Couch to 5K
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Stamina and mental blocks

Stamina and mental blocks

I started this in about May time and having never exercised in my life, 49 years old, drive everywhere, overweight and enjoy too much wine, I have had to repeat most weeks because of not running often enough. I have literally limped my way to week 6. My goal was to complete the program before 10th August, when we were embarking on a cruise holiday, but I failed. However I managed a couple of 15 minute runs on the ship's treadmill and am venturing outside for week 6 run 1 today. It's hard. Bloody tough if I'm honest and doesn't seem to be getting any easier but now that I have found this forum I am hoping the positive comments and support and motivation that you all seem to have, will keep me going. The first 5 minutes of running are absolute hell and then I am counting down til I can stop. The biggest barrier for me is in my head and that's what I need to overcome. Sorry for rambling on.

6 Replies

Welcome to the best community you can find on the internet! At first I have to say: Very well done for getting so far on your own! I don't know if I had managed it without the support and motivation from this community, so I think you will do even better now that you have found this page.

For me, the first 10 minutes of every run are the worst and I doubt if I can do it and also ask myself why I'm doing all this. But, as you already said, the biggest barrier is in our mind. You can definitely do more than your head tells you!

Post here if you need motivation or support and I'm pretty sure many of us will do our best to help you :)

Good luck for your journey and happy running!

1 like

I'm glad you have found us. Finding this forum has made a big difference to me. I am struggling too. But i am still loving it. That is the before and the after. Only had one run so far that I loved it while I was running. And that feeling was fantastic. It is so worth waiting for. Everything will make sense. I can't wait to get there on all my runs. I know mentally I'm just a slow starter and am fighting a battle with my brain. One I am determined to win. Also I love the fact even though I am stuck I can give positive encouragement to the ones in wk 1 to 4 as I have survived and conquered that. And i know how they feel. That makes me feel more positive. Good luck and stick with it.


Nice picture.

It can be tough if that inner voice isn't playing along with you.

You sound pretty determined though so well done for getting so far and for running on holiday.

Things that might help are to have some thing to distract you when running.

This could be just looking around, changing the run location or direction, thinking about something completely different or pretending there's a panther on your tail waiting for you to stop...

You might find deeper breathing helps as the extra oxygen can give your muscles a temporary boost.

Alternatively, shorten your stride or run slightly slower to get you through the run.

If you are finding a week particularly hard then why not repeat the previous week until you feel ready to move on.

Away from running, how about walking the odd journey if practical instead of taking the car.

You could also go for one less glass of wine if you are concerned about it.

Alcohol can disrupt your sleep which you need to recover between runs.

Drink plenty of water and maybe look at a strengthening routine in between run days like the NHS Strength and Flex.

If you have a bad run, just forget about it and look forward to the next one.

It's a whole lot better than sitting on the couch.

Whatever you do I hope it works and that you are able to enjoy the buzz that comes from running.


Hi and welcome ! There's so much good advice in the above reply.

You made a start, you are doing the programme, you ARE getting there ! It's not a race to Week 9 and graduation,just do it at a pace you are comfortable with...if you repeating

runs ,or even whole weeks ,what the hell ? It doesn't matter...every time you get out there and do a bit more running ,you are advancing in terms of fitness and stamina...even if its little by little,it's far better than the alternative ( just think back to pre-May before you embarked on all this).

Oh and a big Well Done for getting a few runs in on that cruise!

Now that IS commitment ( I would have been welded to a sun lounger with a never-ending supply of cocktails and would probably never found my way to the ship's gym :) ).

Keep posting your progress and good luck .


Thank you all so much. I wish I had seen this site before. My partner would have had fewer tears and tantrums I'm sure. I have just completed run 1 of week 6 and I must admit that I struggled and wanted to stop but I took on board some of the comments from above and I pushed myself to finish. Yay! One happy but knackered bunny here! Thank you all so much.


You can do it! It sounds to me like you might be going too fast. Once I settled into the longer runs I knew that I was getting slower, but when you are pushing your duration on each run then pacing is important and that helps the mental struggle no end. This forum is one of the most supportive that you will find. We have all been there or are still going through it!


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