Get running with Couch to 5K

Taking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape or unfit.

But did you know that regular running can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost your mood and keep your weight under control?

The Couch to 5K plan is designed to get you off the couch and gradually work you up to running 5K or for half an hour, in just nine weeks.

What is Couch to 5K?

Couch to 5K is a running plan developed to help absolute beginners get into running. The beginners' running plan was developed by a novice runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his fifty-something mum get off the couch and start running too. The plan involves three runs per week, with a day of rest inbetween, with a different schedule for each of the nine weeks.

  • Scroll down to find out how to get started on the Couch to 5K plan 

How does Couch to 5K work?

Probably the biggest challenge a novice runner faces is not knowing how or where to start. Often when trying to get into exercise, we can overdo it, feel defeated and give up when we’re just getting started. Couch to 5K works because it starts with a mix of running and walking, to gradually build up your fitness and stamina. Week one involves running for just a minute at a time, creating realistic expectations and making the challenge feel achievable right from the start. 

Who is Couch to 5K for?

Couch to 5K is for everyone. Whether you’ve never run before, or if you want to get back into being more active, Couch to 5K is a free and easy way of getting fitter and healthier. If you have any health concerns about beginning an exercise regime such as Couch to 5K, make an appointment to see your GP and discuss it with them first.

What are the benefits?

There are plenty of benefits from getting into running. For starters, it’s an easy way of improving your physical health. Running regularly will improve the health of your heart and lungs. It can also help you lose weight, especially if combined with a healthy diet.

There is evidence it may help increase bone density in some people, which can help protect against bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

There are also mental benefits of running. Taking on the challenge of Couch to 5K can help boost your confidence and self-belief, as you prove that you can set yourself a target and achieve a goal. Running regularly can also be a great stress reliever and has even been shown to combat depression.

What are the Couch to 5K podcasts for?

NHS Choices has developed its own set of Couch to 5K podcasts to help you get into running. The podcasts feature a narrator, Laura, who guides you through the session, explaining when you need to run and when it’s time to walk.

The podcasts also feature music to motivate you through the workout. They are designed to take you on three runs each week, leaving at least one day of rest inbetween each run. There is one podcast for each week of the plan – except in weeks five and six, which feature three individual podcasts. This is because weeks five and six act as transitional weeks, which aim to progress you from a mix of running and walking into running for longer blocks of time.

How do I get started?

STEP ONE: Download the free Couch to 5K podcasts to your mobile device (any MP3 player will do) or your computer. If downloading to a computer, you'll then need to copy the podcast onto your MP3 player.

STEP TWO: Think about when you’re going to run. The best way to ensure you stick with your running plan is to carefully work out how to fit Couch to 5K into your day. Busy days at work? Perhaps you could set your alarm clock a little earlier and run first thing in the morning, or even in your lunch break. If you have young children to sort out in the mornings, maybe you could plan your run when they’re at nursery. Or, how about strapping them safely in the pushchair and taking them with you?

STEP THREE: Plan where you are going to run – for example, if you already have a gym membership, you could run there. Another good option is to run outdoors. You’ll get some fresh air, can take different and interesting routes and, perhaps best of all, it won’t cost anything. You may want to look at a map to plan your route first, so that you can focus on running. There are lots of great websites out there to help you with this, such as realbuzz and MapMyRun.

STEP FOUR: Think about safety. If you are planning to run outdoors, bear in mind that when wearing headphones you may be less aware of your surroundings. Watch out for other pedestrians, keep your eyes peeled for cyclists and take extra care when crossing the road.

STEP FIVE: What are you going to wear? The most essential piece of kit is a pair of running trainers, available from any good sports store from around £30. While this isn’t essential, it may reduce your risk of injury.

Couch to 5K

Regular running can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost your mood and keep your weight under control. In this video, watch how Laura went from a fitness phobe to a keen runner with the Couch to 5K programme.

Media last reviewed: 06/06/2014

Next review due: 06/06/2016

Page last reviewed: 15/09/2014

Next review due: 15/09/2016

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The 174 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

a61 said on 23 August 2014

I started the programme 10 months ago having never run before, I am 53. After completing it in June (circumstances meant I took that long to complete it), I started to run longer distances gradually, and today ran the Killin 10km race in 54 minutes - completely due to the success I achieved with couch to 5k. I am fitter, more confident , and am now looking for the next challenge.

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MikNewport said on 08 August 2014

I've just completed week 5 with a 20 minute run and am astounded. I'll be 68 this year and when I started this program I probably would have suffered running for a bus.
I'd recommend it to anyone with the will to do it, it's surprising what you can achieve.

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rachy79 said on 07 August 2014

PS for anyone thinking of starting, this program is amazing, totally works, do it!!

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rachy79 said on 07 August 2014

Hi,I completed couch to 5k earlier this year aving never been jogger or a runner and continued on my 5k runs until for various reasons I didntrun for a couple of weeks and then noticed alot of pain in both my feet. i do have some foot problems so i saw podiatry last week and they said I am ok to start up again. I feel like i am back to square one but probably not quite, any ideas where in the program I should restart, between moving house and sore feet, its probably been 3 months!!
Thanks

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Azel1963 said on 06 August 2014

Like many on here, I have never been a runner. Many years back I got myself pretty fit with regular training to play in goal, but even then, whilst agile, was not able to run great distances.
This programme is helping me to not only build up stamina, but also to enjoy it at the same time. When I'm on the walks between runs, I want to be running! Who'd a thought it!!!!

But I've got to say, as much as the podcasts are a huge help, I think the comments below are even more inspirational. Some great stories and some really good comments that have made me want to do this. Week 5 starts Friday.......bring it on!!!

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Going for it said on 28 July 2014

I am over 60, have never really been into exercising and certainly have NEVER jogged. Someone recommended the Couchto5K, my husband downloaded for me and I was off. I am doing Day 3 of Week 5 next which means I will be jogging for 20 minutes straight. I know this will be huge hurdle to push through and am looking forward to the sense of elation when I have done it!

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UnfitMom said on 21 July 2014

Wow, I really am not the only one? I always thought I was one of the "rare kind" who couldnt run 5 min at one go. I wondered if the only thing that can make me run is a lion and even then whether I would prefer to be its prey than run!

At the age of 27 I went to the gym for the first time and lost 4 dress sizes in 1.5 years. But this was entirely from weight and resistance training. Even at my fittest I could not run>5 minutes!

All that was fine before I had my baby. Now with juggling my precious 11 month old and a full time job, sparing time for gym is very hard. So I decided to bite the bullet and start a running program. But it was very scary given the last time I tried to run 300 metres, I was out of breath, dizzy and needed an hour's nap to recover!

I finally gathered courage (I cannot afford buying bigger sized clothes every month) and started C25K yesterday on recommendation from a colleague. If you saw me after the session you would think I ran 2 maratons at one go. I was that exhausted! But it felt great to know that I have feasible targets in the next few weeks and I could be one of the many who manage to run for 30 min in 9 weeks!

Thank you for the support and the encouraging articles. I "walked" the Race for Life in memory of my ex mother in law in 2009. My brother wrote on my page (pretending to be my nephew), "Aunt why are you so lazy?" I hope soon I can do the race again, this time running so that my nephews and my lilttle daugher can proud of me.

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highwaycrossingfrog said on 16 July 2014

Thank you Couch to 5k! This evening I competed in my first 5k race after four weeks' training with your podcasts (I jumped in at week 5). I would never have believed I could run that distance, or go for so long without stopping. I clocked up a very respectable beginners' time with which I am thrilled. I have now signed up for a 10k next month and a half marathon in 3 months' time. I only wish you had podcasts for longer distances!

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a61 said on 16 July 2014

I was a complete non-runner 9 months ago - couldn't run to the bus, felt awkward and clumsy when I tried. I'm 53, have had 3 children, am not overweight, but am not well co-ordinated so have never been very good at sport. I saw the programme and decided to give it a go. I did the podcasts all in the local community school gym so that I could see how was doing on the treadmill. I t was also good because I found it really hard to keep going at first, but because you either have to switch the treadmill off or fall off, it keeps you going that little bit longer. The programme is excellent the way it very gradually builds up the runs, reducing the walking bit by bit. The 27 podcasts took me 8 months doing it twice a week with some repetitions because I got flu, and an ankle injury part way through. The day I ran my first 5km was so exciting because I never believed I would ever be able to do that. I then graduated to running outside using the Nikeplus app on my phone to record my runs. 3 weeks after doing my first 5km, I did 8km yesterday. I still get stitches,(haven't worked out how to solve that one yet), but I feel great and have decided to find a 10km race to try. I still do a 5 minute warm up which I think is very good for an older body like mine, and although it is not in the programme, I always stretch before I start for the same reason.

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YoYoGirl said on 07 July 2014

I completed this programme a few months ago and it was amazing. I actually graduated to jogging 15k, before getting a stress fracture in my foot.

So now I need to loose some weight before I get to start running again, once I can, I will do the Couch25k again to get me started ;-)

I've been yo-yo dieting since 2010. I have just recently got engaged and have already been wedding dress shopping with my mum...which is probably the kick up the backside I have needed. I have a therapist helping me resist my usual urge for fad diets and quick results (which ultimately this leave me worse off, thanks to my binge eating habit)

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TeresaMorgan said on 07 June 2014

I started the Couch to 5k in February, and used it to prepare and complete a Race for Life last month. I found it very helpful, and would definitely not have kept up and progressed without the mp3 downloads. I am still running, and my husband has also just started the program as well. I am over 50, but was used to walking so found it quite achievable, the only run where I wasn't able to speed up at the end was the last 20 minute run on week 5. I have however found that at one point I was wearing some jogging bottoms, and the waist drawstring was a little tight, and I started getting stitches during the run. I loosened it a little, and hey presto, no more stitches. So don't be vain, and if this is a problem, think about making sure you don't have tight clothing when running. Hoping this may help others starting out.

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SpeedyMcSnuffles said on 03 June 2014

I did it! A very proud moment. I can run for 30 minutes. I would never had thought I would be able to say that. A huge thank you to Laura and 'Couch to 5k'.


Weeks 7-9 were definitely a mental challenge for me. I had got so used to waiting for Laura to tell me when I could stop, it wasn't easy continuing for 25 minutes. I didn't know what to think about! Gradually I have adapted to focusing on distance rather than time. I have a fair idea of how far I will cover in the time so I concentrate on that rather than waiting for Laura to give a time check.

Also, I notice that I have relaxed now that I know I can manage 25-30 minutes and I am probably running at a more natural pace.

Toughest run: probably doing the 3x 5 minute runs in week 5. They felt so long and the thought of longer runs ahead was daunting.

Most emotional moment: definitely completing the 20 minute run in week 5. It was then that I believed I could do this.

Most exhausting run: the very first day. I found those 60 second runs very long and was pretty shaky afterwards.

Best moment: a comment Laura makes at the end of week 6 - but I won't spoil it for you...

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Me2uali said on 02 June 2014

I started this to get some exercise & help me shift some weight,

I am really struggling to complete all the runs due to extreme pain in my calves.

I normally can only complete 3 of the runs. Last Friday I completed 7 & tonight I completed all 8 of the runs, but the pain was really awful & very painful to do the 5min walk to cool down, I am keen to continue but am worried about the pain & what is could be.

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FluffyduckW said on 26 May 2014

As a Mum of 3 and 52 years of age, I never thought I would be able to run... Never have before and not really exercised at all for around 20 years. I started this programme 8 weeks ago.. Had to rest for nearly 2 weeks as I hurt my ankle (not sure how, but I decided to be sensible and make sure it was better before I got back to the programme). I have now just started Week 7 and can run for 25 minutes! Something I never ever thought I would say!! I am really enjoying it and it has been well paced, so I haven't really struggled too much. The sense of elation I feel when I've completed a new run is just brilliant and it's really quite addictive. Would really recommend it. I feel so much fitter, more alert and I sleep better... and I've lost a few pounds too!

