Struggling post graduation : Since graduation... - Bridge to 10K

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Struggling post graduation


Since graduation I have done a Park run in a slow time but still did it. But since then really struggled without structured runs.

I have done 1 4.6k run another 3.7 and tonight didn’t record distance but ran for about 20 mins reckon distance was about 2.5k. I feel like I am not enjoying it as much without structure of planned runs.

I have had some things going on which contributed: Bad weather reduced amount of runs; gave blood for 1st time which made me feel wiped out and been visiting my dad who is seriously ill in hospital.

Was thinking of giving zen labs workout a try and if can’t do that go back to perhaps week 5 if C25K.

I really want to carry on running and overcome this. Wondered if anyone else experienced anything similar?

32 Replies

I lost my way a little bit afterwards...i found that i became obssessed with how far & how fast so now i am just getting out there & running for the sake of running...i have runkeeper on but have the audio stats muted so i cant hear whats going on & i have found that really helps.failing that you could try a 10k plan x

AndGGraduate10 in reply to Hidden

Thanks Claire. I am going to see how I get on with next run. Had seen a pattern of 1 bad run one good. I am going to do park run again in a few weeks time too.

Hidden in reply to AndG

I am going to do my first one on saturday 😊 i think its too easy to get caught up in times & pace & forget what you are actually achievinh by getting out there in the first place!!!i also get caught up in comparing myself with others which is a no-no...everybody i know is way ahead of me...but i have finally realised that it simply doesnt matter 😊 just keep at it & enjoy it 😊

AndGGraduate10 in reply to Hidden

This is exactly what’s happening with me. I have some running friends who are doing 10-13k runs in really good times and it’s made me feel a bit rubbish in comparison. I know that’s daft and desperately don’t want to think like that!

At park run I was one of last to finish and it took me back to PE when I was last to get picked for netball🙁 I think this is a case of mind over matter! Also time after graduation is when u move away from following an app to motivating you to motivating yourself.

notoutofbreathGraduate10 in reply to AndG

I think the key part there is that they're probably people who've been doing this a good while longer. You're comparing lemons with oranges and that's never going to work! ;) Keep in context, you've not long graduated (I know, it seems like a lifetime), so don't be worrying about some super fast pace or times. Also I've seen your Park Run time, THAT IS NOT SLOW! Up hills too?!?! Must be a scary fit Park Run you went to, because you would not be one of the last at ones I know of! :O

Giving blood can really take it out of you, so I hope you didn't run too close to that? Wipes me out fullstop, stuff the running! :P

Personally I just kept running Week 9 to consolidate and make 30 minutes comfortable. Some folks on here have touched on the idea of just getting out there and doing whatever, it's all better than nothing. With podcasts, or music until you don't want to run. Or try "running in the buff" without anything.

On the other hand, it sounds like structure is something that's going to help you, certainly with the stress of what's happening with your dad. :( You're going to need it to be short sessions, so it's realistic to fit it in with all that's going on. So yes, nothing will hurt by returning to some weeks.

If you *do* decide to ramp up to 10K... I would bear in mind that after a certain point, that's more time you've got to make available for it. Which might make it easier to fall by the wayside? ju-ju- 's 10 is the magic number helps because the runs aren't all long through the week. If you're like me and you prefer someone in your ear then in addition to your Zenlabs, IannodaTruffe 's FAQ has already mentioned Blue Fin Elsewhere on here you'll find links to 2 x 10K podcasts (as opposed to apps), Blue Fin's and Sammi Murphy's : The former made Laura's podcast music sound amazing, the latter is breaking copyright allllll over the place LOL...

AndGGraduate10 in reply to notoutofbreath

Thanks so much lots of excellent advice there! I think I am going to do another week of 30 min runs and not bother with any stats. I am planning a park run with a running buddy who is at similar stage to me. Think that will bring me back on track. After that week going to give zen labs app a go I think. I would like to aim for 10K in Autumn and think that should be achievable but going to leave it till late spring to sign myself up for one!

