Really struggling with week 3

Hi all, I've made numerous attempts at C25K and have given up a lot. This time I'm determined as hell. I'm really struggling with week 3 though going up to 3 minutes. Not only am I really struggling for breath, even when I slow my pace down (I've just quit smoking 2 weeks ago), my legs are in pure pain.

I work a busy job where I spend up to 10 hours on my feet in a busy environment. Anyone got any tips? I'm overweight 14 st 11 lbs (207 lbs) ... although was 16 st 8 lbs (232 lbs) in November and have dropped weight so-far primarily through dieting. I was even heavier in the past but due to anxiety refused to weigh myself (Somewhere in the 270 lbs region though)

Will it get easier as I continue to lose weight (less weight down on my legs)? Should I do some leg strengthening exercises and if so- what are some convenient and easy leg strengthening exercises I could do without the use of gym equipment (I.e. bodyweight training?)



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21 Replies

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  • Dear Exzeda,

    Please don't stop. You've done brilliant work till now. Key is to start slowly. What you can do is warm up a bit more than what is on the programme. On NHS choices there is another programme for fitness and strengthening . You could use that or plain and simple do squats without weights and jumping jacks. They warm you up real fast and squats will help with running.

    Also if you haven't , then have someone look at your gait and recommend shoes to you. I have used sweat shop before and they are good. Also you can use Neoprene calf support. They really take the pain away. Available on Amazon.

    Keep running and if you can't run , keep fast walking . It's as good.

    Good luck!

  • Poor you sounds miserable. Donโ€™t me so hard on yourself. Pick a better time of day maybe, choose to walk hard and fast for now. Any exercise is better than none. You burn equal amounts of calories running and walking you just have to walk further. Don't forget the after burn too where you body continues to burn calories after a workout. Make sure you have rest days. Sometimes I have 2 days if I ache. Good luck ๐Ÿ€

  • I agree that walking, varying your pace between brisk and slow, may be quite enough for you at the moment. You have a lot of balls in the air, currently, and you need to be kind to yourself. Exercise is not a punishment, it is meant to make you feel happy.

  • Well said

  • Hi Exzeda

    Welcome to the group.

    Firstly a big well done for giving up smoking and the brilliant weight loss!

    Secondly please don't give up. How did you do on wk2? If you did okay on wk2 maybe repeat it until you feel more comfortable moving up to wk3?

    Definitely get your gait analysed and yourself some proper comfy running shoes.

    When you do the runs super slow is the way to go.

    Please don't give up if really is a good program; keep posting and let us know how you get on x

  • Do not give up! Slow, slower and even slower still! Think snail!

    Just one step in front of the other.

    You have done amazingly...weight loss, ( have you joined the weight loss forum... lots of folk on here on both sites), giving up the cigarettes too.

    Take it really steadily. The link to the strength and flex exercises on the site too, would be helpful for you, I feel sure. Massage those legs, especially after your long day and your runs! The link to the strength and flex is below.. I still use them quite often ..on a non run day,

    So much going on with your body, no wonder it is asking you what the heck is happening! Listen to it and be kind. Just follow the programme, keep posting and do it your way, in your own time! :)

  • Being kind to yourself is so important. You are doing so well.You can do it. All the graduates on here prove it. Sending huge positive vibes your way!

  • When you think you can't go any slower GO SLOWER! you can do it ! Do not under estimate the power of the mind and the trickery pokery it plays on you. Just go really slow one step at a time. Just think of how you will feel at the end of the session and keep going! I am a graduate and still weigh a stone heavier than you. I run regularly and slowly (more like a plod) but I love it. Yes there is pain and yes it will get better the more weight you lose but you get can do it now! It is mind over matter even if it doesn't feel like it. You will be amazed how slow you can go and still run! It is worth it I promise X

  • Hello Exzeda

    I am in week 3 as well and that second 3 minute run is a killer! By the end I am 'running' slower than I would naturally walk but I did finish. We are all at different levels of fitness (I sit down at a desk all day) but please be encouraged you can do it!!!! I am thinking of swimming as well to strengthen muscles and improve my lung capacity. The program is definitely giving me more energy as 3 short weeks ago I was doing almost no exercise and everything seemed such an effort! Now I am looking forward to my runs and looking to introduce cycling and swimming in to an already busy week. Keep trying and you will succeed this time๐Ÿ˜…

  • I repeated some of the first weeks until it felt better. If you have to leave two days in between runs then do it. And above all go slow for the moment. It will get easier I can guarantee that

  • Hi Exzeda. I completely understand where you are coming from, I'm also struggling with week 3, like you I do long 12 hour days and my legs kill even on my days off. First of all well done for your weight loss that is incredible, secondly, its great that you are trying to give up the cigs. Warning ! you may feel worse for it at first, I'm speaking from experience, as I seemed to get chest infections etc for a while afterwards, but it is well worth giving up. The doctor told me at the time it was my lungs trying to get rid of the crap. That was about 12 years ago and I haven't smoked since, so keep at it.

