Couch to 5K
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A difficult run

It's quite a common theme here for someone quite new to running to post here upset that a run has not gone so well as the same run earlier in the week. It's equally common for some of those who have run a little longer to reply that we all have bad days. So I thought, sitting here with aching quads, that I'd give you an example of that...

I've been running for nearly 2 years now and just over a year ago I agreed to run once a week with my cousin. It's a nice arrangement - we both get a suitable length run and it helps to motivate us both to get out and run. As a result, I have been doing approximately the same run around once a week for over a year now.

You would think, after perhaps 50 occasions, I would have the measure of this run by now but today things were just not going my way. I always run before dinner in the evening but today I hadn't eaten much for either breakfast or lunch either, it was cool but so humid I was sweating buckets and my spec's were steaming up! It was drizzing enough to annoy but not enough to cool you. It was one of those evenings that seem to be so dark that the street lights just can't penetrate and you can't see the puddles and mud, which were everywhere, broken only by patches of slippery wet leaves.

So anyhow, after very many occasions, today's was easily the worst repetition of this run. I completed my distance, but with lead legs the whole way, slipping and aching and generally wondering why I bothered while the sweat that wouldn't cool me dripped down and made my eyes sting.

I know that it will be better again next week, because it has been so many weeks before. But take heart if not every run is easier than the run before. Sometimes, we just have bad days!


9 Replies

This reminds me of the old plaintiff cry " Does it ever get easier" ?? :)

My personal experience is that it never gets easier - for two reasons

1. I keep changing the goal posts !! One time the goal is to run 5K , then it somehow becomes 10K, then finally (for me ) a HM!!

2. I actually forget how hard/easy the first few months /years were!!. I have been thinking about re-doing the runs that I did 12 months ago, to the day!!! I can tell you where I ran, when I ran , how long I ran and how fast I ran for any day. But when I look at the numbers - I suddenly realise how far ahead I am from then!!! - even though I also have BAD days. Since my run/walk HM two weeks ago, I have turned into a complete WIMP!!!! :) - but I feel like maybe I am emerging from that dark place. I am hoping that my parkrun tomorrow isn't the disaster that the last two have been !! :)


> then finally (for me ) a HM!!

finally? You sure? :) :)

When I'm really hurting trying to get a PB or run an extra K I try to think back to how much it hurt me to run w1r1 and realise that if I put that much effort in again I'll do it easily, or at least I have to give it everything.

It's so easy to lapse back into doing "just enough" instead of really pushing yourself. Of course you can't give it everything every run, but once in a while...

1 like

Thanks for that ugi. It's good to be reminded that there are good runs and bad runs wherever you are the running journey, often with no explanation as to why. Somehow though we fight through it and keep going which I think builds stamina in the mind as well as the body. 😊


Yes! I feel like this experience is showing me how determined I can be. I'm stronger in my mind than I realised and I won't give up.


Very true! Equally, some days I go out, think I'm shattered after a hard day at work or a bad nights sleep and just have a fantastic run!! Go figure!


Absolutely - I am just as often surprised by a good run as a bad one!

Last night everything seemed to be against me but the unexpected runs, good and bad, happen for no discernible reason as often as not.

1 like

Great post and I think it illustrates just how many variables there can be to this running thing and if one or two aren't up to scratch then we might have a little problem.

Thanks for posting and I'm sure the next run will be perfect.


Thanks all

It was a tough one, but in some ways they are more satisfying to complete. Still aching thou'!



So true Ugi, we all have runs like that and you never know when it's going to happen!!!


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