Take it steady and follow the plan. My sister and a couple of friends have followed it recently and found it much tougher in the second half. At that point my advice was to go back and repeat a week/weeks if they felt it useful. Last thing you want to do is push on and end up injured at the start.
You'll be running 5k soon enough, so enjoy the feeling of having it easy for now and let that build your confidence.
Big G - someone on there has pointed out that the little boy in 'The A Word' (the BBC drama about an autistic child) wore headphones all the time so the rule must be 'anti-disables' (her words, not mine).
As someone who works with young people with Autism I don't think this would be a great argument. If your sensory issues are such that you require ear defenders, discr aside, I reckon the last thing you'd be doing is lining up for a crowded race. Running, yes, but mass races maybe not.
Personally, I'm delighted to see this! I don't really care one way or the other if people have music when running, but rules are rules and I do get sick of people ignoring race protocol and doing their own thing.
Bit of a poor 5k race effort for me yesterday ... Thought I might have had a decent run as I warmed up well etc. In the grand scheme of things, time was okay - 22:0 - but splits were absolutely shocking! Mile 1 in 6:48, mile 2 in 7:03, and mile 3 in 7:28!
There was a slight gradient in Mike 3 but nothing that bad. Aside from the unexpected heat and later start (12:15) I'm not sure what was ado. Hopefully next time I attempt to race it'll go better.
Is there a parkrun anywhere near you? They're great for new runners and very supportive of newcomers, whatever their pace. We have a lot of people at ours who have come along walking quite a bit and are now running the whole way.
Other options may be to run with a group. I'm in Scotland and we have Jog Scotland who cater for beginners. I'm sure there must be similar in other parts to the country.