In need of moral support: Hi, wondered if... - Bridge to 10K

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In need of moral support

ElizabethT94 profile image

Hi, wondered if anyone could just give me a big shake through the internet as I know I'm being ridiculous.

But for the past month, my progress has come to an absolute standstill. My 5k times are now in the 40s, I can't do a 5k without stopping and I'm regularly in the last 15 at parkrun. I used to be able to run 5k comfortably in 35 minutes. How do I get myself out of this rut? I run twice a week and also do aerial gymnastics twice a week, do I I need to run more? Faster? Longer? What's causing this? All answers welcome as I'm so frustrated and annoyed at myself.

23 Replies
Tasha99 profile image

The weather! I’m having similar issues though I’m slightly faster, I’m not improving and I’m doing all sorts - intervals, joined a club, gym strengthening work. It’s so frustrating! Just keep plodding on and see what happens in a month or two.

Hi ElizabethT94, I’d start by setting yourself small achievable goals and every time you achieve reset your goal but don’t over reach.

I find distance running is as much a mental exercise as a physical one and for me it can be a much greater one, hope this helps you, good luck with your progress

Tasha99 profile image

Try intervals though

slow-farah profile image

Hi 😊 sounds like a horrible rut you're stuck in 🙁 with the timing it might just be due to the heat or if you started doing aerial recently it might be that.

You could ask your Parkrun for a 40 minute pacer? I ran with a pacer for the first time last weekend and it was really good as I was motivated to keep going at a nice consistent pace, email them or ask a friend.

Might also be worth doing a third run each week or every other week if you can fit it in

Thanks everyone I think intervals are my next step, and maybe just slowing down even more to even out my pace a bit? Can't wait for some winter running, my 5k pb happened when it was chucking it down!!

Slow_Rob profile image

I would say firstly don't be so hard on your self.. there could be many reasons for reaching a plateau..

Are both your 2 runs at the same pace and intensity if so you need to mix things up a bit to keep it interesting for you.

I currently run 3 times a week, usually 1 x 5k,1 x speed intervals or my own version of a temp run and 1 x long slow run . I also do some core stuff and exercises and have started to incorporate some kettleball stuff for strength training.. it works for me but everybody is different.

Also it should be enjoyable :) 1st and foremost . I am sure everyone will come along and offer great advise or suggestions , try different things see what works for you and go with that..

Yes we would all like to run faster better etc don't get to hung up on stats 😊 have fun do what makes you happy

Hope that helps in someway 😊

It's totally natural to plateau a bit after a while, the gains you made on C25k are huge! You can't sustain that sort of record smashing success, no one can. If you can't do the 5k without stopping and you know you could before do you think it might be a psychological barrier? You're clearly a fit person, it could well be a case of gremlins over reduced ability... On top of that, it's been so hot lately, it's been really hard for anyone to be at their best! You could try giving the nhs+ podcasts a go if you've not already (speed/stamina/stepping stones), you'll likely find them tough at first but you'll get better over time! And your 5k ability will definitely benefit from them too.

But mostly, relax and give yourself a break. Think back to your first week and feel proud of what you've achieved overall, and definitely don't beat yourself up about the things you've not done lately—they'll come back and improve and there's no time limit for that. Now's the time for you to enjoy being so much stronger and more capable than you were on week 1 😊

I have found the heat really tricky and pace has suffered. Also, maybe try intervals/mixing up as others have suggested. Maybe for your 5ks try and vary the speed with the first part of the run slower and the later part a bit faster. Not sure how long you have been at this but how about a week off running? It can really help every now and again to take a holiday

Good Luck :)

SueKen profile image

I think you need to give yourself a pat on the back that you are still out there running. It’s hot and humid, and quite frankly rubbish running weather. I feel much the same as you, recently ran my third slowest ever Parkrun. Went out on Thursday and only did 4K, and walked/ran quite a lot of that so feeling quite deflated. But then I compared the same run from this time last year, and despite the heat I was still faster on some parts of the route. So I think we just need to keep celebrating our achievements for now, and not be too concerned with constant improvement until it cools down a bit 🙂

GoGo_JoJo profile image

I'm going to echo Sqkr... relax.

It is probably the heat with a few gremlins thrown in.

Shake it up a little. "Can't do 5k" sounds more like a mental block. You're probably getting to the same point each time and and those gremlins know where you stopped last time so they're making you stop again and again and its become a habit.

I can't comment on parkruns but get yourself a new 5k or longer route and just get out there. The gremlins won't know where the stopping point is and if you focus on anything other than thinking "Can't do this" you'll get there.

It could simply be the heat alone. Its tough. Try different times of day. Different days. Change something. See what happens but don't be too hard on yourself, you're still getting out there 👍😉

sallenson profile image

Consider yourself shaken. And hopefully stirred.

It's hot. And then more hot. We may be living in the End Times it's so hot.

So just relax a bit and have some fun running around. Mix stuff up a bit.

