W7R2 done but I'm feeling negative

I've always been hopeless at sport but have a run-aholic hubby and sports mad son, so thought I'd give C25K a try.

Made it to week 6 quite easily but as the runs have got longer and the novelty has worn off, I've found myself getting negative and wanting to give up. It feels like a chore rather than fun.

I think it's the mental challenge that's the worst thing. Do others find this?

I'd love to make it through to the end but don't see myself continuing beyond that. Any tips on how to recreate the initial enthusiasm?

15 Replies

  • Hi, perhaps if you think about your original reasons for choosing to do the programme? I know you say your family are into sports, but did you want to do this for yourself in anyway? Fitness? Weight loss? Specific distance Achievement? I always found reminding myself of my long term aim (fitness and half marathon) kept me going when things felt tough. Hope this helped, best wishes!

  • I should add it still does help me even now (almost a year since I started c25k) ;-)

  • Hi, what about planning to do a Parkrun as a family to get you all together at one event - you don't have to run together but it will give you a personal pb to aim at weekly... My son came along to the first one I did, said he'd run with me but as he jogged backwards waiting for me within the first couple of minutes I sent him off to run his own time! But he did wait for me near the end and ran with me for the last km. :-)

  • I too have lost my enthusiaism and am trying PodRunner music to see if that helps. I am fed up with my route and the relentlessness of just jogging. I am not sporty and jog alone as I have no one to jog with. I know a couple of people that run but they run as in 2 hour hashes covering miles and miles, and in all weathers; not my thing at all.

    I am hoping better music might help me and have bought a couple of jogging CDs. If you get any ideas do let me know

  • If you're using the podcasts they can get really boring after a whle, I totally agree and it can be draining on the enthusiasm, I found the Wk5R3 mybet so far, and. I think in part that was due to the fact that I'd forgotten to load that podcast and had to use my own music, if you are enjoying what you're running to then you might not find it a much of a chore

    Hope this helps :) and good luck, hope you manage to keep going and get your enthusiasm for it back

  • Nearly a year on from starting I use various things to motivate me, you do go through mental dips, as you say it's the hardest thing. I too was hopeless at sport and I really didn't understand people who dashed about getting fit. Notbad is right, you have to be doing it for yourself and it has to be a fairly strong motivation on certain days. When you get through a certain level of fitness it becomes so much easier, although you still have to push so therefore you still need to be motivated.

    On the most difficult days I just say to myself 'it's just 35 minutes, I could spend that aimlessly wandering about the internet' and the happiness and fulfillment I get from having done the run is mega compared to aimless internet browsing. Great music or an audiobook thriller helps (I listened to the Dambusters and the Moon Landings on audiobook and they were so inspiring that a cheeky 5k was nothing!), so does the occasional new bit of running kit, when I finished C25K last year I got a Garmin, expensive but fascinating to watch the stats, that helps me a lot. Around the house I listen to audiobooks on running to gee me up when I'm just running the same route often, it may not be your thing but Run Fat Bitch Run is quite funny and although I don't agree with everything, it does help keep me going out there.

    But for me the biggest motivation is fitness and weight loss. I lost so much weight (and like another lady reported on here all cellulite's completely gone!) and have a complete new wardrobe three sizes smaller and love that so much that that is a huge motivation. And I can still eat lots, that's another great motivation for me! I look and feel so much better than I did. I sometimes travel for work and in the early morning I was running around a beautiful place in California a few days ago, no-one else in the world apart from me and the birds and animals and truly, I couldn't believe how much I had changed. Just in a year. That's a huge ongoing motivation. I am enormously grateful to C25K and this forum. I hope you can find your inner motivation - I can't recommend you stick with it enough. Go for it...

  • I'm always intrigued when someone says that they are no good at sports. I've seen deaf and blind people with learning difficulties and cerebral palsy enjoy activity, so I can only guess that what the, usually, able-bodied person means is:

    "I've never found a sport that I enjoy."

    To me, that's a damning indictment of the PE teaching fraternity at school and the way they cover up their failings (and which whole families collude with) is to create a scapegoat in YOU. Worse, some (actually many) people extrapolate this into most other areas of their lives.

    But, we're adults now... And we CAN make choices. We no longer have to believe the rubbish they dumped on us and we can prove them wrong. As lots of people have reported here, discovering an activity that we can do well enough can have profound impacts in lots of ways. You're sufficiently into the C25K programme by now that you ARE doing running well enough. So stop repeating those negative scripts that never belonged to you in the first place and just enjoy yourself! Who knows - as you do it more, you might enjoy it more and you might find that you enjoy other things more too!

