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Bridge to 10K
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Consolidation runs are sooo hard! ☹

looking for a wee bit of advise, I completed to C25K a few weeks ago, and enjoyed going from not being able to run more than 1min to running 30mins!! I am now trying to do some consolidation runs, but I am now really struggling and find the runs sooo difficult!! There is no way I can increase the distance I'm covering and my speed, which is snails pace at best, is now anazingly even SLOWER!! 😡 just feeling very disheartened that I'm not improving or finding it any easier, and scared I'll just give up and stop trying. After every attempt I try to remind myself that at least I've ran 30 mins!!! 🙄

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When I completed C25k I made what I now know is a mistake. I tried to just run quicker and farther every run, with a fixation that I needed to get to 5k in 30 minutes.... most runs felt just the same and It was disappointing. Thanks to good advice from people on this site I separated out speed and distance, running some shorter quicker runs and longer slow runs on different days. At 66 I knew that I was never going to be a flier!!! and in the end found satisfaction in building up to 10k. My fastest 10k is 1 hour 14...but my heart rate is steady and I am sure that long slow runs are good for me. So, decide what you want to do and separate off speed and distance work so you have the opportunity to achieve regular PBs, and every day is different. Oh, a running watch was a big help too so that I could check my pace "in run" and control my speed accordingly. Worked for me anyway.😊

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Thank you beachcombe66, what an inspiration you are, I can't ever imagine being able to run 10k!! As it is my best is 5.35km in 38 mins, which includes my 10mins walking, 5mins warm up and cool down, still haven't managed to run full 5k yet! I'll try again tomorrow and hopefully it will eventually get easier!!

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The consolidation period is really about repeating what you have achieved. For a period of time (at least a month and as long as you like) repeat the 30 minute run, no need to go further or quicker just relax and enjoy what you have achieved. The objective of C25K is to get you running for 30 minutes, just enjoy that.

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Thank you 0505k, I have tried to stick to 30mins, to be honest dont think I could run a second longer amyway, tried to just run the same routes that I know the distance of, and trying to relax and enjoy, but still finding it harder each time as if my fitness is getting worse instead of better!! Hope tomorrows a better one!

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I know that feeling: I was the same. Try going out without worrying about time, pick a sunny day and just enjoy he run, regardless of how long you run for. Perhaps try a new route and enjoy exploring? It made the world of difference to me x

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Thank you Molly1973, think I might try a week or so running a shorter distance to see if I can get a second wind then build up again to the 5k

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I know exactly how you feel. I was OK for a couple of weeks after Graduation but then just sort of lost my umph.

I gave myself several talking to sessions. I changed music, routes, times, went back to the app and more but just could not seem to be bothered after 15/20 mins.

Then I found ebooks and although I only ran a planned 30 mins this morning, last time out I did 50 mins.

My speed has gone down a bit, but it feels more comfortable and the books take my mind off everything else and make it, almost, enjoyable.

Not worried about increasing distance or speed just time. When I get up to an hour running 3 or 4 times a week I may look at the speed but at the moment it's just about getting out there. It's me time and healthier than just sitting reading a book.

Just mix things up a bit and see what works for you.

Daft as it sounds I found that I don't like running with anything on my right, like a high wall, fence or hedge 😂

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I looked at the headspace running app SpanishShuffle so I might try that as a change to my music, I dont even seem to be aware of my music I'm so fixated on trying to keep one leg moving in front of the other, I use reading as my go to to fall asleep, altho an ebook might make me sleep run better!! Lol

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Don’t despair! If you only graduated a few weeks ago, you are still a “new” runner. If anyone had told me that at the time, I would have punched them in the nose...but looking back at my running history (I graduated in Nov 17) I can now see that I was...

Consolidation is your friend. No matter that it is hard; getting out there and running for 30 mins 3 x a week, consistently, with no worrying about how far you get in 30 mins is the key. By doing this you will get fitter and stronger. Eventually, you will feel ready to add an extra minute or two, slowly you will get to 5k. Slowly. That’s the key with running - learning to be patient and persistent.

