Stuck on Week 5

Can any forumites help me with a block on week 5? This is my third week on week 5 running. I cannot complete two runs of eight mins. I run the first one and take the walk break but the second run, I can only do four mins and then I have to walk. I feel there's no point moving on to the next run until I can master this one. I am repeating the eight min runs every other day but there is no improvement.

Anyone give me some advice or tips to get through this?

Thank you.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

11 Replies

  • Maybe take a couple of rest days off, give your legs a chance to rest up, then try again at the end of the week? Or, if you're running with the podcasts, set up a playlist instead, and use that with a timer. Or a new route? Basically, anything to vary it slightly to try and get past the 'this is where I always have to stop' point...

  • Thanks RainbowC. I've tried my own music and no joy but I'll try a different route. I stick to the same route so that I can't use the excuse of a new route having too many hills or difficult terrain but I see your point that I may have a visual "time to stop" block. Worth a go anyhow :-)

  • I too struggle with the longer runs! When the pain in my calves starts to bite I slow my pace and start my distraction techniques i.e I count backwards from 30 in time with my steps, I look for words or road names and spell them......basically anything to take my mind off the pain/exhaustion! Works for me x

  • Thanks SKessex78. Some good ideas there. I'll try your counting distraction technique and see if I can get through this :-)

  • Hi, are you putting too much into your first 8 mins, making you tired for your next one? Maybe try going slower in your first set, even if it's barely a jog then see if you get any further with your second set. I really struggled with my week 7 runs and slowed my pace, at times so I was only just running, and this seemed to help me. Now I'm running for 30 minutes at a decent pace I look back at my week 7 and can hardly believe I struggled so much with it... And I'm sure you will too. Just don't give up, keep at it, it's worth it. Just remember each run, even if it's ' bad' is still making you fitter for next time. Hopefully you'll get plenty of advice on here and you'll find something to help you out.

    All the best :)

  • As I've gone through the course I've reduced my speed (easier to work out cos I use treadmill) but maybe going a little slower will give you more stamina! I actually found race 3 a little easier than race 2. Once I got into my rhythm it just kind of happened. I found it hard to stop for a few mins then start again!!

    Maybe go back to w5r1 to see if helps then try again. Or try an in between one of 7 and 7 without podcast to bridge the big jump from 5 mins to 8??

  • What is causing you to stop half way thru the second 8 min run? I suspect it's now becoming a mental block the more times u fail it.

    Do your legs still move? Can you still breathe? Te podcasts til now should have made u for enough to cope with the runs. But it's the mental stamina you need. You can do it. Just keep moving those legs. Focus on a point ahead and run towards it. Keep on moving and u will get there

  • I think it's probably a mental thing too. However, this problem will only get worse so you need to tell yourself that you're not going to stop. Pick a different route and go for it. When you get to the longer runs, most of us will say that the 1st 10 minutes are the worst, your body tells you your thighs hurt, you don't feel comfortable, your ankle hurts, it's a bad day today.... all sorts of rubbish that you have to mentally shrug off. Once you can get past that, you will relax and find your rhythm. Good luck!

  • Thanks everyone for your extra comments I stop halfway through the second run cos I need a walk break, probably 60secs just to get my breath back, and then I can run on for a few minutes. I don't think I'm running fast but I run outside so it's harder to tell.

    I'm going to totally forget about running for the rest of the week and then go out on Monday night on a different route and hopefully keep my mental focus.

    Fingers crossed

  • I was really struggling in week 7 with the longer runs and I think that I talked myself into not being able to do it. I have always run outside so tried running it on a treadmill and managed it a lot easier than I thought. Once I had completed it I found it much easier to do it outside as mentally I knew I could do it.

  • Well I did it!!! :-) I ran on grass instead of out on the roads, slowed the speed a bit (which is tough as I am going really really slow at the best of times) and did lots and lots of counting backwards and I did it! Thanks for all the suggestions. Going to go out tonight and do it all over again :-)

You may also like...