Couch to 5K

Intervals with Jog Scotland, are they right for me & my now confused brain!?!

I was out again last night doing intervals with Jog Scotland all done on grass, with baking hot sun for over 1/3 of each and every lap, it was a killer. We did 4 x 8 minute laps with 3 minute recovery walk/shuffle/grab water etc. Then off again. I find the grass running hard, its not my favorite surface at all, I find the loops mind numbing and boring. I covered 4.87Km in 32 minutes of running which is no faster than my normal 5K road running. So I'm now asking myself "Is this right for me"? I'm probably making excuses now as I so wanted to try running with others but I find that because we are all at different stages/abilities/speeds I don't run with anyone. Last night 3 of the 8 runners gave up and returned to the gym, in all honesty it was very, very hot and 2 didn't have water with them which was not good.

I know too that when I next go out for a run my stupid brain is going to be saying from about 6 minutes into the running, "just another 2 to go"!! When in fact I will have another 30-45 minutes to still do depending on how long/distance I was intending doing!

Is it just me making excuses to give up this group running or have other people found it hard to a) do intervals in this way? b) run with others who dictate when and where you will run/stop running?

I've always loved my running as it makes me feel so free and impulsive, if I want to turn down this track up ahead, then I do, if I want to do a hill session, then I do. If I want to carry on to reach the 5K mark then I do. Last night the whistle blow for the end of the last 8 minutes, I glanced at my Garmin 4.85K, I'll just carry on and make it 5K then, oh no the whistle was blown again, long and hard, time to stop!! :(

I had booked to go out again with them on Thursday evening but I'm having second thoughts, my forest tracks are beckoning me, my lovely 800m loop with 3 steep ups and downs need to see my feet again, its been a while since I visited that patch of ground. In fact the last time was when I was out walking with hubby and we turned onto the track and I took off and did a quick loop of my ups & downs shouting over my shoulder, "Keep walking I'll catch you up in a few minutes" I haven't had a stab at Jacobs Ladder for ages and the year is wearing on, soon as the ice comes its a no no. Do you see where I'm coming from about being impulsive and liking the freedom of being a lone runner, you just don't have to do what others are doing, you can just please yourself.

Mmmmmmmmmm what's everyone's thoughts on this, any advice out there for me!?!

8 Replies

Running is supposed to make us happy - I also feel once we get to a certain age we know what we like and what we do...

I tried intervals on grass - and I hated it- I found them very boring and grass seemed to suck energy out of my legs.

i like doing a purposeful route- which is pretty - i also like to run in my own zone and my own happy thoughts or setting my own challenges.It si definetly me time. I do my speed work along the flat sea front and really enjoy it - changing scenery and I can loop back for a longer run.

My vote would be do what makes you ahppy - otherwise what is the point :-)


Thanks suzy you are so like me when it comes to your running. The main reason I am trying JS is I've always been a lone runner and hate crowds so much so that I don't enjoy Parkrun's. I love the concept, I love to do duties at them but the crowds at the start line frighten the living daylights out of me, so I was trying to overcome this barrier I have built up, don't think its working so far :)


Old Girl

Amazed about your confession re Parkrun - having only done 2 but knowing my times are towards the very rear, I can honestly say that 100m into the 5km I am all alone and running at my own pace and Laura as my companion as I still listen to Week 9, but I have enjoyed being able to take part and do not think the crowd is a problem - do try one especially as I know you will be appreciated as a volunteer already.

Definitely think you should run where you like and how you want to rather than being dictated to with your intervals. I have got myself ingrained into a route from home which is along what is now a cycle path but was a disused railway going out of town and love the emptiness, rabbits munching at the side and occasional cyclists, fellow runners and dog walkers.


It sounds as if you need to go solo for a bit. Perhaps you can always go back to the group if it doesn't work out, but if you stay you may end up resenting it and it may affect your enjoyment and set your running back.


Doesn't sound as if you're at all happy at the moment, so I'd go back to your own routine...

I have v little experience (just finished week 5) but I feel the same as you. Ever since I announced my new found hobby, lots of friends have offered to be my running buddy. It just made my heart sink every time I heard them, and I'd politely turn them down citing the fact that I'd be v v slow and following the podcasts so I wouldn't be up for long runs just yet... But the fact of the matter is I wanted desperately to go out there by myself, choose whether to turn left or right up the track, to run round the lake or along the riverbank... To soak in in the scenery by myself and be my own boss, do my own thing!

Like you I'm lucky to have lovely places to run, so I feel it's crazy not to take advantage of the fact :)

Follow your heart Oldgirl!

Good luck!!


Health benefits aside- you are meant to enjoy and want to do this. I know you have said you like to volunteer rather than run at the Parkruns so running with others is just not your thing. You've given it a good try and I would stick with what you like doing. If it was specific training for the Olympics or something then fine, otherwise what's the point. I stopped doing intervals of any length because once I stop my body /brain won't start up again. Enjoy your next run - wherever it takes you. Linda


Thanks very much everyone, I had always thought I was a bit strange not wanting to run with others but it seems I'm not in the minority at all. I've loved my running up until recently no matter what the weather but although JS was a change the last few times have been a disappointment to me as I didn't feel I had achieved anything from the sessions and they were quite boring and draining due to running in the hot late afternoon sunshine.

Tomorrow I will do my own thing and hopefully have a good and happy journey instead of running round in squares time after time. I'm a lone runner at heart but never alone while I have this site with so many friends, thanks again.


My wife is happy to run round a field (I think she's avoiding the hills) but I like to cover some ground. Most of my running has been on variations of the same route, which I really enjoy, with views of Dartmoor and a riverside track, but I have been trying to use my ingenuity to increase the length of the run without having to do too many laps of the same part. So running round a track sounds boring as H*** to me. I have only run once with my son, which was good and I look forward to running with Mrs da Truffe, (she's just repeated W4R3 and loving it) if I can tempt her away from playing field circuits. I thought about joining the local running group but they run mainly on the roads and I am too much of an antisocial old git to get much out of it.

Basically I'm the same as you OG, running is a solitary pursuit in my reckoning and the best way to appreciate the countryside.


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