Tell me it gets easier!

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15/08/2014 at 19:15

I don't know whether to be pleased or disappointed - just back in from my first ever run outside and it was hard!  It was my first run for months; in the past I've got up to about 4-5 km on a treadmill and found that reasonable.  But this was hard!  I used the walk/run method which I've never done before but I found I had to.  I probably did about half of each round a 2 km route.  On the one hand I'm so chuffed that I put aside all my fears about people looking at me and just got out there, but I can't see me ever being able to run round the whole way!  I find pacing so hard and I can't get a slow steady speed.  Someone please tell me it does get better!

Woo, my first thread 

15/08/2014 at 19:43

It DOES get better!  I had never run before (at least not since school, when I hated running with a vengeance) when I randomly decided to go for a jog in March of this year.  It was awful, I could barely breathe and couldn't run at all.  Following that I found the walk-run method on a website called  There are variations depending on whether you want to start off with more walking than running, or the other way round.  I chose to walk 5 mins to warm up then 1 min running and 3 minutes walking alternated finishing with a 5 min walk to cool down.  When I say 1 min running it was more like a very slow jog but that was as much as I could manage.  Slowly slowly I found I could run a bit quicker, a bit longer, that I needed less walking time to recover. 

Then I decided to try running non-stop and started with 5 minutes, then 8 minutes and so on really slowly increasing it.  Taking it really slowly, not pushing myself too hard, making it more about completing the run rather than speed was what helped; I gave myself very small achievable goals and didn't worry too much if I didn't achieve them right away.  Now I can run a whole 5km, which is more than I have ever run in my life!  More to the point I'm enjoying it because the small achievements and improvements are motivating me to keep going.  I did push myself way too hard at one point and only ended up making myself feel violently sick, having to stop and feeling a failure.  It's just not worth it! 

I have never run on a treadmill so I can't comment on how it feels compared to running on paths and roads, but personally I would suggest not comparing what you achieved then to now.  It might be that running on a treadmill is easier than roads and paths due to absence of hills and the steadiness of the environment you are running in, possibly?  Also you do lose fitness when you don't exercise for a long time, so you mustn't lose motivation because you can't pick up where you left off. 

Also I personally find now that I am able to run non-stop, that walk-run is harder work, because you don't have time to settle into a nice steady rhythm.  Apparently it's actually better for you, cardio-vascular wise, because of the frequent changes of speed. 

Anyway here's the link for the different 5k training plans from, if you're interested?  You can choose whichever one you prefer.

15/08/2014 at 19:50

Thank you so much for your reply - it is always good to hear from others in the same situation!  I'll definitely look up the training plans - I think I might well be a convert to the walk-run method after all!  Thanks for posting the link.  Your progress sounds excellent, and in such a short space of time!  I cannot wait for the day when I can come on here and say that I managed to run the whole route; that's why I posted - to give myself somewhere to be accountable to.  I want to get to the stage where running feels good and at the moment it feels anything but!

15/08/2014 at 20:01

I know it's hard but if you want to keep motivated you have to make sure you actually enjoy doing it, and speaking from my experience the way to do that is to make sure you don't push yourself so hard that you can't finish your planned run, slow your pace a bit, give yourself a bit of a break on an uphill stretch, allow yourself to feel the euphoria of having finished.  That way you'll want to keep doing it and then you'll improve almost without noticing it!  Also remember rest days, very important, those.....  I also do a little bit of gentle hatha yoga on my rest days, which seems to help with the aches and pains.  LOADS of videos on youtube for that.... And have fun with running, experiment with what you can do and play with it.  Good luck!  Let me know how you get on


15/08/2014 at 20:06

I think I could enjoy it - when I got in I did feel a bit of a high from having at least gone out and tried it.  Also at one point when I thought I had finished running I found I could do a couple more stretches even if it was just between a few lamp posts.  I think I'll get myself a cheap stop watch and maybe give a proper walk-run training plan a go.  Or are there pod casts thingies for that?  I don't know if I'd hear a stop watch over my ipod. 

Will be popping in an out over the next few weeks - hopefully with some progress to report!


15/08/2014 at 20:35

Well done fraggle, you have done the hardest part getting over the door and doing it. I promise if you stay with it it will really get so much easier. Just take it nice and slowly, don't get carried away and try and overdo it, you'll end up injured and loose all you're great work.

15/08/2014 at 20:36

I got a cheapo stopwatch from TK Maxx that can record laps.  So you press one button to start the stopwatch and then when you get to the end of your 5 mins warm up walk you press the button which means it saves the first 'lap' time, and starts the second.  Then you press it again when you finish the 1 min run, and again when you finish your 3 mins walk etc.  It saves up to 30 'laps'.  It does mean you have to look at the watch occasionally, and press a button, but it was only a fiver and works fine for me.  And you eventually get a sense of time so that you stop thinking "I must have been going for a minute by now!" and looking and seeing only 23 seconds have passed, ha ha!

There is also a series of podcasts called "Couch to 5k" which I found on the NHS website, which are effectively a walk-run 5k training plan over 12 weeks (I think?).  The podcast plays you music to tell you when to walk and when to run.  I didn't use it as I'd already got going with the WalkJogRun one, and had my stopwatch, so I discovered it too late really.  That's got to be even easier than looking at a watch and pressing buttons.  I guess it also depends on whether you like their choice of music, as well, I suppose. 

15/08/2014 at 21:24

Well I've now downloaded the first couch25k podcast and am starting on Sunday!  I'm quite excited.  Hopefully I'll be able to run for a minute!  The worst thing about treadmills is keeping yourself from clockwatching constantly.  Especially when only a few seconds have passed!  I think having a bit of structure might help now, I've been aimlessly falling in and out of running for a while and not really getting anywhere.  Will be back on Sunday to report how the first "run" went!  Thanks again guys.

