A happy realisation

In about three weeks it will be my 4 year runniversary :O Looking at some of the posts from new people on here (welcome one and all :) ) and looking back at some of the things that bothered me, I've realised something that I just had to post about.

When I started, I got knackered very quickly. It took me 50 runs to graduate, not 27, but that was okay, because I got that badge! But then it took forever to get into a run. On the whole I hated the first 12 - 15 minutes of any run. My legs hurt. I was uncoordinated. I couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't breathe! The question kept coming round again, as questions do on here, and I kept seeing people say that the first 5 minutes were awful and then things settled down and they could run. And for me, it kept being the first 15 bloody minutes. I hated it. I'd tell people that I hated running, but I liked having run. The actual process of running was not fun. I disliked being so sweaty, beetroot-faced, out-of-breath and out of control. Then I got fitter, then I faded in and out of various injuries, greater and lesser, and my fitness increased and waned again... but the start of a run was still bloody hard and hateful.

I went out this morning. The run was uphill to start with - just a gradual incline, but it went on... and on... and on... for 1.5k. And it was okay. Not fantastic, but okay. It made me think, when I got back, that for quite a while now, the first bit of the run has actually been okay. I couldn't tell you when this started, but it has made me very happy.

So there's hope! Stick at it - if I can do it, anyone can! Happy running, everyone :)


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22 Replies

  • Good morning. Your post really resonates with me. I am a new graduate, I did my third post grad run this morning. I feel exactly the same, I hate the first half of a run and I struggle through the second half. I don't particularly enjoy the running but I do like the feeling of having run and I get a real sense of achievement as I hit each new target.

    I'm still waiting to 'enjoy' running but I'm going to keep on doing it regardless (well, that's the plan!). I do hope it doesn't take me four years though! Lol!

    My fitness has improved vastly over the past ten weeks but reading all the posts on this site I am not expecting running to get easier since when it does the feeling seems to be that that is when you should up your distance or work on picking up some speed so there's always a new challenge ahead.

    So, on we go.... And hopefully soon I won't hate the first 15 mins quite so much very soon.

  • Congratulations on graduating!

    I don't think it took 4 years to stop hating the first 15 minutes, honestly :) It's just that I've only realised it now. I'm a slow learner :D

    You will get there. The thing to do now is to consolidate and not to try to do too much. Yes, you need a challenge or to continue stretching yourself. Many people feel a little lost after graduation and the structure of the C25K weeks. I used the C25K+ runs for a while and found them very useful, and still use Speed, for example (that's this week's little gem!). But suddenly over-extending distance can be a problem, as can stagnating at just 30 minutes every run, doing the same thing. So mix it up if you can, and you'll suddenly realise that you are enjoying it, and that the first few minutes aren't as hard, and that this running thing is good fun :)

  • I'm so pleased to see reflected my exact thoughts on running! The first part is like nasty medicine then I get into it but still can't say I enjoy the process yet. I love having been for a run and I love the fact that my body misses it if I can't get out. I'm training for a 10k due to happen in September and I can't ever imagine being able to do that. However, to start with I never dreamt I'd get to the end of the c25k programme either, so I know it will come.

    I do envy people who love every minute and who can run more quickly than when they graduated. But I have the mental stamina to run for forty minutes or more. In the early long runs it was the mental stamina that was the battle but I know that , like you, I'll do a run one day and think: yeah, that was ok!

    Well done for the grit to keep going through the hard times. You have inspired me to keep going, I thought I must be the only graduate who struggles!

  • You will get there, OT :) As you say, you didn't think you'd get to the end of c25k, and yet you did, and you can run for 40 minutes. All you have to do is to build up slowly. You have plenty of time to get up to 10k before September, and you can do that, no problem. Are you mixing up your running? When I first started running 10k all I did was extend the distance, and although it got me there, my core was tired. If you don't already, it's helpful to add in some sort of cross-training, and to mix up your running a bit as well, depending on the type of course your 10k is as well. And the important thing to remember is to run for fun too. Just go out there and go somewhere new :) And, by the way, loads of people struggle. The important thing is learning from it, shrugging it off, lacing up again and getting back out there :) Happy running!

  • Thanks Annie we just have to plug away. And you're right; most of my training is simply extending the distance. I shall defo mix it up a bit! And fun? Well I've practically forgotten all about that! Thanks for the reminder!!

  • Well, there are people who dress in gorilla suits and tutus, and I'll never be one of those! But just going for a run without a real aim, because it's sunny and the birds are singing? Great!

  • Yup! And the clocks move this weekend!

  • I think this post is really helpful for a lot of people Annie. I guess it's just our bodies, and heads, getting set up to run.

