Couch to 5K
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1st "fail"!

So far I have really enjoyed the process and moved through without many serious problems though I was pretty nervous about the W5R3 20 mins thing. I got though that ok, managed w6r1 with no problems. I started W6R2 and everything felt different for some reason. I was on a new route and I seemed to be making every excuse to stop or slow down where previously I had forced myself to keep going steady. I ended up stopping running and walking for a couple of mins, I paused the podcast then started it again when I started running and it turned out I only had about 90secs to go before I was finished so pretty annoyed with myself.

I hurt a calf muscle while I was doing this run but I don't think it was serious as it feels fne now 2 days later. My question is should I go back a step or just put it down to a bad day and get on with Run 3?

Strange feeling as up to now I have felt I have been making good progress and now I am full of self doubt. Is it due to thinking that after the 20mins it should all be easy?

7 Replies

You haven't failed at all! You got your shoes on, got out there and finished the run - albeit with a slight hiatus.

Some runs just don't go well, for whatever reason - every runner goes through them, no matter how experienced ( think Paula Radcliffe!)...we're only human after all, not machines.

You've already proved you can run for 20 minutes, so I would crack on with run's not your legs you need to work on, but your mind. Next time you feel like stopping, fight against it - slow right down but keep running and shout back at the voices in your head. The trick I play with myself is to imagine my children are waiting for me at the end of the run and they are cheering me on :-)


Just a bad run, crack on. Once you get to this point its your head that you are training not your legs.


That's not a fail, it's just a bad run.

As the others said, just keep going. Also, lots of people find W6R1 and/or W6R2 difficult, but it's more mental than physical. Going back to intervals after a long run is tough, but I think necessary for building up your stamina.

You'll probably find Run 3 goes really well.

Good luck!


I had a bad run 3 in week 8, it really knocked my confidence. I followed advice on here, put it down to experience and just got back out there.Everyone is right, sometimes you just have a bad run, don't doubt yourself, you can definitely do it!!


Hi Jimbo,

Hope you've made it through Week 6 and begun Week 7. I just completed Run 1 of Week 6 and I can tell you it was not a breeze, particularly after the continuous last run of Week 5. One wonders why the mind is so much more difficult to train than the body :-)

Cheers and keep at it......G


Thanks G, Not made a huge amount of profress to be honest. I tried to do Run 3 and it was a real struggle and ended up waling the last 5 mins. So I went back to run 2 and managed to complete but it was a struggle. My calf injury seems to be worse than I thought it had been sore during and after runs but seemed to be getting worse so I have decided to have a week off and see if it gets better. A bit frustrating but I will see if it improves and go back to the start fo week 6. Still not too disheartened as it is my first set back and the more I thnk about it the more I blame my calf muscle not my whole body!!

So will see how it goes in the next week. Hope you are marching through Wk 6 with no troubles.


Jimbo, FAIL IS A FORBIDDEN WORD ON THIS SITE. In fact it doesn't exist. After week 5, I believe that the challenge is far more with the mind. The first five weeks get you running and now you are fighting the demons that tell you to "Stop now. You are not enjoying this." Battle through and the endorphins will wipe the pain away and you will be lusting after the next challenge in no time at all. Keep reminding yourself how far you have come from week 1 and I promise you that it will give you the impetus to continue.

Resting for a few days is definitely the best course, then get back out there and reinforce the masochist in you.

Good luck.


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