mins running, walking. You can find the exact timed intervals online. The slowness can, at the start, feel too slow, but from what I've read that seems to be because running is horribly unforgiving on those who start out too fast and all your tendons fall off and it can be very painful and hard to rest. So taking it slow isn't a sign of weakness, it's getting your body ready to do something it's not done before.


It doesn't matter what you do, there'll always be someone telling you to stop it, sit back down on the sofa and eat another donut. People don't like other people improving themselves. Whether I was doing martial arts - training, teaching, performing public demos - or now, doing bodyweight workouts, running and dumbbells at home, I am told by 'friends and family' to stop, I'll get hurt, quit, I'm no good, it's a waste of time, it's silly, I look bad, why does it matter, thin people are ugly, exercise makes you ugly, just stop it you make me uncomfortable...   Jogging and walking a little doesn't sound 'too fast' to me, and if you're not hurting it's fine. But like I say, a carefully plotted plan like C25K can increase your endurance gradually and you're less likely to hit a brick wall, stall or injure yourself which could hurt your enthusiasm for it.


I just did the third workout in the program yesterday, which includes some 3 minute runs followed by 3 minute walks. There was a temptation to run a bit more during the walking bits, but I did that during week 2 and spent two weeks nursing a sore Achilles. So there's definitely wisdom in taking it slow (but like I say, sounds like you are.)

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The couch to 5k program is great indeed. However, if you are really a couch potato, you might want to start with walking for half an hour to an hour just to get some basic endurance. The moment this becomes easy, you can start a couch to 5k program. In my opinion it makes no sense to start with running/walking for half an hour if you're struggling with half an hour of walking. If you feel exhausted every time you exercise, it's harder to keep your motivation. You should also not be afraid to repeat weeks from a couch to 5k program if it feels difficult at the end of a week. Slow and steady wins the race :).

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I'd echo what Waanie and Tanuki have said about couch to 5k.  They've both also identified the main reasons for it going wrong - trying to do too much, too quickly, or getting discouraged if they need to repeat a week.  If there's a local 5k parkrun or other event to use as a focus to work towards, that might be worth considering too.


Couch to 5k is how I started running, and I've now done a couple of 10k races and am training for a half marathon.  Another suggestion I'd make to any new runners is to consider getting some proper running shoes from a proper running shop with gait analysis.  I can't tell you what a difference my running shoes made to me - so much more comfortable and almost certainly vital for injury prevention.


But it's brilliant that you're watching people run and wanting that for yourself.  That's a great position to be in... identifying a form of exercise that you enjoy, or that you think you'll enjoy, is really important.

 Level 4 Human Adventurer / Level 4 Scout, couch to 5k graduate, six time marathon finisher.



Current 5k Personal Best: 22:00 / 21:23 / 21:13 / 21:09 / 20:55 / 20:25 (4th July 17)

Current 5 mile PB: 36:41 35:27 34:52 (10th May 17)

Current 10k PB: 44:58 44:27 44:07 44:06 43:50 (29th June 17)

Current Half Marathon PB: 1:41:54 1:38:24 1:37:47 1:37:41 (14th June 15)

Current Marathon PB: 3:39:34 3:29:49 (10th April 16)


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If you think you going to fast try the talk test - you should be able to carry on a conversation (5-10 words at a time) without straining for breath. This mostly indicates which heart rate zone you are in, and for pure endurance training you want to be able to talk like above. As you progress and do interval or speed training its okay to get outside that zone but you shouldn't sustain it until you've trained your body to do so.


Looking forward to your progress

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Challenges - Lost Diary of a Scout




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You're doing great Nahny!

I'd too echo what's been said here. Start with walking to build up some endurance/stamina. Then add in some jogging intervals.

There's some debate about this, but really; enough cannot be said about the proper shoe fit. I'd highly recommend going to a specialty running store and getting properly fit. Makes a world of difference.

I'm going to sub this and follow your updates. I'll give encouragement when I can!

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I love couch to 5k.

For what it's worth, I'm a couple of inches taller but I started running with C25K at about the same weight and it worked really well. Two things I did - I focused on making the right time, not distance, and if I felt like it was impossible I repeated a week.

The most important thing is to do it consistently! It builds your runners muscles and stamina at the same time. Go for it!

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Go girl, I think it's fantastic that you're out there! I've only just started C25K, too. I'm not overweight but have NEVER had any endurance and the thought of being 

able to run 20 minutes or so still seems like something out of a dream...


Second week so far is fine, but then again what's 1 1/2 minutes haha! Slow and steady, I won't be afraid to repeat weeks, it's the journey that counts and

it seems like you've started on yours, good luck!!

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Great decision to start the journey that is running :)

Everyone has posted good stuff so far. I have no personal experience with C25k but I still recommend it to friends/family in your situation.


Also something that hasnt been mentioned yet.... nutrition.

Dont go crazy, but really try hard to focus on hydration on your running days.

If you keep up a steady water intake, your muscles will thank you. Thus keeping your motivation up to keep up the running program. its a nasty chain reaction of 'feeling bad', 'skipping a day', 'shit, I havent run for a whole week', 'stuff it, I'll stay on the couch'.  :nightmare:

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