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Couch to 5K
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Why does it bother me?

I have been out for a long 8K run this morning, 8.2 mins per KM, not fast but the furthest I have run!

I graduated C25K in June and have continued to run 3 times a week, usually Saturday being the day to increase my distance. I am 56 and in April when I started my lungs really did feel like they would burst on week 1 60 second runs. So I feel I have come a long way.

I tried to run with my fit 60y hubbie but he is way to fast for me, he is a natural runner I am not. I also smoked up until January this year.

So why do I get annoyed when he pulls my splits apart and tells me I need to try harder when I run up hill!(My times slow right down)

I had avoided hills but now am gradually running up them ( slight inclines) it is slow its not pretty but I am getting there.

I love him dearly been married to him for 36 years, but want to shout at him, to put himself in my shoes! (Or Trainers).

That's one of the reasons I would rather just run female races, I even find Park run a problem, I feel some people don't understand us C25K converts.

A man did tell me the other week if I wanted to get quicker I should tackle more hills, and that's what I am doing!

But my way!

11 Replies

I think the sayings is " your race your pace " we are all individuals :) stick with what works for you :)

We all aspire to run further and faster and there are many ways to get there but it is always in our own time and way :)

Hills are a good way to improve stamina etc also speed intervals and the distances all combine to hopefully improve pace etc ..

You are doing great :D and 8.2k is a great distance ,well done :D


8K? WOW. A big pat on the back to you - I'm nowhere near that yet. I don't run with anyone, and follow my instinct. I ask for advice if I need it, and most of the time, I ask for it here. We all get to our goals in different ways. 5+3 makes 8, but so does 4+4. What's important is the result :D

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Well done you.

You did it your way. The splits don't matter unless that's something you are focusing on.

8k is a fab distance, you should be very proud. Don't let anyone make you feel different


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It bothers you because you ARE trying - in your own way, in your time and at your own pace!

Can you gently suggest to him that what would help is approval and practical advice not criticism; you know what you need* to do and you're doing it but if you push yourself too hard too soon you may injure yourself and he doesn't want that, now does he?! Encouragement is all very well and it can be hugely helpful, but not if it's the kind that makes us feel inadequate and demoralised. If he can show you a way that will help you run faster up hills, well, brilliant. Otherwise....

So, you carry on doing it your way - you'll get there when you're good and ready.

*actually...do you need? ...or are you happy with where you are?

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Thank you all, I think you are all correct about doing it my way, I made the decision to get fitter, run 3 times a week, keep my weight under control. That is all happening, I know I am not a natural runner, but this morning was also a turning point as I really enjoyed it and was sad when I got to the end of my run. I think I just need not to worry about competing with others, concentrate on my runs my way. Jenny.XX

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I am pretty sure that you know that in order to get faster you need to try harder on the hills without him telling you. It's not as if you deliberately try less hard or want to go especially slow....

Maybe it's his male way of trying to be encouraging ...I wouldn't worry about it. We get it :-)

Well done for doing 8k - it's great feeling when you are able to push that distance, so be proud!

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It's all about our own pace. I do find some people are more competitive than me and that they think they are helping by giving advice. I'm slower than you and happy with my pace. Occasionally I feel like I've been left behind and then I think to myself, behind what? I do this for me, even when I am doing and event I'm still doing it for me. The stubbornness in me keeps me going and the feeling I get after a long run is enough to keep me going out the door time and time again. Close your ears off when the advice comes and then go out and do it your own way. That way everybody gets a bit of what they need. Your other half is only trying to help he just dosent realise your fine at your own pace.

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He's just making the same mistake everyone makes: Equating running with the pursuit of other goals/ thinking that the only way is the athletic way. It's natural enough to think this way if you don't take the trouble to think a bit more broadly.

Now the main problem with this way of thinking is that it just Doesn't Work. It is a failure in the sense that it's a failed model of reality for not just those of us who have two left hands and ten thumbs, but also for everyone who is even slightly unathletic. It doesn't work as a motivator (and actually it doesn't even work as a motivator for the "ordinary athlete" without some selective vision/ self-deception, either). It's one of the main reasons you don't see lots of people out there doing the exercise they know is Good for Them. (Like bitter pills are Good for You. Like boiled cabbage is Good for You). They know it's good for them, but they also know that it's "For Athletes Only".

Nobody would think you're going about things the right way if you gave someone non-mathematical a problem and started shouting, "Oh for Pete's sake! Just use integration by parts!" We accept that even mildly excessive demands like this are unreasonable and counter-productive for maths. Problem is that someone who has found some sort of reward in athletic activity, that has lead on to the development of a talent, has found this a long, long way before another discovers that it's quite fun to solve equations. It happens early, so it seems natural. That makes it really easy to be blind about. (The answer to the question, "Are you stupid or are you just blind?" in this case, is just "Blind". There are actually none so blind as the just plain blind. And there's no need to be so nasty to the blind. Shame on you, Gary.)

Step 1. Acknowledge that non-athleticism is as real as non-mathematicality (or non-poeticality etc, if that doesn't fit). And history proves that athletics is potentially demoralising to non-athletes. Ask anyone who put his face in the way of the ball that was going toward the goal, who then gets screamed at by everyone in the team because on the rebound there's an easy goal, how much fun soccer is, and I think you're always going to get a similar kind of "none at all" (horrible game; rugby is much better; you get hurt and break things, but nobody ever screams at you because you let a try through).

Step 2. Find some other way for non-athletes. Zen might do quite nicely. Lots of other things might do quite nicely. The thing is to not keep attempting what you know is a Failure over and again.

That's enough steps. We're creatures of short vision. Take those two and you're started enough to maybe even finish. If not, discover some Step 3 and hope that's an end to it.

So what Step 2 might you take?

Here's one that might be a bit hard: Give your measuring device to the RSPCA. It's evil unless in the hands of someone who needs things like splits. Stop even measuring your times. Instead give yourself a rating at the end. 0 wasn't enough of a challenge, 1 was a bit lazy, 2 was something else, and 15 was much too much. Really. If you use enough precision to determine "who's first" at any part of your run, you're risking a journey into the world in which it's tempting to start thinking you're "wasting your time" on running; if you use your own self as a measure, you never gather enough data to stray into the land of despair.

Finally, I've recently read somewhere (or seen in YouTube, maybe) that intense training comes with a health risk. There's some nice happy medium for those aiming just at health benefits. Exceed them, and you can go all the way to having the same risk of dying younger (etc) as someone who does no exercise at all. The athletic way is even bad for you. It's the "painful couch with rocks for stuffing", but it's another couch, pushed too far.

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Either don't measure your splits or don't show them to him! You're doing just great!

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It has taken you 36 years to only now realise - that you are married to a MAN???? :)

And show him the video of people trying to run at 3 mins per klm ( as elite marathoners do ) and ask him when he is going to do THAT??? :)

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You're right! You will have to ignore him and build your pace gradually. There is absolutely no point in going to fast - beyond your capabilities - and hurting yourself as a result. Those hills will still be there tomorrow. I think hills are best tackled by degrees. There's nothing quite like conquering a hill after you've been chopping away at it for a while

Chill out and just enjoy your running. I'd run without him as he's undermining what you're doing

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