One run to graduation, not feeling good :( - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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One run to graduation, not feeling good :(

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Hi guys, first time posting, though I have been reading since I discovered you all. I've been using an app instead of the nhs podcasts. Today I ran my penultimate run, I had to run for 30 minutes. Previous run was 28 which I managed. I couldn't do it today! I had to stop 3 times for 30 seconds or so (walking). It feels like a chore now, I'm not enjoying it. I feel my body is just not up to running. I'm 42 and not overweight so I should be able. I've yet to find a route I'm comfortable with which is definitely not helping. I was loving it at the start, having not exercised for years.

Next run is for 35 mins which I've no hope of doing. But I'm so eager to finish the programme. I really don't want to give up this close to finishing. I'm not usually this defeatist! Any words of wisdom guys? Thanks so much for reading.

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Can you run in place for 35 minutes? Just go slightly faster than that and you'll do it. See it as long walk, mimicking running motion. πŸ˜€ Believe me, it's all in your head, you managed 28 minutes, so it isn't huge difference. Give yourself extra rest day if needed.

in reply to ench0

Thank you. Yes I suppose I can do it. It just feels too hard! I know it's not supposed to be easy but I wasn't expecting it to be this hard either. Does it get easier?

in reply to Dulchie

I've just graduated recently, but based on stuff that our veterans posted, yes, it does get easier. Well, unless you ask Irish-John who mentioned in one post that it is still difficult, but he keeps going anyway. πŸ˜‚

in reply to ench0

The difference being the difficulty I have in running 5K + and the difficulty I used to have running for one minute ;) Sorry if I did not make that clear :)

From reading some posts I know that the gremlins can get to you, maybe that's what it is. But it feels like my body is just not up to the task at all. Suppose I'm just disappointed that it's not more enjoyable.


You were enjoying it at the beginning? Why? Sense of achievement? Feeling yourself getting fitter? Just enjoying being out in the fresh air? Has any of that changed? What's the rush to finish the programme? If you need to take longer, repeat a run or go back a week, is it the end of the world? You may need a bit more time to build up your stamina - and there's no shame in that. Take the pressure off, go slower, enjoy and stop trying to race to the end of the programme - you have the rest of your life to get this sorted!

I think you need to remind yourself why you started this in the first place and then think back to that very first run when it was so, so hard (or was that just me?? 😊). If you did that run now it would be easy and that's because you've followed the programme, your body has been getting stronger and you are ready for the next run.

Running is hard which is why most of the population don't do it and isn't that a great reason for you to do it? Be a warrior and don't let it beat you.

You WILL do this and feel epic at the end. Honest.

Yes thanks that's true. I just didn't think it would be this hard. But other runs were harder. I'll get there. Just needed to get it all in perspective

Great advice thanks. Yes you're right, all those things to enjoy are still there, and lack of stamina is definitely part of the problem. I've been at this nearly 4 months. I know in the general scheme of things it's meaningless but I'm impatient to finish!

in reply to Dulchie

Don't fret about the length of time it takes you. It took me six months and I'm still running!


Hi, I think it's perfectly normal to go through a phase when it feels like too much like hard work, I did, I thought I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. But then the alternative of stopping wasn't a good thought. Do you listen to music, some uplifting songs may do the trick, slowing down, enter a race or just blind hope that it will get better (and it did for me) I think if you get through it, you'll feel fantastic:) I think what made the difference for me was just going out for some slow plods, pressure off, not caring about distance, stop if you feel like it...hope it gets better for you. Good luck!

Thanks guys, all great advice to take on board. It helps to know that others have felt like this and not given up. I wouldn't dream of giving up so plodding along is my only option. Appreciate all your replies.


Nobody was more surprised than I when I did my first of the three graduation runs. I had kept it all secret form everyone here that I was running. When i sat down my SO and told her that I had taken up running- she looked at me for a moment and burst out laughing. It took me forever to get her to accept it was true.

I very much doubt anyone here did every stage in sequence on the first go. The Graduation runs are like every other one - it takes time and maybe a number of 'practice' runs before the 'success' run.

You absolutely can do it if you have got as far as you have. Just might take those few 'practice' runs :)


Well done you've got so far and as others say remember your original motivation ! Hope I haven't already said this in post to you but my motivation was ensuring my good health was maintained after semi retirement and losing weight . I now regularly run nearly 6K and my 5K runs seem easy "like a walk in the park" and relish challenge of running further. I sometimes run 3K to work at 6 in the morning (especially when realise have a cycle puncture).

As others have said perhaps vary your runs or do a park run and have some other targets or goals. I don't particularly intend to run beyond 6K because of other life pressures but do not want to give up the sense of achievement and health and wellbeing that it brings.

At the end of the day it will ensure I am healthier more active mentally and physically in later life. Wish I started C25K earlier. Even if you feel bored with doing extra running it is definitely worth doing some sort of sport or exercise . I would like to play football but find it difficult to commit time and wouldn't like to think that I would be letting a team down, Running does give me flexibility to maintain my fitness. Running now is like food and drink to me.

Thank you all. Great advice, advice I try to give myself. I forget I've been here before feeling a failure. I should remember the feeling doesn't last. Like you irish John I haven't told anyone! But I love the idea of being a runner- I suppose I'm nearly there!!


We all have bad days, I ran early this morning and it felt dreadful, currently working away so new route, hated it, but I know it was km in the bank and next time ill feel great. Make a Playlist of your favourite tracks and get out there

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