Couch to 5K
52,785 members84,884 posts

Don't know what is wrong :(

I am struggling !!!

Just over a month ago, I finally reached 16km / 10 miles and thought that a HM was finally within my reach. I thought that I was probably being optimistic trying to do an October one, so settled for a December HM run by a local club. Sensibly thought I'll do an 18k run then book my spot.

Well ..... every single run has been a struggle and I've had to stop after 3/4/5 km every single time! I walked out of last weeks PR after 2.5k and yesterday I did the 5k with 2 walking breaks.

What is wrong with me?

I did have a cough about a month back, and I also had a cold sore on my lip, but I've been clear of those for more than 2 weeks. I have no injuries (my knees are stiff, but that is normal and they never hurt during runs).

I always have a day's rest between runs and have had a couple of 2 and 3 day rests inbetween runs too, and have about 4 different routes to choose from.

8 Replies

So sorry to hear you are finding it a struggle at the moment, ZZ. Presuming there are no other physical reasons, it sounds as though you have simply lost belief in yourself. Would it help to go back to Laura for a while so that you can build up again with her support?

Long runs are not for all of us. Some people react really well to having a challenging target, but where is the fun if you are beating yourself up for not being able to do it at the moment? Each run is still a triumph over the couch and running is a change for life. So, maybe not a HM in December, but there is always next year...


Trouble is i do have the motivation, but when I am out running I can barely make it to the next km, despite my pace being quite slow :(


I have discovered something REALLY important in the last couple of weeks . I am much in the same boat as you - graduate , who has been running non-stop for distances up to 10K ( great sense of achievement) but feeling "tired" and not really enjoying the running. Used to enjoy going to parkrun but lately feeling like it is more of a chore than something enjoyable .

So I pulled out my old heart rate monitor - which I used a little bit in the early part of C25k but really only used it because I was worried about "overdoing"it then stopped using it because obviously I wasn't overdoing it because obviously I completed C25K and could run 5K non-stop in 33 minutes and could run 10K non-stop at what I considered to be an "easy" conversational pace.

Trouble is my HRM has been telling me that I have indeed been "overdoing" it!!! I have spent a lot of Internet research and physical experimentation over the past fortnight and I am now fairly convinced that my maximum heartrate is somewhere between 160-170. Based upon that fairly wide range , it is now very obvious to me that what I thought was slow , easy , conversational, my heart thinks is running in the unaerobic range - and basically I have been using too much energy on my "easy" runs. For me to run at a low heart rate in the mid 120's , I can ONLY do it by run/walking approximately 1 minute /1 minute intervals. I basically cannot run at all non-stop without my heart rate going into a region that I think is really too high for me to be done on a regular basis. I am discovering this now - after having "run" 650 klms in the past year.

I am only running for fitness - and I have allowed myself to be seduced by all this business of running 5k and 10K races. So - for me- I have to do a LOT of rethinking about what I am doing!! .


Thanks Bazza, have no idea what my heart is doing ... breaking :(



When I get back from 2 week hols - I am going to do a Jack Daniels "Running for fitness only " plan - it is the second plan ( red ) of his series of four x 16 week plans . This plan mostly uses easy and threshold pace but gets into what he calls "Interval" pace ( which is over 90% of max heart rate) towards the very end.

I am not going to do these runs according to his recommended paces - but according to his %HRM for each type of run. As I said above I can see now that my easy runs have been at too high a heart rate - so I will do the easy runs run/walk of very low durations (actually in line with what Jeff Galloway recommends for his marathon training). I just did 5ks at 1min/1min at an average heart rate of 123 ( which is nice and low and slow ) - finished up just over 8 min per K average) Even then with the heat and humidity here today, 25C and 85% at 5AM!!! - even that didn't feel all that easy!! :(


Links helpful.


Thanks, might just do that - body seems to just be able to cope with 20 minutes at the mo.


Have you been following a half marathon training programme or just ramping up the runs?

I found that following a plan, a quick google search (other search engines are available) every couple of weeks there is an easier week to help recovery and a taper prior to the event itself.

I have done 2 half marathons, some years ago now, and on both occasions during the training I didnt run the full distance, max was 11 miles. the buzz of the race carried me through the last 2 miles.

Good luck with the training, a half marathon is possible.


You may also like...