Struggling : Hi all, I don't post often but am... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Hi all, I don't post often but am hoping for a bit of advice. Graduated a few weeks ago and have been continuing with my 5 k route, however the last few runs I've had to take walking breaks. I was diagnosed by my gp with pf last week, and I rested for a few days. When I saw the gp he said no need to stop running, so I started again carefully and stretching lots etc. I'm struggling to manage my 5 k without walking but am desperate to increase my distance gradually. I don't think my foot is holding me back, I just don't know what it is...can't seem to " push through" at the moment. Really want to do a local 10 k in September but I'm wondering if I can get to that distance by then?

11 Replies

Hi Emma Louise,

I'm far from an expert, having only started running in March myself but I have a couple of thoughts.

The first is that maybe you're putting too much pressure on yourself. Having a race scheduled is brilliant motivation, but maybe you need to take a step back. Lots of people say you shouldn't run your longest run every time, so maybe you should get out there an run a quick couple of 20 or 25 minute runs try to feel that old enjoyment and get your confidence back up- take Laura again if it helps :)

Secondly, in terms of increasing your distance, have you considered going back to intervals? In order to get up to 10K I followed a B210K programme of which the first week consisted of 4 lots of 10 minutes running separated by 1 minute walk intervals. It means you don't have to tackle doing a 'long run' head on until you've built up stamina and confidence that you've run the component runs and just need to stick them all together. It also might help to feel like you have a bit more direction again.

I'm sure you can make it up to the 10K by September, maybe you just need to step back and try a fresh approach :)

Let us know how you're going on,

Emily x

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Thanks so much for your reply. I think I was taking it a bit too seriously and putting to ouch pressure on myself. Going to look into some proper 10k training I think as well for some structure!


Emmalouise, what a wonderfully apt Freudian slip! - putting a bit too 'ouch' pressure on yourself. Happy, relaxed running :)

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Ha! Have only just seen this! Hehe!


You can do it but you would need to get prepared. A proper plan, made for you, would be a good place to start

I downloaded an asics training plan for 10 k today for a race on 25th august. They are free, and just require you to answer some basic questions and will come up with detailed running plan for you. Once the plan is produced you are then asked to choose how many days a week you want to run, eg 2, 3 or 4 and at what intensity, easy, average or hard.

I used one of their training plans for the 10 mile I just ran it was nearly spot on at predicting my time

Good luck with it


Thanks for that, have looked at the asics training plan and it looks good, think this is the way forward!


Misswobble -- Do you have a link for that Asics planning tool please?

Emma Louise

I graduated a couple of months ago - and I know how I became just a little bit "lost" after graduation. Speaking for myself only, what I am finding to be successful for me -- I signed up for a 14K run when I was only in week 3 of C25K -- and am using this Jeff Galloway plan to train for it Galloway mainly wants you to run/walk (intervals, in other words) and has you running 6 days per fortnight - you can basically do anything you like for 5 of those days so long as they are 30 minutes each - and a long run going out to the full distance and further, one day each fortnight. I have chosen to run/walk a moderate ratio of 2min run/1min walk ( however I modify that by running down all hills regardless of slope or length, walking up all hills ( with a bit of running if I am able to ) and run/walk strategy on the flats. So far I have got my long run out to 12 klms, 13 this week! :) I am training for and hoping to average in the race 8 mins per K over a course which is quite hilly .

So - what have I been doing on the "other 5 days of the fortnight" -- 1 each week have been Parkruns -- non-stop 5Ks, some of which I try to break my PB while others I just cruise. On the other days, I have been doing all kinds of experiments - but they are all aimed at one thing and one thing only -- that is to be able to run "EASY"! :) I am finally getting the ability of running easy - of running at a conversational pace - and it has been quite an effort to be able to get to do it. I have deliberately been breathing through my nose, and only today experimented with using the "Pace setter" on the Runkeeper App in my phone. This worked brilliantly!!! I told my personal coach who lives in my ear that I wanted to run at 8 mins per klm and every 250 metres she told me whether I was on pace, faster or slower. I will continue now to do all my runs at this pace - until I find them so easy that it starts to become awkward and difficult to run -at which time I will set it to a faster pace.

Personally, I think that if you are "struggling" after graduating C25K - it is probably from one of two things -- either you are going too hard at whatever you are doing or you are treating it all too seriously and are not doing "fun " things.

After graduating, C25k I think we need to consolidate what we have already achieved - forget trying to go faster or longer for a while until our endurance and stamina is greater than what is just needed to finish the programme - and get a lot more miles on our shoes. It doesn't matter whether we do that by non-stop running or by using intervals .


As the others have said, having a plan, is a good plan. You know from C25k that you have to stretch yourself to progress, so a good training plan will help you move on from where you are. Also remember the C25k mantra......slow and steady. Rather than walking, just ease back the pace, maintaining the running motion. There is nothing wrong with walking, but it is best when it is part of planned intervals, rather than something you resort to when you feel you can't go on.

Mixing up your running is also beneficial. Make sure at least one run per week is at a slow pace, probably with no timing or tracking, so that you can just enjoy this amazing ability that you have enabled through all your hard work. Running should be enjoyable.

Keep running, keep smiling.


I agree with everything that has been said. Most of all take a week of for "fun run time." Just go out and do whatever you want. Walk, run. No times no distances. Just chilled out at whatever pace you like. I found that when I graduated I was so swept up with the thought of graduating I had speeded up by quite a bit. I was running at a pace that was uncomfortable for me to sustain. By just taking a step back it helped to find my own natural rhythm again. Good luck.


Thanks everyone. Had a lovely slow 4k jog this morning-hubby came along on his bike and motivated me! Was the first time I have ran without music and we chatted as we went! Was a beautiful morning by the river, and a blissful change from my usual main road route full of traffic!


Here's the link to the Asics training plan tool:-


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