Hidden in reply to AndG

Ah bless you...i know what you mean...i was RUBBISH at PE...nobody ever picked me for their team & i hated every minute of it.i think thats why i started to put pressure on myself with running as its the first time i have ever achieved anything like this.but comparing myself to other people is a huge mistake.they all started before me...are more natural runners...have longer legs...blah blah only last week i just decided enough was enough.i am...& you are too...running for you & only you.times & pace dont matter...what matters is that you are getting out there & doing something that alot of people cant or wont do & you are doing great.i have found i am.actually doing better since i turned off my audio stats & am just running listening to my music.give yourself a good talking will help i promise x

AndGGraduate10 in reply to Hidden

Thanks for those kind and wise words makes loads of sense! I am going to do exactly as you say and did stats for a bit! X

ju-ju-Administrator in reply to AndG

I know that feeling.... I hated PE. I was the one that was always last wearing the shortest possible skirt and snogging the boys behind the bike sheds.... oh whoops that’s still me 😉

notoutofbreathGraduate10 in reply to Hidden

"i think its too easy to get caught up in times & pace & forget what you are actually achievinh by getting out there in the first place!!!" <<< This a million times over. It's ALL better than the couch! :)

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Hidden

... and you are doing just fine:)


How about sign yourself up to your local 5k run in the summer. It’ll give you something to aim for? Or even a 10k?


Did you check out this post from IannodaTruffe

You have got such a lot going on... just be kind to yourself...I started eventually, with a pattern... I still keep to it most of the time...unless I have a special plan going on..... 3K... a 5K and a longer, see how far I get, run on a Sunday...

I use the C25K+ podcasts too, sometimes, to help me... to get a bit of speed or to move me on in distance..

Take a look at the linked post.. maybe try the C25K + podcasts if you fancy them.. challenging but structured... and see how you go.

I hope your Dad is making progress too :)

AndGGraduate10 in reply to Oldfloss

Thanks v much old floss lots of great advice. My dad is recovering from medical problems but sadly he has late stage Alzheimer’s and unfortunately after this episode is going to be in permanent nursing care. I know he would be pleased that I am running.

OldflossAdministrator in reply to AndG

Oh gosh.... I totally empathise... my Mum, too Vascular dementia... had eventually, to have permanent care...

Your Dad would be pleased :)

It is so hard... big virtual hug for you xx


I would suggest you find somewhere beautiful and inspiring to run. Forget pace and distance. Just run for fun at a comfortable pace.


Absolutely...I think lots of graduates lose their way a bit afterwards I know I did....I repeated weeks 7, 8 & 9....I tried running with just my music, changing my routes, all sorts...part of me felt like a fraud because I wasn’t running 5k or for 30 minutes!! I kept on...& on...& on...then I tried the podcasts & I liked them...there’s a few different ones but my fav has to be the speed one because I feel like I’ve had a good workout...have a look at them, they might help but whatever you do, don’t feel deflated, you’re a runner & a new one, you’ve graduated & that’s a brilliant achievement, you just need to mix it up a bit to keep it interesting until you settle in


I also needed structure after c25, and having done my c25k on the zen labs app, it just continued into the c210 program, dropping me somewhere in the middle (as the c210 app assumes you are starting from the couch I think). Along with my tunes, it was a good package. Though it is not free any more from what I hear. Ju-jus 10k plan has also had many rave reviews here. I know there is a pinned post somewhere with her plan. Another one I use now is, where you plug in your current times and your goal distances and it sets up a structured plan for you based on easy or harder effort plans. Sometimes it can be a little wonky, but it is free and quick to setup.

Sometimes a little structure is a good thing 🙂

EDIT: I should have also mentioned that I consolidated the 5k runs for a number of weeks before moving onto the 10k plan - that is important too - also you want to enjoy your achievement a little before moving on right? :)

AndGGraduate10 in reply to Decker

More good advice thanks! Got a park run this Saturday with running buddy who is at similar stage to me. Think that might help. Going to do another week of 30 min runs then start zen labs app I think.

