Couch to 5K
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Week 8 hates me

Last week I switched to running outside for week 7 - was doing 30 mins at 8kmh and was fine. Was treadmilling 20/25 mins at 8kmh no problem but for some reason since coming back on the treadmill just can't get through the late teens. I keep needing a minutes break - I'm pretty sure it's psychological but I am really struggling pushing through it. I want to stay on the treadmill because I get instant numbers (calories, distance, speed etc). Any ideas on how to get past that shitty 18th minute?

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Sorry to hear you're hitting the mental block at the 18 minute mark. We've all had our mental blocks with this! I suspect that your penchant for instant numbers is what may be causing the psychological block.

My advice and what works for me is leaving all the measuring stuff at home (or in the case of a treadmill, putting a towel over the display). Don't pay attention to speed or distance or anything, just keep a steady pace and work from there.

Incidently week 7/8 seems to be the time when people abandon Laura for their own choice of music. Now that you've finished the intervals, why not make a playlist which lasts for 38 minutes (or as close to that as you can get) where the first and last songs are around 5 mins long? This way, you are more motivated by your own music and less distracted by stats, therefore perhaps more able to get over the late teens hurdle.

Also remember the weather is hotting up again - I was struggling with 8 minute runs last week and was running for 20 minutes in the cooler weather at the weekend.

Good luck and congratulations for getting to week 8!


I agree - forget the numbers! I run without music as I found even that had me counting 'how many tracks gone, how many until the end?' so although I use a Garmin to track my runs, I try not to check it too often. There are so many more interesting distractions to think about and see when you're running outside that I often forget to look anyway!

The plan for me is to just run as far as I can at a pace that I can maintain and then check how I did. Quite often I'm surprised at how far I've gone or how long I've been running and if I think I can up the pace (not often!) or increase the distance then I do, but if I keep a constant check, I always find myself fighting the demons!

Of course the other thing is maybe you're just going too fast to maintain the time. Relax, slow down a little, don't worry about speed right now, break the mental block and having done it a couple of times, you should be able to get back on track.

Good luck!


Aside from not stressing too much if the breathing suggested doesn't do it for you, and the dodgy heel strike, the route to success with NHS C25K seems to be "Do as you are told" - it keeps it simple, you know exactly where you are and then you have a solid foundation for moving on and mixing it up in whatever way appeals. Trouble with treadmills is, you have to set it to some speed when speed is not what the programme is about, so that's already a potential spanner in the works - there are many of us who would not be able to run for 30 minutes and doing it regularly if we'd been trying to run at 8km/h on the programme.

The tracks thing the others have mentioned... I've been finding the time flies by listening to speech based podcasts, whereas yes, a series of tracks, however great in themselves, does risk provoking the demons. Yesterday's run was a couple of editions of The Now Show from R4.

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Just taken your advice. There was a death in the family this week so had to go back up north and home. Being northern wasn't going to pay £6 to use the local gym so went outside listening to my own music. I'm from the Penines so it was pretty hard going in places, lots of hills.

Incidentally I did stop at 18 minutes (had no idea how long I was running for), once I worked out it was 18 mins went "fuck that" and kept going. Ended up doing 44.

Thanks for the advice guys :)


I have just finished W7R2 and ditched Laura! I downloaded 'So This Is Called Running' ,on to my I pod, plus a few tracks of my own, and used that today. I think because I wasn't listening out for her to tell me how far I'd gone, I really got into it at my own pace and ran constantly for about 35 mins without realising. Feel much better now because, I was crap on Sunday.

Would definitely try your own playlist and stop clock watching.

Good luck. Us Northerners are made of strong stuff!!


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