Couch to 5K

W8R3 and still struggling

I feel like I will not get passed week 8. I have tried again since getting back froms holiday to do W8 R3 and still did not succeed. Well I got to 28 minutes but had to stop for about 20 seconds 13 minutes in as I was struggling with my breathing. I find my breathing difficult anyway but today it was worse. I did run when it was quite warm still which maybe did not help? It read 78.8 degrees on my phone. Now do I attempt run 3 again or go to week 9 and try running when it is cooler. I only went when it was warmer as I had a gap finishing work and then having to pick up my child. I am finding I am load slower than before, never been particularly fast but snail like today!

6 Replies

Eve, run when it's cooled down-I don't know how anyone can manage it in the heat.28 minutes sounds like a great achievement to me anyway !

Don't be too despondent,I just think you may need to wait for the right conditions ,even if you have to wait a day or two,then go for it again.You are really so close to the finish line now; W9 and within sight.You can get past W8..: just take a bit of time and be kind to yourself.

Have a good weekend and enjoy your next run ,whether its W8 or 9 :)


Hi Eve1975. Don't beat yourself up about this. I would definitely say it's down to the heat & you did extremely well to do 28 minutes in those temperatures. I am rubbish in the heat but due to fitting runs round my boys I usually have to go at lunchtime. I graduated early in May & did the program when the weather was much cooler....even in snow! It was so much easier & nicer to run in the cold. During this hot weather I've been doing shorter runs as I just get too warm. I have the greatest respect for everyone on this forum who are working their way through C25K right now. Good luck with your next few runs. You're so close to finishing. If it makes you feel happier I would just repeat that last run just to prove to yourself you can do it. Claire. X


You could try some slow deep breaths before the run to relax and drink some chilled water to cool your core as it can give you a little more energy.

I also found a strawberry and banana smoothie good for an energy boost but they are not to everyone's taste.

When you feel tired, take a few deeper breaths when you run.

The extra oxygen seems to give you a boost and helps me get to the end when I'm feeling tired on a run.

If you can run when it is cooler that should help too.

Sounds like you are doing really well though and close to graduating.

Good luck :-)


Hi eve1975' Don't be so hard on yourself, I think you will find that most of us runners have found some runs difficult and had to repeat them, I know I have it took me more than 9 weeks to complete the C5K. I also found w8 quite hard and had to slow down to help with my breathing and WOW did I feel good when I finished W8. Then W9 was a lot better and went so fast, and I was over the moon I had graduated, and YOU WILL TO , just set your own comfortable pace and enjoy your running. :)


Yes, I agree with rita57. I found week 8 tough and did a couple of extra week 8 runs before moving on to week 9. Thankfully week 9 was much, much better. So hang in there!


Thanks all. Makes me feel I am not alone in how I feel. I am sure it will be easier once cooler. I do find trying to get my breathing right difficult. I was asthmatic when younger and also smoked for 15 years so wonder if that does not help, or is it just I am still trying to get used to all this fitness and it will take time to get it right? I find I am trying to catch my breath a lot, I do try to breath deeper and to not 'panic' so to speak. I am pleased I have got this far as I could not run at all before doing this. I feel fitter already. Just want to get past this 8 week mark and going on holiday has not helped!


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