Couch-to-5K: Anyone with me?

First things first: Couch to 5K is a program designed to get you from being a couch potato, to running 5K, in 9 weeks. I have decided to do it mostly because I am trying to become fit, it costs nothing apart from the price of a good pair of running shoes, and I want to prove a point to all the gym teachers through the years who said I was unathletic and could never run.

So far I am only in the first week of the program. I am scheduled to run day 3 of week 1 later today. I will admit that I have found the first week to be pretty tough on my sluggish, out-of-shape, couch potato body, but I am pushing through and doing it anyway. I have been listening to the podcasts from here, which have the cues for when to start and stop running - I have found this very helpful. These aren’t Robert Ullrey’s podcasts, which a lot of people seem to use and like and also have verbal cues. I just don’t really care for techno. :slight_smile:

Does anyone else want to do this with me? Anyone already started? Graduates of the program want to check in? All running info/advice/support welcome, whether you are officially doing “couch to 5k” or not. I need all the support I can get.

We had a bunch of us working on this last year. I never really completed it*, but still do run every other day and am working on getting back to the finish. Also there is a series going on in the IHT/NYTimes online that discusses the concept of “Better Running through Walking”, which seems to take the Couch-to-5K concept a bit further (encourages walk breaks for distance runners, especially those who are older or have experienced injuries).

*This mainly revolved around my kids losing the iPod I was using, some travel and colds.

I might try this…

As the runner/cyclist said:

Du or du not, there is no tri. :smiley:

I’m not doing it, but I have done it and I’d like to offer you some encouragement. I started the C25K in January this year. Although there were some tough points, I stuck religiously to the program, and in 9 weeks I was running, 5 kms, non stop. Now a regular run for me is anything from 7 to 9 kms and I also do a weekly longer run (around 13 kms.) I’m constantly increasing distance and pace and it astounds me that just 5 months ago I really found it very difficult to run for 90 seconds, now I happily run for an hour.

Something I learned the hard way, if you get an injury (shin splints, pulled muscle etc), take it easy, don’t force yourself to run when your body is not coping with it. I suffered this mostly once I’d finished the program and was trying to increase distance per week too quickly.

I found there was some point during the program, near the end, where I seemed to overcome some kind of hurdle. After that I could settle into a rhythm with my running and often found myself really enjoying it, not just enjoying the satisfaction of having been for a run, but enjoying the running itself.

Good luck with it.

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Death Ray. I will admit that from my perspective all the way back here in week 1, the running times for the later weeks of the program look really daunting. I’m trying not to focus on that, though, and just think about getting through this week. (And then, next week. And so on.)

I started the program two weeks ago and then last week I added in the 100 programs (sit-ups, push-ups, and squat-jumps) plus I modified the squat-jumps into a walking lunge and skaters program. Today I’m adding in swimming for about 40 min three times a week.

I’ve got a 3 mile race scheduled for September 12, Rugby season starts back September 6, and my sister’s wedding is August 28. So I figure this will help me lose the weight so I can pick up a bridesmaid, be able to play an entire game at high intensity and survive my race (600’ higher elevation then where I live and 1700’ above where I train).

Hopefully we can keep each other motivated I jumped in on the thanksgiving weight loss thread last year and it worked pretty well and after reading through one of the previous C25K threads looks like this will be great for all of us.

I don’t think I could do this but I do need to get more active, so I might try it. I’d rather just walk than run though, but I was hoping to work up to a charity walk/run for breast cancer in October.

I have problems with my joints and flat feet and have a lot of trouble finding good shoes that won’t cost me a fortune. Anyone have any recommendations for shoes that won’t cost a fortune and have good arch supports?

Tomorrow I’ll start week 6 of C25K – did my 2 mile/20 minute run on Sunday. My distance was closer to 1.6 miles than 2, but I was able to run without stopping so that’s an accomplishment all in itself. I’ve found that using for plotting out routes and checking how far I ran has been really helpful.

Ms. Whatsit, when I started I also thought the latter-week running times were daunting (back when I was like “90 seconds of jogging?!”), but as you go on it’ll get within reach.

There is no one good shoe, running shoes are built to handle a particular set of biomechanics. A shoe built to handle a flat footed runner is totally unsuitable for someone with a high, rigid arch.

Find a local running club, they’ll know if there’s a good running shoe store in the area. The best can watch you run/walk and recommend shoes that match how your feet/legs work.

