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Couch to 5K
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Omg im still struggling :-(

After returning to week 5 after struggling with leaving the treadmill for the great outdoors I am still struggling with 5 minute straight runs :-( I managed a full 20 min run on the treadmill 3 weeks ago and now it's all gone a bit wrong. I gave blood for the 1st time 2 weeks ago and my first run after was a total wipeout, then I was under the weather for a week - I have gone back by weeks. Should really be starting week 9 today and to be honest, looks like I'm going to have to go even further back and start from week 4 again. Any suggestions? Thanks all x

8 Replies

Oh dear, all sounds a bit frustrating. I've no idea of the impact of giving blood, but if you are feeling under the weather that will definitely affect your running. My only advice is try not to think about where you would have been and focus on where you are comfortable now. If that means week 4 then do week 4 - it will fly by and it's better to build yourself back up at a manageable pace that you can achieve. I'm also way behind where I would have been if I hadn't had two injuries, but I took time out and put myself back two weeks of the programme and have just done W8R1 this evening. If it's any consolation, loads of people struggle with the first five minutes of running, no matter what time they are going on to run for, so you might find that you get more comfortable in the 6-10 minute period anyway. Good luck and stick at it - just remember how far you have come since week 1 x


Blood donation can really take it out of you, although your blood volume (liquid part) recovers pretty quickly your red blood cells take longer to replenish and that's what carries that lovely oxygen to your muscles so I'm not surprised you struggled (forgive me if you already know all that) and you've been ill. I don't know anything about going from treadmill to outdoors but if week 5 is too hard I'd go back, I know it'll be hard but think how good you'll feel completing a run rather than feeling disappointed you didn't and get stuck in a rut (easier said than done, sorry!) hope your running mojo comes back soon x

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I agree with what the other guys said, try & stay positive and trust that this will work for you. From reading posts on here, not many people complete it in 9 weeks (me included!) so doing it in your own time & repeating weeks isn't such a bad thing. Try not to be too hard on yourself x


Sounds like this may have become more of a mental challenge than a physical one. There is no real reason why running outside should be so much more difficult. The main thing is that you have to choose your own pace - perhaps you are inclined to start off too fast? You can do this if you just persevere.

Good luck!


I always feel like I won't be able to run more than five minutes at the start but somehow it gets better and by thirty minutes I could really do more if I had to. I must admit though that I am finding it so much harder to run outdoors than on the treadmill. There seem to be hills everywhere! Even fairly gentle ones make it so much harder. You will get there and just think about how your fitness levels are improving. Being ill will set you back but I am sure you will soon be back into the stride. Good luck.


I've been having the same problem. I first started running outside after I had finished week 3 on the treadmill, and I had to go back to week 2. Now I'm finishing week 6 on the treadmill, and I'm starting week 4 outside.

I think it is pretty difficult to transition from treadmill to outdoor running, so it definitely can't hurt to take it slow and go back a few weeks to whatever feels comfortable. We made it through those earlier runs already, no reason we can't do it again.


Can I ask what you are doing when a run interval starts to feel too tough? Do you just keep going and then stop or walk? Or do you take smaller steps, slacken off the pace, run on the spot? If you've not tried any of the latter, it might be worth giving those a go. I'd also suggest that once you find yourself walking in a run interval you just keep up a brisk walk for the rest of the session. Then when you go to repeat it you have a clear indicator of progress - you'll strive to get to at least where you were before and maybe (probably) you'll get beyond that. Whereas if you 'mix it up' and start running again after a bit of a breather, you won't really know how you are doing and won't have that motivation.

Oh and maybe changing your name on here would help! ;-)


Thanks everyone, your advice is invaluable and I shall start W4 R2 on Wednesday and go fro there. After I posted this yesterday I ended up suffering a bad stomach, so this may be a contributory factor to my performance too. I shall take it easy and build back up on the road properly. All exercise is good and I'm not going to stress out about it....I will take my time and get it right! :-) Thanks again x


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