  • Oh this is so true!

    I've never thought of it like that, but you are absolutely right - all we need is to find a form of exercise that we enjoy (or can at least tolerate)

  • I really empathise with this reply, all my life I have thought and been told I am useless at sport, I can't run...... Well, you know what, I am off to do my Week 6 run 2 today and I am loving it all. I would never have believed I could have got this far so thank you C25K for getting me here. Thank you too to all the lovely people posting on the blogs as they have been really helpful.

  • Sellininnit, I sympathize with how you're feeling. I found that the consistent long runs were far more a mental challenge than a physical one. For me, it felt like the intervals broke it up and made it more interesting, just going out and knowing that it was going to be one single continuous run was a big struggle mentally. I often had negative thoughts, "why keep running", "I could walk as fast as this", "I'm bored", and on and on and on. These final weeks of the program are where you really have to work on the mindset, think positive thoughts (or do ridiculous maths problems in your head to keep you occupied while running) and keep thinking about the fact that you've almost completed the whole program. You've already done 7 weeks of consistent exercise, it would be a shame to quit when there's only 2 more weeks to go. 6 more runs. You CAN do this :)

  • Not wanting to seem picky, but the maths problems aren't ridiculous. They may be pointless or something else but not ridiculous :-)

    When you start reading things by athletes (not a hobby that many C25K students will have, I guess), you see them often describe 'getting into the zone'. They are describing a meditative state where their mind is working unconsciously on the practical stuff. The bit that isn't being used for conscious processes is then able to do its own thing. Some people find this a creative dimension - full of fantasy, personally I find clarity around problems. Devotees of 'quiet mind' meditation will try to still these processes too, but I find it a really useful time so wouldn't want to do that.

    What your maths machinations are doing is very purposeful - they're helping you achieve that state where the unconscious is taking care of the practicalities - keeping you running, route-following etc. Provided that people don't allow any negative response to the music (which quite a few people describe here) to get in the way then that is one of the purposes of it too. On the longer runs, there should be plenty of time for someone to lose awareness of the music - it's done it's first job and is now just helping with unconscious pace setting.



  • - sorry to jump in here, but I could swear that I went onto auto pilot on Saturday and kind of blanked out my thoughts rather than focus on anything physical I was just running.

    And you're right about the music - it's just there for a rhythm - all I was doing was listening out for the Endomondo lady counting down the KMs

  • We all have days where it feels like a chore. Maybe you need to change your route, your music or just get some new running gear. Getting new gear gave me a real boost when I needed it. Are you doing jogging for others or for yourself? If you are doing it for other people then it will feel like chore, in that case I think you would need to find an activity you enjoy. If you are doing it for you then I think it is just a matter of teaching your brain to cope with the longer runs. I try thinking about the things I have to get done on that day and put them in the order I need to do them. Set yourself small goals and when you achieve them buy yourself something as a reward, doesn't have to be anything big or expensive, new pair of running sock, a new running top. Maybe change the time of day you go jogging. I prefer thing mornings myself. You are so close to the end please don't give up, try and look back and see just how far you have come. :-)

    Please come back and let us now how you are doing, it really does help to get the support form the people that have competed the programme and from those still on their c25k journey

    Good luck. :-)

  • Thanks all for your support.

    A parkrun at the end has always been my goal (although it won't be a family event as my hubby who does it every week could get round at least twice in the time it will take me!)

    I'm definitely going to put together my own music playlist to try and chivvy myself along.

    As for weight loss and fitness, yes these are goals also - I just need to remind myself more often of the benefits.

    Anyhow, thanks again and I shall report in again as I approach the end.

  • You have to do it for you - and that is likely to be very different to the way your relatives do it. I have a father who runs (he is abroad representing his country as I write) at an age when many of his peers are dead, I have a brother who returned to running at 40... and then there's me who spends most of her life in bed because I'm not well enough to be out.... so I definitely do the running my way and have different goals!

    I've said this before but I have often found it helpful to tell myself "You don't have to do this, you can stop now and go home" or "Oh, I think it'll only be 10 minutes today" For me, it works much better than all that gung-ho affirmation stuff.

    I too can testify to the merits of spoken audio input. My favourite are the BBC Ouch disability podcasts - they are very funny, very informative and of course there's the running just because you *can*. But whatever it is, the time goes much faster than when you have the next track coming up every few minutes.

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