Couch to 5K
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Completed Week 7 run 1 25 minutes running 3 days ago and was quite pleased with how it went. Now I seem to have gone into a complete meltdown - went out to do the next run and just couldn't get going - after less than 5 minutes I just couldn't go any further - my legs felt heavy and mentally I just couldn't cope with it. Very disheartened and feel like I am losing my motivation which I definitely do not want to do. I am off on holiday in a couple of days and don't know how much running I will be able to do there - 30 degree heat is not what I am used to - but maybe change of running route might help? I don't know what is going wrong really. Anyone else ever feel like this?

10 Replies

Yes! Every week almost.

A change is as good as a rest as they say, new routes could be what you need or maybe just the break itself. Don't worry too much, we all have good days and bad ones. You've done really well getting this far, don't lose hope. 😊


Thank you. Yes maybe a new route would help. I have very limited options here and the main one includes a steep hill which always gives me a hard time.


Definitely go for a change of route. The trouble with running the same route every time is that you start measuring each run against previous ones. You know the feeling: the " I must be running badly today because last time I was further than here when this song came on" or the "Oh no, that hill's coming up next and my legs didn't feel this tired last time."

Someone wiser than me said that running is 10% legs and 90% brain (or some other equally surprising statistic) We can only run well if our brain is playing ball. So my advice would be to go on Mapometer and plan yourself out a different route (preferably one without a shedload of hills). Decide in advance that you're going to run really slowly, and (dare I suggest it?) ditch Lovely Laura for once. Put on some great tunes or an audiobook, and time your run using your wristwatch. You can do it, you just need to believe you can :) Good luck!

1 like

Is it hot where you are?

Lots of people I know seem to be struggling with their runs this weekend due to the sudden increase in temperature.

I had a bad run yesterday and had to stop before I should have.

Give it another go. You'll be surprised. Don't give up, you're nearly there

Jules xx


Hi Highlander, I have certainly had days when the running seemed much harder than usual - it seems to be the case that sometimes we just encounter a bad run.

I have read a lot of ppl on here say the first 10 minutes is hard for them. I personally use the beginning of each run to go through a mental checklist of runnining tips and techniques, i.e. shoulders back, posture up straight, slight lean at the tummy etc etc, all the tips I have picked up here on the forum and and the nhs site in general. For some reason it just relaxes me into my run and takes my mind off any potential gremlins at the start.

Also I know how you feel about your upcoming holiday. I am away next weekend, so am likely going to start w9 a day later. You're doing so well and have come so far, keep going, you can do this!


Probably one of the things to do is just to refuse to let heavy legs stop you. Imagine some kind of running shuffle it would be possible to manage with heavy legs, then slow that down a bit, and start that way if the legs go heavy. You're fit enough to manage a shuffle. You just are, and you know it, so work from that knowledge, not from the feelings of the moment.

So get yourself into that pace you know in your mind that you can manage, and then do things to get that out of your mind. That part of your run needs to go on autopilot. Instead of focusing on the illusion of heaviness (it's an illusion; you're fit enough to run non-stop for at least ten minutes, and probably more like 15; you ARE so; this is a FACT, not some lie to attempt to flatter yourself with) ... er ... instead of focusing on the illusion of heaviness, try switching your focus to things like your posture etc. Get your mind off the obstacle, and onto something you're going to succeed in. If you're lucky, at some point your legs will just seem to start operating as normal again; if you're not, you have to keep yourself distracted for the next minute; and then another minute ...


Put it down to just one of those days or runs, sound like the voices won that conversation that day ... we have all been there ... it happens

use what you have done so far to keep you motivated , you have come such a long way from week 1 :D that is something to be proud of and celebrate , a change of route can help keep your runs interesting :)


I lost quite a bit of motivation around week 7 because I knew I could realistically complete week 9 but I didn't feel as great as I thought I would when I imagined myself near the end of the programme back in week 1. I felt like it should be easy, that I should be running faster and that I should be feeling proud of myself but just wasn't. I did complete the programme but only from a sense of duty and not liking to leave things unfinished. You could maybe try a different app? Some people like run zombie run, I am completing an Asics programme at the moment and am loving it because it sets my pace for me, so I don't need to beat myself up about not running full pelt like I did in the C25K.

Maybe now you know you can do it you're a bit bored? Maybe a change of routine or doing a different programme or going to a parkrun or doing a race might kickstart your enthusiasm again. I really empathise and hope you find something you like, those legs sound like they might be fibbing a wee bit! Good luck :-)


The same happened to me. I went back and repeated week 6 and then did week 7 no problem the second time. Now just about to do week 9.


Thanks to everyone who has replied. I think I need a mixture of all your suggestions! Thinking about it I think part of it could be that now its just one long run it does seem a bit 'boring' without all the changes from walking to running and back. The 25 minutes seems much longer too. Changing my route might be difficult as I live in the back of beyond with only one road to run on!! However I will try and work through it all - hopefully my holiday will boost me a bit. Thanks again and I'll let you know how I get on!


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