W4 R1 Fail Plus I'm Off to Look Out my Neon Pink Towelling Sweatbands and Headband

oh dear oh dear oh dear


Today is classed a 'fail' or - as I searched the forum entering the search terms 'week 4' and 'fail' I read enough to know you lovely, warm and nurturing Graduates will gently nudge me onto my next attempt with genuine words of belief. "There's no such thing as a fail" - but I guess its how I feel about today.

It was a bad run. All in. A new park with too many fitties and MAMILs in it, so I felt uncomfortable. Saturday's W3 R3 was back on the treadmill and I found it almost easy (careful!!!!).

I had slept in and rushed out with only a cup of tea and porridge and I had the distinct feeling in the late morning sun that I needed to drink more water before running. I felt generally knackered and under par I didnt have a stitch, I just *couldn't* do it.

The step up from W3 and 3 minute runs to 5 minute runs feels like a steep curve.

Here's what I managed of W4 R1:

warm up walk (!) // 3 min run // 2 min walk // 5 min run <----- could only do 4 mins so I went back to walking then took on the next walk // 3 min run <------ ok but hard // final 5 min run <------- did not even attempt just went straight to brisk walk for 5 mins then finished early.

And...the music. Oh....I have actually semi-enjoyed most of the music apart from the Deliverance-style banjo number in W3 and W2 final track moved me to tears. But the soft rock/ 80s guitar solo and simply dreadful song in the middle (that sounds almost out of tune!) almost made me cry for another reason. I left the 80s and I am not going back there....

Will give it another shot on Thursday - work and evening commitments make that my next time to have a go. Feel a bit unsure about it though; am wondering if my overweightness means the increase in length of runs is a bit beyond me.

When I complete three W4 runs fully without crying or dying, I will wear my neon pink 80s towelling sweatbands and headbands just for you. I might even take a photo....!

Last edited by

Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

30 Replies

oldest β€’ newest
  • You know what I'm going to say ;)

    There is no such thing as a fail. We have successful runs and practice runs! Today's run was a practice run :) And you managed plenty of it. (to be honest, I had a really poo run today too). Your hydration level will definitely have affected you, so when you do the next one, top up the tank before you go.

    There are a million reasons for runs which just aren't 'good' and sometimes no reason at all. Don't judge your ability or commitment over a practice run. You were out there. You were doing it. And your overweightness? No. The increase isn't beyond you. That's a gremlin talking ;)

    Don't worry about this. Just chalk it up and move on. I had to do week 3 twice before I had it nailed. You're doing brilliantly. Don't let this knock your confidence!

  • you are always so good at encouraging. Thank you xxxx

  • Honestly, I've been there. It's a killer when you get a bad run. Makes you doubt your ability, wonder if that's it, you've gone as far as is possible etc., etc. None of that's true but it's hard to believe it when you've just had a rough one.

    I for one am looking forward to the neon pink towelling photo :)

  • McFITTY is right - just a practice run.

    I bet you weren't beating yourself up for 'only' being able to run non stop for FOUR minutes a couple of weeks ago!

    Doesn't matter how long it takes to get there - you can do this. Outside is harder than the treadmill but at least there is more distraction from Laura's terrible music!

    Just keep putting one foot in front of the other - slowly. You will get there!

  • Yep ... you know what we're all going to say! 'Fail' becomes a term you substitute for an 'off day' instead ... you put your shoes on, you went out, that's not a fail and actually you weren't far short of what you were trying to achieve so please don't be disheartened, as I was when it happened to me during the programme (and still does occasionally) ... the next one will be better because at the end of the day we're humans, not machines ... things affect us from how much sleep we've had to what we've eaten and drunk (or not) and as such there will always be days when it's just not going to be how we want it to be no matter what we do :-)

    My hubs, who has run marathons, bailed out on a half marathon on Sunday for just this reason ... got so far into it and it wasn't coming together so he ran/walked the last 3 miles ... it goes to show that we all face it from time to time and it's something to heed, not to regret :-)

