I thought this was supposed to get easier?

I thought this was supposed to get easier?

Hi all,

I graduated three weeks ago and my goal was to keep running for 30 mins three times a week. Which I've managed.

I've been pushing myself in an attempt to achieve the elusive 5k distance, as I am a slowwww runner (think tortoise, not hare). So I aimed to run 35 mins, then quickly pushed up to 40min.

The funny thing is - the other night I ran for 45 min and it was, to my amazement, not that bad, although I was running on the flat all the way ;-) - my user name should be Hilldodger!

But my last two runs have involved hills and after 30 min I feel ready to collapse and not move for a week. Is this because of the hills? Both of which were quite early into my run, about 10 min, so I obviously managed to recover and continue. I just felt really knackered and as though my legs were like lead.

Yesterday, that's how I felt after 28 min (and a massive hill that went on forever!) but somehow found the determination to push on and finally run for 47 min (6.45km). It was a personal best but my goodness, it was so hard!

I've no idea what possessed me to carry on - it was incremental - "Just another two minutes and I can stop"..... and then telling myself I was good for another two minutes etc.

Am I pushing myself to far too soon?

Having said all that, I do love running in the autumn: Here is a pic from my run before last:


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28 Replies

  • Okay, so the pic posted at the top of the post, not the bottom. I have another lovely autumn pic but when I tried to post it it was upside down! Next challenge after C25k: how to align my pictures properly. :-D

  • I think hills need tiny slow steps from the advice others are giving. You'll build stamina over time, so be kind to yourself :)

  • If it was easy everyone would be doing it ;-) maybe introduce smaller hills and not steep ones that go on forever. I did the plan and always had to do a massive hill at the end of every run - they still destroy me now and I have been graduate a few weeks. Actually I was thinking today this whole running thing is very difficult. I keep stats on Strava and I am really slow. I wonder if I will ever get under 30 minutes :-/

    But keep at it - you're out there doing it which is great and better than sitting on the couch eh? :-D

  • Thanks rammsteinqueen - good to know I'm not the only one struggling! What is Strava though?

  • It's a website and app that records your running, cycling, walking - whatever you log. I have a Garmin Forerunner and then log my times through that but you can use the phone app. I just don't like running with a phone so prefer the watch :-)

  • Thanks Rammsteinqueen - I will have a look at it. I hate running with my phone too but will have to put up with it for now I suppose as it's the only distance tracking device I have. Maybe I will think about investing in a Garmin watch if I stick with the running. Thanks for the tips!

  • Gorgeous photo! I now realise why I need to get out there! :) Can't help with advice on hills, never run up or down one as yet ;)

  • Yes, I think it is probably the hills. I started introducing them after graduation and they floored me! I avoid them at the moment...will reintroduce once I have consolidated at 5K.

  • If you only have lemons - then make lemonade!!!! If you have lots of hills around where you run ( like I do) , then take advantage of them. Firstly - get over this idea of never stopping to walk while running!!!! This leads to slow painful non-stop "slogging" uphill. By all means cover ground during longruns by using easy slow non-stop running - great way to improve cardivascular fitness, but rather than "endure" the hills , ATTACK them when you meet them. ATTACK them like they are something in your way - run AT them as hard as you can for as long as you can - and then walk to rest. After resting, ATTACK the hill again - and keep on doing this until you reach the top. Some hills are short and steep - others are long and less steep - so the pace and distance of your hill attacks will vary as it will with your personal level of fitness and how you feel in that moment !! :) Hill running is the very best way to grow stronger and fitter - but you have to figure out how to enjoy it. This is how I enjoy tackling hills during a training run - races are a different matter. .

  • I will try this Bazza, I need to change the way I think about hills!

  • Ooh I like that - ATTACK! :-) Yes, right now I just slowly trot up them hence they take an age and I dislike. Get them over with.. I will try that and if I get stitch I guess I will walk until it goes and try again :-)

  • Fabulous photo. I think the hill thing adds in a huge difficulty factor. Why not try smaller, less steep hills for a while? Flat is good too after all although I know that is difficult in wonderful Wales. (Oh I miss home...)

  • I can't avoid the hills, Norni - I seem to live in a neighbourhood surrounded by them!

  • Oh dear... not very helpful then. I have just realised that you probably don't live in Wales either. I've muddled you with someone else. Perhaps it's time for me to go to sleep! Good luck.

