Couch to 5K

mixed feelings

I am getting into a state and it is time to be honest. I have had problems with a numb foot when running since I hit 25 minutes. For my Friday run I loosened my shoes as much as possible but it was even worse and quite worrying . I had to slow right down a few times. I stayed on the treadmill for 8 mins more to make up for it. I read up on it and it really is a process of elimination. So Sunday I wore my husband's trainers (much too big really) run in intervals of 5 min run 1 min fast walk and it worked!! no numbness. Tomorrow I will do the interval in my trainers (as I expect it is my trainers that are the issue now I know it is not me) I was really upset that I had 'wasted' two runs as I have not completed 2/3 whole 25 mins but the biggest issue is that I really enjoyed the interval runs and can't wait to do tomorrow and I really hate the longer runs.

It is really silly being so upset about it but my most of me wants to interval the 5k and improve my time and get there that way. There is a bit of me that feels a failure and I am really upset I feel like this as this really isn't me.

9 Replies

Sounds to me like you're doing the right thing. You're analysing the problem, testing hypothesises and coming up with a solution that works for you. That's great work and definitely to be applauded!

You know (and this might be heresy), if you really really don't enjoy long non-stop running, then nobody says you have to do them. Sure, the programme purports to teach you to run 30 minutes non-stop, but if you tweak it so instead it teaches you to run intervals for 5k, then who's to complain? Particularly if you enjoy doing it.

It's your health, your body, your future. You make the rules! :)


You haven't wasted any runs. It's really good you found out the cause of your numbness, and you had a couple nice runs with intervals. If intervals are your thing you should experiment with them after graduation. I recently had to return to planned intervals due to an injury and I found them very enjoyable and fun to play around with different timings. There is no failure with interval running, my fastest 5k had a walk break in it and my 13k race had intervals after the first 5k. There's never a rule you have to run the whole thing. You know what you enjoy- keep on doing it!

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Thank you for your kind words. I am so surprised about how this has made me feel.


You might grow to enjoy the longer runs but as Tomas says, you make the rules. Once you complete the programme you can do what you want. That's the great thing about this running lark. So keep at it, get the badge and then away you go!


There is nothing that says you have to run in one big block. It is perfectly ok to do intervals. I am now doing 1k run/1min walk and am up to 12k. It is far more comfortable for me than trying to slog out long distances !


Do what you enjoy - whatever you do will be good for you!

C25K is good because it's gradual and it gives you something to aim for. However, if you can find that motivation by enjoying getting out for an interval run then do that!

If you would like to increase the distance of your interval runs then you don't need the course to do that - just try not to go up by more than about 10% each week. So if you are doing 5 x 5-min intervals this week then do, say, 6 x 4.5 min intervals next week and then 6 x 5mins the week after (or maybe 2 lots of 6 x 5 and then 1 lot of 5 x 6mins) etc.

You may find that in due course you get bored with stopping and want to keep running. Then again you might not. It's all good.


Thanks . I feel so much better and I really looking forward to my run tonight. I have been so fixed on the programme I think I though any deviation is a failure. Ugifer you may be right I may decide to keep running one day and that will probably be because I don't feel the pressure to. I will definitely be building up the distance as well. It is heartening to hear everyone has success in different ways. I definitely feel the benefit of this journey and don't want to stop.

If my foot goes numb tonight I will be shopping for new trainers!


Hi, well done for getting so far. I too have been enjoying the runs with intervals, and up to doing a 20 minute run have enjoyed the experience. I found week 8 and the first run of week 9 really really hard, and had to stop after 10 mins of week 9 run2 and felt like I'd failed, but reading this and the replies, I have realised that the programme should be a guideline and not a chore, so with that in mind, I have decided to go my own way, and run to enjoy it, taking walking breaks if I need to as after all, when I started I couldn't run for a minute. I had problems with numb toes, and have just been to Up and Running in Manchester (they have stores all over) and had a free gait analysis done. They video your feet on a treadmill whilst you are running in your existing shoes and see how your feet hit the ground. I needed trainers with more support, so they recommended new ones for me, and so far, my feet have been fine. It might we worth getting yours checked. Good luck x


Hi I went and had my gait measured and ended up with Brookes trainers, which were a size bigger than my normal size. I was ok until I got to 25 mins of running. This is when the numbness started. I will complete the same run tonight as I did Sunday (in my husbands much larger trainers) in mine. If the numbness starts then I will know it is the trainers. My running style was deemed normal with a heal landing and I don't think I stomp my feet. So I am sort of hoping it is the trainers (even though they cost £90)


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