Going backwards: I was doing really well, after... - Couch to 5K

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Going backwards

Sadamski profile image

I was doing really well, after slowing down I'd managed to get all the way through to week 9 without issue, but I've not been able to complete 3 consecutive 30 minute runs in nearly 3 weeks of trying.

Different reasons each time, breathing not right, foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain etc so I'm giving up for a week or so and will restart around week 7 or 8 next week.

It's very annoying as I was hoping to do a proper 5k at the end of last month and push towards a 10k for next month but it appears to be on hold for a while.

Not really any point to this post other than I am frustrated and needed to share :-)

16 Replies
yatesco profile image

Hi Sadamski - be careful you distinguish between pushback from your body and pushback from your mind.

This training plan is as much, if not more about training your mind to believe you can run as training your body to actually run.

Reading your post, I would say it seems the 'gremlins' might be winning the fight. Frustration is inevitable really in this plan as you get the balance between pushing through the discomfort but backing off when you need to.

If it was me, I would take 2 or 3 days rest, then resume week 9 but going _really_ slowly. If, towards the end you still have a lot in your tank, then finish strong.

Going back to week 7 or 8 I think is admitting that you aren't a 'week 9 runner', but you are, you eared this. But, 30 minutes continual running is hard on your body, particularly if you are going too fast (which almost everybody is :-)).

There is no shame AT ALL in repeating a week or two if you need to, at all. In fact, it only shows your determination which is a good thing. However, don't let the gremlins overstate the challenge you are facing.

Dunno - up to you, and above all I would encourage you to keep going as you are, actually, doing really really well (how many others would have given up before now?!)

Reading your expectations however (a 10k only a month after a 5k) does lead me to think you are a bit optimistic, and therefore trying to achieve a 5k in 30 minutes. Take that pressure off yourself, run for 30 minutes however slowly you need to and then build up from there.

Hope this helps :-).

Sadamski profile image
SadamskiGraduate in reply to yatesco

Hi Yatesco,

thanks for that.

I know I'm some way off 5k in 30 mins, i'm probably looking at 35-40 minutes for a 5k.

My intention after completing week 9 was to add a couple of minutes per week until I hit the 5k and go from there, but i've got stuck before that.

You are probably right about the gremlins getting the better of me and some of it being in my mind, but I just don't want to risk a niggle becoming more serious and putting me out of action for a while as I've done a couple of times in the past when I've started a fitness regime and gone at it too fast.

Discretion being the better part of valour and all that :-)

melly4012 profile image

This is a great response from Yatesy. I was going to say the same, Sadamski, there really is no need to go back to Week 7 or 8 other than if you REALLY feel that you need to get your confidence up - in which case you can do the last run of week 8 and then onwards to week 9.

It's only an extra 2 minutes, you know you can run for 28 so (barring injury) physically there is no reason that you can't run for 30 - you CAN do this! Out of interest, you say you haven't done 3 30 minutes consecutive runs, how many 30 minutes runs have you done over the 3 weeks?

Sadamski profile image
SadamskiGraduate in reply to melly4012

I think I've done 3 x 30 minute runs but they have been interspersed with failures. I don't want to move on before I can complete the 3 runs consecutively and I think the failures might now be becoming a mental block so having a rest and going back a week may help me blast through it.

melly4012 profile image
melly4012Graduate in reply to Sadamski

I understand you wanting to complete the programme as it suggests and at least you know you can do it if you've already run 30 minutes 3 times before :) If you weren't already, perhaps you could try two rest days between runs? I did this from about Week 7 onwards as my muscles just didn't feel ready to tackle another run after just one rest day.

Sadamski profile image
SadamskiGraduate in reply to melly4012

I hadn't thought of that, I'll give it a try.

Thank you

yatesco profile image
yatescoGraduate in reply to melly4012


Oldfloss profile image

I agree with yatesco ..be kind to yourself, ease back, run when you are ready, slow and steady for 30 minutes, and just finish this journey..then make plans!!! :)

Slinkyminky profile image

You've had fantastic advice above.

Don't let the gremlins win, you've ran for 28 mins so you can definitely run for 30.

Go a bit easier on yourself, you seem to be giving yourself a hard time at the moment.

Complete the program and then you can make other plans i.e to run 5k

davelinks profile image

Push on with w9 after a good rest of 2 or 3 days, forget about distance for now, just do the time, there's no rush is there? Consolidate 30min runs first, then gradually build distance..when you're ready..😊

Tombenoly profile image

It sounds like we are having the same problems!!

GoogleMe profile image

Technically I'd say you've graduated if you completed up to the whole of 'week 8' and then have successfully completed the Week 9 session on three occasions - that's all the programme asks of you, anything else is of your choosing. I can though see that you want that "I can run continuously for 30 minutes" bedded in.

It's very normal for people to get a bit scared about Week 9 and it all being over... to the extent of unconsciously sabotaging themselves.

I think you've had some great advice already, but just wanted to add that maybe substitute some cross-training, such as a swim or bike ride for one of the weekly runs? Something that will maintain your aerobic fitness, but work some different muscles and perhaps release you from any mental block you're having?

Sadamski profile image

Well, once again it appears that you good people know what you're talking about! :-)

Slowed it down again and enforced 2 rest days between runs and I've managed all 3 this week, even kept going to 5k this morning and did it in 37:16.

Thanks again to everyone for their advice, now wheres that 10k? ;-)

dddd4 profile image

Yay -graduate. Get that feels good. Hoping to be in your shoes today or tomorrow. Happy after graduation running!

Just read this whole thread sadamski. Wow.. well done on graduating in style.😊

With such great advice from everyone you were bound to succeed. What a team c25kers are...

Now go get a badge...😊

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