    Although I don't hate the first 10-15 minutes I do have lots of stuff going on in my head at that time like, "is my ankle ok, ooh is that a pain there?, should I stop, I should have gone to the loo again, I don't think I can run x miles today, etc etc". After that I settle down but the start is usually not the same as the rest of the run.

    You must post on your 4th Runniversary. I think it's very encouraging for new runners to see that it is a lifestyle thing and to hear about what keeps you going.

    Enjoy your running.

  • That's something I learned too, IP - a 'systems check' as it were. When I wanted to stop, I learned to think about each bit of me. Feet - are my toes actually going numb and do I need to stop and re-tie my shoes, or not? Legs - do they actually hurt or are they just tired? Knees - is that an actual pain or not? Breathing - am I actually wheezing or just out of breath? Back - is it actually painful or just a bit achy? Usually the answer was (still is!) no, and it's just whingeing :D

    I will post on my 4th runniversary. I'm wondering where to go as my celebration, and hoping for fair weather :)

  • I look forward to reading about it Annie.

  • Hi AnnieMurph! I am responding because I've noticed the same thing myself.

    This has been a slow change and like you has kind of crept up on me but it is a definite change... so for everyone on this forum who really struggles at the beginning of a run take heart, keep going and it will eventually improve. Honest!!!

  • Lizziebeth! Yeah, it's funny, isn't it, you don't notice and then suddenly you think back to how it used to be :D And I am not what I would class as one of our serious runners. We have people on here who race regularly and do amazing things, and I love reading about what they do. They inspire me - in fact, I have entered a couple of races thanks to them - but on the whole, I am someone who just goes and runs. And it does make a difference and it does get easier :) Keep going, everyone, and enjoy it!

  • You have given me a brighter "light at the end of the tunnel". :) Thank you. Happy running.

  • You are most welcome! Happy running to you too :)

  • Yes, thank you very much, this is all encouraging. At the moment W6R3 tomorrow, it just feels like an endurance test with mind over matter - thankfully hanging in there - I do feel good, and pretty pleased with myself afterwards. I really want to continue after graduation but if I thought I would still hate it in the long term that would be dismal and I might have to think of some other form of exercise in the longer term.

    The posts will encourage me to hang on at least for a year or two in the hope that one day I will say - ooh, I am quite enjoying this run!

  • Ooh, W6R3, you're really getting into it now :) I was always very pleased that I was running, always happy to get out there, it's just that the first 12 - 15 minutes were never enjoyable and I couldn't understand what other runners meant about this 'zone' business :D Now I plod along, happily zoned out, still huffing and puffing but actually, yes, enjoying myself! And don't worry, I don't think it took me all four years to get to this point. I really can't think when it happened but for a while now it's been like this. The other things is, 5k becomes 'normal' :D Enjoy your run tomorrow!

  • I always think of it that the first couple of miles I am still warming up and the lungs and legs haven't worked out of they're up to out yet but after the first couple miles - the same 10-15 minutes as you things start settling down and I start to feel invincible. I'll never be fast enough to be in the first half of the HM finishers - but by Jove I'm out there in the same race as them and I get across the line and three years ago that was inconceivable

  • Exactly! I always say that I couldn't reliably run a bath before I started, and look at me now - my first response to going away is 'pack my kit - where can I run?' :) I'll never get up to HMs, unlike you, but I'm happy just to be getting out there. Happy running :)

  • I'm so glad I found your post.  I've started the plan again, after having an enforced break due to ill health immediately after graduating last September. 

    Although I've got through to W7R2 again, I can't say I enjoy the running while I'm running.  I only ever really enjoy it when it's over and I'm heading for the shower. That said, I know that my body is getting stronger, and my mental attitude is better. I feel more energised after running, so I get more done. All good!

    I live in hope of getting to the point where the start of the run feels as good as the end. Thanks for the reassurance that this is a distinct possibility 😊🏃

  • Sorry you were ill and I'm glad you're back again, fully recovered I hope.  You will get to the stage where it all feels good, you will!  My point for this post was that I hadn't realised how much my runs - and attitude - had changed.  It was a sneaky, gradual thing, obviously :D  And I still have runs which are better than others.  Today's was a slog and I feel that it should have been better.  It left me a bit nervous about my next run and doubting whether I will be fit enough for the race I've entered in May.  But if the next run is okay, as it probably will be, all these doubts will go away again, most likely.

    So here's to a stronger body, a better attitude and more energy for all of us :)

  • I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease about a week after I graduated, then had a flare up and 4 months of chronic fatigue. So I'm having to be careful not to push too hard this time through. 

    I'm delighted to find that I am managing  ( if not enjoying ) this time through, and it helps to know that I've already completed the plan, even though I was really poorly at the time. I thought the running was making me tired ... Little did I know! 

    I am soooo looking forward to the day when I catch myself having fun whilst running! 😃 

  • You will have fun while running :)  Glad you have the IBD under control now :)

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