Couch to 5K
53,120 members85,198 posts

Couch to 5k week 4

So I started couch to 5k and things were going well until I met week 4! I'm finding I can only just make it to the halfway point of the program but I can't repeat the runs. I'm running as slowly as I can already so dont think that slowing down is an option. I htought the problem may be the humidity but I've tried running at all times of the day to no avail and always have some water with me. Does anyone have any tips to help me et over this hurdle? I've already read some posts on here but people always seem to be able to fniish the program just struggle three times whereas I'd be extremely happy to finish it once! All help greatly appreciated.

4 Replies

I am taking it that wk4 is the one that you can't get past. I would suggest that whichever run or week that you have completed successfully, that you repeat a few times until you can complete these runs fairly comfortably.

The next week in the programme isn't a huge jump and if you can do the previous week, in theory you should be able to do the next, it may take a bit of confidence and mind over matter but you can do it.

Repeat a few times to give you confidence, then take on your gremlin week, you can do this, think positive and beat those gremlins.


I found week 4 a big step up from week 3, and think that's what triggered knee issues the last time (or two) that I tried C25K. So this time around, I spent two weeks building up from week 3 to week 4. So after doing week 3 properly, I then had another week where I carried on running for a bit at the end of each of the runs, and shortening the walks so that I started the next run interval on time. Then the following week (possibly even two weeks later), I moved on to the week 4 podcast, but stopped running a bit before the end of each run interval, so I was still improving on the previous weeks, but not making the big jump up all in one go. That's worked really well for me, so may be worth a try...

Good luck with it - you've got this far, you can beat this! ;)


My first bit of advice would be to ditch the water - you really don't need it and it's just an encumberance to pumping your arms to help push you along. The way you run can make a huge difference - if you're slouched or arms crossed in front you can't breathe freely so try and hold yourself up and keep arms down by your side, elbows bent and acting like pistons to propel you forward.

I expect it's three quarters mental and one quarter physical. You reach that place where you've struggled before and the mind plays its tricks, telling you you can't go on. But you can, you really can, if only a few extra metres. You need to take the pressure off yourself and definitely *don't* compare yourself to others! Try changing your route so you don't reach that place. Instead of crossing roads where I was, I would run down roads and back up the other side just for a change too.

Don't worry if you need to take an extra walk, it's better to do that than give up. As soon as you've recovered, start running again. My thought was, I have to get home so I might as well try running some of it rather than walk all the way beating myself up about it! If you want to repeat a day, then do it, but don't be afraid to move on to week 5. Sometimes we just get stuck and the battle to overcome can be soul-destroying so put it aside and move forward. Success breeds success, so if you only manage one extra run, you'll feel fantastic!

Another thing is maybe just go out for a run; forget times, forget the programme, just a run. Walk when you need to, run when you can, but enjoy it. Next time you try week 4, you might have the confidence to know that you can complete it

You're obviously strong-willed as you haven't given up, so use that strength to push yourself just a little more for the next few runs and before you know it, you'll be cruising along towards graduation! We're all behind you, so just imagine us giving you that extra shove when you begin to wilt!! ;-)


Fantastic advice from dottiemay . It sounds like a major case of gremlins. You can do this! Keep us posted...


You may also like...