Feeling deflated: I tried running outside today... - Couch to 5K

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Feeling deflated


I tried running outside today (I normally run on the treadmill) but couldn't complete the 25 min run, wk7/r1.  I know I run too fast but I feel really self conscious running outside and think that walkers will overtake me lol.  How do other slow runners cope with this.

Then I went to the gym thinking I could do it there but I gave up after 17 minutes.  I used to get a real high after a run but I've not had that for a while.  Maybe I'm training too hard, I went on a 14 km hillwalk on Thursday leaving my legs quite sore and stiff for my run on Friday.

Will try again tomorrow, maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow.


17 Replies

Hi Ruby speed isn't everything it's about completing it,doing it either on a treadmill or outside is upto you which ever you are comfortable with and don't over do it in between runs. I used to run the day after a swimming session and run 2 of every week I then found harder than run 3 because I didn't really rest myself

Hi Butch, thanks for the advice, I'm normally ok on the treadmill but I've entered a 5K race at the end of June, so at some point I'm gonna have to learn to run outside!  Yeah I probably have been overdoing it.


in reply to Rubywednesday

Good on you for entering the 5k I am sure you will be fine :)

It sounds like you are pushing yourself too much. If you ran today you need to rest tomorrow - even if you didn't complete the run you set out to do. If W7 is to much, perhaps go back an repeat w6 instead. You will get to graduation, just a week later, and that is perfectly allright. 

I'm a slow runner too, and I'm overtaken by other runners all the time. They may think we're slow, but does it matter what they think? We know what we are, and we are runners! So get out there and enjoy the fresh air when you run.

Moving outside can be a hard transition! Don't be too hard on yourself.  I was overtaken by dogwalkers (much younger, clearly much fitter dog walkers, but walkers all the same) but you know what? It really didn't matter. They didn't care. 

It's an ego thing, but really, it doesn't matter!  Just focus on your running - and take it slower.  Don't let it demoralise you, you will get there, it will get easier. Stick with it.


Slowly slowly is the way to complete this programme. ☺

After reading your post yes a 14k walk one day followed by a run the next might be too much at this stage. It's good to do something on rest days but give yourself a break too.

As for moving outside, it's odd isn't it? I feel more self concious on a treadmill than outside😆 You'll soon get used to it.

As for being slow? At least you're out there & doing it. Speed can come after you graduate.

Keep going. You're doing great! X


Running outside can be a lot harder than running inside, it took a few runs for me to find a comfortable outdoor pace and it's a lot slower than my treadmill pace, and it took weeks for some muscles to stop aching after hills.

Don't beat yourself up, you are doing great, just remind yourself that you need to find your pace again and keep training on the road so you can be ready for the 5k.  It doesn't matter who passes you, your body is working harder than theirs is and they're probably wishing they had the courage to do what you're doing anyway. 

You can do this!


To echo what the others have said, don't focus on speed, just finishing the 9 weeks. The mere fact you are at Week 7 is fantastic. 

Tip for running inside is to ramp up the gradient on the treadmill. I do a shorter faster run and my intervals on a treadmill and do a nice long run outside. 


I can only echo what others have said.  Make sure you have a day's rest in between runs so that you give your muscles a chance to recover.  Making the transition from indoors to outdoors is harder than you expect from what I've heard and I would imagine then giving up on the treadmill afterwards was more than likely down to the mental gremlins of demoralisation.  (I've only ever run outside but I'm absolutely terrified of the treadmill as I struggle to run on it just doing a gait analysis!)  Keeping things slow and steady is good.

So... pick yourself up, dust yourself off and chalk it down to experience.  I'm sure the runner's high will return again.  Just look how far you've come and you're so close to graduating now.  Keep going and happy running :) xx


I got into the routine of getting up and going for a run at 7am, mainly so nobody would see this huge lump trying to run! But actually, the people I've seen have been lovely. One even gave me a reassuring cheer and opened gates for me. It's been a really nice experience and actually I don't always go out in the mornings anymore. The first few weeks were terrifying for me but actually I've just got used to it now and just put my headphones on and listen to Laura!


Don't worry about your speed. A 10 minute mile is the same distance as a 20 minute mile! It's not about how fast but how far and you'll soon find a love of outside running. Keep going x


Take it slow and steady. Forget anyone else. This is your run, for you. Your way.:)

I have never run inside, but like the other posts below say, imagine it must be very difficult. Take your rest days...use them for gentle exercise for a while maybe...:) 

You will do this, if you remember, to follow your own path and travel at your own speed;

I read a great quotation last week, " Your speed doesn't matter, forward is forward"

Go for it!


I have been running for nearly three years and still consider myself to be a newbie. You are only at the very start of your running career and the best thing you can do is to learn to pace yourself, both on an individual run basis and as part of your general exercise regimen. Although C25k seems to transform us in a very short time, building up stamina is a long term process. You are unlikely to perform as well the day after a 14k hike, as you would on a normal day. An extra rest day would probably sort that problem, but otherwise you need to lower your expectations and be prepared for a slower run, which will do more for your long term stamina than trying to bash out fast runs.

When you overtake another runner, it is purely because at that moment you are running faster, not that you are necessarily an overall faster runner. They may be doing a slow interval or a gentle recovery run after a marathon. New runners equate speed with success, not being aware that the slow runs are a crucial and integral part of training. There is no shame in a gentle jog and only the unknowledgeable will make judgements about you based on your speed.  

It can be frustrating if your fast pace only matches someone else's gentle jog. You have to accept that you are where you are at this moment. However, with targets, tempered by a sensible training plan and a developing awareness of the reality of what your body can achieve in the context of the rest of your life, you will learn when to hold back and when to push hard to hit those targets and get the elation that follows.

Keep running, keep smiling.


Hi, when i moved outside from the treadmill I had received advice about it being harder - no machine setting my pace, hills, wind.... so i went back a couple of weeks which meant I could do some intervals in week 5 and build up to running outside. It even took me a couple of attemepts to do the 20 mins of week 5 before moving on to week 6.   It meant graduating a couple of weeks later but it meant graduating instead of giving up.  I am a real convert to running outside and haven;t looked back - a couple of extra weeks has meant nearly a year of seasons and wildlife and fresh air - go for it! xx

Hi Everyone, thanks so much for all the encouragement and advice.  I decided to take a day off today, gonna try again tomorrow on the treadmill, hopefully I'll be able to complete it.  

I've got my jogging group later in the week, I don't feel as self conscious jogging with them (safety in numbers) and I'm not the slowest lol.

Thanks again and good luck to everybody in their own challenges.



Ruby I run on the treadmill and only have one run to graduation. When I started doing this back in feb I thought that by April I'd be running outside in warmer weather! Yeah right!!! It's the cold holding me back but I can really feel my stamina building up on the treadmill. I would like to run outside as quite frankly it's boring on the treadmill! All the best for whatever you decide to do. At least we're doing it! 😀

Hi Happywalker, yeah I never realised how difficult it would be learning to run outside, it's so much nicer outside now but I really struggle to pace myself.  You're right about the treadmill, it was fine on the short runs but it's starting to get pretty boring.  


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