Starting all over again. Any advice?

About two or three years ago I decided to start running and began my couch to 5k journey. I never wanted to lose weight, I wanted to go running, get fresh air and help cope with stress.

In general, I'm a very anxious person and get so so easily. Being a young girl and in my final exams this has come to show even more lately. Lately I just feel miserable. I've put on a lot of weight which is particularly showing in my legs. I've also got a formal coming up soon which I would like to feel like myself again. Tomorrow, after my last mock exam, I've decided I will begin couch to 5K all over again. Last time, though I never made it to the end, I felt so body confident, so happy and it definitely worked in getting rid of stress. Hopefully I will keep posting on here and also encourage others. Though I'd love some advice on starting again.... If anybody would like to help?

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  • "You may be slow, but you're lapping everyone at home on the sofa" is the mantra I tell myself when I'm running (unless I'm tying to motivate myself to go out, in which case it's "run like your problems are chasing you"!).

    As tempting as it might be, don't push yourself too hard when you're running- after your exams, you're not necessarily in the best place right now mentally or physically, and beating yourself up over perceived lack of progress won't help (been there, done that!) Take each run as it comes, repeating runs/weeks if necessary, and unless you stopped the programme very recently I'd really advise against skipping weeks in order to help prevent injury (crutches and/or pain will probably put a bit of a downer on your formal!)

    Congratulations on deciding to re-start C25K- that alone is half the battle. Beyond what I've already mentioned about speed, you might want to also consider what made you stop before the end last time, and whether that's something you can address for your next go at it. For example, having an anxiety or panic attack over a particular part of your route might prompt you to change your route, or dislike of running alone might encourage you to recruit a friend/enthusiastic dog to run alongside you. Obviously sometimes things happen which are beyond our control, but hopefully the benefits you said you felt last time will be their own motivation.

    Happy running!

  • That was so encouraging to read! I really want to start back! Last time I think what stopped me was just lack of motivation. I maybe couldn't have gone one day due to being busy and then just decided it was okay not to go again the next. Laziness is probably the correct term. I think I'll keep posting on here, I like hearing feedback from others! Thanks so much!

  • Happy to help :)

    It might take a few weeks, but I've discovered that if you find a routine and motivation which works for you then you'll be fine. It doesn't have to be anything grand or life-changing or noble, just as long as it works for you- maybe there's a cafe a little bit further away than the one you normally go to that does the best ice-cream, or getting out at a certain time means that you'll be back in time to watch your favourite TV programme. Or perhaps a friend/neighbour/relative has a dog that would really love a combined walk/run on certain days- it just needs to work for you.

  • I graduated C25k almost 2 years ago but had an injury last year and stopped running for 8 months. I started again a few weeks ago because I was struggling with work stress, depression and anxiety. I suddenly remembered that I seemed a calmer person when I ran regularly.

    For me motivation is coming from the positive effect that exercise has on my mood. I am treating it like medication as I'm certain that without it I'd be closer to antidepressants and just like medication I'm trying not to miss any doses.

    So far so good for me. Running also help me to see that I can achieve something and this helps in other areas of my life - especially as I currently have a spectacularly stressful but unfullfilling job!

    I wish you all the luck in the world. Keep posting!

  • Hi, start from the very beginning and take each day and each run as it comes. The best way to start would be put your trainers on, go outside, put the podcast on, walk, listen to Laura and see what happens. Good luck, be kind to yourself.

  • I've just started again too. I hurt my knees the last time so this time I have bought some new trainers and I am going to do some leg strengthening exercises on the days when I don't run.

    It is hard to get motivated, I have struggled this week and took many days off in betwen runs, so I am going to repeat week 1. Not a good start I know, but I am fairly commited and really want to improve my fitness.

    Good luck! I hope you find the motivation. I will follow you to find out how you are getting on.

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