Couch to 5K
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Struggling with week 8

HI. I got to week 8, and I knew 28 minutes was going to be a bit tough, but I seem to be struggling more than I expected. I seem to be way shorter of breath than I was in week 7, and my joints are complaining a lot between runs, hips and knees mostly. Leg muscles are fine, just the normal achiness that I'd expect from doing a workout. I think perhaps i'll step back a few weeks and stay at that level till my joints settle back down, and work up more slowly.

8 Replies

Perhaps just go back to week 7 and see how that goes, and what you are feeling is normal, the body puts up a fight!!!


Go back to week 7. It's cold and snowy out there. Things will be better when the weather improves. I've repeated weeks when I haven't felt like moving on to the next one. Just keep getting out whenever you can and you'll step up when your body tells you it's right (or rather, forgets to put up a fight as JuicyJu says above).


I am not sure I agree. It is not the difference between 25 mins and 28 mins that is making your joints ache, it is the cumulative effect of getting used to running 3 times a week. Shaving 3 minutes off is not going to make a difference to that. I would say slow down a bit to conuter the shortness of breath, and if the aches and pains are just grumbley complaint level rather than actual pain, carry on. It is normal and to be expected. Make sure you are vigilant with your stretches and strengthening exercises, ice those knees and then have a hot bath if they ache.


Totally agree with Rignold. Reducing by 3 minutes isn't going to make much difference. Either slow down (always a good advice!), or add an extra non-running day to recover a bit more.


Hmm i would say dont go back to week 7 unless things are really painful ,take an extra day or two rest and carry on , obviously look after yourself, stretches etc ....

I am with rignold, it is probably your body adjusting to running 3 times a week and now non stop , that in itself is pretty amazing , take care and good luck :)


Yes, I would take an extra rest day. Still find I do much better if I leave 2-3 days between runs than going out every other day.


Yeah I'm in the Rig camp as well but agree with Ancient that you can take an extra day off. A Neurofen or Ibufren taken last thing before kip really does help with pain and inflammation. You take it when your muscles are at rest, no good otherwise.

Your body is telling you that things are changing. These niggles are par for the course and happen to us all. Slow down on your runs and you'll find it easier. On your days off from running perhaps go walking, cycle or swim, all of which will help build you up. I do exercise dvd's at home to help build me up and that's helped me no end.

Good luck!


Thanks for all the feedback. I usually run Monday, Thursday and Saturday, because these are days off so I don't precisely alternate days already. Running before and after work in the winter isn't an option on roads that have no streetlights and are lumpy and bumpy! ( I tried it, only once) When I used to do yoga, my teacher said that muscle pain was fine, joint pain wasn't. I will go back, perhaps week 7, perhaps further. We've not had snow (yet), and running in the rain isn't a problem, but I didn't run last Saturday because of the wind, worse than cold or rain. I'll see how I feel tomorrow and judge what to do then.


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