Couch to 5K

Weekday congestions I have this little problem of a HM in Bath in March that I signed up for following the buzz of my last one in October..

The problem being is that my training has slipped...I cannot seem to get out there on a weekday...saturday is parkrun and Sunday is long run but thats not enough..and heres the list of possiblities:

1. Its very wet

2. Its very dark

3. I prefer my 10k route to my 5k route but the 10k route is in the undergrowth and I run along waiting for a man to leap out and attack me

4. My boiler is broken so no shower ( don't panic I am not writing this all dirty as I have just had one as I am staying away)!

5.I have stopped myfitnesspal ( however I have gained 3k and got my wobbly bum back) so no incentive..but I do want to lose the 3k...

6. My work life balance is currently bleughhh...I have a long commute, internal driving, 2 kids, a husband, 7 chickens and 2 bunnies to manage

7. My virtual running buddy has gone off the wagon and left me ;(

8. My lad is too tired as now at secondary school

9. My swimming has dropped off too as I only really like outdoor swimming and I can only do that on saturday as the one in devon that I used to go to after work when I stay over is now closed ;(

I keep setting goals and failing which is so so so unlike me...

I need some help to get out there in the week or I am doomed.When I do, I'm so into it, panthering along being free and carnal but its that initial oomphhhh I need.


Panther Ju


41 Replies

JJ - You know you can do it as you have done it before, you are only competing timewise against yourself (if that it your motivation). YOU WILL BE FINE. Just keep you with the runs that you are doing especially as you are still doing good distances. According To Phil Hewitt's book - previously mentioned on site Highs and Lows of a Marathon Runner shorter interval training is also good for helping with distance.

Keep on panthering!!


That's good to hear... I'm going to start aiming for shorter weekday runs... Thankyou!


I know what you mean, September's half seems so far away and fitness has dropped off considerably, Santa bought me an extra 5kg to carry round, the weather's horrid and I have a 10km and the Loughborough hm to look forward to in March. Also had to Jack my Saturday mornings swim because by lunch time I was bunged up and it wouldn't clear untill Wednesday :-(

On the plus side, the nights are drawing out :-) and I swear it's getting warmer!


good luck with your HM training...and I hope you feel better soon, and thankyou!


I don't know if this is any help at all but I have been floundering as well. The change in the weather and the darkness and ice have been a real shock for me. I have been focusing on times and distances and have got so caught up in it all. I started to read the book run fat bitch run. It's not everyone's cup of tea but It motivated me to get out there again and just run. No times, no distances just run and walk when I wanted. The end result is that yesterday I had the best run I have had for months and I can't wait to get out there again tomorrow. I think training for a specific thing can put us unduly under pressure. You could run that HM no problem, you just need some fun time too to get you back to it. I am sure you will find your way round this and the panther will be running free again very soon. X


thankyou so have a wonderful way with words and that all makes sense...I have never lost my mojo but life's congestions got in the way in the week, so I have decided this panther is just going to growl at it all and get out there regardless!!!!!


Take a day off and go for a run. Presumably you have annual leave and it sounds like you need a break ?

Do some other exercise even if it's stretching, so you feel like you aren't stagnating.

Throw away the list above - it's just a bunch of things that will frustrate you.

Forget about the HM for now and just think about the next run.

Let the chickens cook dinner.


good advice, except ditching the HM...never ever, which by saying that you have spurred me on!!!Thankyou!!


Now, what would you write if you read this post on here?

You know you need to get out there and run; there is no such thing as a bad run; it is the baby steps that count; don't beat your self up. Panthers, like all cats, like to stretch out and sleep .... it is OK. It is the toughest time of the year, two runs a week is fab; i could go on!


Thankyou...great advice and yes this time of year is awful!!!


It sounds like a bad case of the January blues to me. Why not go to a well-lit gym for a month or so and try a change of regime until the days are longer and brighter? That way you can keep fit for running and maybe meet some more running buddies too.


good idea, althoughI think I would fall off a treadmill though I've never done one, and panthers don't like gyms, too stifling, I have never been to one!!!! Thankyou!


Can I add another excuse to the list -I am sitting here in my running gear fuming because - my 13 year old son has only gone and lost his brand new £70 super dry jacket. So we have been up to the school and had a hunt - not to be found of course. To add insult to injury because `i had parked on zig zag lines by zebra crossing - I managed to get a parking ticket! - I even saw the traffic warden, but was so focussed on jacket did not think about moving car. Grrrrrr. now I am distracting myself by posting this.......

Will I or won't I get out that door - I think I will. And so will you - as that is the kind of go getting girl you are. Pick yourself up , dust yourself down and face it anew. Whatever run you do - is still a good run :-). I have being going to the gym for a few evenings - I do so many miles on cross trainer then a 5k hill run on treadmill. Its quick and short and I know I have done something.

