Couch to 5K
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Week 5 Run 3 - I'm Scared!

Earlier this week I was daunted by the prospect of running for 8 minutes, thinking "heck that's a big increase on the 5 minutes I did last week".

But later today I have to do 20 minutes non-stop. Yikes!

How is it possible to go from 8 to 20? And then why does it drop back down again to 5 and 8 minutes again next week? I don't understand how the programme works at this stage.

And, did I mention, I'm scared!

12 Replies

It seems odd, I know, but it works! The 20 mins is to help you understand how much of this is a mental exercise - your body truly is ready for it; it's just your mind that doubts. You only have 2 more intervals runs after that, again just building up an extra bit of stamina before you go into continuous running. Weeks 5 and 6 are (in my view) balancing the mental and physical training necessary to get you to the 30-minute mark. :)


In which case, I think I need to do some mental training homework - at the moment all I'm thinking is "aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrghhhhh"!


Me too - mine is on Sunday! Got to do 8 mins tomorrow and that's daunting enough!


Good luck, that's exactly how I felt. But amazingly I managed it, and now I'm doubling it and some. Am desperately hoping for another miracle!


Trust Laura....I was panicked too, but it really works.

I got to a stumbling block in week 6, when Week 7 is just running without walks.

I repeated wk 6, until I chatted to a friend who said, 'go for it'.

She was right. I have just completed my 1st 30 min run. incredible.


OMG I know what you mean. I was panicking about the 8 mins runs but I'm just back from completing them and actually felt better than I did with the 5 min runs. Terrified at the thought of doing 20 mins but just going to give it a go. There's nothing to lose, except a few lbs :-)


Its perfectly normal to be scared, its the fear of the unknown, something you've never experienceed before. Every run up to this has prepared you for the dreaded 20. Just put those trainers on, shake the little gremlin off your shoulder and KNOW you WILL do this! Go slow, take your time, try to relax and its yours. :-) Personally, the second half of the run will go so much faster then the first half. Good luck! Gayle


Read some of the old week 5 run 3 blogs - everyone is scared, but just about everyone finds, amazingly, that they can do it! Your legs are not scared, they'll just get on with it, if you stay slow and steady for the first half! :)


Believe me, it works! I found it difficult to believe till I read this in this forum. Read on! You did a 8 min run + 5 min walk + 8 min run in your W5R2. Now all you are going to do is, replace the 5 min walk with a 4 min run. Sounds simple, isn't it?! It is... Go for it.


Unfortunately I didn't read this until after I'd completed the run, but I wish I'd read it last night - it's the sort of mental trick that works a treat for me. When you put it like that, it really doesn't sound like such a big step! Thank you.



By the time I started out I had worked myself up (down?) into a completely negative mindset. "I can't do this", "I was stupid to even think I might be able to" "I don't know what the point is anyway, I'm middle aged, I'm allowed to have a bit of wobble to me" etc etc etc. But, I still started out.

By two minutes in I was done - calves aching, out of breath, a worse state than I have been in any of the previous runs. But, I carried on, thinking that I'd do the 8 minutes that I know I can do, then give up and go back and repeat Week 4.

And then.... the Lovely Laura told me that I'd run for ten minutes. So at that point I figured that if I'd run all this way, the least I could do was run back again. And I did!

OMG OMG OMG - Last night I ran for 20 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So to all of you who are yet to do The Big Twenty - honestly, if I can do it, anyone can!

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Yes, I did it tonight too! I also wondered how to get from 8 to 20, but in the end pacing yourself works - not the fastest time in the world, but hey! I also ran into crampy pains in my calves at about two minutes, but I kept running, relaxed a bit, and about five minutes later I found the pain had vanished.

Have to say I'm enjoying a glass of wine now, so probably undoing all the good I did on the run!

Well done on getting over the hurdle - seemed like one to me too.


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