Couch to 5K

What a difference a hill makes!

Or so I thought... My last two week three runs were quite different, but surprisingly similar in the end.

Yesterday I walked out of my house 6am, bit fresh… ok very fresh – hood up, hands into pockets – and as I walk across the front lawn, ohhhh hello FROST! Yep – ok now I’m even colder, and then after I check the temp (2.1 deg!) I feel so cold… I finish my 5 mins warm up (otherwise known as slightly less than totally frozen – up) and get going on the 90 sec run… it finishes pretty quickly, and so does the recovery walk. Funny how last week 90 secs seemed like FOREVER and now it’s the easy short run! First 3 min run.. not bad. Hilariously just as Laura tells me not to be so – bouncy I notice I’m bouncing around a fair bit, so I slow it down and adjust my posture and by the time I’ve done that I’m walking again… sweet. A little further on down the road and the 2nd 3min run starts, I smiled to myself – I’m staring down a long slow slope of a footpath. I spent 20 secs or so congratulating myself for such excellent planning to end up down a long hill on my last run – brilliant… but before I know it I’m at the bottom, and no sign of Laura yet, as I turn the corner she cuts in to tell me there’s just 1 min to go and I look up – ahhh, a nice steep hill – for my very last 60 secs. Brilliant – not only that but ending at the main intersection of my suburb which is now nicely busy…. Just the worst route choice ever, plus after I struggled up that hill I have about a 10 mins walk home…

All day I was happy and proud I’d done so much, but – my left shin was really very sore… like super achey. I talked to one of the women at work (she’s a “runner” – I mean a real live true runs 100km races type, goes through 3 pairs of shoes a year runner) and she told me to avoid the hard road/pavement and aim for grass or dirt, and also to roll a tennis ball up and down my shin to stretch it. Well – I haven’t tried the tennis ball, but I think I have a grassy solution.

This morning I got up again and out the door – I even took gloves today, but as I stepped outside it was a very different picture – almost, clement. A toasty 13.4 degrees I tossed the gloves back inside and headed to the oval with a big smile – not frozen, feeling good – going to try running around the football field instead – I’m taking advice. Yeah… I can totally do this. I get to the park, and just as the first 3 mins cuts in I jog down to the field so I can start going round – then quickly turn and go the other way. There’s already someone there running!! I go back to the entrance, and then talking myself into it I turn around and run back. Come on – it’s just one person, it doesn’t matter, they don’t know you… you’ll be fine. It’s FLAT!! I walk it off for 3 mins, and just as the next 90 sec run starts he leaves – yay for that. I’m counting how long to run and how many sides – and then the last 3 min run starts. I feel good… I feel confident… it’s flat, no surprise hills, no cars – just me and the grass…

When Laura cuts in at the last min to go I am ready, I want to fall down…. My legs are killing me, I’m almost out of breath – huffing and puffing and honestly just falling down would be nice now tho wouldn’t it? Can’t I just try that instead? Somehow I get to the end, just as my brain says – “go on stop, you must be close”… and I very slowly walk home. I feel a bit deflated… that was my last week three run and I got all the conditions right, and I still almost didn’t make it. How the heckins am I going to step it up to week four??? I feel really truly worried about it, the last few weeks I was excited and keen to move on… this one I am really scared of not getting there. I want to be able to do it so much – what if I can’t?

4 Replies

Don't worry about it. The programme is just brilliant. Just when you think you can't do any more.... you do. The work you have done this week really does stand you in good stead for the next. Don't give up. YOU CAN DO THIS. Trust Laura. Trust yourself. Good luck.


Have faith in the program,it works and works well and have faith in yourself too after all you've got this far.well done.


I totally agree with the other comments. There were several weeks when the progression sounded to hard for me, but usually these turned out to be easily achievable. Keep going. You can do it.


Thanks everyone! You were all totally right of course :) I had a fabulous run this morning - I loved the five min runs - it felt better at five mins than it did at three, and stopping to walk felt almost worse! I'm actually a little bit gobsmacked!


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