So i am still sat here........


Devon seems to have a fairly big chapter of the Outdoor Swimming Society. Look them up - the hard core swimmers are crazier than us, but if there is a Saturday swim anywhere, they will tell you where it is (my outdoor spot doesn't reopen until March and the drains of East Anglia don't look inviting)


ooh now that sounds fun, I will look them up, thankyou!


I feel your pain Suzy, my son is 15 and is no better, looses stuff all the time. I hope you got out for your run and he found his new coat. The best one my son managed was to have a brand new bike knicked outside the shop next to school. At least the thieves left him an old wrecked one in it's place, which I made him ride for a few months. I can lend your son a really old coat to wear to make him start looking after his things if you like.


Oh blimey thats bad news for the marathon training queen!! If it helps my son has been through 6 coats in the last year, he is incredibly disorganised and forgetful!!! You are a star!!!


Oh no thats bad news for a marathon training son has been thru 6 coats in the last year, he is more than hopeless so I only get them from supermarkets now!!!! Thanks for the tips too...and you are a star, I am in awe!!!


We all have to dig deep at time to find motivation, have you thought about investing in something like Fitbit? I've found it to be really motivational competing against several family members and some friends/buddies I've made over there on the Fitbit community. I'm very isolated where I live, I spend most most the day alone at home as my wife commutes and works long hours, my son is at school and we live very rural, so no neighbours as such. So having virtual running/activity companions has been really motivational for me!

Good Luck on getting your MoJo back, remember how far you've come!



sounds like a great idea, and thankyou!!


You're doing 10ks and enjoying them, with another couple of months to up your distance, it's certainly doable, especially given that you have before. Only point that has me worried is point 3, your safety is paramount, if you have a bad feeling about a route for whatever reason (& never ignore your hunches on this) then don't do it, find a safer one. Best wishes to you, hope things pick up soon!


well said, and good point, my husband gets very worried as it is in the middle of nowhere...


Dearest Juju, what a sorry tale - but one I am sure you can turn on it's head. I agree with runningnotwalking about forgetting the HM for now. So what? You'll do plenty more of them. The thing is, you need a kick in that bottom of yours (and I'm sure "pert" is more apt than "wobbly") so here's the first kick ;

1. JUST GO OUT FOR A RUN! Do a 3K loop, or 5K loop around where you live and keep to well lit roads if possible. Don't put yourself anywhere, where instinctively you feel unsure.

Here's another arse kick ;

2. Someone on here said you could join a gym for three months or so? Is't possible dear wench of blonde hair? Is there a gymnasium that you could grace with your bod until the weather becomes more clement?

Finally - Mrs Dan's gym closed down last month. It's been bought by developers and is gonna be turned into flats. Whoopee do. Yesterday morning for the first time in a month she decided she was gonna bring the gym to OUR HOUSE! She's bought a kettle bell and one of those 6kg plastic balls and does a work out in the garden and the front room! She's happy as a pig in s**t now. The point I'm trying to make is........ get yourself a mini trampoline and jog on the the thing for half an hour / hour and you will burn shed loads (and sh** loads) of calories. Indoors or outdoors in the safety of your own home!

I too lost my mojo prior to Christmas, but it's back - and yours will be back too. You have done FAR too much good to your health, to NOT do anything now. For goodness sake, I use YOUR bloody mantra "Push that body. Punish that body!" so you've inspired ME!

I will now end with a song......"Oops upside your head, I said oops upside your head....." etc etc.

D. :-)


I soooo want a mini trampoline, they are great fun!


Love it!!! I kind of like the gym idea ( not perhaps Mrs Dan's homemade gym!!), but going to one...I have never been to one before but there is one ner and its offerred 2 months free...the main reason is that they have an all year outdoor second love....I did a 5k run this morning with Leon on the beach at Saunton ( we are at the posh hotel for my Christmas present!), and I swam 100 lengths again in the pool, and a massage ( soooooo good...). So panther is back. Gyms scare me, they are full of fit sporty types, of which I am not, I am far too naughty. Glad you like the mantra, it really does it for me!! Thankyou for your words of wisdom!


Sounds as if your on the road to the 10K2C.

Why are you feeling guilty ? The majority of people not on a training schedule only run once or twice a week.

You've now got the t-shirt and obtained the main goal of being a runner and you've already proved that you can do a HM.

Don't let your new fitness levels be obsessional otherwise you won't enjoy your running.

It's great being a fair weather runner, with the lighter nights arriving and hopefully better weather it will be so much easier to do that extra bit. I often see runners out in all weathers and think 'respect' but you must be mad are you really enjoying your run.

