Week Four Run Two (and everything up to then)So

I've attempted Couch to 5K two other times in the past two years and failed after less than two weeks before. I didn't have the motivation or will power to just keep going so just gave up as soon as I started to get tired. And then recently - four weeks ago actually - on a Saturday, a friend of mine who lives the other end of the country told me she was on week five of C25K and I found myself wanted to do it. If she could do it, and I knew she had had problems with it in the past, why couldn't I?

And that evening I asked my housemate, who had also given up in the past if she wanted to do it, and actually do it and get through it this time and she said she really did. So we agreed on monday. I bought running shorts, trousers and t-shirt and that monday evening we headed out.

The first two weeks we ran together, and we got through them. My housemate was a great motivation for me to keep going and we really felt like we were achieving something. And as we both suffer from asthma it was good for us both, not allowing that to stop us at all. I've never believed asthma to be an excuse (for me, of course other suffers may be different).

The problem game then that I was going on a writer's retreat and then it was the Easter Holidays. Meaning weeks 3-6 would have to be completed . Week three was nice as each run was done in a different place. The first the usual place, the second along a river in Boscastle, and the third a route in my home city. I got through week three and now am on week four.

I have found myself now lacking the motivation to go out. Me and my housemate would go out the same times on the same days, so we had a routine with it and while I am at home I have no real routine and no real motivation to get up and get out. However I am still going. Tomorrow I will be doing the final run of week four. Week four has been the most difficult so far and after the first run of it I thought I wasn't going to be able to walk for the warm down walk without falling over, but I made it home and that was great.

My biggest worry is week five run three, but I am choosing at the moment not to think about it and to just deal with it when the time comes. At the moment I have to get through this final run of week 4 and the beginning of week 5

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  • First off, way to go trying the program again, and getting through week 4! You should be proud of yourself, because it is not easy to do it again when the first time around didn't quite work out.

    Second, bravo for knowing two of the biggest secrets to motivation to exercise: routine and a workout/accountability buddy. For the majority of people at least one (if not both) are crucial to success.

    It's a really good idea to try to keep that going as much as you can, even while you and your housemate are apart. To that end, may I suggest setting a specific time for each run into your plans, and maybe putting it into your calendar? It doesn't have to be the same schedule the two of you had before, but if that works for you, keep doing it. It will be that much easier to carry on when you are back.

    The thing about routine is that we sorta stop thinking of it as a choice. Do you wake up and then hem and haw about brushing your teeth (or insert other routinized boring behavior)? No, you just keep going, half-asleep, on auto-pilot through the routine. So you eliminate the extra chance to choose the less-desired behavior (not brushing your teeth) by no longer even asking the question.

    Believe it or not, running can be the same. If you set up a routine, and just keep doing it on schedule, it will become easier and easier to do it again without having to consciously say "ok, I really gotta do this. here I go.... in 5 min. No, really, I am going now." Having it be almost automatic should be your goal, and every single time you do it on schedule, you are getting closer to it. (It will probably take a few months for it to truly be automatic, maybe longer. But it does get easier each time to motivate before that point.)

    As for carrying on away from your workout buddy, she actually helps you in another way. She is your "accountability' buddy. The two of you nudge each other out the door and push each other to do your best. If you both are interested, you can *still* help each other that way, long distance. Set up your schedules and share them with each other. Then call/txt/email or whatever and check in about how you are doing with it. Help encourage each other to keep it up and look forward to running together soon. Alternately, maybe someone near you now can fill it for your housemate as your workout pal or accountability person.

    And you are right. Don't think about week 5 run 3. It comes when it comes, and you will be so amazed with yourself. In the meantime, stay focused on the current run and don't worry. ;)

  • A change in routine can sometimes be demotivating, such as you and your housemate being apart at the moment. It is, however, your choice to continue with the programme - in other words, you choose to stick with the routine you have created for your own health and well-being. Good luck with the third run of the week and don't worry too much about W5 - it's do-able and you have already put in the work to prepare for it. Good luck and best wishes.

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