I started my c25k journey in June 2015. I graduated in October (yes it took me longer than the 9 weeks) and continued to run every other day, through to the week before Christmas. Every run was a challenge and I felt like I wasn't improving. I felt like I was slower than slow and that I really wasn't a runner. Just before Christmas my knees were giving me a problem so I stopped for a week, I meant to get back into it but then hurt my back. The result being 3 weeks without running.
Today I went for a run. I was worried that I would have lost fitness and all my hard work undone. So rather than go out and try and run for 30 mins and be disappointed if I didn't make it, I decided to do week 5 again building up slowly to a 20 mins run. So today I did W5r1.
When I did W5R1 the first time around I remember getting to half way through the first run and thinking it was a real challenge. Towards the end of the run I was really struggling. Today was a different story. I was expecting to feel like I did the first time around but when I got to half way through the first run I felt like I'd only just started. By the end of the first 5 mins I was feeling great. I still did the walk as I wanted to build myself back up slowly.
I'm not saying the whole run was an easy run, by the end of the third 5 mins I was finding it tough and the run was still a challenge, I was still slow and still red faced but it was so much easier than the first time I did it back in week 5.
So, by going back I can really see how much I have improved through the whole of this course and beyond. I will go out on Wednesday and do W5r2 as, while I think I could possibly run 20 mins straight, I like the sense of achievement from completing a run I once found really hard. I also don't want to be disappointed if I couldn't do a 20 min run. I'm also conscious of building my back muscles back up to cope with longer runs.
I'm feeling positive though that it will not take me long to get back to running 30 mins.
So, for anyone who doesn't think they are progressing, you really are. Go back and do one of the earlier runs and it will prove it to you that you really are getting fitter.
Good Luck to all those who are starting out on their journey, stick with it, it really works and you will enjoy it