Getting rid of my Gremlins: My running has... - Bridge to 10K

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Getting rid of my Gremlins


My running has been so up and down.

I loved C25k app. I completed all the runs and was really pleased with my progress.

Post C25k I started to think about pace/time and comparisons to other people and it took a bit of enjoyment out of it.

I did Race for Life 10k which I enjoyed and then due to work (trade show for 4 days 5am starts and 8pm finishes) couldn’t fit in running the next week. This seemed to set me back and seriously considered just going back to C25k plan and starting it all over again.

I am determined though to keep up this running habit. I feel good after a run and whilst I am more of a plodder than a gazelle I am still doing it!

I have started Ju Ju’s plan because whilst I have run 10k I didn’t feel like I got there through steady improvement it was a bit erratic and l had to repeat a lot of the zen labs 10k app runs. The zen labs app was OK but in hindsight it was 3 identical runs with walk breaks scheduled at intervals (very much like c25k. In hindsight I think Ju-Ju’s plan of 1 short: 1 medium and 1 longer run would have been better to follow.

So far I have done following runs from Ju-Ju’s plan:

Run 1 2.5k was Ok and did 5k run in 2nd attempt tonight. i stopped at 3.8k on 1st attempt. I don’t understand fully why I am going backwards but I seem to have quite a few bad runs. My heart rate is quite high, I keep checking my watch and get despondent that I still have another x/k to go! All I want is for run to be over now!

My suspicion is that I am struggling because of pesky voices telling me “this is too hard/stop/walk etc”. What I did tonight was something I remember Jo Wiley saying on C25k about having some sort of repetitive mantra hers was “I Love Running” Mine was “you can do this” alternated with “you have run 10k before” repeated this in time with my strides and it worked I didn’t stop! It may sound cheesy but it helped. Going to do my next run in Wednesday and think up another “motivational” phrase to keep me going. Hopefully this will get easier!

9 Replies

Just enjoy your runs. Stop for a breather when you need to. It’s fine It’s not a race 🙂.

Relax and you’ll have a great time Ju-Ju is a believer in mantra’s so by all means go for it. Mine is for when I have a hill and I repeat “small steps

, small steps” til I get to the top It was a fellow runner that got me doing it Whatever it takes 💪👍🙂

I was recommended "fun, fit, fun, fit" or if I was going for speed "fun fit fast fit fun fit" etc. I often end up muttering these aloud too. Do you listen to any music or some kind of interesting podcasts while you run? Sometimes it's good to let go of the stats and stop worrying about speed and just enjoy listening to an interesting interview or chapter of a book... Also remember speed will come back more readily when the temperatures cool down...


I'd not worry about having to stop whether that is because of demons or because of performance. So taking that out of the equation, just focus on completing the distance, so if you stop at 3.5k just walk a bit and then continue when ready. I promise you that if you keep running it will get easier over time or you will get faster, I can't promise both hehe.

running is like juggling, it doesn't matter if you keep dropping the balls while you learn, but you can't learn without spending hours upon hours upon hours doing it.


Oh dear, sorry to hear you're feeling a bit down about your running. We've all felt like that at some point.

As you've found mantras are good. I also count backwards from 100, particularly when I'm getting close to the end, I find it helps me keep my speed up. That's plod rather than speed at that stage!

Can you change your route? I find some routes easier than others, I know it's all in my mind.

... and leave your watch at home! Plan a circular route then when you get to half way you know there's no point turning back or stopping!

Those gremlins soon get the message that you're not to be messed with!

Now go out and enjoy your next run just for the sake of running!

Keep smiling, keep cool and keep running!

Good luck!


Gremlins telling you to ‘stop because it’s too hard’ can pop up all over the place! When mine appear (about 5-10mins in) I just say ‘oh it’s you again. Thanks for popping by but please close the door in the way out’. I’ve learnt that these ‘thoughts’ are not going to go away so acknowledging and then dismissing out the door works for me. Keep up the running 👍


It’s been hot. No wonder you’re struggling. Also, as they say, if life hands you lemons make lemonade: in other words taylor your runs to the time and circumstances. If you can only run once a week, it will keep things ticking over till circumstances change. Stop worrying about time pace etc and just have fun, explore; there’s always something to see. Even if you were to run the exact same route everyday, light and weather will change. See the interest and beauty in small things. As runners we are uniquely placed to connect with the environment on every level. Also read about running, treat yourself to a new bit of gear: anything to stay connected. You can do it. This lull is just another curve in the road and loop in the journey. All will be well 😊🏃🏻‍♀️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️


Well run and good work with the gremlins.

I’ve found knowing where I am in my run really helps me cope with the distance.

So in the first half I know when I am nearly there. And on the return leg I am less worried. This is why my routes are “out and back”.

My current watch taps me each K and has a stronger tap for halfway (maybe my imagination!). Unless I get an unexpected alert (e.g. weather app telling me I’m getting rained on - I know!) I now deliberately never look at my watch while running.

Today was my first 2.5k so I had no clue where the turning point would be so I was looking at my watch every few seconds after the one K tap. Must be there by now? Surely now? Now? Gagh!

Good luck with run 3.


Thanks everyone for encouragement/advice 😀 You’re all great. I love reading about other people’s stories of being out in nature and personal bests. I wish my posts where full of lovely stories.

Circumstances I think sometimes are not in my favour.

1. Time - I have 3 kids 1 boy 11 and 2 girls 9 and 5. Me and my husband who is gym goer have to split time for exercising with work (I work full time he is self employed) and sorting out kids, house etc. My runs generally need to be early morning as my hubby wants to go to gym in evening and running after kids bedtime isn’t possible because it’s just too late.

2. Because of time issue I just head out of door and run a similar route. One of things that appealed to me about running was be able to do whenever time available. Am trying to vary route a bit and will try and get in car and do some canal runs done at least for one of my weekly runs.

3. Tech - i just go out without any tunes/podcasts at the moment. I stopped because was constantly running out of data on my phone (it’s a work one so not much flexibility on upping it) also limited storage so I can’t download stuff.

Thanks for suggestions on mantras! I need to be more positive! Life’s a bit tough at the moment but it will pass and taking steps to look after myself by doing some exercise helps, I just wish it came a bit more naturally to me!


I'm not sure it comes "naturally" to many at all! 😉👍 you have to make it work for you. I couldn't do it without music.

My watch buzzes at each mile and if I drop below 10 mins a mile but I ignore most of those, I just aim for where I know the mile markers are and if I'm really struggling I can cut the main route short but that's not often.

You really just need to find the magic system for you and indeed when the heat drops off it will feel easier 👍😁

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