Be proud of how far you have come. And know that you will see improvement and get fitter, with patience. Running is a slow burning journey...enjoy the journey. 😊

Sadie-runs x

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I know Sadie-runs but I'm not renowned for my patience!! I just keep imagining myself tootling along out for a few miles jog, and in reality just end up with a face like the rising sun, trundling along not the slightest bit graceful looking, gasping for air!! Just wish it would hurry up and get easier!

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I feel your pain. I am only just remotely getting to graceful after running for 18 months. 😂 But seriously. After 18 months I really started to see some dramatic improvements in my running (I now run a sub-30 minutes 5k - my first 5k ever was around 40 mins). Made a few tweaks here and there, started Pilates, built in intervals ... it gets so much easier, trust me. Trust the long game! x

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It's normal to have a bit of a lull after graduating C25K. The best thing you can do is keep your routine going and do whatever it takes to make sure you're enjoying your running (routes, music, etc). Resist the temptation to be competitive and don't push yourself. Walk breaks are fine if you're tired or winded. Just getting outside and taking exercise is so good for you, especially if you can use it as an opportunity to de-stress and relax.

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Thank u flyingred, I know that I should just enjoy being out in my beautiful country lanes, and I have looked forward to my runs until now, thinking I was getting this running bug, but the last couple of outings have been quite disheartening that I'm kinda dreading my next run now! Might look at joining a running club, as I only run on my own with my wee dog, as I feel I run far too slowly to hold anyone else back. But maybe company will take my mind of it a bit?

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This is exactly where I am at. I have really not enjoyed my last two runs, as I tried the C5K stepping stones app which has music as the motivator. I have realised that listening to podcasts are much better for me than music as I drift off and forget I am running. I have been using the BBC sounds app which has loads of different podcasts you can subscribe to - enjoying Fit and Fearless which is about sport/exercise/motivation and about 35 mins long, so perfect length for our consolidation runs.

I have also looked at Ju Jus magic steps to 10k and realised I don't need to be trying to do 5k every run, I can do some shorter runs and still progress.

Running seems to be all about the psychology!

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Hi Millie, please don’t get despondent, you’re still a very new runner and you will find things will plateau for a while before starting to improve again. All the advice you’ve received already is excellent, and yes you might find running in company helps. Do you have a local parkrun? They’re such amazing fun. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️😀👍

I stagnated for what seemed like months, running 5k at just under 40 minutes. My time has now improved to sub 36 minutes regularly without really trying, and I’ve even done a sub 35! I also run regular 10ks and my first 10k race is 4 weeks tomorrow. 😳😀👏😅

So believe in yourself and take baby steps. You will get there. 👍👊😀

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Thank you and well done on completing your 10ks!!!! The very best of luck for your race, I hope you have a fab time 🏃‍♀️

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I graduated 2nd March and I've been finding post graduation runs harder than I expected too. At first I didn't feel like I was getting any fitter at all - felt like I was going backwards. I tried the C25K+ podcasts to keep me going & I think the variety helped me get out there and keep it up. If you haven't tried those maybe give those a try - I found the motivating pep talks from Laura helpful when flagging. I didn't like the short speed run one bit though, so quickly moved to stamina and stepping up runs only. I am still super slow but am going a bit further all the time. Speed will come I'm sure. Keep going, feel proud that you haven't stopped, that's brilliant. A small reward that I can have when I have completed a run makes me keep at it too 😊

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Thank you BestLife19, its good to hear that I'm not the only post grad C25K struggling! I havent tried the podcasts but I'll look into them for my next runs, hopefully they'll give me a bit more motivation and oomph! 🏃‍♀️

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I know exactly what you mean ! I graduated at end of March and am on run 6 of consolidation runs...it’s not getting easier for me either and think I won’t get past that 30 minute mark. So decided to shorten one of my runs a week to 20 minutes but slightly quicken my pace for the end (I am a slow jogger) I also use Spotify, C25K stepping stones/stamina podcasts and Nike Running App (great headspace runs on there) and change my route each time. I have only reached 5k on my “graduation run” and that included 10 mins warm up/down. Try not to be disheartened you don’t have to run further than 5K main thing is your getting out in the fresh air and getting fitter on each run even though it doesn’t feel like it.

