Wednesday, July 23, 2008

C25K Review

C25K Review

The couch to 5k program is one that has been around for a while, and it meant for beginner runners. I think it would be easy to start if you’ve been sedentary, and it’s even easier to start if you’ve been doing some kind of workout (for me it was the elliptical).

I had hit a -50 lb. plateau because I was just ellipticalling and walking, and my body was still being worked hard, but it was the same muscles and cardio routine. After Christmas and New Years, I gained a few pounds back and then re-lost them with the elliptical, but finally it was spring, and I wanted a new workout to help me continue to lose weight. I decided to do the C25K because I was taking on challenges, and running has been a life-long nemesis for me! I absolutely hate running. I feel like I should love it, my dad was a marathoner, and still runs, and my sisters are both avid runners… but it’s just not in my genes!

I can honestly tell you today, that I enjoy running, thanks to this program! It is so incredibly freeing to be able to look out at the horizon and know that you can run that far. It’s so nice to be out on the running trail in the early morning and see deer running by, I absolutely love it. I’ve still not run a 5k race for time, but I have timed myself on the trail.

Tip: Almost every time I run, I bring my ipod. I have a c25k playlist that's full of upbeat, motivational songs. Sometimes on a Saturday morning, I'll go without it because the trail is so quiet and I love nature, but for the most part, I need music to get me going.

So here is my review of the program…

I set up my schedule to run Tuesday and Thursday as soon as I got home from work, and Saturday and Sunday as soon as I wake up (around 7). It can be done on a treadmill, but I prefer to run outside on my bike/walk/run trail. You can either do the program by time or distance, I chose to do time because I’m a slower runner. Since I was running 4x per week, I did the program in 6 weeks.

Weeks 1 and 2 were very easy for me, and I had minimal soreness in my legs.

Week 3 was when it started to get rough and I had a few “I want to quit” moments.

Week 4 was when I really started to feel like a runner, I could do ½ a mile!

Week 5 was what scared me, a 20 minute run with no stopping. Really?! But, I did it!

Week 6 was 25 minutes, and I did it!

Weeks 7 and 8 were a bit easier for me, once I reached 20-25 minutes, I had no problem getting to 30-35.

In the end, my first 3.1 mi. run was 34:30, right now I’ve got it down to 32:00-ish. Working on speed is my current challenge. On my current workout schedule, I run Saturday and Sunday mornings, 3 miles each morning, just trying to get my 3 mile time lower and lower.

On the off days: For the 6 weeks I did the program, on the off days, I did 45 minutes on the elliptical.

I’m going to start the 10k training in September to get myself ready for the 10k my family runs every Thanksgiving.

Overall, I think this program is great. I had great success with it. It pushed me, but was never too much. I felt so proud of myself after I ran my first 5k, it was like nothing else I’ve ever done.



  1. Congratulations on your huge weight loss!! That is so awesome and you look fabulous! I had a similar situation to you...realized in college that I needed a lifestyle change and lost 45 lbs. I have kept it off for 3 years, by working out consistently and eating lo-cal foods. This is encouraging, too because I want to try to start running...I mostly do elliptical, aerobics, kickboxing and weights, but I want to mix it up with running but get discouraged because I hate it, so thanks for this post! I love your cooking blog too!

  2. I'd love to know your playlist.... when I get an Ipod, I need ideas for what to have during runs.....

  3. Well I was going to say post your playlist but everyone else already has haha. However, I still want to say you look AMAZING!!! I can't believe your before and after pictures you should be so proud!

  4. Thanks for being an outstanding role- model! I need to drop a few and feel so inspired after reading this! I am going to check out this program.

    On another note, how DO YOU DO IT with TWD baking? It is killing me!

  5. Stumbled across your blog looking for C25K reviews and holy cow, woman. You are my inspiration - a real person who just decided to change and did it. Kudos to you.

  6. Hey, I found your blog thanks to your 30 Day Shred review, but I've also tried C25K so this interested me as well.

    I got to week four and gave up. It was a combination of just not having the stamina and going on vacation for most of December that killed it for me. I want to start up again, because I surprisingly liked running! But I think I'm going to have to modify the plan a bit, because I just didn't have the lung capacity built up for a five minute run by week four. This time around may be different because I'm going to wait until after doing the 30 Day Shred to start again.

  7. Hi! I found your blog while looking for c25k tips...thanks! Your blog looks very inspiring--I will definitely be back!

  8. I recently discovered the C25K challege as well. I was all gung ho to try this program and in fact, last week I did the first week. My problem is (and yes, these are excuses, but...) I don't belong to a gym and it's still a little too cold where live to run/walk in the morning. I'm hoping it warms up in the next week or 2 so I can really give this a try. Like you, my dad ran marathons, and I HATE running, but I really think incorporating some running into my routine will help me lose the extra weight that I just can't seem to get rid of! Thanks for posting this.

  9. Also meant to ask... I see that some people asked you to post your playlist. Did you ever do that? I'm always looking for some new tunes to pump up my cardio.

  10. Hey Ashley. I'm so impressed with how far you've come and that you've done it the right way. Congratulations on all your hard work. I've been doing the C25K for about 5 weeks now and found some great, free podcasts that really take the work out of doing these runs. I doubt these will help you now, but they might benefit your readers. They include music that is around the number of bpms that correspond with the pace you should be running/walking. They also have cues as to when you should run, jog or stop. I find these to be very helpful because I'm not much for using a stopwatch and all that. Here are the links: (the one I use) (another cool-looking one...probably gonna use this site when I go for 8k or 10k might help you as you prepare for your Thanksgiving run)

    Just wanted to put those out there in case anyone could use them. Again, thanks for being an inspiration!