Couch to 5K

W5R3- Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

I left for W5R3 about an hour ago- I knew that it was the white whale of this programme and that people tend to get a bit worked up about it but I decided to block all of that out and, without fanfare or preamble, just go for it. I made a rookie error early on and changed my route slightly meaning that the first couple of minutes of the run were uphill. Nothing too severe but it was definitely noticeable. So I was feeling very out of breath by 3 or 4 minutes in and never really recovered.

Now, I'm not exaggerating when I say that for the following 15 minutes I genuinely felt like my lungs were being pulled out of my nostrils. I have this thing (sorry if this is a bit gross) when I exercise very hard where I can taste blood in my throat- has anyone else ever had this? It's nothing to worry about and I take it as a sign I'm working as hard as I possibly can but it's the first time I've had it while on this programme. It's horrible!

Anyway, suffice to say, I ran for 20 minutes but I'm not feeling elated like I should be? Rationally, I know it's a fantastic achievement but it was awful, awful, awful and I'm a bit down because I'd enjoyed the runs up until this point. I'd expected that I'd be feeling really positive having conquered this run but I'm just dreading the rest of them now!

Please someone further on tell me that it gets better!

2 Replies

Well done for getting through it. Maybe you should think about trying it again to build your confidence after a couple of days break. You know you can do it now.

Perhaps your uphill start took more effort than you would have used on the flat, so next time avoid that route. And if you start to struggle then slow the pace a little. Also make sure you breath properly and try to get a rhythm to your breathing with nice deep breaths.

And yes it does get better, you already know that the programme works, you've come from running for 1 minute to 20 minutes, and I bet the first week wasn't easy. Keep up the good work and push through the tough parts, we all have them.


Flipping hills -avoid them at all costs. You did it well done. Give yourself a good rest day or two -then tackle week 6-on the flat :-)


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