critical point??

Another run complete. It didn't feel as easy as run 1 but I kept going and looking forward to completing week 4 on Wednesday. I feel really pleased to have got this far and fairly confident that barring injury I have now got into a routine that will keep me going forward. However, I am aware that I am still only running for 5 minutes. Is there a point at which running further / for longer stops being such a mental challenge? I really think my barriers are more in my head than my body although I am breaking them down slowly with each run and by trusting the many many people who say "if I can do it anyone can".


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

8 Replies

  • There is no doubt that the barriers are mostly mental.

    As far as c25k is concerned, I think most would agree that W5R3 is "the big one". It appears to be such a huge step up from what has gone before. When that one is done, the remainder of the program looks much more achievable.

    For me W7R1 was a bit of a watershed, it felt easy in comparison to what had gone before and all of my runs since have been similar in that I had no doubt that I was able to complete the required time.

  • Thanks, W5R3 isn't too far away now so I will work towards that as a significant run and press through it.

  • I think you're right - I definitely had a mental block moving up from 5 to 8 minutes in that I was worried about it but doing it you realise it IS doable. And it really is. I don't give myself the option of stopping before Laura says - saves me the bother of any kind of internal dialogue about whether I can keep going or not :-) It's amazing how quickly you can progress on this plan - and the sense of achievement is amazing too.

    Keep going, good luck and remember this - once you are running for longer distances you'll realise that the first 5 minutes are the hardest - once you settle in to your rhythm it honestly does get easier. So at the moment you're just doing the hardest part over and over again! :-)

  • Thanks. I am trying to do the same - just listen to Laura and block negative thoughts from my mind. If I have done a time once I can tell myself its doable and just have to try and stay strong during the first attempt at a longer time

  • I think it's always a bit of a mental challenge. It seems the case with me (and I have seen others say similar things) that it takes a little time to settle into a run, before I get my pace and breathing right at a level I can comfortably sustain. I spend the first few minutes of almost every run thinking this is the run I am going to have to abort. And if I do start off too quickly, I do pay the price later on. The worst scenario for me is running into a headwind (I live by the Coast) early in a run, I plan runs to try to avoid this.

    When you do progress to longer runs, try to vary your routes to give you interest. Find out whether you prefer running with music or without (there's a good argument for listening to your environment). Take each run as a series of shorter segments. Keep your speed down. Not long to W5R3 where the issue is about managing the head gremlins.

  • Hmm W5R3 is starting to loom large in my mind! It is encouraging to know that I am not the only one who has to deal with thoughts of giving up for no real reason. It always seems so straightforward at home before I set off. I am interested in the idea of varying runs as I am on the same track at the moment - will give that some thought. Thanks

  • I think the mental fight will always be there. But then as you progress you get these magical points in a run where your mind drifts to something else - work, the weekend, that book you read, that lovely garden, and you realize that you're running on auto-pilot and not even thinking about it. For me that happens more often now, and the absolutely blissful runs are when you spend most of the time in that zone. But most of my runs I still have that gremlin on my back telling me to cut a run short or take a lengthy walk break.

  • Human beings are so complex! Still, at least my gremlins are not unique and I see what you mean about auto pilot. I have experienced a little of that already - albeit very briefly. Thanks for the encouragement

You may also like...