W3 R1 - Struggling and disheartened: Newbie to... - Couch to 5K

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W3 R1 - Struggling and disheartened

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Newbie to posting but constantly checking in to get some encourangement from fellow posters.

I am really struggling with W3. I could not complete R1. I have searched for some tips and all say to reduce pace. I reduced it to walking 3.5mph and running 4.5mph. Does this seem reasonable? I only managed to run for 2 minutes on both of the 3 min sections. My heart feels like it is going to burst out of my chest.

Also (this might sound really odd question) I am doing the training on a threadmill due to dark nights and I cant manage to do the runs without holding on at some point. I am a naturally clumsy person so I defo have the fear that I am going to fall. I dont know what to focus on while I am running so end up looking at my feet.....does anyone have any tips for running on threadmills? what do you look at? what is a good pace for jogging?

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Hi AprilStar. First of all never ever be disheartened! You are doing it and not giving up and thats the biggest part of this challenge we have crazily set ourselves!!

I repeated runs and weeks over and over. Some 'runs' were barely more than walking. Do whatever pace allows you to complete it and work up from there. If you do not feel you are ready to move on, repeat a week! This isnt a race or a competition. Just do whats comfortable and set achievable goals for yourself!

As for the treadmill I have never used one but I know how much my posture can effect a run. I used to lunge forward as if dragging myself but now focus on holding my head up and looking forward and its helps. I cannot however comment about treadmills, hopefully someone can shed some light on this for you :)

Stay positive and enjoy it though, you have made an amazing start and should be so proud of yourself! You are fantastic! All the best and keep us updated so we can support you :)

Happy running!


Oh, I do hope you'll keep going. I'm about to start week 7, although there have been times when I've felt like giving up. And I dread these long runs. I keep telling myself it's all in the mind, and to a great extent, I think it is. It's not just the physical; it's the mental, telling yourself you can do it.

I don't have experience with treadmills, but I've seen quite a few posts about them, so browse. I hope to see you on here and progressing. Don't give up!

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You're walking and running too fast. Try walking much slower, and running at around 4mph. I know it sounds slow, but it's what you need to do, You really can't go too slow at this stage, just make sure you keep running when you have too.

I graduated a couple of months ago and can do 5K in around 25 minutes, but most of the time I run around 4 mph! Slow really is good!

Keep at it and you'll find that although it hurts like hell right now, you will get more comfortable and faster quite soon. You're already in an exclusive group of people who run!


Hi AprilStar. Welcome to the world of running! This is a very supportive community so just think of all of us cheering you on every step of the way.

You've started the programme so you should feel very proud of yourself. AND you're on week 3! Well done.

I run on the treadmill and have a few suggestions.

I assume you are doing the 5 minute warm up walk, so next time you do this, try taking your hands off the rails. You won't fall off as long as you keep your feet moving, and as you are walking then you will feel in control. By the time you are ready to run you should feel comfortable to keep your hands off the rails. Take it nice and slowly and you will be fine. It is easier to run with your hands off the rails - I promise!

Don't worry about speed. There are no right speeds. Just whatever feels right for you.

Keep your head up and try to focus on something ahead. (Similar to fixing on the horizon when you're at sea!). At my gym, all the treadmills face each other (yes, can be awkward) and I focus on the ear of the person running opposite me! Not very exciting but does the job.

Keep your shoulders relaxed and dropped and try to keep as upright as you can rather than lean forward.

And don't forget to breathe.......

Keep going and revel in the feeling after each run. You did it!


Hi AprilStar,

I'm a treadmil runner as well, And have just finished week 2.

You're going a lot faster than me. I walk at 2mph and run at 4mph. I figure if i can do 30mins at that the speed can come later when i hit the roads.

Oh and as for running technique. I read born to run and the jist seems to be Stand tall, head up, 'run from the gut' and small steps.

Good luck!


Thanks for the support everybody. I went back and tried it again. I reduced my speed - walking 2.5mph, jogging 4mph. I was able to complete it successfully and was able do most of it not holding on. Hurrah!! I am happy now to move on to W3 R2.

This really is a great forum for some moral support as I really was ready to give up during the wk!


Well done April Star! Bet you've been grinning ever since......


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