  • Hi. I love the comment given bu

  • I have graduated twice now and am doing it over again. I am uber slow 45mins - but I don't care. It's 45mins I used to spend sitting watching tele. It ain't about the time it's about the finish line. Keep doing hills whenever they appear and walk to recover. The hills will be an excellent marker of how your fitness and capability improves week on week. Running depends mostly on strength of mind. My partner is a much better runner than me, he has completed his first marathon and yet every run is a struggle for him. As long as he gets going he is fine. Nice to know that all runners struggle with something no matter what level they are at. You are doing amazingly well and finding the reward of how you feel after your runs/hills is more than worth the pain of them during your run/hills. Keep on keeping on 😊

  • Thanks, I will try to think more positively about hills!

  • Wow! 47 minutes and 6.45km covered!? Well done indeed Mrs Hilldodger! ;)

    You seem to have mastered the art of running longer and even conquering any of those hills alright. So well done you...all you need to master now is how to align photos and you're complete! :D

    Keep on running! :)

  • The photos have done me in Lee! haha

  • Wow you're doing brilliantly! I usually run along the Promenade so totally flat. I have yet to pluck up the courage to face a hill!

  • A big thanks to everyone for all your encouragement. I do feel comforted to know that even people who run marathons struggle with their runs. Which answers my question: so it doesn't get easier :-D

    The irony is that on my last run I re-routed to avoid a moderate hill but the reroute took me up another hill about five times the size of the original hill.

    Miss Hill-dodger plans, God laughs.

    I must have been shuffling up that big hill for a good 10 minutes. I had read the advice about taking small steps up hills but only remembered it when I was almost near the top :-(

    But thanks for reminding me, folks.

    I understand about walking, but I have a mental block in that if I walk, I feel that I've failed. I know that sounds a bit nutty. I also worry that if I stop running, I won't want to start running again. However, I will at some point try the ATTACK / WALK approach and get that hills are good for me, like sprouts and .

    Well, I'll be back out pounding the pavement again tomorrow - especially as I've just eaten almost a whole Terry's chocolate orange ;-) - and will take on board all the advice and encouragement I've had here. Cheers!

  • Hills are tough, no way as easy to achieve a 'respectable' time/distance/pace as on the flat. I pt them in a totally different running category altogether - like the difference between Sprint and a Marathon.

    Currently I am running 40 minutes once a week up and down the hills around here. I put all thoughts of speed or distance out of my head - it's basically just surviving for 40 minutes just like that first one minute of week one and so forth. :)

    I do sense a difference in stamina and speed and distance since starting the hills regime - but absolutely not going to put pressure on myself to analyse how much. It will be apparent enough when the time comes to increase some factor - but for now it's basically 'Flat to easier Hills in however long' programme :)

  • Wow - 40 mins up and down hills? - that is amazing! Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Seriously, if I can do it anyone who gets even half way through the programme can get to where they can also. With as many physical strikes against me as I have its still hard for me to believe at the start of EVERY run that I will complete it. So much of this running thing really is mind over matter 😐

  • You are right John - it is totally mind over matter! I never would have believed I could run for 47 mins without stopping (personal best day before yesterday). I remember in W4 of C25k dreading the 20-min non-stop run! I didn't think I could do that either.

  • Onwards and upwards :)

  • When running uphill, we are basically lifting our own bodyweight on one leg for a short time - and repeat that many times over quite quickly eg up to 180 times per minute :) It is therefore no wonder that it is tiring, even exhausting - but very quickly builds our leg strength and cardiovascular fitness.

  • Hi!

    I think you live in an area much like my home area, I have to work very hard to find a flat run.

    In one of my previous posts I wrote about my purposeful change of mindset, towards embracing those pesky hills. So now I accept them.

    I now mainly forget speed and just aim to run any route i chose, recognising that if there are some inclines i will have a slower time.

    As part of my running plan I have identified a specific hilly loop that I do quite regularly as part of hill training. It has ups and downs so I can practice both techniques. I don't aim to be fast around this route, but over time I am naturally becoming a little faster each time. Perfect!

    Hill intervals are good too, but take this steady, start with a couple of repeats running up, walk down to recover. Increase the number of repeats slowly. I have learned this since doing too many too soon and then having niggly knees.

    I also give myself a treat when I feel the need, and drive to the riverside, park or canal bank and I run a much more flat route. So for example for my graduation run I ran along the riverside. For my first 5k I ran along the canal bank. The advantage is I feel I have more stamina on the flat, I am quicker on these flat runs and it proves I can do the distance. I can then aim for a similar distance around a hilly route!

    Happy hill running Runner! 🏃🏼‍♀️😃🏃🏼‍♀️

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