Couch to 5k Challenge


I’ve not been feeling well these last few days so haven’t got day 3 in. Not sure I’ll get it done today either and today’s the last day of the week.

I might have to pause this challenge until I see a doctor. Disappointed but I don’t want to push myself too hard. Will keep you updated.


Went a walk tonight and decided to do week one. Haven’t done c25k since around March and I did it on the road. Seems easier that treadmill as you control your own pace. Knee held up with a strap so I’m positive. I’ll try do this alongside my daily spin classes. We’ll see


Postponing this for a little while, gents. Think I’m too heavy for it. Been unwell since day 2 and now I’ve picked up an injury (unrelated) so it’s not looking good.

I’ve given myself a bit of time to recover and will hopefully be able to play football on Tuesday (injury permitting). I’ll keep updated with everyone’s progress and will hopefully be back up and running (pun intended) in the near future.

Good luck to those of you continuing with the challenge and to those of you with your own running challenges.


I always stop as I thought this. I’ve been sore since I did day one but not helped by doing a spin class yesterday. Which I’m prioritising. I’m gonna call it for me after day one as I can’t have c25k getting in the way. It felt good tho breaking into a stride and I will come back to it. Back to spin today which is low impact for my bad knees


Whilst putting exercise on hold doesn’t sound good I think that may well be the right choice. I feel I’m still too heavy for running. I can happily cycle 50 miles at a reasonable pace so my cardio vascular fitness is pretty good. Hoever my news can’t take the impact of jogging. I know that if I did it I’d do myself an injury.


exactly. I’m going to put the idea to bed for a while also


Just done day 3 of week 5 which is where it really steps up a gear with a 20 min continuous run which i’ve never managed to achieve before. I’m not going to lie it was tough especially when i knocked my phone off the treadmill and i almost sent myself flying trying to retrieve it - much hilarity within the gym:) I carried on though and completed the run. Hurt a bit last night but made sure i stretched well both before and after which definitely helps in the aching stakes.

Week 6 starts Wednesday, furthest i have ever got…


Hi everyone,

I’m new to MvF, having just signed up for the Leeds league which will hopefully be starting sometime soon. I found this thread after signing up and thought I’d share my story.

For those of you abandoning or postponing the plan, I would recommend taking a look at a programme called None To Run, which is a similar programme to C25k, but with gentler progression and an aim after 12 weeks of you being able to run continuously for 25 minutes, rather than complete a 5k. It’s aimed specifically at beginner runners and those who are overweight, and also includes prescribed stretches to help reduce the risk of injury as you follow it.

I completed it a few weeks ago, although it took me much longer than the 12 weeks to get there, but it’s a programme where repeating weeks, if required, is encouraged. The 12 weeks is a guideline, but the main aim is to get to the end of it, and having a time goal as the end aim, rather than a distance one, takes away the pressure of trying to achieve a certain pace whilst building up endurance.

I started walk/running the local parkrun in mid-programme and since completing it I’ve gone on to finish my first 5k parkrun without walking on my 10th run, albeit I can currently get round the course quicker using walk/run intervals than by running the whole thing just through being able to sustain a higher running pace over shorter intervals.

I’m 5’10" and currently weigh around 22.5 stone, so my BMI is ~45 at the moment. My parkrun PB (achieved via run/walk on Saturday) is currently 47:10, so still extremely slow, but this has dropped steadily from a first attempt which took 54:10 in June. However, the achievement feels huge, given that I was struggling with 1 minute intervals earlier in the year, and the trend is going in the right direction. The parkrun community is also incredibly supportive and I get frequent encouragement from faster runners as they inevitably lap me around the course.

The None To Run forum on Facebook is an extremely supportive group (mostly American, but with people from all over the world). However, it is full of people, like me, who identified themselves as ‘failed C25k’ participants. Most of us got to somewhere around weeks 4-5 of C25k and then found the ramp ups too steep to deal with and got de-motivated. However, their success rate using N2R is much higher from following a gentler progress curve.

The key thing I found was to adapt the programme to my own pace, as I was putting my body through additional stresses compared to smaller people. In particular, I had to manage the early runs around very stiff knees in the first few weeks, so completing 3 runs in a week was difficult to begin with. I spread the early weeks over a longer period until my body started to get used to the demands and I could then increase the frequency of training. Over time the knee pain has also largely disappeared, as my leg muscles naturally strengthened from the training, so it’s very much a case of listening to what your body is telling you and adapting to it.