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OCmum said on 23 May 2014

I started this earlier this week and have completed 2 week 1 runs. I have 2 children aged 4 and 9 months and finding time to exercise has been a nightmare.
However, I have discovered that I can actually do this run whilst pushing the pushchair. It gives me a bit of extra resistance and the baby gets plenty of fresh air. Just kicking myself that I didn't start this when my son was born 4 years ago.
I used to be very sporty but have done nothing for several years now and am overweight and this has been great. It's very tempting if you used to be fit to push yourself too hard at the start and you end up giving up. By following Laura's instructions I know I am getting a good workout. To be honest I am finding it hard to leave a day in between as I just want to get out there and run again which I didn't think I would ever want to do.
Best thing ever - thank you so much NHS.

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_ana_ said on 23 May 2014

Hi all,
I have just finished Week 1. I look forward to starting Week 2 on Sunday! I am feeling great, with no pain, and very happy.
Have a nice Bank Holiday! xx

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Forest run said on 22 May 2014

I cant believe that only 6 weeks ago I could only run for 3 minutes and that was hard! With the podcasts I have managed the 25 minute run for week 6, the podcasts have given me the support I need, the music has kept me going and I feel much fitter. I am lucky to be able to run through pine forests in Portugal, which definitely helps!
I am nearly 60 and although I have a reasonably healthy diet I needed this to get me motivated to do more exercise. Thank you

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kelsi1097 said on 22 May 2014

I would recommend this programme to anyone, I was extremely unfit and 6 weeks ago I got the urge to start running and I am so glad I did. In the first week I struggled to run for 1 minute but six weeks on I can run for 25 minutes. I have signed up to do a 5k run and I am setting a huge challenge to myself of running the great north run. At the moment, it seems very daunting but each run I am running faster and further. I have changed my diet and i am very close to losing a stone. Anybody who is looking at this page and considering it, just go for it, it is totally worth it! Laura is a great help too :)

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feelgood50plus said on 17 May 2014

Yesterday I completed week 5 run 3 which means that I actually ran for 20 mins total. I still find it incredible to think tht at the start of the programme I was really struggling to run for 1 minute and that was only a few weeks ago. I am probably a bit older thn most of the other runners that I meet but that only makes me feel even more amazed at myself! I think Laura's encouragement plays a huge part in it as I really dont want to let her down!

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studentwithspecs said on 16 May 2014

Two months ago, I would come home, grab a packet of crisps(maybe two), collapse onto the sofa and turn on the television. I was unequivocally, a couch potato. My health was depleting and I considered running up the stairs to be my daily exercise.
However, when I got my unconditional offer at my first choice university, I knew I had to start my next step in life with a good, healthy lifestyle behind me.
This morning I ran for 25 minutes non stop (week 6 run 3). I was over the moon. The couch to 5k podcasts were the perfect pathway into running and with the help of Laura, I am now irrevocably a runner. Alongside running, I have cut out all the rubbish in my diet and instead, eat a variety of nutritious and delicious meals. Already, in this short space of time, I am healthier than ever and I feel incredible There's no turning back now.

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AnnetherunnerHopkins said on 13 May 2014

Tonight will be my first run of week 4 and I'm really looking forward to it. Having such a structured course is just fantastic and I feel confident that I'm going to succeed.
Looking ahead it would be fantastic to have another set of podcasts to get me up to 10k - any chance?

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Joh2020 said on 12 May 2014

I know it's a chiche but if I can do it, anyone can! I'm currently on week 5 & really enjoying it, I can't believe I can actually run for 5 minutes. I started C25K a couple of days after stopping smoking and I'm finding that one motivates me to keep doing the other. If you're in any doubt that you can do it, don't be! It can be hard at times but if you put the effort in, you'll start to see results very quickly. Well done NHS and thank you Laura!

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Bone marrow said on 12 May 2014

I am so chuffed with myself as i have completed week 5 run 3 today ! i nearly cried with pride that i have achieved this in such a short time.
This really works

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SpeedyMcSnuffles said on 10 May 2014

I am so pleased - today I managed the week 5 twenty minute run! This was a huge hurdle for me. Four days ago when I did the 3x 5-minute runs I really struggled. I had doubts about whether I could manage 8 minutes, let alone 20. But Laura said 'have faith in the plan' so I went for it. I was amazed that it really was OK.

Happy me. Now I really believe that I will manage 30 minutes by week 9. Thank you Laura.

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Grandma1 said on 04 May 2014

I am almost 68 years old, slightly overweight and an ex smoker with no running experience whatsoever. I have just completed W2 for the second time as I feel that I need extra time before attempting the next stage but I am pleased with my progress so far. I am recovering quite well after each 90 second run and just need to pluck up the courage to start Week 3. I am very pleased that I found Couch to 5K . I feel better already!

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Grandma1 said on 04 May 2014

I am almost 68 years old, slightly overweight and an ex smoker with no running experience whatsoever. I have just completed W2 for the second time as I feel that I need extra time before attempting the next stage but I am pleased with my progress so far. I am recovering quite well after each 90 second run and just need to pluck up the courage to start Week 3. I am very pleased that I found Couch to 5K . I feel better already!

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MissAdventures said on 04 May 2014

Couch to 5k is amazing. Before starting this I couldn't even run for a bus - and now 8 months later I've just completed my first 10k run, lost 4 stone (with healthy eating as well) and my legs and bum look amazing! The first few runs were the hardest, and I alternated between loving and hating Laura at times - but she really did get me through to the end. A Couch to 10k app would be good - but I still use the 5k programme, just do the final week's run twice to get me to 10k. Keep it up if you've just started - it really does work!!

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SpeedyMcSnuffles said on 29 April 2014

Me again!

I have just completed day 1 of week 4. I was really unsure whether I would manage it - the runs are longer and the walking shorter (which I suppose is the whole point but it still seemed a bit daunting). I even considered making up my own week 3.5 with 4 x 3 minute runs! But then I thought that if Laura said I could do it, I should give it a go. And I did it.

I am amazed that my recovery time is so much quicker already. 90 seconds seems fine this week, when last week I needed 3 minutes. And although running for 5 minutes sounded impossible, but it was ok.

I think the next scary goal for me is the 20 minute run at the end of week 5. But I really think I will get there and in many ways I can't wait!

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hfergie said on 23 April 2014

Hi am from the isle of man i have completed the C25K about 6 weeks a go will you be doing a 10K as Laura's encouragement really keeps me going when i went to stop

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ian66 said on 19 April 2014

This really does work!

Started week 1 a few days before my 48th Birthday and couldn't believe how difficult it was to run for 60 seconds. However, having read reviews before I started I was determined not to give in and just keep going as Laura encouraged. Week 4 with 3 five minute runs I was dreading and really thought I would struggle, but how wrong was I? I actually enjoyed the challenge and got through it ok, I am now hooked and looked forward to week 5 which I completed yesterday. I ran for an whole 20 minutes on day 3, me who last month was an unfit 47 year old!! Bring on week 6 day 3 (25 minutes of running). I run along a cycle route near to where I live and it is ideal as it is flat as it runs near a canal.

Thanks for this programme and a special mention to Laura who's voice of encouragement really helps me to keep going. I have registed with park run and hope to take part with other runners once I have completed week 9.

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SpeedyMcSnuffles said on 13 April 2014

This programme is fantastic!

I am really writing this to encourage anyone who might be swithering about whether to give it a go. I decided to try it as my new year's resolution and finally got started on 8 April. (I have been practising the Couch bit!) I have now completed week 1 and despite myself I love it.

I am not a runner. I have always said that the words 'fun' and 'run' should never appear in the same sentence and I think I only really started this because I wanted to feel a bit fitter. But already I am converted.

I was amazed how engrossed I get in what I am doing. I had thought that running in the winter would have been a good idea as I could have gone in disguise wearing a balaclava, but actually I don't even notice if there are other people walking by.

So I would say to anyone who is unsure - give it a go. Don't worry about getting all the gear. Comfy clothes are fine - although my new sports bra is fab and definitely worth the investment. Once you too have completed week 1 you will have such a feeling of achievement.


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Win J said on 14 March 2014

49 years old (banging on 50), Very sedentary lifestyle, and with a BMI of 35, I thought it about time I did something positive about my lack of fitness. So I downloaded the podcasts and thought I'd give them a try.

After the 2nd run of the 3rd week I was absolutely staggered by how much my recovery time had plummeted since the 1st week ! I can actually see the huge improvement by watching the running machine's heart-rate monitor and it's really making me want to stay the course and, for the first time for a long time, be fit again.

I would recommend C25K to absolutely everyone who feels they should be fitter than they are.

I'm using a running machine in the forward hold of a ship in the tropics ... it's as hot as hell in there but even that isn't putting me off. This is just something I want and need to do.

I'll definitely be trying to convert anyone else who looks like they could do with getting fit.

Thanks NHS ... another winner.

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Jules Mc said on 03 March 2014

8 weeks ago I bought all the running gear and embarked on my first C25K training session, after 40 seconds of running, I was begging Laura to tell me to slow down, I was ready to give up seeing that week 2 was 90 seconds and so on, however, I stuck with it and have just started week 8 and can run for 28 minutes! And to top it off I have also lost 1 stone! I would definitely recommend this programme to everyone who wants to get fit. I am overweight (classed as obese), so if I can do it, anyone can and I can see the difference in my recovery after training as well, although I still look like a lobster, I can breathe properly. So go on, you can do it!

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bobandmonty1994 said on 02 March 2014

I cannot thank the makers of this podcast series enough, it is so fantastic and a complete credit to the NHS. Before starting Couch to 5K I really struggled to run for 60 seconds. I'm not overweight (my BMI is 22) but was seriously unfit. I don't struggle too much with swimming or cycling but I always told myself I just could not run. Look at me now! I'm on Week 5 and feeling so different, full of energy and although I haven't lost any weight, I'm beginning to see positive changes in my overall body shape. I assume this is because I'm starting to convert fat to muscle instead, result! I'm really looking forward to finishing the series, it'll be such a self-esteem boost.
The best tips I can offer to anyone starting this are to make sure you don't dress too warmly - you'll feel a comfy temperature during your warm up walk but then overheat during the running! Make sure you don't run if you feel poorly, it just makes you feel waaay worse - take some time off and recover. Lastly, if you can, make sure you do at least one of your weekly runs on a day off work. I don't work on Sundays and I've found that doing the first run of a new week is much easier to adjust to if I haven't been working all day and I can run in the morning.
Good Luck everyone and Thank You Laura and the team!!

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Corkey said on 28 February 2014

On New Years Day the rest of my family did the 5K parkrun and I was left holding the coats. Although I do quite a bit of exercise (walking, swimming and cycling) I always found running really hard. However, the C25K plan is excellent, for the first time I actually enjoyed running and I have now reached my goal, I can run for 30 minutes without stopping.

I do my first park run tomorrow, so delighted. Thank you for this excellent set of podcasts, I couldn't have done it without them.

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lelrich said on 28 February 2014

Hi
My neck and shoulders seem to get worse if I run. I am 51. I used to run as a student and in my thirties but always found pain in neck and shoulders afterwards.. I can walk uphill for 2 hours no problem but running just seems to jar my whole body.

Any tips on reducing jarring?

I like the idea of the podcasts and the programme but find the music in them very offputting. Would much rather have a podcast with just peace interspersed with times - half way to your 5 mins, 60 seconds to go. Will have to make one myself if I continue running!

