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Couch to 5K
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Stress effect on running

Hi guys, 

I graduated a month or so ago and I've been running 5k 3 times a week, pretty much every week since then. But last week my boyfriend and I found out we are being made redundant from our jobs (both work in oil industry) within a day of each other and since then I can't seem to get rid of my stress. I ran last Friday and did 4.9k very fast (26 mins) and then on Monday I tried to run and struggled my way to 3.2k but I felt like I had no energy and my breathing was off. Ran 5k on Wednesday (again fast for me) but had to stop for a few minutes at 4.3k as again I just hit a brick wall. Today was the worst attempt- managed 2k in 10muns then had to stop. Felt like I was empty and had problems breathing. Just wondering if my personal life stress had impacted on my running? Has anyone experienced this? It's frustrating as I want running to decrease my stress but it's becoming a stress as I have a 5k for the stroke association a week on Sunday and I'm worried I won't be able to finish it😔

7 Replies

Perhaps not going out at max effort would help. Leave your Garmin at home and just go out for a long slow meander. Pay no heed to sped or distance, just potter along for an hour or so. Breathe the air. Walk the earth. Be at one with the universe and stuff. 


Oh goodness.. worryingly,you are beginning to sound like me, Rignold....now this has completely unnerved me. A free spirit . Wow! 

But, very sound advice.


Listen to Rig, it's great advice!!


I find my chanting really helps with dealing with stress

you have my full sympathy redundancy is a horrible thing to go through I should know !!

there is life beyond no matter how horrible it looks



Welll my 10k run felt unusually hard today and I've had a pretty stressful week, so yes, it will effect you sometimes BUT I do feel better for having been out in the beautiful countryside and feel emotionally renewed despite huffing and puffing all the way round😮! Like Rignold says, don't worry about the stats, just be at one!!


This is dreadful. I agree totally with  Rignold, just go for a run.

No speed or distance thoughts, just run and try ( hard I know) to let everything go.

No surprise you are stressed... and it will maybe take more than your runs to put this right, but may help to get things into some kind of order in your head.


Stress definitely impacts running.  Sometimes I run fast and angry and burn out fast.  It's good for the head though, like I'm trying to work something out.  Lately it's sapped my desire to run and it's been tougher than usual to get the running shoes on.  But don't worry about your event, no matter how your runs go over the next week.  The atmosphere, the excitement will get you excited and carry you to the finish line.

I'm sorry to hear about your job.  I'm in the same industry, though on the government side.  It's grim, the stress is eating everyone here away.


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