1 like

Sounds sensible, too!!


well said, wise words...I have always maintained that I have to enjoy my running otherwise i will stop, and I love my running, but sometimes there just isn't room in my mad life which is why I do so much at is too short!!!


Ok, JJ, now get a grip.

1.The wet can't last forever.

2.The nights and mornings are getting lighter.

3.A bit dull, but if you're desperate to do your 10k could you do your 5k twice? (Avoid your 10k run for now unless you can plan new route).

4.The boiler can be fixed/changed and when staying away it's great to use as much of their hot water as poss seeing as you've paid for it. (Forgive me, Green Brigade!)

5.The 3K will come off because you will get moving and all the Christmas lard has now been consumed. If not already eaten then grit your teeth, and THROW it away.

6.Work-life balance.....hmmmm. RNW suggests day off ; any chance do you think? Orrrrr, could children be bribed to clean out chickens and bunnies or even...........prepare a meal once a week? (But, they must clean up afterwards.)

Would have to be simple, no-fuss etc. Soup, mince, jacket potato, pasta etc? (Yeah, I know, you'd have to organise it.) My 13 year old cooks and clears up too which I find slightly disturbing as his big brothers and sister turn the kitchen into a post-hurricane zone by just walking in there.

8.Your son will pick up again but new school and deep winter is pants for him.

7 & 9.Sorry about virtual running buddy and swimming pool etc but think that Dan's idea of a little trampoline is brilliant. They're good fun, you could bounce and run on it to music and with weights. It'll lean up out of the way when not in use. The children will have fun on it too.

And lastly, Deb's right about Panthers needing to have a bit of a rest and a sleep. Spring is on it's way and then the Panther will stir and wake. Grrrrrrrrrrr! Watch out, everyone!


love your advice, I am going to get my kids on it, I am so impressed that your 13 year old does that, my 12 year old lad can't open a can of beans...mmm I need to adress this pronto...!!


Hmmm. I think that I've incorrectly given you the irksome impression that my youngest cooks and produces angelic meals for us on a regular basis (just like those hideous round robins 'daughter got distinction for grade 7 flute and she's only 3' etc etc). Indeed he doesn't, I'm far too disorganised to think that far ahead and shop accordingly! But what I meant was that perhaps not all children turn the kitchen into a war zone when they're in there. But I do know that he is able to follow a basic recipe and somehow clears up. He's also had much much better practical cookery lessons at school than his older siblings. So there is hope!

Hope this week is a bit better for you! You are such an inspiration!


A friend got a place to run the London Marathon this year but after a string of niggly injuries and starting a new job has bravely decided to defer it a year - she wants to enjoy it, not run under pressure and limp across the line. If the HM is contributing to your stresses let it go - but I think by then you will back powering along. It is wet and horrible at the moment- in a couple of weeks it must be drier and you will have your boiler going strong again. I use your mantra sometimes too and am in awe reading your posts - you seem to enjoy your running while you do it, not just the after buzz and your achievements have been amazing - just keep going out when you can for your self for a while and then reset your goals. I say all this feeling sure I will be reading about great exploits soon. The days should be getting longer. Good Luck. Linda


you are so right, wise words, thankyou so much...


Have you tried hula hooping? It won't bring you to hm fitness but it would bring some fitness-fun back into your life - might help with the mojo. Perhaps you could keep your fitness up doing something else - hockey? or another outdoor group fitness?


Oooh now all of that sounds like fun, and I am a girl that likes to have fun so I'm gonna get me a hoop and start hoolering... Great idea thanks!!


Great, so pleased you're pleased - make sure you get one the right size - it needs to come up to your hip if you stand it upright next to you. Have fun!


I am sorry to hear that you are feeling below par at the mo - you are such an inspiration to so many of us and we say your panther mantra at those hard times during a run. There has been some really good suggestions for everyone and I am sure you will be back soon just go back to basics and enjoy the feeling of running x Julia


Thankyou so much that means alot...


JJ aren't you the very lady who makes me laugh with your fabulous posts and inspires Dan with your deliberations about sexy knickers to run in? Get out there and go for it...I know what you mean about thinking that dodgy blokes are going to jump out the bushes tho. I've found that a lung full of lorry diesel on the well lit roads is the only answer, but I do look forward to the weekends and a fresh air run. Good luck with the training, we all know you can do it, and are all with you every step of the way


Awww thankyou that's so lovely of you to say...I think I can do it! I just need to get a grip!


Anyone who can swim 100 lengths doesn't need any help from me in the Hunt for the Lost Mojo!! It's a tough time of year, any run is better than no run, if the HM is giving you aggro let it go, but keep on running when you can. You've got a very full life already, it seems to me. Just do what you can & stay cool.


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