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LewisrEK said on 17 February 2014

This has helped me run and I never thought I'd be able to. I snapped my ACL in 2012 and feared my running days were over.

Thanks to this plan I am running better than ever and really really enjoying it.

Thanks NHS and thanks Laura, you've really been great :). Halfway through week 6 now and loving it!

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simonee10 said on 14 February 2014

Really want to get started with this but rubbish with technology! Just got a new Samsung galaxy SIII does anyone know how to download the podcasts to it? Any help much appreciated!

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mikelewis said on 22 January 2014

Recommended!

Started this in late October 2013 having done little or no CV exercise in my 45 years on the planet.

It works, just follow the plan, don't try too hard on the early runs, keep it steady and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

I completed the podcasts by running every other day, so rather than 9 weeks it took me 7 weeks. After 6 weeks, I was onto running 28 mins and completed my first 5K in just over that time.

I'm now just over 12 weeks since starting running and have progressed to a 10K plan using the RunKeeper app. I have just completed 10k distance by running continuously for 57mins. Very pleased! 12lbs lighter too :)

Do yourself a favour and get on this plan - You'll be glad you did.

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determined_mamma said on 21 January 2014

I have just turned 47 and weighing nearly 19 stone after Christmas, I decided I needed to do something and found this on a search - oh how brilliant! I have done Week 1, 6 times now over 2 weeks, and feel ready for Week 2. It might take me longer than the 9 weeks, but I am determined to complete a 5km run this year. Thank you for putting this together.

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Starry night said on 21 January 2014

I cannot recommend the podcasts enough, they are marvellous. I love them and many of the runners I have trained from beginners to those wanting to get back into running have found the podcasts very encouraging, and a great way to get running. However, I have to say that the description used on download page which refers to the podcasts as being designed for "couch potatoes" is offensive - most of the people I train work very hard, they don't have time often to exercise they are working single parents often and fabulous people who are far from 'couch potatoes'., exercise is just not yet part of their lives.Perhaps if we stopped beating people with a stick and referring to them as lazy, couch potatoes who are supposedly dying from obesity and supposedly bringing the whole world down with them, if we were a little kinder with our language and encouraging we would find the "carrot" approach worked - people need encouraging to exercise, to find something they love that helps them move, motivates them and helps them to keep healthy not belittling, insulting language like "couch potato". I am very disappointed that an NHS website would use such language. Please note I am not saying the podcasts are in any way offensive, they are quite the opposite, gentle, encouraging, positive and a great way to get going. Thank you but please review the language!

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alpacagirl said on 13 January 2014

I have just started week 8. I'm 56 and have never really done any regular exercise except going for long walks. I would never have believed that I would ever be able to run for 28 minutes - a bit slow - but I ran all the way! Thank you so much. The podcasts are so motivating and it works!

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aboahmad78 said on 11 January 2014

i have just finish week five . i am really impressed because i have finished in the 20 minutes running 4.2 km i am very near from reaching the 5 km ... my mind is motivated i am thinking of the 10 km even i am trying to improve and keep running for half marathon i hope there will be a bodcast for the half marathon. .

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PinkMariposa said on 09 January 2014

Did my first run yesterday and startd off with week 2, eventhough I am not running enthusiast and prefere to my dancing I realy loved this and hope to progress well over the next 8 weeks as I am planing to sign up for loads of 5k races this year. Just need to implement the 3 times a week in to my already packed days but there is always lunchtimes ;-) looking forward to the next run!

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sjn2k said on 04 January 2014

I just completed my first session today and got home absolutely buzzing and can't wait to do my next session. Thanks to everyone involved with producing this program. I used to run a lot as a teenager ... school cross country team, but that was 40 years ago, so was a little apprehensive but this is just superb to get me out there and enjoying my exercise once more.

If I could improve the podcast it would be to know when the halfway point is so that I know when to turn round and head for home. I ended up a ten minute walk away at the end of my first session (I was tempted to do a couple more jogs but decided not to risk doing any damage). But at least I'll know for next time.

My question is ... There is a 5k run in MK at the beginning of March. Is it realistic to expect that I could enter that or would I be better waiting for a later event? I reckon it works out to be around about week 9.

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CB66 said on 30 December 2013

I've really enjoyed this so far: had to stop for a week around week 7, but found that if I backtracked a little I caught back up. And I'm quite fond of using the Wk5 Run2 track for my 30min run- I warm up and then run through the whole podcast - maybe I just like the way it breaks up the time, or maybe, just maybe, I am a little touched in the head. Hated cross country running as a child and now I do it for fun! Makes me feel healthier, I've lost weight and it also improves my mood. Thanks Laura

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User297576 said on 19 December 2013

Update: completed the programme and now run 20K a week :-0 I never thought this possible a few weeks back as I struggled to run 30 seconds without stopping. My personal tips would be; get good running shoes (mine aren't mega expensive, £40 range but fantastic shock absorbers and support). Do not go too fast- really pace yourself and try aim for a jog at first anyway! Leave a good space between eating a meal and running (learned that the hard way, apparently we're not made to exercise and digest food at the same time = very hard run that time and overheated loads). Get a good running app (runkeeper is fab and free). If you're into your music, get some good playlists together, stuff from your youth or great stuff you haven't heard in years - you'll look forward to your run even more with a great playlist! Thanks to the NHS for this fantastic programme!

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Will86 said on 21 November 2013

I've just completed Week 9 and can't recommend this programme enough. I'm now comfortably running 30 minutes when 8 weeks ago I could only just manage 2 minutes at a time. The podcasts build you up gradually and though the running durations can feel daunting, it's really worth it and having Laura talk you through is so helpful. There's no worrying about timing, just do what she says, stick with it and 9 weeks later I feel great. Thanks to all the team who put this together.

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Beagle Gal said on 25 October 2013

Highly recommend this podcast for complete novice runners. It's remarkable how it works. When I started at week 1 I found it difficult to run for 60 seconds and today I ran 4K! I have never been able to run that far in my life! There were a couple of scary moments when Laura said "Today we're going to run for X minutes" and you think I'm never going to be able to do that! But she reassures you that you can and I did. I think the secret is just stick to the programme, don't try to run too fast and slow down but don't stop it you're feeling tired.
The only improvement that I think could be made is the music but then I suppose there would be cost implication if they had to pay royalties to use more well known artists.

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User812319 said on 17 October 2013

First of all I am so surprised that I've stuck to this programme (currently half way through week 3) as I didn't think I enjoyed running. However having the podcasts has maintained my enthusiasm and I am also using the map my run app which sends me weekly updates. This keeps me motivated.

The only problem I am having is that towards the end of my run I keep getting pins and needles in my feet, which end up becoming numb, making running very difficult. I have tried loosening my laces but this hasn't helped. Does anybody have any advice?

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runmammyrun said on 14 October 2013

I can honestly say Couch to 5K changed the way I thought about myself and what I could achieve. Having not long given up smoking and with a prior history of bad fatigue I really that thought was it for me. But this programme helped me to get back out there - even if that was really early in the morning or really late at night like other people here as we didn't want to be seen running! It was way back (ok not so long but it feels like it) in Jan this year that I started. I completed in time to do my first ever 5K race at the end of March. I'm now, believe it or not, in the middle of training for a half marathon. This really wouldn't have been possible without Couch to 5K. Running has become so much a part of my life now I'm even writing about by training. Thank you to everyone involved and those on the forums too!

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fattyarbuckle said on 14 October 2013

In answer to Hereigo, you need to download the plan week by week to your mp3player and simply follow Laura's instructions. She tells you everything you need to know week by week. I'm on week 3 and so far I've done the same run 3 times before moving on to the next week

Loving it too! I'm 57, never run before in my life but having lost over 3 stones I felt much lighter and thought I would get myself toned up if I increased my exercise as I want to tone up the flab left over from losing weight. It's not easy as you get older so I thought running would help me tone up and strengthen bones etc. I have no idea about running so being led in this way has been perfect for me, and lots of others too from what I've read here. I'd recommend it!

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hereigo said on 05 October 2013

I have been lucky enough to secure a place in the London 2014 marathon. I am a complete beginner though i have a reasonable level of general fitness. I have been recommended the 'couch to 5k' plan as a great way to get started and was just wondering, how many times each week should you do each run? Thanks for any advice!

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Pwis said on 28 September 2013

I have just completed the third run of week 9: I have done it!

The main benefit for me is that I have discovered that running was an excellent antidote to stress. Running is helping me to relax and brings me mental peace; it is akin to a form of meditation!
I am quite a slow runner as I am not running 5K in 30 minutes but I am hoping to increase my speed with the other podcast available on this site.
Thank you NHS to make these resources available for FREE; it's an incredibly good product and I feel very lucky to have been able to access it at no cost. Thanks again.

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RichardJC said on 24 September 2013

This is entitled "Couch to 5K". Is there a similar program for "Bike to 5K"? How easy would it be for a cyclist to just run 5K?

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Beardiepup said on 07 September 2013

I came across this site whilst looking for resources for my patients (I'm a practice nurse). I am 49 years old, and although not overweight have recently put on a few pounds and am embarrassingly unfit!! I used to do a lot of walking but have not since my dog died earlier this year. I have never been able to master running at all because I have never been able to keep going!
I thought I would give it a go- I don't have running shoes or a working MP3 player, but do have a small fitness trampoline and so have tried it using this and my computer to see if I could do it (and- to be honest- to avoid the potential embarrassment of collapsing in the street, in a breathless heap, in front of my patients!!!)
I have to say though, how surprisingly manageable the first session has been- I would never have thought I could run for 8 minutes!! Now I know I can do it, I will venture out next time and use the trampoline when it is dark or raining.
My advice would be (assuming you don't have any medical contraindications) to try it! If I can do it, I think pretty much anybody can, you will be surprised. I will keep posting as I progress!

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The Running Man said on 03 September 2013

I stumbled upon C25K yesterday and made the choice to change my life. I've never run before. Haven't really done anything other than occasional walking for over a decade. This morning I set my alarm early and dragged myself out of bed. Put on my make-shift running gear and headed out.

I'm not ashamed to admit that 30 minutes later I was crying tears of joy. Running for 8 minutes may not be a big deal to many people, but to me it was important. It is the first step on my new journey, and I did it.

No more excuses for me now, no more I'll do it on my next birthday, no more I'll do it in January, no more I'll do it next week. I've started my journey, and while I know it's probably going to get tougher, I think I've done the hardest and most important part which is simply starting.

For anyone thinking about trying C25K, I would say to go for it. I was worried how I would do the first time out, I was worried I might look ridiculous, but the podcast is great, Laura is great. Thanks to everyone who put it together.

Roll on Session 2!!!

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Sue111 said on 02 September 2013

I began the Couch to 5k programme 8 weeks ago at the age of 55 and never having run ever!! I reached my target of 30 minutes running yesterday, having skipped 1 week , going from week 7 to week 9. At the start I never imagined that I would ever be able to achieve anywhere near the target; panting for breath after only 1 minute - it seemed I faced a mountain to climb but if i can do it anyone can do it. I am very proud of myself and so are my husband and children. I intend to keep going so that I can run faster and further. If you're reading this considering if you should take the plunge, the answer is a huge yes - go for it!

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smushi said on 01 September 2013

An ode to my first run:
I never thought i could ever get over the fear of "going out for a run". The exposure of my body to the general public, even if it was just to a passing car or one person walking around at 6am (because there always has to be one), was not something I could get my head around. But ladies and gentlemen, I did it. And there was absolutely nothing to be scared of. The only thing that plagued my mind was the thought of someone staring at my large, round bum bulging through the outline of my granny pants under a pair of unforgiving and grey leggings. But even that passed surprising quickly. Starting with a five minute walked helped ease me into things. And only running for 60 seconds at a time was a relief, because after the first instalment, I thought I was going to collapse. If the podcast lady hadn't said stop i certainly would have stopped anyway!

