Couch to 5K
53,120 members85,200 posts

I can't do the long runs without a walk in the middle!

First ever post! I'm trying to do week 7 but just can't get myself to do the long runs all at once. I've been back and tried the first 2 week 6 runs fine but when it comes to the 25 mins I just have to split it in half. It just seems to hurt so much (everywhere but especially hips and knees) but if I walk for a bit the second 12.5 mins is much better - sometimes I can even push it a bit longer. Is it just better that I'm doing it at all or should I be pushing for the 25?

15 Replies

Slow right down. Tbh, other than proving to yourself that you can run for 30 mins nonstop to get your graduate badge by Wk 9 it doesn't really matter how many walky bits you do, so long as you are still getting out there and running. But if you want to do it 'by the book' just go even slower than you think is slow and you will get there.


Can you do week 5 run 3 ok?


I did it after 2 attempts and felt very proud. Have tried to go back and do that again but just keep getting stuck around the 12/13 min mark and once I've walked feel as if I might as well make up the 25 mins.


well why not go back and repeat week 5 until you feel right?


This running is as much a mental challenge as a physical one. I suspect you have now got a bit of a mental block about needing to stop at a certain point. Go slow. Break it down into smaller targets - I'll just keep going until that next corner, lamppost, tree etc. And maybe try a different route so that you don't reach a certain point and think - oh , this is where I always give up!

I'm sure you can get past this. Good luck


Morning Ully

You hit a good point about mental block. I do the park run, there is one hill which is a killer, as yet I have not been able to run up it, Ive gone back on my own and just ran that section, but when it comes to park run day, I have not yet managed it. I don't suppose I can get them to change the park run route, so some how I'm just going to have get round this mental block and run it. But its a good point you raise, it could be in my head.


You will crack it Sarah, maybe when you least expect it. Same for you Hussain with your parkrun slope

For me it was the slope of doom and the hill of death. I named my nemeses 😊

i thumb my nose at them now

You just keep plugging away, slowly chipping away at it ☺


As others have already said - it's a total mind game!

I usually find that if I do stop to walk, it makes it tougher to start running again. It's actually much easier to just keep running!

I had a walk break that I didn't intend to last night on a run so it's easier said than done. People have said in the past that when you do start to want to walk, slow right down and give yourself a quick mental check. "Legs - feel ok. Breathing - fine. Heart rate - feels fine" then you have no excuses to stop! :D

Another thing I like to do when I start to struggle is focus on my breathing, really breathe as deep as you can, and also I focus on using my arms to propel me forwards. I sometimes forget to use them, making my legs work harder! I just say to myself "breathing and arms" haha and it usually gets me through!

Also, look into the distance instead of at the floor - that helps a lot too.

Good luck and persevere! You can do it, you just have to tell yourself you can! :)


Spikymoss - how odd. I'm the complete opposite. When I'm struggling I bring my gaze down to focus only on the six feet in front of me rather than the horizon. Goes to show how it is Diff'rent strokes for different folks.

Sara - it's only a problem if you let it be. There was a point for me at around W7 where I did exactly the same thing. My route was an out and back and the furthest point was right at 13 mins and try as i might I couldn't help but stop and catch my breath or walk for 30 seconds at that point. It was a mental thing, because one day I ran a different route and suddnely realised I was up to 17 mins in a straight line and had had no need to stop.

I wouldn't worry about it though. It will sort itself out naturally in time. Running 2 lots of 12.5 minutes is no different to running one block of 25. If that's what your body is happy doing at the moment, then do that. It is certainly nothing to get discouraged by. I will wager that 6 weeks ago the idea of running 12.5 minutes once seemed a distant goal to you.


You're totally right - never thought I'd make 5 mins! My route is usually an out and back route - maybe that's part of the problem.


I started off doing an out and back route, turning around at the halfway point. I found it very boring and used to really struggle at around the halfway point! I now run a circular route (well almost) and have just been adding on extra avenues etc. as I need to increase the distance. I have found it mentally so much better and I now just have mental checkpoints like when I turn into certain roads, so the route is broken into about 4/5 chunks which mentally help me keep running.

I am just about to start week 7 so on a similar point as you, I definitely recommend finding a different route, and maybe re-doing week 6 to lead up to the 25min run.


But Rig, I'm not quite sure I share your philosophy, my body is perfectly happy to lay on the sofa, with a pint of Guinness and a Kebab. But I have to push it off the sofa. Laura encourages to really push on one of the days/weeks, she says this is when you can improve your stamina.


Thanks all - the advice is really motivating. I tried a quick run this morning but didn't have much time. I turned off the app, did a different route and put on some new tunes and according to runmeter I was going faster than usual. I managed 16.5 mins by setting myself little targets and not worrying about how far I got or trying to save energy to get up to the 25. Maybe I'll have to push it up but by bit or maybe one day it will just happen. I'll keep trying!


excellent. Trying your best is always enough.


I agree with all the comments about how a lot of the challenge is mental. I found l got on better without Laura at this point, as sometimes it's better not to know how much longer you have to go (I just set up Runkeeper to tell me when I had finished whatever the required time was).

If you are having pain in your knees and hips, I would suggest getting your gait/shoes checked out. The right shoes can make a huge difference.


You may also like...