Couch to 5K
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Help, I've lost my va va voom!

Hi I wonder if any advice can be offered please. I completed the c25k a few weeks back and have been enjoying my three times a week steady 5k runs at about 31/34 mins on average. I've been feeling really positive and even invested in some flash new brooks trainers. I also do a couple of Aqua aerobics classes a week and do an hour a day on my exercise bike. So all good until weds this week when I went for my usual run and felt like I'd got lead legs tried to push on but had to do the walk of shame and do only 15 mins to return home. Today I had a banana about 20mins before run and felt OK initially but then hit the buffers again after only 20 mins and now feel bit down hearted as I don't understand what's happening. I'm trying to eat more healthy foods and wonder if I'm not eating enough say night before if only a tuna salad? Or is the breakfast? I don't think I've changed anything in my diet or life style since beginning that's why I'm so puzzled, I wonder if anyone has any suggestions I'd much appreciate it, thank you from Miss miserable :(

10 Replies

Tricky to know sometimes - could you be doing too much? Try taking an extra rest day and see if this helps. Also, sometime we can feel like we're running on empty if our body is fighting something off like a virus. Hope you get your spark back soon.


Thank you Sandraj yes you may well be right I may not run now till Monday and see how that feels. I have no signs of a virus but you never know what's lurking! Thank you I will let you know when it returns which I hope it does!

1 like

Hi Bunnygirl,

my observation is that it sounds like you are asking a lot of your legs. You are doing three long runs now each week

and because you are fitter, probably giving it some on the exercise bike too...

Plus Aqua aerobics...phew im worn out just thinking about it...

How about trying c25k + to change things up a bit. It teaches you a new light short stride technique and maybe cut out/go easy on the exercise bike on your rest days.

I think you are burning yourself out and not getting your recovery time..

Your diet should be fine as it is. You will find that your body will hold onto calories if you overexercise cos it will go into starvation mode. When it knows it is getting enough to cope with the day, you will get weight loss if you want it.

If you dont fancy that at least only do half an hour on the bike, and see if that makes a difference.

I know you wont want to give up on your running having come so far... :)

Good luck.

Hope i don't sound bossy, i have just been to so many Rosemary Conley classes over the years and picked up these tips. x

1 like

Hi Jan thank you so much no def not bossy it's so helpful to get someone's else's prospective. I think you could be right now you've said it I see what you mean I may be overdoing it in order to get fitter which in fact is then counter productive. The c25k+ is that on a podcast too? I think I might give that a try cut down the bike as you say and just keep Aqua which is tougher than people think but so much fun I don't want to stop that really. Thank you for your help much appreciated.


Hi Bunnygirl, that sounds like a good idea. Yes the c25k+ is on the nhs choice couch to 5 web site. They are fun and Laura takes you through it.

Def. keep going with the Aqua areobics and the running and have a rest on some days from the bike. See if it helps. XX


Thank you I'll download that now and take your advice and see what happens !


If you have been doing this successfully for some weeks, it is very unlikely that your current malaise is due to overtraining. The volume/intensity of exercise you are doing is not excessive if you are otherwise healthy. A couple of tough runs doth not a slump make. We all get bad days, bad weeks, it's just part of the deal. Fitness is an ongoing process, not the results of one or two days.

A couple of questions though:

On the days you had bad runs did you also have similar difficulty with your exercise bike session?

Secondy, you say that you are " trying to eat more healthy foods" but then that "don't think I've changed anything in my diet or life style since beginning "... those two seem slightly contradictory. Have you consiered doing a food diary for a month, like My Fitness Pal - its a very good way of seeing exactly how much and what one eats over the course of a week and how that correlates to the number of calories one is burning through exercise and everyday life. It is usually a real eye opener. Most of us are not eating nearly enough protein, for starters.

I would certainly give it a few days before making any changes based on a couple of duff runs.


I agree with a lot that has been said above. You might not of changed your diet but you will probably of got more muscle tone and that requires more energy (food) to keep it going. If you are on the lower end of your calorie intake it is possible because of muscle, you might need a little more. Take heart in the fact you are here asking questions it means it is not going to be permanent you just have tweak things until they feel right. As a runner this is something you will do naturally over the course of your running journey as fitness changes.


Are you doing your cycling before going for your run? If so, I'd run first and do the cycling later in the day. Only tough run I had on the c25k was when I cycled 1 hour, cycled back an hour later and still had my run planned. I did leave an hour or so before going for the run and eat some cold sliced meat before I left but I think it was the cycling first which made the running harder (although I am used to cycling and hadn't found it at all tiring).


Hi thank you for replying yes I did cycle before run initially as a warm up but have tendency to get carried away and then head out for my run. I've been thinking a lot about my routine since the wonderful support from forum and now realise I may be overdoing things in desire to get fitter and faster! I failed to mention as well I joined slimming club to try and lose a stone which I have, having joined in December. So I think my diet has been lacking enough carbs/protein to sustain my increased excercise. Wow who'd have thought this running lark could create such a lifestyle rethink!


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