The second run was in the park. And what a wonderful and welcoming site to behold! There was a lovely, long stretch of path beckoning me forward, telling me that I had arrived at he road of endless possibilities. On that second run I felt like it was ok to feel sorry for myself, that I had legitimate issues but at least I could feel good about myself too, because I wasn't sat around moping at home.

So guys and girls, if you've been dumped (like me) or there's some other problem on your mind, go for a run. I guarantee, that even in tight leggings, the benefits will far out weigh the temporary and fleeting embarrassments.

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Beth_Faye said on 26 August 2013

Thank you so much for producing this plan, it's a life saver!

In 2012, I was on the sofa having had back surgery. Exactly a year later, I finished the plan. My asthma improved, my flexibility improved, I can touch my toes for the first time in 5 years! If I can do it, anyone can!

In 9 weeks, you'll be running for 30 minutes from having no running experience and will be wondering how you ever found 60 seconds hard! I never thought I'd get here.

Laura's tips are great for first time runners and keep you calm while you're body is adjusting to so much.

I've recommended this to 2 friends already, and I have great fun jogging with them and with my dad, who recommended the plan to me.

Any age, any place, any time, this is a flexible plan that is easily fit around work, college, family life, etc.

Good luck to anyone having a go at it, you can do it!! :)

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learningtorun13 said on 26 August 2013

I completed week 3 of this programme a few days ago and I'm due to do the first run of week 4 this evening. So far I am absolutely loving it! Thinking back to my first run of week 1, I honestly didn't think I'd get through the full 90 seconds - now I'm aiming for a full 5 minutes today and actually believe I can do it!

Stupidly I keep looking forward to what I've got coming and it terrifies me a bit (can I really be running for 20 minutes in a couple of weeks?!) but Laura has got me through those tough first few weeks so I have faith that she'll get me through the rest. I know it won't be easy but I really am determined to stick with it.

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getrunning said on 07 August 2013

Started running a couple of years ago with friends but it wasn't regularly and it was hard work to keep going for 30 mins. Signed up to do 5K this coming October and was worried!
I found the podcasts and managed to get them to work on my ipod (!) which took a while.

I am on week 3 and I love it. I have been advised to rest at the moment as i have a bad stomach but I am desperate to get back onto the programme as I found it really helpful. The structured approach is really good.

I would definitely recommend this programme to anyone.
So lovely to hear all the positive comments on this site.

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Ricardo68 said on 19 July 2013

I started the Couch to 5k around April 2013 because I was overweight and my blood pressure was high. I wasn't sure at first about running, I always see others do it and wondered how it was to actually be out there running. I started running on the road with incorrect trainers and my knees was in pain and I almost gave up, until one of my friends recommended I go and get a proper pair of trainers. I had my gait checked and trainers picked, I have never paid so much money for a pair of trainers but, I will say it’s the best investment ( my knees love me for it ). I normally run in the mornings at around 05:30am and found it to be very enjoyable. It took me a bit longer to complete the C25K than schedule since I had to repeat a number of weeks and also had to rest for one full week, I have completed it today Friday 19th July 2013. ( Whoop Whoop Punching the air ). I can only run 4K in 30mins at present with a weight lost of around 1 stone and on the way to reaching my goal. As I look back I couldn't even run for 1min now I am doing 30mins. Now I will be building on my achievement and start the speed podcast. I just wanted to thank the NHS and Laura for the wonderful podcast it has been a great help to me.

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Richard of Leicester said on 04 July 2013

I started the Couch to 5k 0n 27th March because I was overweight and my cholesterol was high. I wasn't sure whether a 2 day or 1 day weekend gap was right so I went for the one day. After some self discipline and plenty of encouragement from Laura I have now done the 2nd run on Week 7. Having never done any form of recreational exercise, even at school I wasn't keen on sport, I am very proud of myself. I also feel brighter and sharper in myself. I find that a lot of the barriers are mental and once you push these aside it you can get on with it. Well done NHS for once.

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Yemyen said on 10 June 2013

I just wanted to thank the NHS and Laura for the wonderful podcasts. Took me a while but i just completed the C25K and loved it. took me a bit longer then scheduled since i had to repeat a couple of weeks, but i finally got there.
note: my biggest hurdle was that i was a runner a few years ago (well, quite a few years ago!) and until i found the C25K (and Laura!) I would keep attempting to run again push myself to meet earlier speeds and times, and hurt my knees or feet and would have to give up running for another couple of years. The slow measured approach and the breaks in these podcasts really worked for me. I plan to keep on running.
Thanks gain Laura

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Reebinoc said on 26 May 2013

Before starting the program I hadn't run for years, I had to do some weeks twice to ensure that I could complete all the runs and succeed. I now use week 9 as a program for measuring my performance over 7k e.g am I where I should be at 10, 15, 20 mins etc.. I have completed a 5k run for charity since following couch to 5k. It would be nice if there was a 10k program to move onto.

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narrowboatgirl said on 15 May 2013

I have never been interested in running. I've always been quite an active person and do a lot of swimming etc but because I am a little overweight I always thought I would have problems with my knees etc. It turned out this was just me using an excuse.
My friend started doing 5k mud races and they looked really good fun so I bought a pair of trainers and loaded up the nhs couch to 5k plan.
Well, what can I say, I whizzed through the first 3 weeks no problems. My knees were fine because you build up slowly through the plan.
The music is dreadful but I found it really useful to have someone cheering me on and talking while I was running.
I completed my first 5k mud race with 30 obstacles in March and I am now training to do the next one in september. I might even work up to 10k!
I would definately recommend this to anyone who has never run before. It's brilliant.

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Salarmy said on 29 April 2013

I was running regularly up until the end of the year when the dark evenings and bad weather set in. From then on I turned into a couch potoato. I knew I needed and I wanted to start running again, but lacked motivation. I saw this plan and the podcasts appealled to me as I felt I needed some sort of coaching but don't want to join a running group. So just finished my first run of week one and found it hard going - shins ache and out of breath! Surprised how soon I have got out of condition (hasn't helped by fact I have been eating too much and put on weight) But feel good I managed to complete the whole walk/run and found the music and the coaching very inspiring. Thank you.

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Teessidegirl said on 25 April 2013

I started on 19 March and tomorrow morning I'll be doing Day 1 of Week 7. From the first week I was hooked and I absolutely love it. The podcasts are spot on, just the right mix of nothing too scary but a bit of a challenge. I'm the least athletic person I know and previously my most strenuous exercise was knitting more quickly or maybe picking up a heavy book! If anyone is wondering whether this is for them, just try it. I've gained loads in terms of confidence and improved stamina and the only thing I've lost is weight ;)

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Boston til I diet said on 25 April 2013

This programme is brilliant and one of the best things the NHS has ever done for me! At 49 and after 6 years of sedentary living (and a slightly dodgy left knee) I struggled to run more than 100 metres. Enough was finally enough and so having started the C25K in mid-January I have now just completed Week 9. Granted, it has taken me a few more weeks than it might have taken a 30 year old; but I can honestly say I feel great and really look forward to my three weekly 5k runs. I am also not quite doing the distance in 30 mins but who cares, I just run for slightly longer. The left knee is no bother provided I take the rest days Laura recommends. I shall be aiming for a 10k in 2014. In truth the weight has not dropped off me dramatically (about 6kg) but my wife now says "oh you've lost weight" but the truth is I've changed shape more than lost it. 'Laura' is very good indeed and very motivational. I work all over the world and travel a lot but this programme is very air portable to parks, hotel gyms, pretty much anywhere in fact; all you need is MP3 player, headphones and running shoes and off you go. Thanks to my brother for pointing me to C25k and a very strong thumbs up from me - give it a try you will feel great in no time!

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JRT60012 said on 19 April 2013

This is brilliant! Finished week 9 the other day and honestly I've never felt better! I was convinced when I started it I'd never be able to finish because I was so unfit and hated exercise but look at me now! The podcasts take you through it slowly and Laura's calm voice is encouraging and helps you every step of the way. It was difficult at times and I added in an extra run here and there when I felt it'd got a bit too tough, but as Laura mentions it soon becomes more of a mental challenge than a physical one. I went on holiday with just 1 run left of week 9 and wasn't sure if I'd be able to manage it after two weeks sunbathing but was surprised how easy I found it! I now feel like I can go out running anytime and it shouldn't be too difficult, so I'm definitely going to carry on! I urge you to try this and just try to stick with it for a few weeks and I'm sure you'll soon love it as much as I do! Thank you!

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Badger49 said on 13 April 2013

I just wanted to thank you for these wonderful podcasts and to encourage anyone who is thinking about taking up running and improving their fitness to use them. I am now running 5K without any difficulty and the psychological and physical benefits I have received are well worth the effort. Over the last three years I have dealt with two bouts of cancer, chemotherapy, radiation and two major operations (my last one just over a year ago). I was feeling very low. I am a single mum and work full time as a teacher. I was exhausted and low in mind and body! Then my friend recommended the podcasts and I'm so pleased she did! I found the first sessions challenging but the challenge was more about what was in my head rather than the physical challenge. The structure, encouragement and music in the podcasts are all brilliant and quite honestly has transformed the way I think about myself, my body and what I can achieve. My fitness levels and psychological well being have improved so much. I am now not letting cancer overshadow my life and I have enrolled for a 10K charity run for Cancer Research UK. So this podcast has made a difference in so many ways. Whatever challenges you face in your life, I urge you to give this a go! It would be great if NHS Choices could take this further and include training up to 10K and beyond. I want to do a marathon eventually and this would really help me! But this is a great resource and thank you to the people who had the foresight to put it together.

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stevo500 said on 08 April 2013

Hi.just started this programme today.I am a 33 year old male who up until recently smoked quite heavily and rarely exercised.I found this first day really hard going and could not complete all of the 30 second runs.anyone out there have any advice for me or is it just a case of keep going till your comfortable with each step of the programme before moving too the next stage?.I also found it really hard going on my shins is this your a symptom of not exercising for so long?.any input would be appreciated.I'll try to post with regular updates posts.:)

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Astrapes said on 24 March 2013

Doing this course as part of my recovery after a spinal fusion. Never expected to actually find it enjoyable. Working through it though, and finding it quite fun. On a side note, there is piano track which starts aroun 18:20 on the week one podcast, any idea what it is called?

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Hopeful dreamer said on 20 March 2013

40 years old and never ran before. I am struggling with week 5 run 3, I could not go from 8 mins to 20 mins. Running is boring and the music is not helping me, so knowing the goal I am listening to my own, running 10, 12, 16 and 16 minutes again tomorrow I will make it 20 minutes and get back to week 6 of the podcast. I have noticed a big difference in my recovery time and overall fitness.
Running has improved my mood and confidence, I feel a real sense of achievement for what I have done so far. Although running slowly, I want to be able to do 30 minutes before getting faster.
I am overweight and unfit and I advise anyone who thinks they can't run to just try this and see yourself improve.
I will finish this podcast!

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Teessidegirl said on 19 March 2013

Just completed week 1. I'm 52, overweight, asthmatic and haven't exercised for years. Bought a £25 pair of running shoes in a sale and off I went. I absolutely love it! I've been on a weight loss programme and had hit a plateau with my weight loss so hopefully this will get that going too.
The podcast seems to make it so easy. Just when you think 'I need to stop', Laura's pleasant voice tells you to slow down! No faffing on with stop watches and the music is just the right pace. Because of work, I had to do day 3 at 5am this morning. I actually enjoyed it! If anyone tried to tell me a couple of months ago I'd be looking forward to running at 5am on a wintry morning I'd have laughed in their face. Apart from the physical health improvements I hope to see, it's already boosted my confidence hugely. Thank you so much to all involved.

