Week 5 Run 2 Still too hard - 5th attempt. Help

Hi all,

I'm feeling so disheartened right now. I still cant run this run with ease at all. And I definitely want to before the next 20 minute non-stop one or I have no chance.

I can run the first 8 minutes easily. I feel recovered after the 5 minute walk but when I started the second 8 minute run I can just tell I won't make it. My body hates it. I can make about 5-6 minutes max before my body starts shutting down. I just came in from the 5th attempt and it's the same! What can I do? :(



16 Replies

  • first of all, don't worry about it. You can keep doing it as long as you need, there's no penalties and no pressure.

    That said, what is actually going wrong in the second run? You're out of breath? Your legs are too sore? Whenever I feel I can't go on, I run through (no pun intended) a mental checklist: are my feet hurting? no; Are my calf muscles okay? yes etc etc through breathing, heart etc. Usually this has a twofold effect - it takes half a minute or so to go through it all, by which time I am half a minute further on, and it takes my mind off the urge to stop. Having ticked all the boxes and decided that there is no one physical problem forcing me to stop, I generally feel better and have taken my mind off it. The mental aspect of running is as great as, if not greater than the physical aspect. Barring actual physical injury, cramps etc the muscles don't stop until the brain tells them to stop. It's overcoming that urge that is the key.

    Obviously, if you you put a cross on any of those boxes, if your calves are cramping or your knee flaring up, then of course stopping s the right thing to do.

    If it is a question of being out of breath or simply out of stamina, then the answer, almost always, is to slow down. Slow down is the answer to 95% of the problems we encounter. You make think you are already running slowly, but whilst it is hard to run faster, you can always run more slowly. Try making a conscious effort to run a minute/km slower than you are at the moment, just as an experiment, for the whole session and see what difference it makes.

    And don't be disheartened. Or don't let being disheartened put you off. We all go through this. I feel tremendously disheartened after a couple of difficult recovery runs myself, and am having to try very hard to heed my own advice. But I am going to go out again tomorrow and have another go, and I am going to make myself consciously run a minute/km slower than my usual pace and see if that improves things. Which it will. It may not get me back to where I want to be, but the run after that will. Or the one after that.

  • Brilliant advice. Thank you. I'm going to use your tips myself.

  • I had times when I have found it so difficult especially when I was going through the program. A friend told me to slow down and start counting to 100. This sometimes helps by taking your focus away from the actual run. It worked really well for me. The other thing is go back a week and have some good runs and build your confidence again. It's not a race and it doesn't matter how long it takes. It's all part of your personal journey. It took me weeks and weeks to graduate and I'm still happily running now. Just don't give up you'll get there. Good luck.

  • Great advice too. Thanks.

  • Oh poor you, you have got into a self defeating cycle ! Rignold has given lots of good advice, I would reiterate the bit about slowing down almost to walking pace to try and complete the run. Please, please don't give up though...

  • You have had some fantastic advice here.....I think if it was me, I would go back to the first run of Week 5, you know you can do that. Then try run 2 again.....take it really slow in the first 8 minutes and if, if, you feel you want to stop in the 2nd run, DON'T!!!! Keep running, even if it is at a snail's pace, keep going. But I do think you need to break the pattern here. You are expecting yourself to fail - build yourself back up again. Do run 1 - tell us how well you did, and then try that 2nd run again x

  • Thanks all. I am definitely not giving up - there is no chance.

    I am finding my breathing is the hindrance - I do the check list and try to tell myself it's psychological but it's my lungs. Nothing hurts at all except that. :( I don't know what to do to improve my breathing - I will definitely try going slower but I don't know how much slower I can go.

    The biggest achievement for me will be running for 20 minutes without stopping - so it's probably knowing it's the next step and not even being able to do the one right before that's making me feel so disheartened.

    I did this a lot years ago so I know I Can - it's just getting back in to it. I'm not giving up.

  • Keep going, you can do it.

    It must be just your mind playing tricks on you.

    I am just about to finish week 7 and my head is struggling with the 25 mins runs. But I just have to keep pushing through as my body can do it.

