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Couch to 5K
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Brain training

All of you who have supported and encouraged me up to now will be pleased to know that - for once! - I'm not beating myself up this time. I've been back over my posts here to see just how often I've had to go back and effectively restart this programme, because I'd lost count. (This is now my fourth attempt, by the way). After being on the IC for a while, then having a bad fall doing a Parkrun (a walk! but despite the fall I got up and finished), I went out again and tried my C25K session and instantly decided that I simply couldn't run at all, not even for a few seconds ... RIDICULOUS!!! So I'm now brain training, back on the treadmill, knocking off a week at a time of the programme, with week 3 done today. So I CAN still run after all...... Advice, though, please : I can do these runs on the treadmill but am still unconvinced I can do them outside without that human hamster wheel to bully me. Should I stop my treadmill repeats for now and do weeks 1 > 3 outside before moving on again? As usual I'm being hard on myself for having to go back yet again, but I'm pretty damn pleased with myself for doing it anyway. More brain training here I come.

10 Replies

Like you say it's all in the mind. You could stop the treadmill just as easily as stopping running outside. So if you can transfer that mindset to running outdoors, (i.e. run to next lamppost, tree or a bend in the road, etc) you should be fine. Just make sure your pace and effort is easy and your breathing is still in control. Just a question regarding your treadmill is do you have the gradient set to at least 1% if possible? This is to mimic the effort required to simulate air resistance outside if on a flat track.

I perhaps would try to do one run outside seeing that you are early in the C5K programme and see how you feel doing that for a few weeks. Treadmill is great for setting a pace and staying at it but running outdoors needs you to be aware of of fast you are running as you can go too quickly at the start.


Been to the start of week 6 in one of my previous C25K attempts. I usually set the treadmill at 2%. Like you say, I'm sort of feeling that I need to get back outside even if I struggle a bit. Quite pleased though, as I had to do something to get me back running again at all and just did one run of the first three weeks so far, to see how I got on.

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Hi again David:)

Glad you are recovered from your fall.. (and I will still tell you to go steady and slowly :)) x

Thing is David... what do you feel...?

If as you say, you are irrevocably unconvinced that you will be able to do it again outside, then stay indoors........ but, if you feel that you could kick the hamster wheel into touch at least once and have a go... then get out there....!

And.. do the run you quite like in the park?

Do it as slowly as you like... and if you need a bullying influence.. here I am...I don't mind if you struggle, you know me, a lovely slow ramble.. what could be better; things to see, things to hear :)

I will be right there with you, whispering encouraging things into your ear, like keep going, you can do this, steady as you go...and get on and just do this run!!

And if I am not enough... the rest of the gang is here... right behind you... :)

What are you waiting for ? x


Yeah, I suppose I was posing a bit of a rhetorical question because I like that local park and am determined to get back there to do another Parkrun ... can't do that on the dreadmill. I'm being a "scaredy cat" because the last time (last week) I tried outdoors I managed almost zero steps before I stopped and was VERY VERY upset. That was why I thought the treadmill might be better for me as brain training this week - so far over 6 days: 3 successive sessions, week 1, week 2 & week 3 - it has given me a bit more self confidence again. I'm going to do a week 1 outdoors in the park next week (can't manage anything over the UK holiday weekend). It sounds (& feels) like nothing at all but as part of my brain training I feel I need to take that very first baby step again.... maybe with luck/determination it will be only the once before moving on yet again.

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Okay...then we will move on....together x


Why don't you mix and match? Keep a few treadmill runs for building up your health and fitness, and have a few outdoor sessions with no expectations other than getting out and having fresh air - no pressure to run or not run. Just wear your running gear and whatever strikes your fancy is okay. There is something freeing in just getting outside and covering ground - something comforting in knowing that you can run or walk or whatever you feel.


You could be right .... maybe I get too "uptight"!


Welcome back David! Great to hear you are back on it!

Why not do at least one run a week outside to see how it goes?

You are very tenacious in keeping on the programme, transfer that into the run. You have everything you need to do this!


Just wish I could be more successful rather than tenacious ..... still, better than not doing it and much much better than giving up. Whoops, I've just caught nyself being positive and not grumbling .... I'm going to just try to do the W1 "baby steps" outdoors early next week. Depending on how well I get on will help me decide what's next. I know, one foot in front of the other, no matter how slowly.


You are doing so well.... I would go with what is most comfortable at this stage and you can diversify at a later stage 😎


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