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PremierChris said on 19 March 2013

Well as promised in my early post I am back to give you all an update. If you recall I was really struggling and couldn't see myself ever getting any further. Well I stuck with it. I am now on week 7! Can now run, allbeit slowly for 20 minutes without having to stop! I am about to do my first 25 minute run tonight after work and am a bit worried about it. I think my problem is is that I build it up in my mind and think about what is to come too much. Once I get started it isn't so bad. I am still on the treadmill and have promised myself that once I can do the full run a few times and feel confident I am going to give it a go outside. Anyway I will come back soon and report on my progress. I have combined my running with cutting down on my feed and I must say that I am now starting to notice a difference - so just need to "keep on running".

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molly10 said on 19 February 2013

This programme is fabulous, I could never have believed I could do it. Up to week 5 now and loving every minute. Can anyone out there help me find out though - what are the titles and artists on the plan's playlist. I love loads of the music and would like to download some but don't know what the titles are. Thanks ayone........

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Happy Running said on 21 January 2013

I ran the final run of week 9 yesterday (yes, through the snow.... That is how great I think this program is!). I was very moved, proud and so grateful that I managed to complete these 9 weeks and enjoying it as well! Thank you NHS! Thank you Laura. I am a 41 year old, full time working mum of 2 and finding time to work out is difficult. So,..when the little ones are asleep, hubby babysits and I am out running! I have never ever ran before and I have. Neve rbeen very sporty. This program just worked so well for us. It only takes 30 minutes and you can just see your body adapt to the regular excercis. Amazing! Thank you sooooo much!

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Fat Bear said on 19 January 2013

I'm 54, obese, have mild asthma and a bad back. I walk 40 - 90 minutes nearly every day but nothing else. I am desperate to get fitter and more active but I'm worried I'll drop dead with a heart attack or something if I do this! Is it safe for an out of condition, middle aged fatso like me?!

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Kara D said on 15 January 2013

I am at a loss,. I was asked to do a 5k run in Oct 13 and I thought what the hell, I have been losing weight (211lbs now) was (250lbs in Aug when baby was born) I want to do this, but I asked my Hubby and he basically said you will have a heart attack doing it (stopped smoking 1 wk ago) Can I do this, is it really possible with out keeling over? I want to, just shocked what the hubby said :(

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caj62 said on 06 January 2013

To anyone considering doing the plan, I say do it! I hadn't run at all since school (and I was 50 in the summer) but was determined to get fit and starting to run was one of the things I wanted to do. Follow the plan, listen to Laura, don't do too much too soon and you will be fine. As long as you are realistic and understand that some days will be easier than others and that it is ok to repeat a week if you need to, you will be fine. I have gone from not running at all to today running 8k and I really believe that if I can do it most people will be able to do it. I could even say I enjoy it! Good luck

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lokibailey said on 29 November 2012

Do it Do it Do it!!
I have just completed the nine weeks and it's fantastic. So so easy. My fitness was pretty low, after having 3 children close together and not doing any proper exercise for ages, and I can now run!!
The music is a bit naff, but otherwise the podcasts are so brilliant and easy to stick to. If I can do it, anyone can!!

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Maryhatch said on 05 October 2012

Just completed third run of week 9 I still can't believe I have done it in just 9 weeks, I couldn't of done it without Laura to keep me motivated. I'm going to start 5k plus on Sunday. Thank you to Laura and this great podcast I'm now a proper runner and have every intention of progressing further.

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kelso114 said on 17 September 2012

I started with laura a year after I had my twins. Husband and his friends marathon adicts with prof coaches. So I had good training tips and advice outside the podcasts too. example, you can never run too slow as this is how you put miles on your muscles, read born to run, munch chia seeds. Now doing dublin marathon next year. Might I add this is with my extr bellies from carrying twins for 38 weeks after which I spent a year smoking my stressed head off. Thanks to the nhs for the kick start. You did great.

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Maryhatch said on 16 September 2012

What a fantastic running tool, I have just come back from my first run of week 7 and to my astonishment I completed it with just enough energy for a sprint for the last 60 seconds. I cant quite believe that I have got this far and realise that I couldn't of done it without the trainer Laura. I'm already looking forward to week 8, I hope I can continue after week 9 and beyond with the help of 5k plus. I feel so much better about myself and am starting to feel fitter and have lost a bit of weight without really dieting, I have cut down on all the bad things I was eating, we all know what they are! Next run Tuesday.

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badhairday67 said on 13 September 2012

Is there a podcast for android users?

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Freefly said on 11 September 2012

A massive thanks to Laura and the NHS C25K runing programme. I am 45 and (thought I was) fairly fit as I had lost 3 stone and cycled a lot to take part in Enduro Africa 2009.

I could also play football with my kids now and again...in short bursts...But, get me on a proper run and I was useless...no real stamina when running was concerned (10k on a mountain bike up and down hills no problem but running...nope)!

In week one, run one, I was practically begging Laura to come back to tell me to walk again...terrible, but I kept at it.

I have just got back from completing week 9...5k in 30 minutes and feel amazing! Even prior to this week, I had cycled 3.5 miles to drop my mountain bike off for a service and then run 3.5 miles home.

2 days later, I ran back to the store and cycled home again.

That would have been impossible for me 8 weeks ago. So a huge thanks to the NHS C25K programme and to Laura for her calm, reassuring assistance throughout.

The system is perfect and eases you into running in such a way that by the end of each week, you are ready to take it up a notch.

I noticed today that once you get to 8-10 minutes of running, the cobwebs are blown away (if running early morning) and you settle into the zone. I love this and am now moving on to the graduate podcasts.

Fantastic system and free! I will be telling everyone about this until they are bored with me ; )

Nick Stubbs

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Maryhatch said on 06 September 2012

Just completed week 5 run 2, I have really surprised myself so far, the next run is 20 mins with no breaks I'm a little panicked but I'm giving it my best shot. I'm 47 and need to lose about 3 stone so if I can run carrying this extra weight just imagine how I will feel if I can drop the weight. I'll update when I'm further into the plan so wish me luck,

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George A said on 25 August 2012

Fantastic podcast and plan! It has drastically changed my lifestyle.

Before starting on the plan, I was a complete coach potato, an overweight smoker and asthmatic who could not run 100 meters to save my life. 3 months later I am a stone and a half lighter, have quit smoking, have finished a 5.6km charity race and can run for 25 minutes non stop (just finished week 7 - even if it took me more than 7 weeks...).

It has made me look forward to the next workout, thanks to all the team at NHS choices for producing it and special thanks to Laura who is really motivating and such a pleasant running companion!

Great stuff, cant wait to finish all 9 weeks and move to the 5K+ podcasts! Keep up the good work, its much appreciated :)

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paslode10 said on 02 August 2012

I have had 2 hip replacements both on the R/H side and i cat run does this mean i wont be able to do the Couch to 5K please. I can walk but not that far as i also have DCM but i do need exersize to help my Heart.

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Thornabylad said on 19 July 2012

a great way to run 5k on a regular basis is join parkrun;
http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ they hold timed 5k runs up and down the country, its free to join and people of all abilities do, including diasabled people, people pushing buggies. you can walk or run the coarse with times for the 5k ranging from 16minutes to an hour, between 200 and 300 people do the one i go to, it is every Saturday morning and all start at 9am. it is good to try and beat your time every week and it is a great community thing.

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Andy CF Thomson said on 14 July 2012

A former medium distance runner, I stopped for 8 years and became unfit. Desperate to get back out and get fit I tried again and again to run but each time got worn out and felt defeated. I had never heard of 'Interval training' until some friends got into running and mentioned C25K. Well 8 weeks later and i've already pushed past 5K onto 6,7 & 8. I am so happy to have found a programme that got me back out enjoying running after all these years. Some useful tips on the site include: repeat a week if you're finding it hard. One thing I definitely disagree with though is heel striking - Laura recommends landing on your heel which has been proven to exacerbate injury, not prevent it. Also, very cushioned trainers can lead to more injury than flatter, thinner trainers. Please read "Born to Run" by Christopher Mcdougall or check out his TED talk at ted.com. Check out Natural Running on the web too, lots of good advice about technique and minimising injury.
I think it's great that more and more people are finding out about C25K so keep spreading the word and we'll all get fitter and healthier and happier.

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Ruth H said on 13 July 2012

I've just finished week 4 run 1 and surprised myself by how much running I could do with much shorter walks between runs.
I found the C25K through a Tesco magazine and thought it might be easier to exercise whenever I wanted rather than being tied to gym timetables. I'm lucky that I have some nice routes that I can run along and I'm also enjoying being out in the fresh air and exploring the countryside around where I live.

I work as a GP and can't believe that there isn't more publicity for schemes like this, I'm now recommending it to my patients and hope they enjoy it as much as I am!

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jojohelen said on 24 June 2012

This 5k programme is fantastic. Laura's voice is great without being annoying, and I swear she's psychic knowing exactly when I need motivation. I really can't believe how easy this progamme has been - I was struggling to run for any length of time and now 9 weeks on I'm running 5k and loving it! Well done to the NHS for this programme. Don't waste your money elsewhere, this programme is free and it really works!

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sallyb123 said on 28 May 2012

I am 43, overweight and unfit. I have tried every diet there is and dipped my toe in the water with exercise for years but I have always given up at the first hurdle. I have just finished Week 2 of the C25K podcasts and I can't wait to start Week 3. These podcasts are brilliant, and Laura's encouragement really keeps you going. I have signed up for the Race for Life 5k on 1st July (just over 4 weeks time) and really feel like I will be able to do it. Two weeks ago when I started C25K I didn't think I would make it to the end of the first podcast....but I did, and I am loving it. I am really looking forward to being able to run for 30 minutes...something I never thought I'd be able to do even in my wildest dreams but now I am sure I will. I will feedback at the end of week 9 and let you know how I got on. If you are thinking of trying the Couch to 5k plan I would recommend it to anyone, if I can do it, anyone can!

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sonia67 said on 19 May 2012

I just moved to Dubai ( 2 weeks) and carry on with NHS "Couch to 5K) " started while I was in italy. Unfortunately for the past 3 days i have 3 blisters on my right foot ( one on the big toe and 2 on the heel). Shoes are not old, nor new and I use dry fit socks. Can somebody give me some advise on what to do as i do not want to stopo my training program

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sonia67 said on 15 May 2012

The couch to 5k podcast is a great way to start running.
I always walk ( up to 10 km daily) then one day my legs started asking for more, walking was not enough so I downdloded the podcast and I am now in my week 3 and I love it ( despite a blister on my heel :-) which i hope will disappear soon ! I am planning to do my first marathon next year as a gift for my 45th birthday !

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ironwoman said on 10 May 2012

The weekly C25K podcasts are a lifesaver, I turned 50 this year, I have two stone to loose and I was feeling really hopeless about getting fit again, a friend suggested I give this a try and I'm now on week 3 and already have lost half a stone and feel so much more alive and healthy, its a fantastic way to get up and go, better than any gym or personal trainer because you are out in the fresh air and you feel like you have support and advice all the way, and its free. I would recommend this system to anyone wanting to make a healthy start, if I can get to week 3 and enjoy it, the anyone can.

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Trabbs Boy said on 05 May 2012

So sad I had to quit the program after week 6. I'm quite fat and have arthritis in my knees, and the long runs just weren't going to work for me. I'm going to switch to Nordic walking as a better fit for my particular situation.

Nevertheless, I am deeply grateful for this program, which really did get me off the couch and into exercising. It means so, so much to me.