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Good to know that I'm not the only one struggling post graduation. I'm going to do a couple of shorter runs to try to get my mojo back, and hopefully wont have a force 10 head wind to contend with this time!!

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It's very normal as you can see to feel a bit lost after the structure of the programme.

It does take a little while to find what works for you. I found around this time that I preferred fields and trails to road running and mixing up the two made things more interesting and stopped that focusing on the slog and helped me enjoy my surroundings more.

Don't despair, you've come so far already 👍😁🌞

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I tried varying my route Gogo Jojo and ran an old track through one of our fields, but OMG mud & grass are hard work to run on, and my nice new running shoes now look as old as me!! Lol

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They are hard work but it trains new muscle groups. Yea... shoes get a wee bit filthy! But there can be so much fun 😉😁👍

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I second running fields and trails 👍 I love the variety of scenery and concentrating on where my feet are going takes my mind off the running 😂

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Hi Millief, this is not advice but just my own history. I completed couch25K within 5 days of the theoretical end, i.e., nine weeks and five days. Towards the end (in fact week 9 run 1) I did my first park run on Christmas day. With hindsight I should not have done that. It was awful, but I did finish, having walked probably 40% of it and I came in at 345th out of 349. I lost my bearings for a couple of weeks, doing about one run per week (working away from home). Then I started bridge210K, and failed in the middle of week 2. With hindsight, I was pushing myself to a self imposed goal that had no basis of realistic achievement. After nearly a month not running, I decided to go back to the start of couch25K and do just one run from each week 1 to 9. I did four runs in five days, but felt ill and exhausted. Then my brother reminded me that the fitness only happens during the rest days, not whilst you are running. The body needs time to catch up and adjust to your new and hard regime. Bottom line - I have now settled down and today I am doing the third run of week 5 of couch25K and I have set a target to be able to run 7.5 km by the end of June. I do my plans each three months - this is my third starting 1Apr19. If I achieve the 10K of JoJo's training schedule, so much the better. But I have achieved my diabetes goals, my chest size goals, my BMI or weight goals and am now starting to see a long term trend of improvement in my blood pressure. It is now as often below 140 as it is above 140 and that has not been the case for nearly 10 years. Slow and steady wins the race.

Now using Strava, I am repeating some of the runs I did first time around and on average I run nearly 20% faster. I am not trying to run fast - just letting my body tell me what is the right speed at which to run. On a good run I get about 7.5 minutes per km, and as low as 7 minutes per kilometre. That used to be nearer 8.5 to 9 first time around. And the park run? Well that was 5km and took me 48 minutes = 9.6 minutes per km. Obviously the 5km run was premature! :-)

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Thank you for your insight into your journey with C25K. I just get so frustrated with myself that I don't feel like I'm progressing at the rate I want to!! Its good to hear that my expectations are just probably too high and that I also need to make more realistic goals. You have done a fantastic job in improving your health, and I wish you all the best in continuing to do so and to enjoy your running. I'm going to have a few shorter runs to try to feel a bit more motivated 👍

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Don't know if this has been said already but there are some consolidation podcasts you can try. Stepping stone, stamina and speed. You can also try something like Run Zombies, I am going to try next week so I will report back. It is running with some challenges and a bit like interval training which will help with the speed and fitness. You may also look at the music you listen to if you do and get something with a faster beat. That said, what you have achieved so far is awesome and don't you forget it, every 30 min run you do you should grin at yourself!

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I've just downloaded the 5k+ podcasts Jonno so will have them for my next runs to try out, seems quite good with Laura counting out a beat for you. Something different might make me focus on that rather than the slog!

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I tried to imagine that week 10 was 3 x 30 minutes ✅

I did that for many weeks as I needed to feel the structure and achievement.

Eventually I added on a few minutes to one of the runs, then did that for a few weeks ✅

Then cautiously I started the Bridge to 10k.

Do what you want, at your pace, and try not to put pressure on yourself.

Remember what week 1 run 1 felt like?

You have come a long way 🤩

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