The main reason for this post was to try to dispel the myth of being ‘too heavy for running’ as I don’t think this is the case. However, C25k, in it’s pure 9-week form, or even with repeated weeks, isn’t a guaranteed success for many people at the heavier end of the spectrum. However, it’s still possible to complete a running programme as a morbidly obese person.

Oh, and thanks to a friend of mine on the day, I can show you what a 22.5 stone man running 5k for the first time looks like:

Good luck to all of you MvF guys trying to turn yourself into runners, via whatever programme you follow.

PS: One interesting thing from doing the programme is that I haven’t lost a huge amount of weight from it, but that’s largely down to not doing anything about my diet at the same time. My body shape has changed, my general health stats have improved significantly (e.g. resting heart rate has gone from the low 70s to the high 50s since June), and my general fitness has improved massively, but the weight loss itself has only been c7lbs in that time, despite people thinking I’ve lost much more than this.

Parkrun 2019

That’s impressive. I used to do it on the treadmill with no issues a few times a week but this time I did it on the road. Not sure my knees were ready for it. I’ll get a look but may stick to my spinning for now.

And welcome


Really informative post and congratulations on your achievement!

Welcome to the site, mate. All the best with your progress.


Thanks for the welcome.

Ironically, I’m now at the point of starting to try to add indoor cycling in as a form of cross-training. I’m at the stage where I want to increase the frequency of training, but without adding additional impact beyond the three runs a week I’ve been doing, so I’m going to focus a little more seriously on Zwift and the indoor trainer as well as trying to improve my 5k time.

The early indications are that the two disciplines use totally different muscles as I could barely sustain a gentle cycling cadence for more than 10 minutes on the first attempt. Depressingly that doesn’t even cover the warm up stage of the FTP test.

Onwards and upwards!


I was on a spin bike at 22 and half stone. Now with the exercise plus diet I’m now at 20 and half. I like it as it’s low impact for the knee and I sweat like a waterfall on it. I feel then I got a workout from it.


Just done day 1 run 1 this morning, felt good. Hope I can keep it up for the next one.


amazing story mate thank you for sharing it!

I will check out the running program :slight_smile:


Did day 1 of week six which was a comparatively easy 5, 8, 5 so ni have now started to increase the pace a little 10% on the shorter intervals and always try to do the final minute of the last segment at run rather than a slow jog.

For the first time i was actually looking forward to doing the run despite a crap day at work that kept me there later than planned and it really helped manage the stress of the day, I really enjoyed this run and can genuinely say I am getting fitter, having done it i carried on and finished the 5k at a brisk uphill walk on the treadmill, and if i was keeping track of PB;s that would have been it.

Friday is next run day and i cant wait although i need to keep the pace in track on the longer runs.


I did the first 4 or 5 weeks of couch to 5K but couldn’t manage to run continuously for 5 minutes so gave it up.

I really like the run/walk idea though so I downloaded a simple tabata timer and set it up to what I could do.

A few months later I’m on 14 tabata of 4 minutes running and 2 minutes walking - I am doing just over 10k, 3 times a week.


Finished week 6 last night which is a full 25 minute run. I admit however I took several stretching breaks of about 20 secs (before treadmill reset) and had a 2 min walk around halfway.

The big issue for me was my feet went numb so I literally could not feel my feet for the last 10 mins. A google search afterwards suggested my trainers were too tight so I probably pinched a nerve as the foot expands due to extra blood flow in excercise. They were newish trainers so going to go to my old ones and see if that makes a difference as every run from now on in is single long run.

This is the furthest I have got to date so defiantly going to finish the program. I signed up to Parkrun today so no excuses.


The issue iv had w the c2 5k is the app is v babyish n it makes mw think its 4 kids not adults. Is this 1 abit more age approprite maybes?


There’s no app. The programme is available via the website and there’s audio files you can use for the intervals, which you can use if you wish, and YouTube videos of the stretch routines. I found it easier to set up the intervals in Runkeeper, which has the functionality in its free version, and use those initially, before later upgrading to a Garmin watch.

The Facebook group is the best resource for queries, getting motivation or finding someone who’s experienced the same challenges along the way. There’ll be others at the same stage at any point in time, and I found posting there helped with motivation and staying accountable.


Sounds decent!