All this got me thinking that it would be wonderful if NHS wanted to do a second set of these podcasts for people who can't run. There are lots of people who don't exercise because of foot, knee and hip problems, but the core of the program -- intervals, increasing gradually, encouragement and celebration -- would work for any type of exercise. Making a more neutral podcast would catch people who don't think they could run.

You could call it something like "Off the Couch", and use language like "low gear" and "high gear" instead of "walk" and "run", keeping the same music in the background. Then you could include a bunch of videos on the website of people using the program in different ways, like on a stationary bicycle, walking, Nordic walking, rolling a wheelchair, or even arm motions in a chair.

I suppose you could just do the videos, but I bet people with disabilities would appreciate more inclusive language, and they are less likely to look into something about running in the first place.

Thank you again for making this program. I may not have made it to 5K but I am absolutely off the couch now!

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ewhillis said on 02 May 2012

Many thanks for this program. Can you tell me the name of the last song played in the week 4 podcast, or the name of the artist? It begins with lyrics similar to:

"see the world is yours now, see the sun in the sky, see the open window through which you fly"

Thanks!

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User670757 said on 27 April 2012

C25K is one of the best things ive ever done! I recommend it to everyone. Ive lost 1 and half stone in 9 weeks, although ive been eating healthy along with this plan. Im so so much happier now and have alot more self confidence! 9 weeks ago i couldnt run for 30 seconds without feeling like colapsing i am only young so this was pretty bad! Yesterday i ran for 30 minutes, i find it so hard to believe now looking back! Now ive finished the C25K plan im going to keep running its going to be harder to motivate myself without the podcasts beside me every step of the way but C25K has taught me to be strict with myself and ive realised running is alot about overcoming mental challenges as well as physical. Running is now something i enjoy and im excited about getting better, i hope to run a marathon in 2014 with my dad. I cant honestly thank the NHS and laura enough, these simple podcasts have changed my life. you should definatly create a 5k to 10k set of podcasts, would be brill! yet again Thank you!

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Old Geezer said on 25 April 2012

I am mid fifties, a couple of stone overweight and have been a couch potato for years. I decided to take on C25K to improve my fitness; my wife decided to have a go as well. We have just finished week 4 and I am amazed and delighted by what we have achieved, considering we both found week 1 very difficult.
Advice I would give to anyone trying the plan - get some reasonable running shoes, it helps a lot, and run with a partner if you can, my wife and I encourage each other when we would probably stop if alone. It's a great programme and you can do it you make some effort. I actually look forward to the runs now, and feel good, if a little tired, after completing them. I can't wait to run for 30 mins solid for the first time since I was a teenager.

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User669583 said on 24 April 2012

I have just finished week7 and absolutely love the podcasts. I am much fitter and find the 25 min run ok (6 weeks ago 1 min run was hard work). My only problem is that I don't seem to be losing any weight, I have now decided to concentrate on how my clothes fit.

Is there a podcast for after the 9 weeks?

Laura is fab by the way - I find her comments and encouragement really do keep me going, Thanks!

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sweetreason said on 23 April 2012

will it work for someone with an arthrodesis, uneven leg lengths and lumbar scoliosis? thought not! back to the drawing board NHS.

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C25 said on 20 April 2012

http://couchto5k.healthunlocked.com/ I hope this link works.. if you are in need of some support with this programme or need some inspiration to get started do visit the forums . There are loads of lovely people over there who are starting out or have graduated but all are willing to encourage you. :)

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CJones81 said on 16 April 2012

I need help even downloading/finding the podcasts. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy S2 running Gingerbread on Firefox and I've going round in circles clicking the various links but got nowhere. I've tried using a few different podcast players to no avail too. They either don't fing the cto5k podcast or simply don't download/play anything.
On some of the links I get s message saying "If you don't have the latest version of Adobe flash player click this link" Doesn't say I' don't have latest version. Even though I've made sure it's up to date.
It's driving me mad. I actually want to make the effort to run.

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Bananange said on 16 April 2012

Just started this last week. I'm 50 next year, overweight by quite a bit and have never liked running. I've a busy jog and a family. I'm not bone idle but did a dancing before - tap, modern etc., which I find are more difficult to fit in.
I've been doing fitness videos but realised that I need to do something a bit more strenous for it to make a difference.

The videos and comments above are very encouraging. I'm finding the 1st week tricky and it may take a few weeks before I complete it - but that only illustrates how unfit I am and why I need to keep going. I do feel better already even after short time.

Keep up the encouraging comments and lets keep going. :-)

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wishface said on 16 April 2012

The only people that are allowed to post then are those that have positive comments? People that have a problem with this scheme, which is not designed for people of different backgrounds at all, aren't entitled to speak then? That's nice.

How can you say I have never even tried this? YOu obviously didn't even read what I posted since the first paragraphs says that i've been trying this for 3 years!

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jelhwin said on 16 April 2012

Wishface it doesn't sound like you have even giving this running programme a try before inflicting your negativity on everyone. This programme is designed for beginners of all weights and fitness levels. It is a staged programme to build on your fitness week by week.
I have never run before and I am now at the end of week 2. It's not easy but you don't get anywhere by not pushing yourself and giving up. I am determined to get to the end of the programme and acheive my goal of being able to run 5K. I would encourage everyone to have a go. It's good for you, it's free and it gives you a huge sense of achievement. Thank you Laura!

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wishface said on 15 April 2012

This is no good at all. It doesn't take into consideration the fitness level/weight of the runner. I've been trying to do light running for 3 years and am no better off than I was before. I can't run for more than, at most, 22 minutes before I'm absolutely shattered.
£30 for a decent pair of trainers? You're having a laugh! And that assumes you can find somewhere that sells them that can give you good objective advice with what you can afford.
I have a dodgy metabolism that means I get hungy a lot so i have to eat more than I wouold like. But i get no help with this, just as with exercise in general. All my doctor's ever said was, in respect of managing my hunger, is 'take a packet of biscuits around with you'. So scoff junk food in other words. Doctors are absolutely clueless when it comes to help with exercise and diet and I've been struggling to lose weight and get fir for 3 years with no support whatosever. I'm very frustrated with these sorts of website because they do not offer the right kind of help.

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petecogle said on 14 April 2012

I just want to say thanks to Laura and the rest of the team that produced the podcasts. I've completed the course now, exactly according to schedule and I'm confortably running 7-8k.

I've registed for a 10k run at the end of May, which is the first time I've done anything that long in the last 13 years, and I feel great.

I'd encourage anyone to take up the C25K challenge. It's fantastic. Thanks again Laura!

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letsgetgoing71 said on 09 April 2012

I never realised how unfit i was till i did my first run this morning. Well can only get better on wards and upwards i guess

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letsgetgoing71 said on 08 April 2012

Well i have finally decided to start the c to 5k i have not run since i was at school almost 25 years ago. Hope i am doing the right thing here fingers crossed, i be able to walk after doing the first run tomorrow

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nglwings said on 08 April 2012

I finish first week.But I need to take 2 day brake,because rain didn't stop for two days.I hope is not a big problem?
And the same break is planed for week2...Can anybody tell me is this ok?

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DebH4 said on 05 April 2012

Having made several failed one-off attempts to try running, this couch to 5k podcast is amazing. I sit in an office most of the day and have been very conscious about lack of exercise. However, this is only half an hour three times a week, and if you want to do it, you will find the time! Its not easy... I am only half way into week 2 and am finding it tough (not helped by the fact I am on hilly roads I guess!), but l struggled with week 1, and I should imagine now that would be much easier after pushing myself this week. The podcasts push you that bit further than you would normally push yourself. My tip is not to think about the seconds or try to count - I find it soul destroying! I would suggest taking your mind off how long you are running by praising yourself, give yourself a pat on the back and tell yourself you can do it. Its amazing how 'bigging' yourself up motivates you to keep on running - (even better if you can say it out loud)! No, I'm not crazy - I just need all the help I can get!! If you decide to do it, good luck! And thanks to NHS for such a fantastic, practical idea!

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joselito said on 31 March 2012

just finished the programme and I have to say that not even in my wildest dreams I would have been able to run 30 minutes non-stop.
the podcasts are great, you just do not feel that you are running every week a few more minutes until you reach 30.
Now I can run 5 kilometers in a respectable (at least for me) 33 minutes

many thanks

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marklory said on 30 March 2012

Hi, I am firmly in the obese category, with BMI of 37.5 and haven't done any excercise other than an occasional amble with the dogs for years. I'm 44 tomorrow and decided enough was enough. Today I bought some trainers and I decided to go out and try the first session, with the plan to keep trying it until I completed the first session correctly, then work through the plan as I thought it would be beyond me for a while.
As I didn't want to get too far from home I just walked to a nearby football pitch (which conveniently turned out to be just under 5 minutes away) and did the first session by walking/running round and round the edge of the pitch.
Nobody was more surprised than me when I heard Laura say I only had 2 runs to go, and I was really pleased when I actually managed the whole session first time I tried!
I just want to encourage people to at least try the first one and see how you feel. I've had the podcasts on my phone for a couple of weeks but kept thinking I was too fat or middle aged to be running round the country, and also was using the excuse that I had no running shoes and didn't want to spend loads on shoes I would never use.
Got the running shoes for £15 and I'm glad I did.
I know I've only done one session, and there is a long way to go, but, I'm also amazed I managed it given my condition and am confident I will be able to compete the program. I used to enjoy cross country running as a teen, and plan to work towards doing that again.
Thanks for providing such a great tool.

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Catia S said on 13 March 2012

Hi there!
I just started my 7th week today.. and i'm running for 25min non stop! How is it possible?
6 weeks ago i couldn't even imagine that! I barelly made the 1st week.. I was a total couch potatoe so THANK YOU LAURA! THANK YOU NHS! :)
Catia, from Portugal

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BugmanJim said on 13 March 2012

I came across the C-2-5-K podcasts in the new year and am now finishing week 7. These podcasts are perfectly judged. Every single stage has pushed me just a little more than I thought I could manage, but never so far that I couldn't complete the session and now I am able to run for the 25 minutes non stop, and I am confident that I will get to the full 30 minutes.

The snow and ice drove me indoors where I have been using a cross trainer, limiting my pace to 9kph for walking and 12 kph with 30% resistance for running, covering between 5.5 and 6 km per run, and I plan to finish the program this way to prepare me for an Easter skiing trip. After that I will go back to outdorr running for the variety.

There is no way I could have acheived this without this excellent program; I wouldn't have known where to start, and I am sure I would have given up very quickly. Thank you Laura and thank you NHS for this excellent initiative.

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C25 said on 25 February 2012

Just to say a big thank you to Laura. I completed the programme this morning. If anyone out there is reading this and wondering whether to give it a go or not......then give it a go. It is a very well thought out plan and there is loads of support from everyone on the forums. I could barely run for one minute at a time at the beginning and now I can run for 30minutes, not very fast, but I am running. Just go for it.

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andrek said on 30 January 2012

Laura if you read these comments, a big thank you.

Started out 4 months ago weighing 20st 3lbs age 50. A total couch potato.
Week 1 run 1 got to the 2nd one minute run before giving up totally breathless. Three weeks later finally completed week 1.
Managed to complete all runs until week 6 run 2 just before Christmas, had a week off for Christmas. On return from holiday repeated week 6 run 2 and just couldn't finish. Repeated run three times to get back on track.
Hated week 8 too many instrumentals played that just seemed to go on and on. Had been counting the number of songs I had run to give me some idea of time left assuming 3 minutes per song. Didn't want to clock watch.
Week 9 run 1, ran for 35 min because I seemed to have the energy to do more. Chuffed to bits !
One more run to finish on the 1st Feb 2012.