When the weather starts to cool down we'll all buckle down and start working hard again. But for now just have a little trot around outside but not so fast that you can't eat an ice cream at the same time... :-)

mountaindreamer profile image

Sounds like lots of great shaking and advice already, so I’m just sending you over a hug. ❤️❤️

You’re still getting out there and running, so be proud of that! Cooler weather will come at some point and probably help us all out. Whenever I was struggling to keep going during C25k, I used to remember Oldfloss’ slow and steady mantra, and tell myself to just keep on slowing down more (and then even more!) if I felt I needed to stop. As long as you’re still moving forwards, you’re beating anyone left on the couch, and you’re telling those doubting gremlins to get lost! 😊

sallenson profile image
sallensonGraduate10 in reply to mountaindreamer

The couch is much over valued. I'm sick to death of mine. And it's covered in cake crumbs....

Running (in whatever blighted form available to us) is a helluva lot better.

Free us from Couch Tyranny!!

mountaindreamer profile image
mountaindreamerGraduate10 in reply to sallenson

Can you at least walk better now or do something else active, Stephen? Might help keep you sane. ❤️❤️❤️

Perhaps ask that Physio for suggestions next week if they do end up saying don’t run for a bit? 👍

If you’ve got weights at home or access to a gym, you could still do a pretty good upper body workout instead for now? (You should see me trying to build back up to doing pull ups with my dodgy wrist! Plenty of feel good endorphins going on there! Loads of core strength stuff can also be done without your leg/ knee / hip, which will help your running later.)

Hello, try running late in the evening or early in the morning I find it easier when it is cooler, the moment sun is out infind it very difficult as well.

Thank you thank you thank you everyone, this is exactly what I needed. So grateful for this supportive community ♥️

Empem profile image
EmpemGraduate10 in reply to ElizabethT94

Ahh there's lovely.Running stories help us all wherever you're at .Be cheered!

FlickM3 profile image

I think plateauing is normal in any sort of progressand often precedes a breakthrough. Also it has been so hot that everyone has slowed down x

How do you feel generally? Running twice a week, doing gymnastics twice too. coupled with everything else you have to do in a day and throw this weather on the top, do you think it could maybe be a bit of exhaustion? If you try doing more, longer, faster, harder and don’t see progress maybe try the other way, have a couple extra rest days and see how that goes. Nothing to loose by making sure you’re thoroughly refreshed.

I’ve had 2 occasions where I didn’t run for 6 days. After the first time I felt like Hermes. After the second I felt like I was dying, so no way to tell how it would be for you, but I am a firm believer with everything in life that if you try something and it doesn’t work, be open to trying something different.

ArthurJG profile image

Lots of good advice above from more experienced runners than me but do consider rest as well. Not a long rest, a week maximum. Even serious experienced runners seem to find a week off a couple of times a year helps them. But beware: it may help physically but mentally, the longer you leave it the more the temptation to leave it another day, then another .... I’d say restvup for a few days but put a date in your diary to start again, and stick to it!

Thanks all, I've now set myself a tiny goal of parkrun in less than 40 mins with no stops by the end of the month as that's when I go on holiday. A nice easy goal, planning to vary my runs up a bit also. After a nice break at the end of the month I'll step it up with hopefully some cooler weather!

Sandyscroll profile image

I went through this kind of thing. I did really well for a while, even kept it up through the winter, but then seemed to lose motivation... No, it wasn't even that... I just found I couldn't do what I used to do before. I kept stopping on 5k runs, which was odd as previously I wasn't stopping on 15k runs. I tried intervals, new routes, going to the gym, swimming... all had some positive impact. The thing that helped most was just slowing down, which seems daft since I was looking at my 5k times slowing down, all that stopping, and worrying about it. I went back to basics, just running slowly for a long as I could without stopping. I rarely do less than 3 miles, but I planned to do the whole thing slowly enough so I could do the first mile (I prefer miles to K) without stopping. Then extended it to 1.5, then 2 etc. I did over 6 miles without stopping yesterday. My pace has improved too, but I've not been pushing more. The whole episode has really knocked my confidence, so my club runs have become fewer, just in case I can't keep up or do the 4-5 miles they do. I have started doing more walking too, which has helped me mentally, just to get out there.

Overall, you've done the best thing by asking for support... and there's so many great answers on here (quite a few of which I've personally taken on board!)... and also to just keep going. That might mean taking a week out every couple of months. That's not failing or stopping, that's all part of the plan to support your running.

You've come so far, and it will be great to see you back on track, but as others have already said, the route to get there may start with being less hard on yourself and just enjoying the journey. Good luck. 🙂

Richard7 profile image

Try not to worry about your times. Just get out there and enjoy your run. Slow runs are important for building your running strength/stamina and form so they are all good runs.

If you want to shake things up then you could look at doing a mix of different types of run through the week - short/easy/Interval/hard (not all in 1 week) to give you a bit of variety and they do different things for your fitness levels.

I recently started doing interval runs and had to do a lot of googling to find out what they were and why before starting them. They are a great addition to my weekly runs but I am now realising that the slow easier runs are important too.

If you do shake things up a bit just remember to have fun 😀 don't burn yourself out by pushing so hard that it becomes a chore.

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