Advice needed

My partner and I are now both on week 9. She has been struggling to finish each week since week 7 and is not feeling great about the whole thing. Says she wants to stop running as soon as she starts. I have suggested she maybe repeats from week 7 again, slow down and slow down some more and look at the positive side of how far we have both come. Looking to you all for suggestions please.

13 Replies

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  • Maybe she misses the walking intervals? Some people prefer the run-walk method, and there's nothing wrong with that - I do it often myself and really enjoy it.

    That being said, the first 5-6 minutes of every run for me is still tough. It's something I know I have to slog through and then the rest of the run is usually much better.

    Maybe time for a new route to change things up and distract the mind?

  • Great ideas.. Thanks. Agree about the first 5-10 mins a slog until your body wakes up and realises you are in exercise mode

  • It does take time for most of us to get going. Lots of posts about that. A change of route can be useful..and slow is the best thing ever🙂

    As for distraction..well, I an expert 😄 Make up rhymes, recite poems, sing loudly ,if you have breath..(that will slow it down😉)..and just focus ,as you say on how far you have come...

    Also..marker points..run to the next tree, slow it down..run to the corner etc. I am sure she will do this..just slow steady and enjoy...nearly there🙂

  • Um.... any reason she can't slow down now, in Week 9? Is she trying to run at someone else's pace... or at someone else's preferred time?

    Is this about learning to 'be with' the emotional rollercoaster that running can be - not fight those 'I want to stop' feelings, just 'hear herself' and know that they don't 'mean' anything.

    What is she not feeling great about - the fact that the programme isn't easy... as if struggling with something means you are not good enough?

    She might even feel better if you say 'complete Week 9 and never run again if you don't want to' (We're all different. "Well, you don't have to do this if you don't want to, you can stop right now" works really well for me... for others, that's gremlin talk and it would trip them up)

  • I sometimes run with my son, and have run very occasionally with an experienced running friend. These are my trusted runners who adjust to my pace, they are each routinely much quicker than me but move at my speed when with me. Some runners cannot do this.

    I could not run with anyone who sets a pace for me as I am too inexperienced to recognise the difficulties this creates and therefore I need to set my own parameters at this point in my running career.

    Do you think your partner may benefit from running alone for a while to set their own comfortable pace perhaps?

    That is not to say that running with others will never be an option, but maybe later once your partner is more confident and experienced perhaps?

    Good luck to you both, graduation is just around the corner 😃🏃🏻

  • Thanks everyone. We do run different routes and different days. Setting a marker is something she is going to try and yes she thinks it's more the demons in her head than anything else. She admits she is constantly thinking of reasons why she should stop.

  • Oooo if it's the gremlins, your partner could practice putting them back in their box and locking down the lid! I have a technique where I go through a routine of warming up my joints top to toe pre run. This tells me I am running no matter what those pesky gremlins think and gets me out of the door.... the biggest achievement we all have!

    Then if they linger I flick them off my shoulder and dump them at the corner, I don't allow them to run any further with me!

    Good luck both, happy running!

  • If it were me, I would suggest to her that she go running without me for a week or two and see how that goes. :)

  • I agree with Irish-John - suggest she goes on her own and see how that goes. It will allow her to find her own pace and take all the breaks she needs. Running under pressure is so hideous. Did it a couple of times and hated every second.

  • Hi there, well done to both of you.. and I agree- slow it right down. She can work on speed after graduating...

  • I was struggling so much after I graduated and realised I had been running faster. Slowed down and actually started enjoying it again, it's not a race, maybe try that

  • The aim in the early weeks/months of any running programme is to develop running fitness, in terms of allowing the working muscles and cardiovascular system to adapt, thus, laying down foundations upon which to build.

    As stated by ju-ju-, seeking to increase speed should not even be a consideration (for either of you) at the moment.

    Instead, you should both aim to perform the running intervals at a pace that feels comfortable to respective levels of fitness (with walking intervals interspersed), even if that does mean running individually for a period until your partner’s running endurance is developed to a similar level as yours.

    Granted, you both may have thought that running would be an activity that could be enjoyed together (and I’m sure it will in time), but when laying foundations, it’s important to adopt a measured approach, largely to reduce the risk of injury and to ensure that enthusiasm is maintained.

    Despite your partner’s current sense of despondency, she can rest assured that returning to week 6 or 7 of the programme is not a sign of failure. Moreover, by successfully completing week 6 again, for example, it’ll hopefully re-affirm that her level of running fitness is higher than she currently believes, allowing week 7 of the programme to be tackled with renewed confidence.

    Regardless of respective levels of experience, there are times when all runners need to go slower in order to run for longer, allowing endurance for a goal distance to be attained.

  • Update. All going well. She has found her mojo again thanks to all your good advice. Setting a goal of running to a particular point and getting there has really worked. We don't run together. She is now back on track and running week 8 until she is comfortable. Thanks everyone

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