I could not believe I would ever run this distance again so much so that I got my pedometer out to measure the distance covered and clocked in at 5.5 Km.
Now weigh 17st 2 lbs. and hope to lose another 6 St.

Still don't like running but can't deny that it has helped my weight loss and I find I am walking much further to places I would have driven to before. Started to use week 1 with my rowing machine, rowing 26 min and running as fast as I can for 1 min on treadmill on non-running days. Just got a bicycle for Christmas and hope to be going out on this soon. I will carry on running because I feel the benefit in everything I do. I think I’ve caught this fitness bug!

Some questions about running.
Is it best to run before or after breakfast.
On some runs I found my legs were like a big lead weights and on others I felt I could carry on for much longer. Is there something I could do to have more good days?

Once again thank you for putting all this together and your encouragement during the running.

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C25 said on 26 January 2012

Found this podcast by chance just before Christmas and decided to start it on Boxing Day. I've just completed run 2 of Week 5. I've surprised myself each time and would definitely recommend this to anyone who is thinking about exercising for the first time in a long time or who have never run before. Unfortunately my knee played up a bit during the last couple of minutes of todays run but I used an ice pack as soon as I got home and hopefully all will be well for Saturday and the infamous run 3 Week 5. Thanks for this great plan and Laura's encouraging voice.
PS can't seem to make any comments on the forum.

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chezza_chezza said on 23 January 2012

hi ive been thinking of exercising for some time but ahd no motivation, i have a dog that doesnt really get walked, i came across the podcast by chance and listened to the first one, i used to exercise a lot and no how good it makes you feel, i promised my self i would do it and have done wk 1 day 2 today with doggy as well and feel great,,would recommend iot to anyone

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Runner2012 said on 22 January 2012

Just completed my 3rd run of week 1, this has been a great help for me as I've always been a walker which I enjoy but have always wanted to run but never known where to start. I am finding that having someone talk me through it has been a great encouragement & so far I've been looking forward to each run - my aim is to lose weight and be able to go out for a run alongside my husband - Wish me luck, I have 3 stone to lose & a lot more hard work and effort to put into the running!!!

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jooles64 said on 21 January 2012

I have just finished week 2 and feel absoloutley great that i managed all 3 runs without stopping, it wasnt easy but i never thought id'e manage it when i started the plan.
I am a 47 year old 14 stone woman and have never ran in my life before even at school i avoided it as i've always been a swimmer but havent done that for many years. Theres nothing nicer than finishing each session with a good sweat on and feeling like youve achieved something Looking forward to starting week 3 on sunday feeling ready for the next challenge now i know it isn't going to be easy but i wont give in and will persevere
Good Luck to everyone just starting the plan abd persevere

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Little Betty said on 18 December 2011

Hello again Laura I posted here on 1st December I was on week 7 and doing well. Today I completed the whole programme, 9 weeks 3 runs per week. I am so proud of myself but have to say I could never have done this without Laura.
Week 9 started with very icy pavements so I put on my ice spikes and wore an older pair of trainers, had to adjust my route because the spikes are not good on tar/concrete they are much better on forest tracks/grass I have found.
My run was 90% through forest and was lovely, really enjoyed myself. 2nd run was back to pavements and found it really easy after the first on tracks which takes more energy I find. Well the weather has got progressively worse up here in the far NE of Scotland and I was wondering if I would be beaten by it, but this morning at 8.00am (-2C) I got on my running clothes and old trainers because we now had icy pavements and at least a 2" covering of snow. My 30 minutes was spent running through forest tracks covered in snow, the trees were beautiful as daylight came through the snow covered branches, it was like a Christmas card scene, I had a super run for my last in the programme.
So if anyone says they are too old to try this running, have a go, I did, I'm 62 next year and hope by the time I reach my birthday to be running 10K.
Thanks again NHS & Laura and good luck to all the other joggers out there.
Merry Christmas & all the best for 2012.

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ausencia47 said on 12 December 2011

The Couch to 5K is a fantastic podcast. I'm on week 4 and I've gone from not being able to run for more than a minute to running for 5 mins. The sessions are clear and concise with helpful tips on breathing, posture and how to avoid injuries. I actually hated running and the thought of getting on a treadmill made me yawn with boredom.

But I would recommend this to anyone who wants to take up running. I'm preparing for a 5K in May and with the help of the Couch to 5K, I feel I'm going to achieve my goal. I've even done several sessions outside which I though I'd never do.

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ausencia47 said on 12 December 2011

The Couch to 5K is a fantastic podcast. I'm on week 4 and I've gone from not being able to run for more than a minute to running for 5 mins. The sessions are clear and concise with helpful tips on breathing, posture and how to avoid injuries. I actually hated running and the thought of getting on a treadmill made me yawn with boredom.

But I would recommend this to anyone who wants to take up running. I'm preparing for a 5K in May and with the help of the Couch to 5K, I feel I'm going to achieve my goal. I've even done several sessions outside which I though I'd never do.

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Little Betty said on 01 December 2011

In the words of an old song, "Tell Laura I love her".
I'm a 61 year old who had not run for over 30 years, I'm asthmatic and have to take tablets for a mild heart issue. I checked with my doc first before starting the C25K back in August. I've had one or two set backs, like sore knees and holiday interuptions. But today I ran 2nd run of week 7 and feel better and better.
The cold air has been a problem for me after coming back from holiday (only 4 - 6C) but I went back to week 6 / 2 were I could jog for 10 and walk for 3, jog 10 minutes, this helped a lot so I did it twice to get me used to the cold air.
Tuesday I changed my route and ran 25 minutes but it was a bit of a struggle, today I sailed through the same route and covered 500M further. I am so chuffed with myself and just love the Podcasts. So a big thank you to NHS for doing this and please tell Laura I love her voice, very easy to listen to.
I'm looking forward to getting through the rest of the Podcasts and keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get snow which could halt my progress.

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khan123 said on 21 November 2011

hi
ive just finished my week six last friday.
i started my week 7 today.its great.it was very hard to run but i managed to run for 25 minutes non stop.light jog.if you go a little fast its seems to be hard.
at first i thought i couldnt do it but i proved myself.
im going to check my weight after the full 9 weeks.
i run along the leeds and liverpool canal.
any couch potatoe can do it if you keep your mind set to it.
thanks laura and the(NHS) for making these podcasts as they very easy to follow and start on a low level to the hardest.
i think every body should give it a try.

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khan123 said on 21 November 2011

hi
ive just finished my week six last friday.
i started my week 7 today.its great.it was very hard to run but i managed to run for 25 minutes non stop.light jog.if you go a little fast its seems to be hard.
at first i thought i couldnt do it but i proved myself.
im going to check my weight after the full 9 weeks.
i run along the leeds and liverpool canal.
any couch potatoe can do it if you keep your mind set to it.
thanks laura and nhs for making these podcasts as they very easy to follow and start on a low level to the hardest.

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jeelisro said on 17 November 2011

Having never before run, I have now completed the plan and this weekend ran a 5k race! Most fantastic feeling to have accomplished this not to mention how much fitter I feel, how relaxed I am, how much energy I have. Thank you NHS c25k!

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hja215 said on 15 November 2011

I love this program! Laura's voice is so encouraging and I'm enjoying the music and the fact that I don't have to look at my watch at all. I'm amazed that I'm able to do 5 minutes relatively easily this week. Next week is my first 5K.... I know I'm not ready for it, but will do as much as I can. I feel great!!!!!!

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Mags Harrold said on 07 November 2011

Just done the first run of Week 3 and am very proud of myself. Not a natural runner but I did it! It`s great having the podcasts. You don`t have to do any looking at watches etc - just follow the encouraging instructions. I never thought I would say this but I am really enjoying C25K. I`m 60 next year and am expecting to be running 5k on a regular basis! Fantastic! Thanks, Ali, for telling me about it

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mescaline said on 21 October 2011

Besides the sometimes appalling music I found these podcasts to be perfect motivational tools. When the fitness trainers at your gym comment on your weight then you know it's working.

Keep it up.

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emmamelaney said on 21 October 2011

i have not tried this yet but i did manage to motivate myself to get up and walk the race for life and have signed up to take part again next year i walked 5k in 1hour 10 minutes im gonna do better next year. i aim to jog it it is a big thing for someone like me who has been abused to do and i would encourage every woman to take part in a race but also for men to take part in the venets available to them too. I am gonna try this and see if it works for me.

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efbrown said on 17 October 2011

Just about to start Week 8. Am 55, always hated running and discovering C25K has been a revelation to me. Lost a stone and a half and actually look forward to my runs! I feel I'm hitting some sort of wall as although i have done the 25 min runs, I'm pretty tired and sore in the legs and just wish it was a little easier. I suppose if I lose more weight there will be less for me to carry. Has anyone run on a track. We have one nearby and wonder if that could act as motivation for me. First 28 min run tomorrow.

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Andyb01 said on 06 October 2011

I have recently returned to running after a long lay off (last ran aged 23 but gave up due to chronic knee trouble). Now just turned 49 and the knee trouble I know now was down to poor shoes. I didn't use the C25k programme (I didn't know about it till after I started) but seem to have followed a similar pattern. Started doing just over 2ks in half an hour with lots of rests and drinks (that was in late July) and I am now doing 5 x 6k trail runs a week with no drinks, a couple of brief rests after the inclines in around the same time (half an hour). I do the odd longer run as well (up to 10k).

My fitness levels are way up, I have more energy, less stress and I have also lost 9lb into the bargain (yes including a visible reduction in the dreaded belly area - although a few hundred ab crunches after each run helps with this too).

I am looking forward to my first competitive 10k in March next year (my last race was a half-marathon in 1985 which I did in 1:48) and if I break an hour for 10k - I'll be delighted.

Anyone can do this as long as you have good mobility, start easy, don't get disheartened and remember that there will be injuries, knock backs and disappointments as well as triumph and satisfaction. Not every run can be a good run or a new PB - it doesn't work like that so don't beat yourself up when after 3 months you go out and run your slowest ever time.

Go and get those running shoes and get out there. You will not regret it.

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Andyb01 said on 06 October 2011

I have recently returned to running after a long lay off (last ran aged 23 but gave up due to chronic knee trouble). Now just turned 49 and the knee trouble I know now was down to poor shoes. I didn't use the C25k programme (I didn't know about it till after I started) but seem to have followed a similar pattern. Started doing just over 2ks in half an hour with lots of rests and drinks (that was in late July) and I am now doing 5 x 6k trail runs a week with no drinks, a couple of brief rests after the inclines in around the same time (half an hour). I do the odd longer run as well (up to 10k).

My fitness levels are way up, I have more energy, less stress and I have also lost 9lb into the bargain (yes including a visible reduction in the dreaded belly area - although a few hundred ab crunches after each run helps with this too).

I am looking forward to my first competitive 10k in March next year (my last race was a half-marathon in 1985 which I did in 1:48) and if I break an hour for 10k - I'll be delighted.

Anyone can do this as long as you have good mobility, start easy, don't get disheartened and remember that there will be injuries, knock backs and disappointments as well as triumph and satisfaction. Not every run can be a good run or a new PB - it doesn't work like that so don't beat yourself up when after 3 months you go out and run your slowest ever time.

Go and get those running shoes and get out there. You will not regret it.

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SHW4019 said on 05 October 2011

This program is awesome! I am a 56 year old, obese woman and I just completed run 3 of week 5. That's running 20 minutes without stopping! I started the program in June and have repeated a few of the weeks but I've kept going and I still can't believe I can do this. So far I've lost 35 lbs.

I will run my first 5k on Nov. 24, 2011, at 8:00 am (that's Thanksgiving morning in the USA!) and my whole family is joining me.