    And also look on the bright side, all of these extra attempts will be helping your fitness!

    In just a few days you'll have finished week 5. Good luck.


  • I struggle with the breathing too and I'm just on week 4, so right behind you. The last minute of the 5 minutes I feel like I'm going to die but what I do to get over it til the end is breathe out slowly almost panting like you do in labour! Not a pretty sight but mentally gets me to when Laura says, 'ok you can slow down now'. What she doesn't know is that I'm almost at a snail's pace anyway but mentally I finish. You can do it. Trust these grads. We'll be one soon! Good luck. X

  • I struggle with the breathing too and I'm just on week 4, so right behind you. The last minute of the 5 minutes I feel like I'm going to die but what I do to get over it til the end is breathe out slowly almost panting like you do in labour! Not a pretty sight but mentally gets me to when Laura says, 'ok you can slow down now'. What she doesn't know is that I'm almost at a snail's pace anyway but mentally I finish. You can do it. Trust these grads. We'll be one soon! Good luck. X

  • Brilliant advice from rignold. We all struggle at various points in the programme and this forum is such a great support. Im the same at wk6 ive done it 5 times now, but i am going to take rignolds advice! Onwards and upwards :))

  • You have some great advice here already. I just want to say please don't give up, keep going & repeat as long as you need, you.. Will... Get.... There. We've all been disheartened, but look how far you have come already, why wouldn't you be able to do more..? Try to enjoy the scenery, the sky, the birds & focus less on the running for a bit. Some day so it will all come together for you, I guarantee it. We are all rooting for you xxxxxxxxx

  • For me I find getting my breathing into a rhythm helps. Laura tells me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth which I can NOT do! I breathe in through my mouth for 3 steps and then out for 3 steps. I also let my mind wander and watch the countryside, or just start daydreaming! I'm taking my time with week 5 because I had to take a break because of a sore hip in the summer, so am taking it extra slow this time round. When I feel discouraged I just remind myself that before I started this I couldn't run for 1 minute without getting out of breath.

    I also totally agree with slowing down. I just 'plog' (plod+jog) and the longer the run gets the slower I plog. I'm only going a snail's pace, which I know because the plog-dog is only doing a steady trot, but who cares? I'm doing this to get my heart rate for half an hour and build some stamina which I'm doing. If I never get to graduate I will be disappointed but I won't stop because it's better than giving up and slouching on the couch again! Please keep going I'm sure you'll get there.

  • I struggled with breathing (still do a little on w7). The advice I got on here helped so much...most folk said to slow it right down and then some more and do belly breathing! It would seem that I was just trying to run too fast. So, when I forget that I'm supposed to be in some sort of breathing rhythm and gasping a bit, I take my pace down to that of the slowest snail...it matters not that I can briskly walk faster, just completing the run (as Laura says) is what I focus on. I also ditched the music to help me concentrate...only just started playing it again. I hope you make it through...it is so worth it and the smile it creates for just hanging on in there is wonderful. you can do it!! :D

  • All great advice above. Its very true about the psychological barrier - I find the best runs I have are always when my mind is on something else, even if I'm thinking about the stress of work or a problem I'm having or all the things I have to do that day! As long as I'm not thinking of how far I still have to go or how I'm breathing / feeling then the run tends to be more enjoyable and pass by much quicker. You said for the second part of the run you manage 5 -6 minutes, so that means you only have 2 - 3 minutes to go which is nothing really so I'm sure you can do it! Your only competition is yourself. Good luck :)

  • I was exactly the same on week 4. I failed run 1 and run 2. I just had to give myself longer to recover in between the runs. Then I passed on week 4 with run 3. I asked for help on here as was becoming seriously upset. They suggested slowing it right down to little more than a walking pace and run 3 I did, success! I started out on w5r1 and 3 mins into the first run I had to start walking, repeating w4r3 again... I just went out w5r1 tonight and managed it. It really doesn't matter if you need to repeat something, the fact is you are out there doing it. Everyone is different and although it is a 9 week course, not everyone can do it that quickly. Congratulations on getting this far and having the motivation to keep going out.

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