    Well, going back the the running I wasn't expecting to jump from 90 seconds to 3 minutes so that was a shock. My word, to say it is a struggle is an under statement, I flippen hate it. I, like you cant find my breath during the 3 mins and even the walking trying to recover my breath pattern feels horrible.

    I have got out of bed early this am to go down the beach and run but I have been putting it off for all the reasons above. However knowing now that I am not alone in my week 3 struggle has encouraged me to just keep on bashing away at it because I was beginning to think there was something physically wrong with me, so thanks Exzeda and good luck on your journey. xk

  • Hi - and welcome to the group! Well done on making it so far. Just know you CAN do this. As every one has said, go even slower. It sounds ridiculous, but it's true. It really doesn't 't matter if you are running slower than you walk. The running action is what is important. You are building stamina and muscle memory with each run you do, just keep going. Keep your strides short. A lot of people when they start running feel the need to really stretch out their steps equating the long stride length with going faster. Don't! You need to make sure your foot is underneath you when you land. If it is ahead of you, you are placing extra and unnecessary strain on your legs that can result in shin splints, so remember, slow, short steps!! Keep posting and let us know how you get on.

  • You're doing sooooooo well! Please don't give up! There are no rules saying you can't repeat a week. I know I did. Do week 2 again until you feel ready to move to week 3

  • Hi

    Well done so far . I really struggled at the start of my running and wondered if I'd ever get there!

    The things that helped me

    Gait analysis and trainers that matched my feet

    Core exercises to strenghen my abs

    Exercises to strenghen my legs

    My breathing just suddenly came together in week 7 and I started to enjoy running

    Take it slow , I got there and I'm sure you will

  • Hi I'm at the same stage as you and have found that the step up to the 3 minutes was worse than I thought.

    Now I know this could just be in my head but the first run of week 3 I had my watch on and when Laura told me to run I was checking the time then throughout the run sectionsi was looking at my watch (which I hadn't done on ANY other run) constantly thinking OMG another 90,60,30 seconds and thinking I couldn't carry on for the expected time. I deliberately didn't wear my watch next time and found it much better, still was wishing the run sections to be over but wasn't clock watching.

    On the pain side, I too had a lot of weight to loose (6 stone) and cycled to do this. I think I've been extremely fortunate in that unintentionally it's helped me with this as it's greatly strengthened my legs and hugely helped my cardio.

    None of this might be any use to you but just thought I'd share.

    Starting is a great achievement on its own ( I know this!) and I hope you're able to continue ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘

  • If you are struggling then may I suggest you try your best or go back to the previous week and do that week again just to build your confidence.

    I am overweight (19st) and am struggling to shift it. But I have advanced to week 6 so far. I have found its a struggle to get the breathing right even now and you, as an ex smoker, need to allow your lungs to clear themselves up. It will take time.

    When I tried thus last year I was doing each of the first few weeks twice before moving on. My downfall then was running on pavements with trainers not running shoes.

    Keep trying thee will be plenty on here to help and no doubt had the same issues.

  • Hi, I felt the same when I started last January - I used to do a mental checklist as I ran - are my lungs working? yes - VERY hard, are my legs working? yes - feel like lead but they're moving - OK, it's the couch potato dragging me down... and it was. Also, it takes a while for most people to get into a pattern with their legs and breathing sorted, it still takes me 5 mins or so at the beginning of a run before I start to feel comfortable, so from that perspective the longer runs are better! You can always go a little slower too, even when you think you'll be going backwards if you slow down any more, you can. You can and will get there, don't despair!

  • Thank you so much for posting this. The thought that I need to run a bit longer to get in to my stride makes the prospect of week 4 much less frightening!

  • Repeat Week 2 and take it at your own pace that's what I did. I took from January to May to get to running 30 minutes. I now run 5 K three times a week and just did the Race for Life last Sunday. I repeated weeks all the way up to week 4 or 5 and decided when I was ready to up my running time. Good luck!

  • Well done on the weight loss and quitting smoking!

    I didn't get into a steady breathing rhythm until I'd run for about 5 minutes so, bizarrely, the runs got easier as they got longer! Stick with it and repeat runs until you feel comfortable to progress.

  • Hi Exzeda you are finding things difficult and there may be a number of factors that are contributing to this you mentioned your weight but not height if you are 6ft plus then 14st or so isn't that heavy but if you're 5ft'ish it is it's all relative. You mentioned that you've given up smoking so well done but if you've smoked for long time it'll be a while before you see any improvement in lung capacity I know as I'm an ex smoker myself I to suffered aching sore legs early on but that will subside as you develop one of the biggest problems you'll have to overcome is your mind you have to be hard on yourself and keep going even if the little devil on your shoulder is say give it up it's not for you. Keep going and the doubts will disappear the stronger you get a few weeks ago I was in the same place as you worried to death of the step up from one week to another and now I can run for 30mins still find it hard but the self doubt has gone and I feel so much better health wise. All the other advise I've seen people have offered is good as well regarding pace etc. keep going and don't give in. Good luck you'll always get positive support on here.

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