Help! Is anyone else stuck on week 7?!

I started this back in January, and I found the first 5 or 6 weeks of Couch to 5k very inspiring and motivating, and would never have dreamed in a thousand years that I could get as far as week 7! BUT since starting the 25 minute runs my legs are very painful right from the start, I feel very tired from the beginning, and I'm feeling awfully de-motivated. I haven't had any of the sense of achievement that I had through the first 6 weeks, I'm not getting a buzz any more, it is seeming monotonous and painful in my calves and thighs!. I think this is partly that I realised that despite running for 25 minutes I'm NOWHERE NEAR running 5k, and also Laura, who has been so encouraging so far, has lost her motivating enthusiasm! She now seems to be assuming that this is easy and takes it as read that we will quickly get into an easy rhythm, which doesn't seem to be happening for me. The music also seems far less inspiring. I REALLY want to be able to carry on and get to week 9, but today (week 7 run 2) I was nearly ready to give in. Any advice?

17 Replies

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  • Just a suggestion, but maybe drop back a week? Repeat week 6 until your legs are more comfortable, then give week 7 another try.

    And, I wouldn't worry about distance. By week 9 I wasn't running 5k in half an hour, it took a good couple of weeks past that before the speed came.

  • I think the most I could run in half hour was under 4.5K. the title is misleading. should be couch to half hour! or an episode of eastenders. my kids didnt really understand lengths of time until you describe it as a tv show which they can relate to.

    I cant help with the leg situation but perhaps you need a little longer in between runs to recover? also, what you eat the night before & being hydrated along the way can make a huge difference, plus stretching out those legs once youve finished. hope you feeling better soon.

  • I too found week 7 such a struggle. I would say, drop your pace a bit and run so that you feel comfortable. i think that I was trying to run too quickly as I was use to the interval breaks. I just got myself through week 7 although I really did not enjoy it and found myself really unmotivated and thought 'see, I knew i wasn't a runner!'. However week 8 was brilliant and felt like something just clicked. Make sure your trainers are doing what you need and that you're stretching properly afterwards.

    hope it feels better soon

  • That's really interesting, sounds very similar. Will try slowing down (though I'm not exactly speedy Gonzales at the moment!), and will look into different trainers. I'm realising now how important they are. And to be honest I haven't done ANY stretching, but think it's probably the time to start. Thanks Jen

  • I know what you mean about the motivation, I was waiting for a "come on" etc... to spur me on. I'm just about to go out and do w7r2, really not looking forward to it. My legs felt like lead on run 1, however, Cathcakes lets keep it up beacuse in 2 weeks we can run to our own music.

  • Haha, yes indeed. Now there's a thought...

  • Oh god, I start week 7 on Monday!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!

  • Oh no, don't panic patbutcher, you have got this far, I'm sure you'll be fine! I have to admit that even though I felt like I was running through treacle I did manage to finish it...and as groovychick54 rightly says, it's only two weeks to go until you can choose your own inspirational tracks! I did have to smile the other day when the "It's a beautiful day" track came on and and i was running through freezing sleet. Even those funny little moments can spur you on in a strange kind of way I think.

  • Well, I survived!! The first 12.5 minutes I was a bit sluggish but then I seemed to get into my stride (unlike Tuesday when I was just praying for it to end) and felt I could go on for a while, I was surprised when Laura said "You have been running for 20 minutes" I even mamaged to run faster for the last minute. Am well chuffed and feel on a high. :-) Patbutcher you will be fine trust me :-)

  • Hey groovychick, well done. Yes, it takes me about 12.5 mins to get properly going too. I'm on to W7R3 tomorrow, so will hopefully manage better after all these lovely supportive comments....will update!

  • Thanks groovychick54, I will go for it anyway and see how it goes, I've got this far with no cheating, Even running up hills (little ones)! I think the thought of it is often worse than the doing of it :/

    I ran for 25 minutes non stop today and feel GOOD! Thanks for your encouragement :)

  • I've no idea how far I have run but I would bet it is nowhere near 5K. Just aim for the time not the distance. I hope the 5K will come after completing the 9 weeks and if it doesn't then at least it is half hour of exercise that I couldn't do before. You have done well to get this far. Are you on a treadmill or outside? Can you change your route? I know that isn't always easy but that might be all you need to do to get back the enthusiasm or maybe even just change the time of day you run if that is possible. Remember 20 down and only 7 to go, tell yourself you are amazing.

  • Wow, thanks blueboots...yes all this is making me feel so much better, I'm quite looking forward to tomorrow's run again now. I'm running outside, and I do find that changing the route helps (it also helps when it's not windy, so fingers crossed!). Thanks, all, for so much positive encouragement and great tips - I really appreciate it. And you're right - it's more exercise than I could have done before too. Which has got to be good.

  • I have to be honest, there was one run in week 7 where I ran round the park crying for the last 20 minutes because I had really hit the wall motivation wise. Once I realised that I was able to push through, despite the tears, and keep going my motivation went through the roof and the next run was fab.

    Just keep going, it doesn't matter how fast or slow you are moving, just keep on.

  • Well, I did W7 run3 yesterday, and it felt great again - partly because I know that I'm not alone and other people have hit that particular wall too - so thanks so much all you kind people who replied. I made a point of drinking a lot before, which really helped, and just went at a gentle pace, and even managed to step it up in the final minute. I'm going to really make a point of stretching out afterwards too from now on - my legs feel a lot better today having stretched properly yesterday. Good luck y'all....

  • Well it's my turn for week 7 today (Gulp)! I have read and taken on board all your comments and encouraging ideas and hopefully that will spur me on, I don't listen to the podcast until I set off so as not to know or be put off by what I'll have to do but something tells me today is gonna be a toughie! speak laters! \:) xxx

  • Keep trying. Your health is worth it. That's it.

    first try- got as far as week 3, injured due to crap shoes. Rehab 3 months. Second try got as far as week 7, pulled back muscle in unrelated life activity. Careful rehab 1 week. Just celebrated being able to run week 2 again pain free, going to start back up through the weeks and go for 7 and beyond.

    This running--it's a challenge, but at this point it is not a race. You're not "done". Just like a change in diet should be a life change, not a temporary scheme, this is an activity change, not a 9 week fix all. Get in it and celebrate the long view, each daily challenge to get out and move. Just keep headed in the right direction. Keep trying.

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