I do have a question about the podcast timing of the walks/runs. I use the Nike Plus sensor with an Ipod and the running part of Week 5 Run 3 was under 16 minutes. I don't think it is a problem with my Ipod. I continued to run the extra 4 minutes but the timing was way off.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? I have suspected that the timing was off on other weeks/runs but not this obvious.

Thanks for a great program.

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Pouchy said on 25 September 2011

Ultimate couch potato here,
Just completed week one. I've survived so far!
I'd recommend this to anyone thats looking to get a bit fitter and finaly off the sofa.

Thanks for helping me get going

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Beakywitch said on 27 August 2011

I've just done Wk1D2 and I've felt tearful both times I've done it because it was such an acheivement and I felt so good. I've never been sporty or fit so I feel embarassed going out in my shorts but I'm so happy.

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fattyhaze said on 21 August 2011

Am I too fat to try this? I have just calculated my BMI and it is a horrible 35! This programme looks great, but is it realistic for me to start it? How can I run and hide at the same time? I'm scared that I will look ridiculous bouncing along the pavement...no bra can possibly be up to the strain! Maybe I should wait until the clocks go back...

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Miss D N said on 12 August 2011

I am having problems putting week 1 and 2 on to my iPod, I have downloaded them file and they are in iTunes. All the others copied across fine but these 2 wont. Did anyone else had this problem or can anyone suggest a solution? Thanks.

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Noelle23 said on 02 August 2011

I found this program really good but have fallen off the wagon over the last 2 weeks as I was on holidays. I was up to week 6 run 2 - do I need to go back a step or 2 or can I just continue on?

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Woo73 said on 27 July 2011

It's such a clever programme! My friend who has had three back opps over the last few years rang me a my birthday. I thought if he can do it so can I and I am... Just done week 5: 3. I found that my body was fine, but my head said no, but I pushed through. Doing race for RNLI 13th August ha would I ever have thought it NO! Two things I wanted to bring up... 1) I still smoke, anyone find that they want to give up??? 2) can they person who put this together, do another one I suggets 'Post Couch - 10K'

Best of luck to you all... so happy I found this... Thanks

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TIBSKYE01 said on 15 July 2011

I have always wanted to be a runner + had tried a few times myself but never kept it up until I found these podcasts & I have now completed the 9 week program! And am still running 3 times a week myself and feel fab!!
There were a few milestones...when u run 20mins for the first time & then 30mins, thats a great feeling! Laura is great encouraging you and letting you know the time u have left until the end of your run. The only complaint I wod have is the music when you were running isn't great but if you keep focused you get passed it.
Anyone wanting 2 run this is the podcasts to use & it's worth the effort!!

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anna_belle said on 13 July 2011

fitat51,

After C25k you can move on to 10k, half a marathon and marathon, if you are ambitious enough. :o) Just put it into a search engine. You can find LOTS of free running programs and podcasts. Example is '10k your way' on SparkPeople.
(free)

Good luck!!!
(Im starting my 3rd week of 5k end of this week, so a bit scared!!!)

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daysieblue said on 13 July 2011

I have just completed run 5.1, and finally feel like I am a runner! I started the Couch to 5k having never run before in my life, and living a relatively sedentary life. I can now run for five minutes, and actually fell like I could do more. Run 5.2, running for 8 minutes, will be a good test, and actually, Run 5.3 (twenty whole minutes) has been timed perfectly with a Race for Life 5k run I'm doing on Sunday.

I actively encourage any and every one to get involved in this - I am loving it so much, and those nearest me find it amazing that I say I love running! I look forward to every run, and have now booked the Adidas 5k is September to give me a new goal to aim for. After completing the 9 weeks, I plan to go back to the beginning with my children, and get them out there too!

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fitat51 said on 12 July 2011

The couch to 5k podcast is the best training aid I have ever come across. I've just did week 5 run 1 today, and feel like I've really turned a corner. I always found it difficult to maintain any fitness regime before this, and never really enjoyed running until now. Full marks to Laura! Can't wait for the next run. My only dread is what happens after week 9. It would be great to find another training plan that follows on from this! Anyone any ideas?

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KazParnell said on 12 July 2011

I am in the process of doing week 5. The thought of the 20 minute jog this evening is quite scary!

I have fallen behind with my training, due to a couple of injuries, but I still intend to attempt a 5K run on 24th July.

I never thought I'd be running at all, but I love it.

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Nikki New Runner said on 06 July 2011

Started week 1, day 1 today. Good start, looking forward to the gradual progression of fitness, confidence and (weight loss thrown in!) My right achilles heel hurt though, I'll see how it feels next time.

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gill penarth said on 21 June 2011

I could hardly run for a minute before I started couch to 5k and am amazed how quickly I built up stamina and am now regularly running for 30 minutes - and enjoying it. Have done 5k race for life and now going to do a 10k in September - is there a follow on 5 - 10k?

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deltronic1066 said on 10 June 2011

I am 57 and have been going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week for the past 8 years. I considered myself fairly fit. Starting this program showed me that was not the case.
I am now on week 6.2 and cannot believe I am now running up to 20 mins with no stops. I think the next milestone will be to run 25 mins straight - I'm mentally building up for this one!
I have to admit 5.3 is the make or break. Laura asks you to run 20 mins with no stops. This is very tough the first time. I ran this part of the program 3 times before I moved on to week 6. I would advise anyone to do likewise. it is a real mental battle.
The buzz you get from completing each section is immense and the encouragement from Laura superb. I now feel very confident that I will run the full 5k in a few weeks - can't wait :)

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MissLili said on 02 June 2011

I completed the couch to 5k plan about 3 weeks ago and guess what, I am still running 3 times a week!

I am 35, it had been about 8 years since I last did any form of exercise and always thought that running was not for me, but thanks to the programme and its gradual build up, I found the motivation to keep going.

Laura - the voice of the programme - is great and really there to help you through when the going gets tough. There were some real breakthrough moments (first time running 10 minutes and first time running 20 minutes non were big highs for me).

Thanks a lot for a great podcast ! I am now recommending it to lots of people and I have found the runner in me !

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d0uglas said on 28 May 2011

I just completed the first run of week 9 - which means I have actually completed the 30 minute run. The sense of achievement is tremendous. I dont think I've ever been fit in my entire life, and I'm 46 now. according to google pedometer, I actually did cover a shade over 5k too!

if anyone reading this is dithering about whether to have a go, I'd strongly encourage you to jump in. Even if - especially if - you don't see yourself as the sporty type. My self image has come on heaps; I sleep better; I feel better; and all in a couple of months!

As everyone has pointed out, Laura's terrific. Some of the music is a bit naff(!) but the rhythms drive you forward and the fact you don't have to worry about time-keeping really helps. Laura also gives you some good practical tips, but maybe the best one of all is the constant urging to 'keep calm'. There are so many demons in your head that will tell you you can't do it. Well, I did it and what I learned was - ignore them, keep calm, and keep plonking one foot in front of another.

The other point is that It's beautifully structured, with one or two real break-through moments. Getting through 20 minut4es was a monster, as was 25, and of course today - 30!!! Woohoo :)

Good luck with it everyone, honestly you can do it.

Nigel

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smithster said on 04 May 2011

I started this last week and it's amazing... I have done no excercise for a long time and therefore the first week is taking me a bit longer than three sessions - however I've completed it once and I'm looking forward to doing it again... I can't believe the NHS has devised something this helpful!

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Miss_Intuitive said on 25 April 2011

@Carolynn: All I can say is I strongly advise you to do some decent stretches, each lasting a good 30 seconds (without cheating) it really does help. I've never ached the day after when doing proper stretches. I hope this helps ;0) PS. I'm on week 1 about to go onto 2.

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queen squeeze said on 16 April 2011

I've also just done day 1, week one and its been years since i've done any kind of running and i am rather over weight. The podcast really helped but i did begin to wonder if it was ever going to finish lol. So proud of my self for doing it and i feel great :)

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Carolynn said on 13 April 2011

Just completed day 1, week 1. Legs are aching! Anyone else feel a lot of tightness in the lower legs?

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Scruffypoet said on 03 April 2011

On week 5. Laura's encouragement has kept me going. I'm so glad I found this programme. I'm running like I used to over 30 years ago!

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GooNoo said on 29 March 2011

Well I've just completed the first run of the first week for the couch to 5k plan.......Completley new to running, and am now rather achey BUT its fool proof and I feel amazing for actually doing it.

It's no lie when they say its good for beginners too.....Im no in great shape at the moment, and despised running (although today Im thinking I judged it too soon!!)

Seriously if I can do it, you can too

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rjames said on 21 March 2011

I’ve just completed the first run of week 9 today. Thank you for the C25K podcast. I found myself overweight sat behind a desk or a steering wheel and not being able to keep up with my grandsons throwing a rugby ball and kicking a football. After 1 min in week one I was in need of a rest, thanks to the well structured programme I have just run for 30 mins! I've lost weight, I'm sleeping better and I have more energy. Having Laura keeping time without looking at a watch allows you to concentrate on your running. I have recommended this programme to family and friends. 2 more runs left then its life beyond C25K.
Go for it!

Rob

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MarkTT said on 16 March 2011

Just a thought what happens after the final podcast? Will all be revealed in the gripping final episode or will there be a follow up programme etc?

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MarkTT said on 16 March 2011

I can only echo the positive comments about the podcasts. The structure of the weekly programme and having your own personal trainer in your ears has taken me from being seriously unfit to just completing my final run of week 6. I would not have imagined that I could run for 25 minutes (and it's hilly where I live!!) non stop in just six weeks. For anyone considering this with a low boredom threshold like me, give this a go the interactive nature of the pod cast really helps. I have also found using an app called imapmyrun for the iphone has added another interactive dimension. You can track your runs using the phones GPS and keep a log of the route, pace, distance, gradients etc. So thanks to the NHS and lovely Laura for these podcasts, it's has had a massive impact on me so far.

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newhamrobert1963 said on 11 March 2011

These pod casts are the best thing since sliced bread....
I have just completed week 2 and can't wait to get to the longer runs...but for the start the walk/jog/walk/jog routines are a great way of easing you in to it.

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Cheshire Karen said on 08 March 2011

I started this plan on 14th Feb as lots of my friends are runners and I was ready for the challenge. Unfortunately I injured my ankle after completing 2 weeks and have been unable to carry on.
I'm hoping to try again once recovered as I was looking forward to the sense of achievement completing the plan would give me!

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Graceious1 said on 06 March 2011

I have just completed run 3 of week 5 and I feel wonderful. I ran for 20 minutes and it felt really good. It is a truly wonderful podcast and I'm telling everyone I meet about it. I have lost 6 pounds in 4 weeks and mentally I feel really good.

I feel ever so motivated and my posture has improved greatly. I believe that anyone can do this.

I am looking forward to week 6 and promise to give updates at the end of each week.

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khello85 said on 17 February 2011

Thanks for your efforts .. it's an amazing podcast .. I've just finished week 2 .. Im looking forward to completing the plan .. Grazie!

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dunn_sj said on 30 January 2011

Just finished week 9 and have to say could'nt wish to have a better running partner than Laura ! Always encouraging. I have nothing but praise for this podcast. The progressive increase in running is achievable and very rewarding. My aim is a half marathon later in the year, which i am confident of doing after the foundation of this podcast has been lay down. Give it a go, what have you got to lose and what could you possibly gain.
Many Thanks !

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Starry night said on 26 January 2011

The couch to 5k podcast is brilliant! Really, truly fab! My friends and I started running using the podcast and now, 2 months on I am preparing for a half marathon in May and a 10k in April! The calm, encouraging voice, the pace, the fabulous schedule kept me running and running through rain and snow. It is a great way to start running even if you think now you could never even begin to do it or ever like it..I am sure you will soon love it. Thank you!

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