15/08/2014 at 23:10

it gets easier.

the first 4-6 weeks are the hardest.

but, it never gets completely 'easy' because you keep trying to improve, so you want to go thst but further or that bit quicker  

16/08/2014 at 01:26

Simple answer. Yes - it gets easier. 

I started "getting fit" last year and couldn't get to the end of my road without wanting to collapse. I hated it - and couldn't believe it would ever get better. Now I regularly run 5K and do 8-10k at weekend.I run slowly - I will never have a fast time - but I run for the sake of running. 

Whilst running is never exactly easy, I have never felt as bad as I did when I first started. I even enjoy running - actually I often enjoy running.

Key points to remember is that it will take time, it will be hard, it will be worth it. Don't compare yourself to anyone and come up with strategies to make it easier - like using running partners; setting targets and rewarding yourself. 

Some of the most perfect moments have been running (listening to the Goldberg Variations as the sun set by the river).

Hope this helps!



16/08/2014 at 08:33

It definitely gets easier! Walk/run is a great strategy to start with and there are a few people that stick with that strategy for marathons. So don't feel bad about needing the walk breaks.

The key thing is consistency and not doing too much too soon. That way you can build up slowly without getting injured.

16/08/2014 at 21:21

I'm quite excited about tomorrow - run 1 of week 1 on my couch to 5k.  I've heard so many success stories that I'm quite worried I'll be the one who can't manage it!  Hopefully I won't collapse in a heap in the middle of the road!

17/08/2014 at 08:41

1 down, 26 to go!  Just back in from my first run on the couch to 5k.  It was good, doable, but I'm thinking I'd quite like more than one week before having to run any more at a time!  I do like the after-run feel though, once I've got my breath back at the end and I feel great!

17/08/2014 at 08:46
Good luck just finishing couch to 5k on the last week. I personally did not download the app just put some cheesy tunes on a ipod and a stop watch. Love it although still not able tk run 5k in 30 mins but who cares xx

good luck
17/08/2014 at 09:10

Thanks, I don't think I'll be running 5k in that time either, last time I did 5k it was on a treadmill and took me 40 mins!  I find pacing really hard outside though, I can't seem to get into a steady pace and I'm sure I'm still going too fast.  Hopefully practice will sort that out!

Well done KattC on finishing!

17/08/2014 at 20:15

Got two more runs to go and then I have technically finished the couch to 5k but need to then run a little more timewise to get to 5k.  I just enjoy the scenery and I have also written down notes and times of each run to get me motivated.  I went way too fast and now try a steady pace of 12.30 minutes - which is slow and I have snail past me by but who cares.

I have also found the advice on this forum and encouragement fantastic - so I am pretty much hooked on this running fun   Just found out we have a new park run starting in my town middle of September so hopefully I may be up to 5k by then lol

Keep us posted fraggle




17/08/2014 at 20:38

Thanks again KattC, I'm still dead excited about starting this plan, I wish it was another run day tomorrow but I should stick to the rules and have a rest day.  I know what you mean about going slow, I have to check sometimes that I'm not just jogging on the spot!  I do the walking parts faster than the runs.  

Hope your last two runs go well and then you can celebrate - maybe with a park run?! 

I like having somewhere to post my progress, even if it's just me who reads it it'll still help keep me motivated, and of course I like reading all about everyone else's running journeys too.  

18/08/2014 at 07:14

Keep it up Fraggle x even if you have a bad run its better than a no run   I took longer than 9 weeks as I badly sprained my ankle during a hike. Cursed and cursed as I had to take 5 weeks off the running and go back 2 weeks of the programme.  Personally the main point for me is I really enjoy it, and don't worry how fast I am going.  I'm never going to be a Mo F at 46 lol  and been seriously ill three years ago.

My housemate is a keen runner so I use to vitually run if you can call it that and read all her running magazines.   I dipped into this forum and found it very inspiring and helpful.  I also dip into the health unlocked forum which is the official if you can call it that lol couch to 5k forum.

It links into each week so you can read about people's personal journeys on each week.

Keep me posted as it does help writing something down and reporting back on it.  Our first park run is 20 September but I have the cancer research Pretty Muddy race on 6 September first - 5k with obstacles

Good luck on your next runs and look forward to hearing all about your running adventures


18/08/2014 at 07:29

Aw thanks  This place is so friendly!

18/08/2014 at 08:15

tips for running slower.

Move your arms less (arms linked to legs, slow one down you'll slow the other).

take an app like "map my fitness" that tracks your pace and try to stick around the pace you've set yourself (wear headphones and listen to music at the same time )

an "easy running pace" (a pace you can maintain without getting to out of breath) is also known as "conversational pace" (a pace you can hold a conversation with someone). Lacking someone to talk to, sing (under your breath if u don't want to look a crazy person :P) happy birthday. If you're struggling to get through a line of the song without needing a breath, you're going to fast.

run with someone else who can set a pace,.. if you've not got someone, then when you're ready to get around 5km, join your local parkrun (free weekly timed 5km "race" full of friendly everyday types of people) and start near the back. Tag along with some of the fokes towards the back of the pack and see how you go .


well best of luck with your C25k programme. it does get easier as your body gets more used to it. If you have weight to loose then it gets easier as you shed that to (i've gone from 18st3p to 13st8p in a year and a half of running). But if you want better and better times, you have to put in the work , will be speed session, tempo runs, hill training, fartleging (real thing!),.. but don't worry about that for a few months yet :P.

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