Week 8 - finding it hard, no longer enjoying i... - Couch to 5K

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Week 8 - finding it hard, no longer enjoying it :(

Snorkmaiden profile image
12 Replies

Now this may be my own fault as for the last couple of weeks I have not been able to get out every second day, so my W7 and W8 runs have been 3 (or on one occasional 4) days apart.

But I'm finding it really hard and not enjoying it. I can do it, and that's amazing in itself, but from about 3 minutes in when my breathing changes, I find I am wishing it over and my mind is telling me that I won't finish. It's only sheer determination to graduate that is keeping me going at the moment.

In the early weeks I was absolutely loving the running and really thought that I would be a runner for life. Now I am concerned that once I have done my graduation celebration run (have booked in to do a local charity 5K at the end of March), I will fall off the wagon.

Help! Words of encouragement would mean a lot.....

12 Replies
IannodaTruffe profile image

I recognise that feeling from W8. I too found it a hard slog and questioned whether I was enjoying it any more. I can't say for sure when things changed, although W9R2 was my best run of the entire training plan. After graduation you can vary your running, so that some is stretching you but some is just for pleasure. And the pleasure does come back as you improve your ability to run. I am sure that if you don't run for a longer period than usual, you will start to feel the pangs and want to get back out there. Due to so many other life commitments, the time of year and the state of the mud lined routes that I like to run, I have been reduced to one 10k run at the weekend, but I long for that all week and also look forward to my home 5k route drying out so that waders are no longer required.

Just keep plugging away and I am sure that you will stick with it. All that new found fitness is too valuable to leave behind. Keep running, keep smiling.

Snorkmaiden profile image
SnorkmaidenGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Ah, thank you, really helps to know that people have felt the same way and have come through the other side. My post-graduation plan has always been two relaxed runs within my limits and one tough run per week - I'm never going to be a marathon runner, I just want to enjoy it.

You are absolutely right that it's too valuable to throw away. Just hoping that better weather, a change of route, some good music or SOMETHING will help me get back to loving it again.

Blanket profile image

Hi Snorkmaiden,

I have always had the belief that I "can't run" but I also joined C25K and did a few early runs. Same as you, as soon as my breathing changed I would be thinking "I need to stop, I should stop, let's just stop now, I can't run, see I knew I couldn't run". On Tuesday this week I posted on here that I had run for 30 minutes non-stop. I don't really know where it came from as I told my partner I'd only be out for 10 minutes. The things I did differently are these:

1. listened to music, I found myself mouthing the words to the songs which completely interrupted the amount of attention I could pay to the negative thoughts in my head.

2.I went a lot slower so I didn't feel like my body would need to just give up.

3. I chose a route that I thought would suit my running, i.e. mostly down hill and flat. I had planned to walk back from my target destination so I knew I could walk up the hill on the way home (but then didn't).

4. I kept telling myself that I could stop - when I had permission I just thought "well, I could stop but I'll just try and get to the end of the road". When I got there I did the same again and then found I ran all the way home.

I still shocked that I could run (ok jog) for that long and am planning on trying to do it again tonight as I've not been out since.

It sounds like your biggest barrier is a psychological one as you mention the change of breathing and telling yourself you won't finsih. If so, I hope some of the things above might help distract you from your negative thoughts. If it's just boredom with running and you don't enjoy it, perhaps give it a break for a while and come back to it when you have a new found interest in it again. After all, exercise and being healthy are supposed to be fun. You might find something else that you really LOVE doing. Even giving yourself permission to never run again if you don't want to might be enough to make you think, "I'm not doing it because I have to, I'm choosing to do this".

Good luck!

Snorkmaiden profile image
SnorkmaidenGraduate in reply to Blanket

Thanks Blanket. I am really determined *not* to give up as I loved it so much when I started - I just need to rediscover that love. I read a post by another user on here today about W8 and changing route to run by the river - I've planned to do my next run in the daylight, somewhere pretty, with my own music on (usually I run in the evening after dark, sticking to main roads for security).

I do totally need to challenge my mental demons as my body is surprising me constantly by keeping up with Laura's demands! I WANT to be a runner, I don't want not to do it. I just want to find how to love it again :)

Blanket profile image
BlanketGraduate in reply to Snorkmaiden

I don't think I've ever run the same route twice, I just get so bored. Hope the changes you plan help you get the love back for running. I'm not brave enough to go out in the daylight yet! I feel really daft jogging along mouthing words to my music! Maybe one day. Good luck!! I'm sure you'll do it.

no-excuse profile image

Maybe a change of route will help- I know it did with me- I found also that I had to slow right down ( I didn't think it possible to go any slower to be honest, but I did), as I just had to make it a little more do-able if you know what I mean. I want to carry on enjoying it and I know if I jog slow enough to manage the 25 or 28 minutes that I will be able to then do 30 minutes and wont give up in a huff! Take your time and enjoy the scenery and just being out there. You are a runner already- be proud x

Gareth01423 profile image

Hey, you have done so well! Really well, remember where you were all those weeks ago.

I agree with no excuse, try a new route, drive to somewhere you love, or somewhere really pretty.

Don't give up now, you've come so far and YOU can do it!

Once you've had graduation try another challenge, I am doing 5 x 50 as I don't do well without a challenge.

Perhaps the challenge is to come on here 4 times a week and tell us how your runs have gone?

Best of luck, we are all here for you!

aliboo70 profile image

You sound a bit like me! Its really not easy is it? i too have been hoping that i can gradually morph into a "natural" runner, i've just done w8r2 today. I think alot of it is practice, but we have done really well to get this far and not to give up. I've decided once i graduate to carry on with 5k runs til i get more fit and more confident in my abilities! I think we would miss it if we stopped and Spring is on its way so things will be better. We've only being doing it for a few weeks and look how far we've come! Keep on going!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tinyrun profile image

Well done for getting this far. I am in awe of people who feel they are in the zone. Never had that yet. You could try another challenge when you graduate, or mix and match some challenges with just simply running with no set time or distance in mind. The graduation badge is nearly pinned on your top, so keep going.

Kags44 profile image

Hi I had to reply had to had to, week 7 has gone a bit fruit shaped for me but I still can't get over that I can now jog / plog for 25 whole minutes Greenwich mean time ! So that is all the incentive I need I never want to go back to running for a minute and thinking I might expire. I hope you get the oomph to get back out there and give it some welly !

Don't give up on all the fitness you've gained well blooming done !! :)

Nilzed profile image

Hopefully this is a 'darkest just before the dawn' situation, and your pleasant daytime run will be a breakthrough, a run like Blanket describes.

One idea maybe is to mix up the training even before graduation. I downloaded some C25k plans from the Runners World website. After Wk 7 on Laura's programme, I was afraid of doing longer and longer runs because I was worried about motivation. So after wk7, my though was that my wk8 runs would be interval training (3x sets of 7min run, 2 min walk, on run 1, increasing to 8min and 9min run for runs 2 and 3 respectively). This made the 28 run in Laura's wk 8 mentally easier to complete. Then before tackling wk 9, I did another interval week of (2x sets of 12min run, 2 min walk, on run 1, increasing to 13min and 14min run for runs 2 and 3 respectively). I had to obviously make up my own music playlist and keep an eye on the times, so it was a bit harder then relying on the podcasts. But from a motivation perspective it helped me more. So it took longer to complete the 9-week programme, but faced with a choice of that or giving up completely, I know what I would choose.

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