Couch to 5K

Help needed with motivation, and advice as to where to pick up again?

I was doing fantastically and had got up to W4R2 last Wednesday. Haven't been able to run since due to dizziness from SSRI (antidepressant) discontinuation. But I am going to have to run through the dizziness as it could last for months.

I will next be able to go running on Saturday, which will make it a ten day gap.Should I go back to Week 3? I wasn't very fit before this.

I need some motivating because I need the benefits of running to alleviate depression as well an for fitness benefits. It was the thing that kept me going through the first weeks of SSRI withdrawal. It gave me such a sense of achievement and hope. But now I'm just exhausted from dizziness and insomnia and crying.

Please help!

11 Replies

Honestly, don't go back! Keep going forwards, if you struggle and don't feel ready to progress after call it w4r4 instead, I've often left a good few days between runs, I don't believe it has any detrimental effect at all, also, good luck with your battle against depression and the evil withdrawal, but running really will help you through x



I know how hard it is to keep on going, its great that you are coming off the anti depressants, i've been on mine for 3 years now, but am down to a really low dose, hoping i can make the break soon. Its true that the running programme makes you feel so much better, its like a real achievement to progress through the weeks. I'm only a beginner but my best friend has been following the plan for a few months now and spends 3 weeks on each stage as she wants to improve gradually and is happy to progress a little slower, but she now can do 25mins without stopping! I would guess that if you've had a ten day break the you should possibly go back to week 3 but i'm sure you'll get lots of advice from experienced runners who know what they are doing! All the best to you and keep on going!


Yeah, just keep going. It doesn' t matter if you have to stop running, walk instead. For a couple of the podcast runs, for various reasons, I did my own thing. If you feel you need to repeat them later do, getting out there willing to try is what matters.

After I graduated I had all these plans ... I over did first time out, felt better after 3 days & then hurt my ankle. I've had to rest but have done some walking & even went swimming! On tuesday I went out to walk run walk while really listening to what my body was telling me I' m going out to do the same today too :-) Yes it is frustrating, but I've had to learn to adapt to my circumstances.

Maybe include something else in your programme to keep you motivated when you feel you cann't run. I gardened &wrote myself out of depression years ago and it isn't straightforward, but you do just keep getting stronger.

So well done you :-)

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I echo all of what has been replied here Raven4444 - but I would stress dont go back! Both physically and mentally.

Start where you went off and if you have to stop, so be it. Just pick it up again when you're ready.

I had/have MH issues and its not easy. But I can honestly say being out in the fresh air - even for a walk, by myself, no music, can recharge the batteries.

please dont beat yourself up because you're not doing the programme as it says.We're all different psychically, emotionally and with our lives.

Go get out when you can and let us know what happens :-)

ali :-)

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Some great answers here. All I can say is even if you don't succeed with the run just get out there, lift your head up, stand tall, get your shoulders back and just really notice what's around you. I do wish you all the very best, you've done so well to get this far......keep going!! :)


I really can't add to these answers but wish you good luck with continuing. Let us know how you are getting on but don't let that pressure you. A lot of people hear lately have said that if you are not on the couch then that is a success so keep at it and at your pace. xx


thank you all so much for the wonderful support. It is my first time med-free for 22 years, and is very important o me to stay off them, Going to start running again tomorrow.


All the best of luck! thinking of you!!


Thank you so much! I did W4r3 this morning. I figured I might as well be dizzy running as dizzy on the couch lol. Very pleased to have got into it again, and despite ten days off had no trouble taking up where I left off. Week 5 on Monday!xx


I understand how frustrating it is to have to start again. I've had to do it three time now - after being ill, then Christmas and finally because the weather's been so awful. I'm definitely a fair weather runner! Went out yesterday for the first time in ages and could only manage about 10 minutes. I have been trying to run at the gym but find running on the treadmill for any length of time just so boring. Just take it slowly and listen to your body.

Have your seen your GP about the dizziness and insomnia? Perhaps you're coming off the anti-depressants too fast??

Good luck!


I've tried to come off them more slowly but it's hell whichever way. I'm seeing my GP next Friday so will mention it but she knows it's par for the course. Woke up with sciatica this morning after yesterday so not sure what to do.

Well done for the ten minutes hopefully the weather will calm down soon.

Thanks for the support :-)


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