Couch to 5K

Can't get past w6r3!

Despite just about managing to run20 mins for end of week 5 (3weeks ago)I seem to have gone backwards and keep stopping! Can do 10 mins but can't seem to get past that! I only stop for like 10 -15 seconds but it"s sooooooo annoying as I want to move on!

I"ve just bought some new running trainers and new outfit to give me a boost but I was hungry when I got up (I run early in the morning) and have had a banana before but there were none there today so maybe that didn't help?! Anything else I could have tried?

Any tips?( Other than just get on with it woman!) I want to be able to move on to week 7,8&9 and graduate! I know I'm going to have to just push myself and get on with it......

7 Replies

Hi, are you starting off too fast? Go really slow especially at the beginning of your run. When it starts getting tough, slow down some more. It may also be a gremlin in your head stopping you- next time that gremlin comes tell it where to get off. A piece of advice I got from which I read on here was when it gets really tough, say to yourself- am I still putting one foot in front of the other, yes, am I still breathing -yes, am I still upright -yes, am I still alive- yes. I was saying this out very loud yesterday on my run. Lol. I find it always helps me if I get organised before I go, so it's like a little ritual of everything lined up ready for me, I think it helps putting my head in the right place, if that makes sense.


Is there something at that ten minute marker that makes you think "I can't do this?" Is it at the same physical point in your run? If so maybe vary your route a little. And start REALLY slow. I often find if I set off too fast then by the ten minute point I feel totally kaput BUT I also know that I'm not into an easy rhythm until 12-15 minutes and I have to push through that 10-12 minute bit to get there. Just try to keep moving, slow down and then slow down some more just don't stop. Anything to keep moving to the end. And drink plenty before you go. You CAN Do this. Your body is ready, you just need to get you head in sync :) Good luck. Will be thinking of you and willing you on :)


Fuel is vital of course so make sure you are suitably stoked up,or your energy will just not be there. I rely on proper porridge. If you have no time in the morning you can do overnight porridge with yogurt and berries, leave in fridge overnight for a healthy pre run breakfast. You might need to wait a bit after though, or just eat part of it. Muesli and yog or milk, apple juice etc is fine too. I make my own energy bars so I always have one at hand 😊 Bananas are great for runners. So easy to prepare ☺

You can get over your sticky patch but you just have to keep pushing. It will come, just have faith ☺


I run at 5 in the mornings during the week, so can empathise with you. I just have a glass of water before I go, as don't have time otherwise I'd be late for work.

I have struggled through the programme, but you can do this, and I agree it could just be a gremlin, I am quite slow anyway, but by 10/12 minutes I am getting into a better rhythm, and I do have to tell myself to keep going, my legs often feel like they are not doing anything, shoo those gremlins away and just keep at it, you will get there believe me if I can do it anyone can if they really want to!

Good luck


So, you know it's just psychological because you've already done 20 minutes and you can continue after the shortest of pauses.

Why not try a different route or different music so that you aren't thinking 'oh, this is where I usually have to stop'

If the going is really tough I try counting steps or fitting the words of a song into my rhythm - it's all about distraction until you are over that tricky point.

Good luck -you can do this!

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I don't know if you can see how the time is counting down when you run, but I run with a kitchen timer and believe me it is really helpful to think of my runs in segments of 'What I can do easily now!" I did my longest yet yesterday - the 25 minutes.

Starting off was standard for me - breathing all out of control but knowing it takes 'about five minutes' to settle in. So that was the first five taken care of.

then NOT 'oh God - twenty more minutes left' but 'I can do ten no problem - done those segments a few times and got it done and dusted'

ten more minutes gone by.

Now it's not 'can't possibly do ten minutes more - I'm gasping for air here' but

"I KNOW I can run for five minutes easily - but when I tried those five minutes segment in early weeks I felt just like this at the start of them and I got through them...'

now I have the last five showing - and I am feeling it.

But not 'I simply cannot do this today - we'll call this a 'practice day' and try again next time'. Nope - it's 'I'll be darned if I am going to quit now and have FIVE MINUTES still to overcome next time - I'll knock that 'deficit' down to four...down to three...dang this is hard but no way am I NOT going to run for two minutes at this stage..' and then I finished.

I was mostly thinking of other things by the way - I was not grimly staring at the kitchen timer and hectoring myself the whole way around. It was quick glances and a mini-chat about 'keep going, slow down etc etc'

I'm finding the end of the middle part of the runs is my problem - I have done half of the time and still have half to go. the last quarter or so of the whole run feels like 'progress' but that 'end of the middle' bit is Limbo for me - and not the limbo with the dancing under sticks but the 'I am a Lost and Lonely Doomed Soul' Limbo :)

So - my 'Famous Kitchen Timer' is really my 'Peripheral Brain' when it comes to Running, and while I sometimes can even forget to puff on my Inhaler ( I have Exercise-Induced Asthma) before I leave the house I NEVER forget my Kitchen Timer :)

Hope this is all of some use to you - we are ALL in this together :)

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Hi Fairydust I am having a similar struggle in that I have to stop for breath in the middle of my run and when I have caught my breath back I carry on. I just keep going out and running in the hope it will click for me one of these days. Just remember how far we have come from the first week of 60 second runs!

I am wondering if I have a touch of hay fever as it is my breathing not my legs that is causing me difficulty? I am still enjoying running but the program has gone out of the window a bit for me at the moment. It does take some people longer than others to finish and graduate so don't be disheartened we will get there in the end!!!

I prefer running first thing in the morning when it is cool and always run on an empty stomach because I just dont feel hungry at that time. When I have run later in the day after eating it doesn't seem to improve my performance anyway.

Good Luck and Keep Running :)

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