Couch to 5K
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Fell off the wagon

It was all going so well. I followed the C25k starting in February, and was regularly running 3 times a week generally 5k. Then I had to go to a conference for a week, had some disagreeable weather and then took a long summer holiday. To cut a long story short, I fell off the wagon and haven't been getting out. At the start of September I tried to resume running, picking a 2k route near here, and initially running as far as I felt comfortable, then taking a walking break, and running again until I had covered the distance. After a few outings, I can mange the full 2k in about 13 minutes without a break. What do people think is the right way to get back to where I was? Obviously starting back with week 1 seems like a step backwards, but perhaps if I pick up the podcasts at the point I feel comfortable managing, which feels like the start of week 5 would be the right sort of place. Is this sensible? Would I be inviting problems by launching back into the midpoint of the program after such a break? Anyone had experience of this sort of thing before?

(this post is as much about getting back into the community here so that I feel motivated again to get running, as it is because I really feel I need advice).

7 Replies

Welcome back! You really need to get stuck into this again, so that you're running 5km before the winter sets in. Otherwise the weather could put you off until the spring.

I'd suggest starting at week 6.1 You can already run for 13 minutes and so 5/3/8/3/5 would seem to be within your capabilities. Perhaps do W6 twice, this week very slowly and then next week at your normal pace. See how you get on.


I'm not experienced enough to help here as I only graduated this morning but welcome back to the community and now lots of people will be watching your progress and giving you a gee up! It certainly helped me :)


Well I had 4 weeks off just after graduating due to injury and I started back with w6 which seemed to be about the right place to start. It was much easier second time around so I guess I hadn't lost too much fitness during the time off. I don't think there' any need to go right back to the beginning if you can already do 2K. Good luck.


I concur with the above, and it's nice to know that, should I also fall off the wagon, I will be supported by the good folk on here, not judged. The winter is, after all, nearly upon us and I am a girly wuss!


I fell off too over the summer. Felt so unfit when I started back two weeks ago. I'm prob running thirteen mins too and taking two min walking break but today for some stupid reason I decided to do the stepping stones podcast which was very fast (I'd never tried it before so didn't realise) and I felt terrible because I just couldn't keep up with it. Don't really know what I was thinking of. Anyway after reading this I think i will go back to week 6. We'll done getting back on the wagon


2 km in 13 minutes is 6:30/km (give that man a math professorship!). A *very* respectable speed for someone saying he fell off the wagon. If your timing is right, I'd be willing to bet that you could run 30 minutes non-stop in two weeks if only you were to slow right down.

So I'd suggest that you go slow and long. You don't need the podcasts for that, but if it feels comforting to have someone impose a structure, then I'd say start at week 6 or 7.

Happy running, and welcome back.


Well done for having the courage to get back. I have been in a similar situation before but not as long as you. My advice to you is that don’t get back into any of the c25k previous weeks for the purpose of getting back on track. As one of the member mentioned to you, you don’t seem to have any problem in your fitness. You need to set up your 5k route and start your 5 minutes warm up and start running as slow as possible as speed is not important at this stage. Your previous speed needs a bit of time to get back to. Maintain your running by setting your own goals, keep going for as long as you can 10 up to 15 minutes. Brisk walk for 5 minutes and get back to running again “remember slow and steady”

You need to maintain 5km total between running and brisk walking and gradually reducing the walking time and naturally increasing slow running. Once you get back to your 5km running you can then get into improving your speed. Happy running.


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