Originally Posted by Poor Craythur
They're helpful but generalised. I'd like to hear the experiences of forum members, especially the ones who were really really unfit when they started.
I started Couch to 5k in July 2008, at age 24. I'd done no exercise for the previous 2 years and I was about 15 stone (far too heavy for my height of 5'6"). I started watching my diet at roughly the same time, and the weight started to come off quite quickly. I started the program in a pair of 6 year old Nike cross training shoes, but found things a lot more comfortable after I got fitted for some more suitable shoes. I ran my first 5k in October 2008 (Rathfarnham 5k, finished in just outside 30 minutes) and my first 10k 2 months after that (finished in just under 66 minutes). By the summer of 2009, I had completed a half-marathon and lost more than four stone. Now? Barcelona marathon (my third) in 2 weeks time.
Getting the weight down made a massive difference to me - it meant a lot less stress on my knees and shins, and it meant that it was easier to find a suitable sports bra (used to be 40DD, 34DD/E now so it's still not exactly wonderful getting one!). It also meant that I got a lot quicker. When I was doing Couch to 5k, my runs were at about a 12 minute mile pace - within about 6 months of that I was training at about a 10:30/mile pace, and these days most runs are done between 9 and 10 min/mile pace.