Is it okay?

Completed week 6 run 1 this morning. Rated my run 2 stars out of 5 as I felt a bit pooped by the end although managed to complete 5 mins / 8 mins/ 5 mins as directed. My question is this: is it okay that on my last run I should have run for 20 mins straight, but had to pause the app at 10 mins recover for 2 mins and then go again for 10 mins to finish the session? If I am honest I do not think I can yet run for 20 minutes without stopping so if I carry on with week 6 am I setting myself to fail again at run 3?

I know I am still improving, my recovery time after running is much quicker but should I repeat week 5 until i run for 20 mins or plow on as best I can?

16 Replies

  • There is no shame in repeating weeks if you think it will make you stronger and more confident. Maybe try to repeat w5 r3 first? I think I should have listened to my body at your stage and rested and repeated. Good luck

  • I would repeat! Running for 20 minutes is a big milestone in the programme and it's important as you build on this achievement in the next weeks. Slow down and ignore the gremlins who tell you it's time to walk. No shame in repeating a week. Don't be disappointed - just think how great it's going to feel when you've conquered your nemesis! Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  • Thanks for that, I will keep you posted!

  • I have to admit I deviated a few times just like you have. I added a few different run timings in. I did then same as you 10r/2w/10r then a 15r/2w/5r then finally could manage a 20r with no stopping. It might make the week a bit longer but it was the only way I could get myself there. Adding smaller amounts of time made it seem easier for me as it was only an extra 5mins of running each time. Don't feel bad if you need to redo runs or break it down expecially with the later runs.

  • That"as great way to do it, I"m having the same trouble so thanks for that as I had no idea how to get to 20 mins!😁

  • Great that makes a lot of sense. It seems a big jump up so I will take it slow

  • You are training yourself to be a runner and there aren't really any short cuts. The C25k programme is flexible and can be used as a guide to allow you to do what works for you. However, if you did not complete a run, then it is probably best to repeat it and there is no problem with that. If you move on, you do, as you suggest, run the risk of not completing one of those runs, which will not be good psychologically. And don't underestimate the importance of that. As well as building your stamina and physiology, C25k helps develop the bloody minded resolve and determination that you will need and telling yourself that you have completed a stage when you haven't is of no help there .

    You say yourself that you are not sure whether you can run for twenty minutes just yet, so far better that you repeat the run and move on confident and jubilant when you know you can do it. Keep going, you are doing great.

  • Thanks - I will repeat until that 20 minutes is done. My stamina is improving but if it takes a couple of weeks for me to get this then so be it.

  • I would repeat the 20 min run, if it was me. The muscles and joints are ready but sometimes the mind takes a little more time to catch up. After week 6 there are more continuous runs and you will want to do them without breaks. This isn't a race. I personally took a few weeks to do the 20 min run and cried with elation when I did because it meant so much to of achieved it. Happy running.

  • Hi gingerwhizzer. Excellent advice so far. However, I have a different view. First, there is NO shame at all in repeating. If you want to repeat a week then do it. Secondly, as others have said, becoming a runner takes time, patience and a LOT of work for your body.

    However, it also takes a lot of work for your mind. The huge risk is that you only consider a run 'complete' when it is 'easy'. If the run was a struggle then that is somehow bad. I think every single one of my runs was flipping hard work(!) but that only added to the elation on completing it.

    For me, the question is, what do you think will happen on the next run? If you think 'I will do it, kicking and screaming, and hanging on by the skin of my teeth, but by gum I will do it!' then great, go ahead and do it. If, on the other hand, you genuinely think 'no, not a chance, not even if there was a great big calorie free chocolate cake with a chocolate milkshake next to a chocolate bar at the end of the run' (hey, a glimpse into what motivates me :-)) then yeah, I might repeat the week.

    Note, though, I am not asking how you feel - you sound like your confidence has been knocked, which happens to us all. I am asking for a more objective assessment.

    The other point is to slow down. I found it really useful slowing right down, almost to the point of stalling, but still jogging. That gave me the time to recover and wasn't walking. I also think the answer to many many questions is SLOW DOWN :-).

    Ultimately, being a runner means being realistic of what you can do. But, it also means getting out the door every time (slightly hypocritical of me to write this given You need a bucket-load of determination and a very high tolerance for discomfort.

    So yeah, there is no shame in repeating, there is no shame in walking mid-run, and ultimately it is about the long run (pun intended). What do you need to do today to continue that journey?

  • I am determined to run for 20 mins so I will just keep going until I reach that goal. It doesn't matter if it takes a couple of weeks or even more but I'm not going to let it get me down. I have achieved a lot in the first five weeks so I will try and be patient and keep going until I get there. Thanks

  • I'd repeat it. W5R3 was the first one I had to redo. It feels great when you do it and I feel it's necessary psychologically. You can totally do it, you've trained for it. It's your head that gets in the way with that one. Just start out even slower than normal to save some gas in your tank for the end.

  • Thanks I am feeling very determined now so I will let you know when I do it!

  • I have used C25K for several years now to get fit for the Race for Life -I insist on running the whole 5k course. I'm always daunted by the dreaded 20 minutes in Wk5/3- it seems like such a huge jump from previous workouts. However it does the trick psychologically I'm sure! I never know whether I've done enough up to that point to manage the 20 mins yet I have managed it -and felt so exhilarated at the end!

    Whilst I'm here I have to say that Laura has worked her magic yet again ( despite the horrid music!!) and I completed my 14th consecutive R4 Life yesterday in a respectable time for my age!! ( The first one was "something to do before I'm 50"!!)

    If 20 mins is really too long I'm sure as others have said, altering the timing slightly will be ok- whatever works for you is going to be the solution.

    Happy running!

  • Thanks Kath and well done on 14 Run4life's! The encouragement is much appreciated and I will get there eventually! If it was too easy where would the challenge be?

  • I have repeated weeks several times to build up my confidence and ability. The way I see it, every time I have a go I am building on the day before and moving in the right direction. I am in week 6 but it has taken me nearly 3 months to get here. I don't move on until I have completed the session fully but I also celebrate every session even the repeated ones as to me it's all a real achievement having never run in my life. Hang on in there hun and enjoy the journey x

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