Disheartened after Park Run!!

I graduated in the couch to 5K in May (never run/jogged before in my life, that I can remember anyway!), had a break in the summer, and have been running 5K a couple of times a week for the last three months but I seem to be stuck! Tried the local park three weeks ago, took me 37 minutes, could have almost done that walking. Tried again today and I reckon my time will be similar, almost last to finish, so frustrated!! It’s quite hilly (and muddy) and it’s the uphill bits that I struggle on, usually end up walking, but on the flat and downhill I feel I could keep on going for longer than 5K at my own pace. Need some motivation and ideas for conquering the uphill, perhaps the only hope is to lose weight?! I am going to target losing a stone over next few months to get back to my healthy weight. Any other ideas?

15 Replies

  • Are you actually in Guildford ? If so can you try Rushmoor park run. That's nice and flat. Otherwise it sounds like you need to do some hill training...find a hill, run up it, rest while running down it then run up it again and repeat......Hills are just hard :(

  • Yes, It is the Stoke Park Run I have been trying. Not a good reason, but I thought if I try another flatter park run I will get a PB which I will never be able to repeat in the local run so I should stick to the 'challenging' one. I think it will have to be the hill training next, I have tried a bit of run between two lamp posts, walk one lamp post on a hill, but it doesn't help much! Will persevere.


  • Speaking from experience, if you get a pb at a different parkrun it doesn't count as your pb so don't let that deter you. I think you have pbs for each parkrun so.don't let that put you off. Get out there an practise hills. And you'll probably find your new pb sneaks up on you when you're not expecting it. And maybe in less mud too! Good luck! :-)

  • Is your usual route hilly? If not you could add them every so often. Someone on here mentioned using mantras once - I find it really helps on the hills. You could also try some fartleks or intervals to improve your overall time. But 37 minutes is a very respectable time - nothing to get disheartened over (though I think we all like seeing our times improve :))

  • Easy to say because I have to keep myself in check with this too, but..... Don't get so hooked up on times. You're out there completing a 5k and in a more than respectable time. And its hilly!! I agree with others about including hills in to your training runs. Don't forget... 5k is still 4k regardless of time

  • Ha!! I meant 5k is still 5k!!! Typo!!

  • Well your post reads with a lot of positivity. I know you're down about your ParkRun time, but why not try and do some specific training on hills? Find a hill near you and run up and down it (very slowly mind!) a few times. Treat that as your workout / run. I did this earlier in the year - found a steep hill and did some "hill training". Only did it a few times, but what it did mentally for me was prepare me for ANY incline. Lean forward, run on the front of your foot, use your arms to "pump" yourself up the hill. Come your future parkrun, you can apply all this knowledge and get your time up!

    It's all in the mind this running lark. So don't get down. Get EVEN with that parkrun of yours!

  • I ran my local Parkrun yesterday in 35 minutes - 6 months after running it in 32 minutes while I was still doing C25k. :(

    The time doesn't really matter- there are always going to be faster runners than you or me. I couldn't/wouldn't have ever dreamed 12 months ago that I would be running in 5K "races" and worrying about what time I did it in!!! :)

  • Thanks for all your encouragement. When I got my official time it was just over 35 minutes so could have been worse....

    I am going to take all of your advice and push myself on some short hill runs, thanks for hints on technique, I'll try the leaning forward bit.

    I agree time shouldn't really matter but I am still competitive with myself! Hate finishing nearly last.

  • I got a great tip from a book whose name I can't recall. In it she cited her dad's advice for hills which was to change the arm movement from swinging backwards to punching forward as you run up the hill. Feels a bit weird initially but my goodness it works like a dream!!

  • Hills are hard , I am just starting to think about Hill training which is good for your overall fitness , There is some good advise about about Hill training , Like every one is saying when you think back to before you started C25K and doing nothing to where we are now :D

  • Well done on smashing your PB. I'm not sure what you expect no-one says that running up hills are easy but they do add variety and challenges to a run, far better than a flat course. Everyone finds hills tough and challenging, so if you are struggling so is everyone else to the same extent comparable to your ability. Its only the elite runners which seem to take them in their stride. There is a technique for efficient running up hills although again it is more beneficial for the elite runners. Try and relax especially before you reach the hill as this will conserve wasted energy, use the arms as Dan says and i believe that you take smaller strides, lean slightly into the hill, look 20 yards ahead and not at your feet and increase the steps per minute. Although you can over think the running techniques sometimes its best to focus on something different. Hills are challenges for everyone. Well done on conquering them on Saturday

  • Thanks for all your advice. Others seem to make it look easy running up hills but apparently it's not! I will take all your advice on leaning forward (slightly), punching arms forward and smaller steps. Almost looking forward to running tomorrow and trying this out!

  • There are some good hills to practice on around Albury Heath if you are nearby. Not sure I have improved very much but they feel a lot easier now than they did at the end of c25k back in August. Very short tippy-toe steps, as slowly as you need to without walking.

    I still haven't tried Parkrun, but Stoke Park would be my nearest and I had hoped it was a bit flatter than around here but sounds like it isn't. Will practice the hills a bit more before I try it!

    Husb used to do some of his hill training up and down Pewley Hill in Guildford but I will be giving that a miss for now :D

    The mantra mentioned on here before (apologies, can't remember who posted it) was something like 'I think I can I KNOW I can' like Ivor the Engine or Thomas the Tank Engine or some train or another.

  • I never thought Stoke Park was hilly until I tried running! There are really only tiny uphill stretches that is why I am so frustrated I can’t run up them!!

    We go walking around Albury Heath and it is much steeper so you would find Stoke Park very tame by comparison.

    Anyway I won't give up, will drag myself outside later and tackle a Guildford hill, once I get out I will enjoy it.

    Thanks for your encouragement.

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