DeckerGraduate10 in reply to AndG

Sounds like a good plan! Best of luck

I've use the c25k+ podcasts to give some of my runs more structure but tend to mix them in with more 'leisurely' runs listening to radio podcasts and like a few folk have suggested here, I also make sure that I run in some lovely places at the weekend to keep me interested on a slightly longer run.

I still occasionally fret that I should be running faster or further (especially if I stop to compare myself to other people) but over time am beginning to feel if I'm running three times a week and enjoying it then I'm doing ok.

Hope you find what suits you soon.


There are many options that you can use to guide you , now that you can run non-stop for 30 minutes. If you are like most of us who has not been able to run 5K in 30 minutes, you can download programmes designed to do just that . There are 10K distance programmes for beginners - and here is a programme to train for 8 weeks to be able to "Master" the 1 mile (only) distance .


Personally I think you are putting way too much expectation on yourself. You have so much going on in your life yet you managed to run? Wow that’s impressive. I suggest that in order to continue you change your mindset.... celebrate each and every time you go out whether it’s 1 mile or 100, a run is a run is a run. If you want structure then we have a 10k plan on here but that might be something to think about later. I suggest you consolidate as you’ve said by perhaps doing 20 minute runs and build up. Well done, you get a big high five from me 😎

AndGGraduate10 in reply to ju-ju-

Thanks so much Ju-ju. I love this forum and comments advice you get is fab and v motivational. Need to remind myself that this is about getting off backside and getting out in fresh air! Also any type of run is better than nothing and pressure is just taking fun out of it. Thanks 😀

ju-ju-Administrator in reply to AndG


OldflossAdministrator in reply to ju-ju-

Well said Ju x

I think it's very common! If you are someone who craves structure, then make one. I do one sprint interval session a week, one steady 4/5K and one longer run at the weekend. If you are feeling unmotivated, then switch up your music or play some podcasts or get a change of scenery. But it sounds to me like circumstance lately has been your biggest foe - so be kind to yourself and enjoy your runs, really try to be in the moment and experience them. It sounds like you need a bit of release. Thinking of you


Hi, if it makes you feel better I ran wk9 C25k for months after graduation, then I decided to build up to 10k. I got frustrated and gave myself a hard time about what I wasn’t doing and what others were doing. A friend pointed out to me I should really just focus on everything I was doing. I’d come miles from the couch! You’re getting out and persevering, that’s what matters. Happy running 😊👍.

AndGGraduate10 in reply to C25KKate

Thanks glad I am not the only one. I am going to remember positives from now and enjoy fact that I can run for reasonable time without collapsing in a heap!


Really interesting. I felt the same having graduated in Nov. At some point I'll probably have a crack at the 10k prog. In the meantime I have just enjoyed consolidating at 5k and running in interesting places. Am lucky enough to travel for work so I can get out running rather than stay in drinking.

Without really trying I find myself getting a bit quicker and now only have very slight aches after a run.

So for what it's worth take it at your own pace and try and run somewhere interesting if you can.

I also reflect that a few months ago I could run a couple of hundred metres and be out of breath. Now.... 5k no problem.

Tbh yesterday i thought I was hallucinating after a run in n yorks when I saw a big llama staring at me!

Take care


AndGGraduate10 in reply to johnm12

That’s a good point actually. I have young family so tend to stick to convenience of same route out door then round some housing estates not v interesting! I need to vary route I think live in n small town close to some lovely countryside so now nights mornings a bit lighter going to do more scenic runs!


I like to sign up for a run that appeals to me, maybe a 5k, 1ok or even a HM, in a month or two, or three's time, and then plan out a schedule of runs to get me (hopefully) in the best possible place to run the race.

Training plans always have hiccups, but thats all part of the fun. It keeps me motivated to get out there 3 times a week knowing that each run is like a deposit in the bank, that I can cash in on race day.

If your unsure about planning yourself then give myasics a go.

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