Double sessions, aches and preparations for wo... - Couch to 5K

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Double sessions, aches and preparations for worse time to come

When I started C25K just over 4 weeks ago, I had a 5k circular route mapped out. So when I got to the end of Laura's session but still had some distance to go before I was home, I decided to throw in a couple of extra iterations to get me home. So instead of W1 being 8 runs at 60 seconds, I did 12. It felt challenging, but I preferred it to having a 15 minute cool down walk. As I've been spending two months before starting C25K doing regular 5-8k walks most days, I used my rest days to have a gentle walk instead of a run.

This worked well during W1, W2 and W3. In W4 I had to make the route slightly longer to 7k in order to still have a chance of doing a few extra iterations, and I felt less motivated for the walks on the rest days.

This week I'm doing W5 and I have extended my route to 10k. The idea is that when the going gets tough, I'll know that I have already covered that distance and that number of minutes. With that said, it *is* beginning to get tough. Very. Friday evening my legs, shins and knees were hurting, but Saturday morning was fine. So I went on a gentle walk instead of running, but ended up overdoing that as well and almost limping home. Finally yesterday I did the W5R2 and repeated it in total three times for my 10k.

My legs and knees have recovered overnight, but I think I am at risk of overtraining, so today I'm not doing anything. No run. No walk. Sitting on my bumb doing my job and then getting an early night.

Tomorrow I shall be trying W5R3. The good news for me is that I ran for a total of 48 minutes yesterday, so I know that 20 minutes in itself shouldn't be that scary. The bad news is that I'm getting stubborn, and have gone from just adding a few extra iterations of 60 seconds on to now thinking that I *have to* complete the session at least twice, just so that I still have some "extra training" in the bag for when I get to the longer weeks 7, 8 and 9. And of course it's also bad news that my shins and knees are beginning to warn me about overdoing stuff. So I need to find the right balance between stretching myself as much as I can, but still not stretching myself so much that I end up having to take time off for weeks to recover.

5 Replies

I did that too to start with - for the same reasons. In fact, some of the runs I did 2.5 times in a session! But like you I started to realise I couldn't sustain into the longer run weeks as I started getting more scared of injuring myself - but even more so becuase I was annoyed with myself for "doing less". With hindsight I do think this was the right thing to do.

A lot of people have a similar mental block around week 6 as there is less running so it feels like a step backwards.

What I started doing instead was just trying to add a minute or two to the last of Laura's run - not much, and not every time, but just to prove to myself that I was doing well and so on. But I'm not that fit and by this point the runs were definitely getting harder for me than earlier in the programme. So maybe that won't work for you.

I guess it comes downm to what you want from the programme - but ultimately you can trust in the programme, or in yourself and your understanding of your body (or even try both together!)

Maybe see how you feel at the end of the 20 mins! And good luck with it!


Thanks for the reply, gnimia. It's good to hear I'm not the only one being this way, and it's also good to hear "common sense" about trusting in the programme. I think I will start to cash in my extra training, so to speak, and not overdo things. The last I want is an injury so I don't get to complete the 5k I have signed up for at the end of April.


Over training is likely to result in injuries. The programme is designed to avoid this. You might be better just sticking to the programme as is and getting there comfortably. Good luck and best wishes.


I second Fitmo.

Get through the programme - it works. If you really have lots of spare energy and want to push yourself, then try to run a little faster (in the latter part of each run). If you've ended up limping home then you are (as you admit) overdoing it.

Once you graduate, there are plenty of programmes to build you up to running 10km or half-marathon distances or whatever you want to aim for, but this programme is designed to build up your stamina so you are able to run for 30 minutes and if you follow it you should be able to avoid injury.


Thank you, fitmo and runningearbeirut for the feedback. I heeded the advice and only added a small 5 minute run extra in the middle of my 15 minute walk home today. Feel good. Knees are good. Ankles are good. Even my shins are good.


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