My advice for those starting this out. Get good running shoes—good running shoes, did I mention that you should get some good running shoes? It is very important to get good running shoes :smiley: A good running shoe store should have someone there who can fit a good shoe to you as **runnerpat ** indicates—they should have a treadmill so that they can see you running on the shoe to find the right shoe for you. If you try and run with poor shoes you will regret it.

Secondly you will be sore especially in the early weeks. My calves were very weak and I swear some weeks they throbbed, but I did some leg exercises and my doctor recommended that I take calcium (I just took some TUMS)–in hindsight I not sure if it helped other the psychologically, but whatever it takes to get you through the hurdles.

I also agree with DeathRay as you progress past the 20 minute mark you need to be careful to not go too fast too soon. Prior to that you are happy to just run what the C25K lays out, but as you get better the desire to run longer and faster kicks in and so does the chance of real injuries (trust me I know this from personal experience).

Good luck, you will enjoy it after awhile. Just the knowledge that you are running and you weren’t 8 weeks ago is amazing.

I have actually set myself a reward that if I successfully complete the first two weeks of C25K, I’m going to a running store and getting myself a good pair of new shoes. The ones I have are OK, not great. But I don’t want to invest in a new pair until I’m sure that I’m committed enough to at least get through two weeks. :slight_smile:

or alternatively you could go get a nice pair and convince yourself that you need to stick with the program to make the purchase worthwhile :wink: I will tell you that the mental aspects of the C25K program is the most difficult part. I recall breaking it down into minutes, figuring that I ran 3 minutes already, what is 2 more minutes–I can do that, etc. It is ALL mental, the physical part will come as your body adjusts.

Yay! I was just thinking about starting another running thread a few days ago. My brain waves must have made it to MsWhatsit. I started the C25k at the end of last fall and I am now a runner of sorts. I still don’t get out there as much as I should (ack…not since last Wednesday!), but my last run was a hair over five miles and didn’t kill me, so I figure I’m doing pretty well.

I used to loathe running with an unholy passion. One time in high school gym class I spent several minutes trying to convince my teacher just to mark down twenty minutes for my mile time and not make me run it. When I walked it and came in under twenty including the time spent arguing, he asked me if I was proud that I came in under my goal. I wasn’t at all. I seriously couldn’t stand running.

Now, I only have a mild distaste for it. It sucks, but I can do it and I feel good about myself when I do it.

Along with running shoes (a must!!!), I recommend going slow. I found myself getting really worn out in my earlier runs and another doper encouraged me to slow down. When I embraced my inner turtle, running became significantly more doable. As I’ve stuck with it, I’ve gotten faster but I’m still trying not to worry too much about speed.

Good luck to all who are starting to run! The C25k is completely doable. Slobs like me have done it and survived. I have faith that you can too.

I’m on week 2 - run 2 - but I’m being strange about it. I’m running about every 36 hours instead of three times a week (if I run Monday morning, I run Tuesday night, Thursday morning, Friday night, etc. I still get the recovery time, but it moves faster and if I miss a day I don’t feel as behind.) And I’m not doing three runs and moving on unless I feel like I’m ready. It took five reps of week one to move to week two - although those five runs were two runs, then two weeks of ‘oh, maybe I won’t do this’ then three runs.

Foot still broken. Boo.


I have been wanting to start this forever… I started 2 months ago, but I didn’t have an iphone/ipod armband and mentally counting out the seconds I was walking/running was annoying, plus I really wanted to listen to music. So a few weeks ago I saw one at wal-mart and bought it… and haven’t even gone running once. I’m just so damn tired coming home from work, though I’m sure running will also keep me more energized if I actually do it regularly. It’s a vicious cycle.

There’s a 2.99 iphone app that lets you listen to your own playlists and cues you when to run/walk, as well as (I think) mapping your run. I’ve been planning on buying that this week and starting. I guess I’m the kind of guy that throws money at problems and expects that to work… which is I guess why I have no money and lots of problems.

Come on, EvilHamsterOnCrack (can I call you EHOC?), you can do it. If I can do it, anybody can do it. I’m 50 pounds overweight and before last Wednesday, had never run a day in my life.

I will say that the cued podcasts really, really help. I’m not sure I would be able to do this without them.

If you want to go the cheep route I just bought a stopwatch for 15 bucks. That way you can have you music playing the whole time all you have to do is remember what your intervals are and how many you need to do.

I loose count, so the podcasts are essential (was that rep 3 or 4?).

But I just carried my iPod until this morning - Brainiac4 bought me a nano and a arm strap for Mother’s Day on Saturday.

(yeah, I know, dates aren’t terribly essential around here).