Couch to 5K
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The stupidity of the ------

Running non-stop compulsion.

Yesterday, my wife and I walked 12 klms (she is not a runner)😢 It took us 4 hours - but while doing so we stopped MANY times to admire the scenery, talk to people and have a coffee. I have to admit that I was quite tired when we got back and my legs were complaining, but while thinking about it, it struck me that although it took so long to do, we HAD walked 12 klms which is good for our overall fitness/Weight etc so running it with all the same stops would be even better. I can run 12K nonstop but this walk was so enjoyable, why not adopt the same casual attitude when running long runs?? One of the reasons will be the "compulsion" I see in other running forums of the desire to run nonstop - it seems to be almost seen to be some badge of courage. I guess that if "racing/pace/times" are high on your priority list then so be it - but not for me!!😄

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I love walking too Baz and do it all the time. Not always long distances but usually a good leg stretch. It's easy and free. What more could one ask. There's always something new to see. Last week was Highland Cattle, which for N Derbyshire is quite a novelty, and a yellowhammer sighting. Love it!

If you are always flat out running you miss things. So, I agree, it's good to slow things down and take time to see


Of course if you run as slowly as I do, you get to run non-stop *and* take things in.... This 'flat out' of which you speak is something of which I know nothing!

Those Highland Cattle are quite something when you come upon them unexpectedly in the middle of trees in a Forestry Commission plantation... mind you, I think they thought that me and my dog were quite startling too.


I agree Bazza. It's nice to take time to appreciate the surroundings, but apart from that, because I am struggling with energy at the moment, I am stopping to walk during my runs, and I am training myself not to feel as though this is some kind of 'failure'.

I've taken to pausing my Garmin when I walk so that I can run the total distance I had planned to when I set out without having my statistics confused by my walk breaks.

Q: Why do I feel 'guilty' when I stop for a break? I'm not racing; I'm not doing this for anyone except myself; I don't share my stats with anyone else particularly; I'm not in training for an event on a specific date.

A: I think when we do C25K we get conditioned to the goal of running nonstop for 30 mins. I was listening to Laura's Wk6R3 this morning as I ran, and she instructs me to slow down if I get tired - don't stop, just run slower. But, for me, it is sensible to stop running and walk as, when my legs get tired, I tend to run a bit 'wonky' and then I pick up niggly aches and pains. Stopping for a 2 min walk every now and then seems to make me run much more 'cleanly', which means I can run further on each given day without overtiring myself and injuring something.

Having tried it, I'm not a huge fan of the Jeff Galloway style of shorter runs/walks - it's too much stopping and starting for my taste - I just stop and walk when I can feel that my legs are getting to the point of tiredness that I know causes my left leg particularly to start doing something strange (don't know what it is, but I can feel it when it's happening!).

The more I run, the more I want to enjoy the actual running, to enjoy the benefits it brings, to set myself realistic goals and to do it in a way which works for me rather than trying to copy what other more successful runners out there are doing. I think when I read some of the posts on this forum describing amazing progress, particularly from people who graduated more recently than me, the green eyed monster gets me (or an I developing a competitive spirit? - that would be a new thing for me!!). Then, in trying to emulate others' achievements, I end up getting overtired or injured.

We are all different, and all have different innate levels of ability and speeds of progression and I need to remember that!

So, after all that waffle, what I am saying is WALK BREAKS ARE NICE!


I agree wholeheartedly, Useit and Bazza! I've been worrying that I'm not progressing. In fact I think that I was putting off going out as I thought that I might not manage to go very far or to be able to run for more than 30 mnutes. And you're right; I'm supposed to be running for enjoyment and to exercise the old bod not to run fast or especially long. So last week I decided that I would just try to get out 3 times a week but if I didn't feel like running for 30 minutes then no matter. In fact I was trying to run slowly (which I found quite difficult).

So no more pressure and just enjoy the great outdoors.

And Useit, I hope all is ok with you. Please don't overdo things, will you?!

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No - I'm fed up of feeling crud. Presumably there is a happy medium for me - I've just got to manage my exercise/life balance better (I am a lucky girl to have such a dilemma - I have huge respect for everyone doing this and doing a busy job too!) :)


Exactly. We become far too obsessed with 'cheating' by walking on the runs. Who cares?? If you're exercising and having a good time it really shouldn't matter. It's something I certainly need to strike from my head.


I love walking and hiking too, and I have just been on a walk I had never done before - it's just around the corner, there is a hill that I walk regularly but I always go down the way I go up. Today I took the "north face" descent... , I never did before because someone had told me there were bulls in one of the fields to be crossed, and bulls are not my best friends :))

I stopped hundreds of times in awe, the birds were going mad singing, sun shining and cold front clouds , crystal clear air - the kind of weather I love! I could even see the McGillicuddy reeks in the very far distance...


Hi there,

I love hiking--its wonderful. Especially in Derbyshire---I dream of having a cottage in the peak district with wonderful walks from my door.


One of the joys of running is that you can take in more of the scenery, nature and climate than you can walking as you cover a larger distance. My shorter runs i do tend to concentrate on my running but the longer runs i run slower and take in the surroundings but never stop to walk. If i had a running companion then perhaps walking may be an option as you can enjoy the scenery together but otherwise i would not contemplate walking.


There's room for doing both things. There is a lot to be said for leisurely walks, unstructured running/walking/sitting, just as there is for pushing yourself sometimes. That's the beauty of being a runner. There are no rules.


Another keen walker here too :)

It's something I do with my hubby (he doesn't run - 'did all that stuff' in the army before I met him..). We're on the doorstep of The Mendips and have some fantastic walks. Well we call it extreme pub crawling cos we always like to take in a nice country pub or two.. we can share opinions on quite a few now :)

Off to north Devon next week for 3 days of the walking stuff..

So yes, I certainly agree with everyone, walking and running are both great and each have their place :) xx


Very well said Useit, I agree with ever y word. I too sometimes feel a bit as if I've cheated, but cheated who? It's my run I can do it any way I please...I've had a change of attitude since I moved over from Runkeeper to Garmin, Garmin pauses when you stop for a breather and doesn't mess all your stats up - (like that really matters, but it did to me!)

I did a long run the other day, 11K, and I just couldn't run all the time during the last KM, I walked 20 seconds then ran again until I felt knackered. When I got home I was surprised to see that it hadn't affected my pace at all. I do know though for me I won't make improvement in pace or distance unless I push myself a little.


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