Couch to 5K
54,924 members87,441 posts

Why has it all gone belly-up???

Well I am a large 35 year old lady who has been doing the c25 for the last 7 weeks now and I have been doing fantastic. I have never been able to run before and the motivation from the podcast has been so helpful - i have not missed a run and have never given up or stopped and walked mid run. I have even been running with a broken hand (i tripped over my dog while running week 4 and fell - i knew exercise was no good for me :-)). I was so pleased with myself. I did the 25 minute run twice without stopping. No real aches and pains. I then came to do the run the third time and i struggled a lot (all runs are a struggle but this was worse than normal) I had to stop 4 times. I kept pausing the app and then starting it again. Right I thought i have pushed myself a bit too hard I will go back to week 6 and do a bit of interval again to build myself back up. I tried that - i couldn't manage more than a minute so rather than give up I did week 1 run 1 and blow me i got to the 6th run and had to stop after 30 seconds i was knackered - my breathing felt all off and i just couldn't put one foot in front of the other. Now i feel miserable - my energy levels seems to have been worsening over the last week but i don't feel unwell in myself. Any suggestions anyone i need a mental kick up the rear end!!! xxx

11 Replies

I found C25k a real mental challenge and suffered from the head gremlins numerous times. When you feel you can't go on just take your pace right down to recover. You've achieved a lot and everyone has a bad run. Don't worry about it. Yiu can always take an extra rest day but try to stay on track with the programme. You can repeat weeks until you feel you've cracked it or just carry on and see how the next one is.

there are lots of inspirational stories on here think about how others have managed to graduate and hopefully it will give you the boost you need.

good luck


That sounds like 'mind mess'!

Take a couple of days off to let yourself get over what you have done and then just try again. If you have got to week 7, then you KNOW you can run for more than 30 seconds, so it cant be anything else unless there is a health problem manifesting itself that is stopping you.

If you cant do it next time, then you may want to see a GP just in case. I really wouldn't go back to week 1 though, as that will be soul destroying and you are way beyond that stage now.

Don't let the Gremlins on your shoulder get the better of you. Get checked out, then get yourself back out there and show them who's boss!

You CAN do it!


Might be worth checking in with your GP? Maybe it is indeed mental, but seems strange to go from running 25 minutes a few times in a row to not being able to do the W1 runs. Could also be that your body is just asking for a few days break? I sometimes leave 2 days between each run as I don't want to overstretch myself. I am 48, size 16 so both old and large, but have not had this problem so far. Hope it will pass soon! x

1 like

Two obvious suggestions either a bad case of gremlinitis or maybe hormones ? Both of those you ought to be able to overcome. If its gremlins it's a bad idea to go back to week one beacuse that's giving in to them and you know you can do better don't you ? If it's hormones, try again in a few days ? I do hope you manage to get over this blip because it sounds as if you're doing really well. Come on ! You CAN do it !!


helrunner - I've had a similar problem and it's definitely a mental thing rather than a physical one. I completed week 7 and although I found each run really tough I completed all of them. Then I went out on Saturday morning for my first week 8 run and I did 12.5 minutes and just quit. I felt exhausted, too hot, and mentally I just couldn't get going again so walked/ran the rest of the way. I got home and felt like I'd failed (whereas up to then I'd completed all the runs) and then was worried about getting back out in case it happened again. What I had to tell myself was that even if I don't complete the podcast, the fact I'm getting out and exercising is what counts. I also use the map my run app whilst I do the podcast and I realised I'm getting faster, so that's perhaps why I'm getting tired and struggling to complete the full 28 minutes. It might be happening to you too? Just keep getting out there, and you'll soon be back on track :)


You might be coming down with a little bug. I find that now that I run I know at least a week before it takes hold. It's like an early warning system. Your doing the right thing by being kind to yourself. If it dosent feel any better in a few weeks have a little word with the gp. I found my iron levels were out especially ferritin. Everyone is different but the most Important thing is don't be too disheartened and listen to your body. You will get there.


All the replies are such good advice so all I'd add is don't give up now you've made an amazing change so just remind yourself how week 1 felt and how far you've come !!

You'll be fine and fab again don't you worry !!

Good luck :)


Have a couple of days off, and see how you feel, RFC might be right, you might be coming down with something. It's good you listened to your body, I didn't once and regretted it'll get ther xx


I know what you mean, my question is: are you trying to go too fast? I found a few runs a real struggle but when I slowed down I found I soon got back on track. You have come so far.

Well done on you progress, don't let this stop you. Repeating runs is not failing. Not running at all would be. You are out there having ago :) I wouldn't go back to the beginning, if you feel comfortable do week 7 for a run again and see how you feel :) take 2 rest days if you need.

Hope you feel better after your next run. good luck. As many on here say, happy running


A 32 year old, obese man from Greece,

well i had the same feeling a few days back,

After 3 months to the gym with a lot of cardio almost every day ( 6 days a week ), just woke up and i felt really tired. i looked my self on the mirror asking if i had to do it any way.

well i said to my self that i am going to give my self a week ! after all i gave 32 years already :D !

Today I went to thew gym and i really enjoyed it. after all i do it for the fun of it.

my suggestion ? put a deadline ( as much as you think that is enough ), relax, have some healthy food and let your self recover from what ever was that made you this way. wake up the day that your deadline is over and work your ass over like you never had before ;) ! this is what i did.


i'll say it one more time !



Hi HelRunner - sounds like you could have written your post for me!!! :D At the beginning of May (yes, May!) I started week 7 and I also found that I could only string two 25 minute runs together; the third run to enable me to move to week 8 just proved completely elusive!!!! Either that or the gremlins were seriously messing with my head.

I went back to week 6 to consolidate my progress on those runs, and also returned to the treadmill so I can regulate my pace, drink and stay cool. However I know this isn't an option for many people, but I think I was getting overheated outside as I did isn't have a drink with me, and also probably going too fast. I also only run a max of twice a week (although I do other fitness things in between). The other thing I found was that I didn't "gel" with the week 7 music, so have previously run the 25 minutes with the Week 6 Run 3 music, still 25 minutes but more enjoyable to my ears!

Teabreaks and Milan were at the same point as me when I was at a low ebb, and their confidence in me and support got me through to completing Week 7 Run 1 three weeks ago, before we went on hols. Am going to do the second run on Wednesday. I'm 45, overweight and if I can do it, you can too ... After all you're 10 years younger than me! :D I'd be delighted to be your virtual "running buddy"-let's go for those lovely shiny Graduate tags, not many runs left!

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.


You may also like...