    So ... chin up, celebrate your progress so far and look forward to the next one ... don't dread it, you WILL do it and you will then know that you can have an off day and it won't break you ... keep us posted :-)

  • Looking forward to seeing the photo πŸ˜‰

  • I'm only going to reiterate what the others say. Absolutely you can do this. Weight will not stop you, it's the gremlins playing mind games. If I had stopped because of difficult runs I would never have gone further than week 1 but thanks to this forum I carried on and am so glad I did. I have less of a weight problem than when I started. My runs since graduation have been a bit disappointing but I've been out this morning and had a brilliant run - not because of distance or speed but because I relaxed and enjoyed it. Will be watching for your next post - go for it but relax and enjoy πŸ˜€

  • Although I've said this many, many times before on this forum, I haven't said it for months, so it's your turn! I was about 5 stone overweight when I started c25k and it took me 50 runs to graduate, not the standard 27, because I kept repeating runs and sometimes weeks when I didn't feel strong enough to move onto the next week. I run slowly, have no ambition to run much further than 10k but I have been running for the last four and a half years and have even completed a few 'races' (that word is in quotes because the only person I was racing against was myself).

    I have days when the runs go well, and I have days when the runs don't go so well. That's running. There is never going to be a point, as far as I can tell, where every run is a good one, so don't kid yourself. Learn from the not-so-good ones. Were you properly hydrated? Did you eat reasonably before your run? Are you rested since your last run/mammoth shopping expedition/huge work event etc? Even if all the conditions appear to be right, sometimes it's just one of those things. At least you still ran.

    Lace up again on Thursday and have another go. Come back and tell us all about it. You'll be fine! You're doing well :)

  • Perfect advice Annie. I have nothing at all to add!

  • I used to think that there would come a time when every run was a good one... :D

  • Lol, me too πŸ˜‚

  • One more thing to add, that no one seems to have mentioned - slow down! A lot of " not successful" runs are caused by starting too fast. We've all done it - slowly is the way to go. xx

  • thanks. I genuinely can't go any slower - on MapMyRun my best friend walks faster than I run on her meander round the shops that she tracks on the app :-)

  • The only person you compete against is yourself πŸ™‚ That leads to the question " Why do this running thing at all?"

    I started doing it to "be healthy" or some such vague reason. I do it now because it is FUN - even on my "practice days" (no such thing as fail if you went out the door 😊)

    Nobody here is going to win the Boston Marathon but Everytime I get bent out of shape about how "slow" I run I remember the agony of W1D1 and have to laugh 😁

    And with time, progress on the speed/distance anyway!

    Sometimes I miss the early days of the programme when all I felt after a "tough" run was that sense of amazement that I was able to run at all LOL πŸ™‚

    Slow and steady is what gets is to graduation and beyond πŸ™‚

  • It sounds like a bad run and we have all have had them. Don't let it get to you too much, many things can happen to make a run like that and at the beginning of your journey you put it down to "I can't do it". As you progress and learn more about your body you will find there really is no such thing, your body might need more time to adjust to the distance, speed, you might not of been hydrated enough, you might not of eaten enough, you might of slept badly, you might be coming down with something etc, etc. Honestly the list goes on. We are a machine made of many parts and processes, any one of them can be put. off balance and put the rest out. Have faith.

    Ps. I love the fact a search now puts you off using the work fail. That's such a positive thing.

  • You sound like you're doing ok to me. I have done Wk 3 twice (life got in the way) and have 1 more to do. So will start Wk4 on Friday. A couple of the lovely people on here told me to be more relaxed about what I was doing and that if you are out there doing it, whether it's fast/slow walk/run you are winning:-) xx

  • My run before last was just the same and I just plain stopped and talked the rest of the way......I too tried a park and it was full of the same. Next run back on my trusted route and I did it....so keep going and put this one behind you....and the weight thing is not an issue...I am an overweight almost 50 year old and it hasn't stopped me yet!! Good luck with the next run.......we'll all be thinking of you

  • Yes. thanks folks. I know the mood wasn't right for so many reasons. A silly thing perhaps to guys - I forgot my hair tie so my long flowing and needing-washed locks were annoying me too...... I will try again on Thursday.

