A Bit Low - Going Backwards?: I was so pleased... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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A Bit Low - Going Backwards?

Statpuss profile image

I was so pleased that after several attempts, I had got up to being able to complete week one day one on Tuesday. So went for Week 1 day 2 today, and it was SO much harder. I don't know what was different, as I run on a treadmill so my route is always the same. The only thing I can think is there are two psychological factors playing on my mind: my partner, who I would say is fitter than me, tried day 1 of c25k yesterday and he couldn't run for a minute; and on the weekend we are going to go out together and I'll be trying running outside for the first time. Running outside means uneven surfaces, inclines and not being able to watch the app display like a hawk so I can fool myself by promising 'just ten more seconds'.

Feel like I am going backwards and I don't know what I did wrong. Fitbit says my heart rate was lower than when I completed on Tuesday, but breathing felt harder and I had a lot more pain in my legs (I suffer pretty badly with splints). Could really use a confidence boost cos right now I'm worried I'm going to go outside for the first time and embarrass myself. I'm scared that completing on Tuesday was a fluke and I'm not actually getting any better. I'm really afraid of failing and letting myself down.

17 Replies
pot58 profile image

Phew you are asking a lot of yourself! Firstly wll done you for getting off the couch and doing this.Its week 1😱You are allowed to struggle...We all did..and still do!Running outside is different...not better not worse....just remember go slow...and then even more slowly...My running when I started was slower than my walking. I would n't worry to much about the data just go and do it....I also would n't worry about embarrassing yourself....you should see me ...I go beetroot am rather large and wear running tights..need I say more...Joking apart you had reasons for starting the C25k remember those!!!! And good luck...we can do this ....

Statpuss profile image
Statpuss in reply to pot58

I've told my feller that the reason he found it so hard is because he probably tried to shoot off like a rocket. I said I'd go out with him in an effort to pace set and try and get him through with me. Thank you for the pep talk :)

pot58 profile image
pot58Graduate in reply to Statpuss

Oops...did n't mean to....😳

Qscout profile image

Your body is probably recovering still from tuesday which is probably why your legs were more painful today.

Just take each day as it comes, the plan does work and you can do it!

dexdog profile image

The biggest hurdle to overcome is your mind! You can do it and you will. Outside is great. Jog for 10 seconds if that is where you are at. It is 10 seconds more than 2 weeks ago. Enjoy the fresh air and have an exhilarating walk with a couple of jogs. Most of all enjoy it. The body does take time to adjust and you are out there doing it. Well done and keep going.

Ullyrunner profile image

The usual problem at this stage is trying to go too fast. As long as you are doing a running motion rather than actual walking that's enough. Just do what you can - you will get stronger.

Good luck to you both!

Oldfloss profile image

Gosh.. well done you for doing this.. and gosh.. what a worrier!

My old Nan used to say, "if worry is going to change anything.. then worry, if it isn't going to change anything, then don't! "

You just go out there and take it at your pace... I was the Grey Snail.. schoolboys walked faster than I ran at the start!

Doesn't matter...just as Ullyrunner and the others say.. slow and steady and enjoy being outside. It is truly wonderful, even with all the ups and downs... Go for it :)

Sometimes runs feel easy even though you're out of practise and tired. Other times everything's right and they feel awful anyway. (I've been running regularly for nearly 2 years. That was the case for me in the first week, and it's still the case now).

Don't be phased by it; it is what it is and you're doing just fine. 👍🏼

Yup good advice and it certainly helped me in those early weeks, you really need to understand that slow means SLOW! And yes great effort, all you have to do is keep repeating the hard work and voila! A runner you shall be

Excellent advice from everyone above this reply who I'm sure have all been in the same position as yourself. The first weeks, in my opinion, are the hardest for a variety of reasons some physical, some of the mind.

Sounds like a brilliant idea doing the programme together. Even though we've all run with Laura it must feel good doing this with your partner and helping each other when you get that low feeling during the runs that you just can't go any further. Keep in mind though what dexdog said, you're still better off than on the couch regardless of how long you can run for.

John_W profile image

1. Stop "running" and start JOGGING :-)

2. Week 1 is no time to be paying close attention to your heart rate. Take it nice and easy. Your pace should be one you talk comfortably at. A "conversational pace" :-)

3. Why not stick with the treadmill for now? You can control your pace much easier than going outdoors at this stage which might only complicate matters, increase your anxiety and dent your confidence. I would recommend sticking to the treadmill for now until you've built a bit of confidence.

4. Don't necessarily do the same speed as your fella. He may be too fast for you.

Both of you should SLOW down.

Do it slow enough and you'll both be fine :-)

Good luck


misswobble profile image

Gosh what a worrier. Stop stressing, have fun. This is fun, or it should be. Forget stats and times and such like and just do the sessions as Laura tells you.

Sounds like your fella is going too quick.

Run outside. You'll love it

Hi I started c25k with my hubby. We found a flat park and ran on the tarmac paths. We did the warm up walk together then when the run (jog at this stage) started he would go faster than me so we would not meet up again til the warm down walk at the end. You should be able to keep each other in sight at some stage for support. ( near the end of the program he would lap me).

Just an idea that worked for us. It is good to have a running buddy, you are more likely to make the effort to go.

Good luck and well done for starting. You can do this. :)

runswithdogs profile image

Some runs will be easier than others. Don't even try and figure out why at this point, just enjoy them. Slow down as others have said. And don't be embarrassed. No matter how slow, red, gasping for air you are, we all started where you did. If you can't complete the run outside, it's okay. You can try again after a rest day. There is no time limit to complete the program, we'll be here as long as it takes so slow down, relax and enjoy yourself.

Not much to add, except to say that I always found the 2nd run in a "week" the hardest. Looking back I think it's because I expected run 1 to be terrible, so was pleasantly surprised. Then I was expecting run 2 to be easier than expected, so was disappointed when it wasn't. Then I had low expectations for the 3rd run and it seemed better again.

Just my experience for what it's worth.

Slow down and stick with it, you won't regret it! (And do go outside if you have the chance).

That's an interesting point about the second run being the worst. I'll be interested now to see what run 3 is like. Thank you!

secan profile image


You have already received a lot of good tips but, if I may, I'd like to add one more thing: "watch the app display like a hawk" is possibly the worst thing to do.

If you focus on how much longer you have to run, each second will suddenly looks unbearably long. Try instead to focus on your breathing rythm or on the music (if you are using the podcasts), and to actually enjoy the sensation of your body doing what it was born to do; you will complete your running/jogging stretchmuch more easily.

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