  • I agree with everyone, including you - you said "nurturing Graduates will gently nudge me onto my next attempt with genuine words of belief". So we will!

    The only thing I would add is that if I can do it anyone can. :)

    I had my best run ever on Sunday (in terms of how I felt) but this followed the worst one ever on Friday. Running just seems to be like that.

    Do come back and tell us how the next one went.

  • I will. I promise.

  • Every runner has bad runs, unfortunately, every last one of us. A few weeks back, I headed out and could barely run at all, legs like lead, had to give up but I told myself, a walk is also nice and it's good for you. So I had a nice walk, went home, took an extra rest day before my next run. Sometimes our bodies are just worn out and a bit of extra rest can be just the ticket.

    Did you head out straight after your breakfast? If so, I'd leave a bit more time after your porridge before running.

  • yes I went straight after porridge. Mainly because I slept in. Darn Olympics - been watching athletics till silly o'clock!!

  • Well done for getting your trainers on and getting out there when you weren’t feeling 100%

    As long as you are out there and trying then your fitness is improving. I would be tempted to do a week three a second time. I think that it's really important that you do it at a pace you can enjoy so that you keep doing it rather than rushing it and associating running with sad times.

    Self doubt is the hardest obstacle! I am a big woman so I have to fight an inner voice that tells me I'm too fat to run. Trust the program and trust yourself and you will get there! When I'm huffing and puffing past MAMIL's and the uber fit I entertain myself with the thought of a rocky style training montage that begins with my first one minute run and ends with me gliding past all the MAMIL's with ease.

    Music is the key for me. I find using the app rather than than the pod casts so much easier as the app lets you play your own music.

  • I'm liking the montage thought. I'd be wearing my Frankie says Relax T shirt and neon pink sweatbands of course!

  • Hey, most of what's needed has been already said. But, just remember even a practice run is building your cardio vascular health and burning calories. As for the fit ties, what's the guessing that a heck of a lot of them were you once, and they are looking at you with nostalgia and admiration. On a practical note, are you doing any strength and flex work? Yoga/ Body Balance/Pilates will all help build leg, core and upper body strength which helps the running as well as toning you as the weight comes off. Or you could do the strength and flex on this site, tho personally I would struggle to do two self directed programmes; it's nice just to turn up and do as you're told for an hour sometimes. Anyway, keep going. Starting is the hardest part, and you have done that!

  • Oh, this takes me back - I have neon pink towelling sweatbands envy already. I need to see these, please complete 3 x W4 runs toute de suite or even touter !

  • I cant add anymore to the excellent posts above, I just hope that youre feeling better about your run yesterday .

    You can do this , you really can , and we will support you all the way .

    Good Luck ! :-) xxx

  • Excuse me??? You actually went for a run?? More than loads of others do. The fact that you have moved at all is a win. What was the alternative, sitting on your bum and eating biscuits? So stop beating yourself up and congratulate yourself for even getting out of the door and doing something. We all have good and bad days, but you've got to be kind to yourself and look at what you have done well. Keep it up and be nice to yourself. What would you have said to a friend who had written that post?

  • Update - second attempt at W4R1.....

    Warm up walk

    3 min run done

    90 second walk done

    5 min run done

    90 second walk done

    3 min run done

    Next walk halted as a child emergency phone call from home meant I needed to quit and return to the fold....

    Tbh I'm not sure I would have managed the second 5 mins all the way through but what I can say is this - I felt more of an ease with the first 5 min run compared to Monday.....


  • Well done Sofargoner , keep plugging away, dig deep , it'll happen !

    Hope everything is okay at home xxx

You may also like...