Week 7 done but feeling disheartened 😞

When I started this programme I would have thought that I would feel elated at the thought of having completed 4 x 25 min runs but I have to say Week 7 has been a real slog and as my running minutes have increased my distances (measured roughly on health app of iphone) seem to have gone down. I know it's not about the distance but it is a bit depressing to be getting slower rather than faster or even staying the same. At the speed I am going at the moment I would take an hour to run 5k if I could keep going for that long. Am I running too slowly? Why aren't I feeling fitter?

26 Replies

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  • Personally, I've found that I my speed improves in spurts and starts. So don't give up! If you keep at it your speed will improve. As silly as it sounds, I've also found that listening to music with a fast beat tends to speed me up a bit.

  • Thank you. 🙂. I might try that once I get to the end of the podcasts.

  • Forget the title of c25k , the plan is more set up to train you to run for 30 minutes. Most of the folks on here couldnt do 5k after week 9 i just finished wk7 and doing about 3k in 25 min , so dont feel disheartened just get to the end of plan and the rest will follow. Keep at it

  • 3k in 25 minutes is Speedy Gonzales compared to me! I have no illusions about getting to 5k. Just worry that I am so freakishly slow. But so true that the only way to get better is to carry on.

  • Look at how far you've come😀

    It's not really surprising that you're getting a bit slower - you are running for so much longer & every run, sluggish or otherwise builds your stamina a bit more.

    It's not normally until long after graduation that speed improves - but whether it does or doesn't, doesn't actually matter! What matters is you're moving, and with step you you're giving your health a wee gift & investment for the future.

    Sometimes I go out and run and just love every step, (well after that initial 10 min, until things settle down!) I come home buzzing & the high continues for hours. Other times every step feels like wading through treacle & I would rather be doing anything & it's a rubbish run. But hey they all count:).

    My advice? Forget about speed, (ha and I love speed!) and just run at whatever pace you're comfortable with to be able to complete the full time.

  • Thank you for the advice. I just have to believe that every step is building stamina as you say.

  • I do 5K regularly. It's nuts that no matter how great or how lousy I feel I am so consistent - always 39 minutes give or take a minute :) My first and so far only 10K took me an hour and twenty two or something like that :)

    The one race I entered a few months back - 5K - I did in 33.28. there's a lot to be said for being n a crowd of Runners LOL :)

    Point being, so many factors come into play that I just run now. I am not interested in speed anymore but in building up stamina for distance. And when I started in that race I was left in the dust but about three K in I started passing a lot of those former Gazelles :)

    If I wanted to be faster I would have to pick a much shorter distance and work on that - but I would be bored to tears personally :)

    Basically, it's still a learning and fitness and stamina process but I am honing my running to match my goals. And I guarantee you if I had tried to run a 10K too soon I might have actually been able to 'run' it but I would be slower than molasses by the end.

    If I try to run a hoped-for Marathon some day at the speed I did the 5K in I would complete it in something like 4 hours..but there is absolutely no way ever I will do that kind of time :) I have a friend in the marine Corp and she has done 9 Marathons, is much younger than me, whip thin and a sports background and it takes her over 4 and half hours to finish...but she can do 5K in 24 minutes no problem :)

    Speed or stamina? and right now you are still working on your basic stamina levels. The speed will come later, however much of it, when you have consolidated whatever distance you will decide will be your regular 'maintenance' distance. :)

    And - at its absolute apocalyptic worst you sure as heck are going faster than anyone channel surfing on the couch! And that's WORST case scenario ;)

  • I love your posts Irish-John! Thank you. Yes I guess I should just focus on the minor miracle of being able to run for the allotted time. I kind of have this sneaking suspicion that at the crawl that I am running at I would have been able to run this long from the get go anyway but I suppose whether that is true or not I would never have done so. For me this programme has been as much about training the mind than the body.

  • My very first post in this Forum was a question. I was on week five and plaintively queried

    "Is it possible that I actually run SLOWER than I walk?"

    Lol - answers varied but all I know is it takes me 39 minutes to do five and a bit laps of the park now instead of a bit more than an hour and I enjoy it 100% more :)

  • Again, look how far you've come. Running for 25 minutes is a HUGE achievement, well done you!

    Forget distance and speed, just think about the time - you're definitely making progress.

    You can't expect to improve lots of things on every single run. At the beginning you see huge improvements because everything is new. You're well on the way to getting to your initial target of running for 30 minutes without stopping. Lots of us find that we kind of plateau and don't see any improvement, but there are things that you can do (once you've consolidated 30 minutes for a few weeks) to move on and improve distance or time.

    Keep looking at the positives and enjoy your last 2 weeks of the programme!

  • Thank you! Yes at this stage I guess the most important thing is to finish and get to the magic 30 mins. The first time I ran 25 mins I thought it was amazing and quite doable so I was shocked that it got harder rather than easier, but then the first time I did it I had not run for just over a week whereas now I am running pretty much every other day so I suppose. It is more tiring.

  • Aha - you've just said you're running pretty much every other day. I don't know your basic level of fitness but I know that as the programme increased I needed to take a couple of days off or sometimes more between runs to recover. Also, as runs get longer you need to think about your hydration and what you've eaten before as it does start to make a difference. As people have said, though, basically C25K is about getting us to run for 30 minutes. Cast your mind back to that first run and how you felt after you'd done your last 60 second dash on the first time out. Now compare to your 25 minutes. Better? :)

    You're doing brilliantly. Keep going. When you have graduated, keep going for longer. Then you can decide if you want to work on your pace or your distance. Both will come, given time, but at the start you can't do both.

  • Interesting point made Anniemurph about needing longer to recover. I've also been 'running' every other day. Now on week 7 and starting to dread the next run and was thinking about stretching out the recovery period, so maybe I'll take two days off and see if the mind/body is happier.

  • I wasn't very fit and was very overweight. I'm still overweight and I've learned not to overtax myself. You're doing great on the programme, and it's designed to get you up to running for 30 mins - how fab will that be? Runs should be challenging, but you shouldn't dread them. One of the things that we older graduates see (ahem :D ) is that when people rush stages, perhaps through enthusiasm because they have learned that hey, they can run!, they get injured. The reason we know this is because many of us have also done this :( It's as important to listen to your body and to learn to distinguish between the normal aches and grumbles of muscles that are tired because they are being used (good) and strains and the start of injury (bad!).

    The road will always be out there waiting for you :)

  • Thanks for the encouragement and advice Anniemurph. In addition to the good points you've raised about hydration and food, I'm beginning to think I also need to consider adding some other "cross training" in .. (instead of just returning to the couch in the interim!!). Nervousnewbie I'm also very slow too and absolutely share your sentiment. It's disheartening that despite putting in my best efforts I'm hardly moving faster than I walk! Like you I really hope I can speed up at some point. They tell us it will happen and they know what they are talking about, so let's keep giving it a go x

  • Yes, I'm afraid so! Gym, swim, exercise class, dance - gardening, anything really! Strengthening your core will help you as you run. There are loads of posts on here and there's the Strength and Flex forum as well.

    A point regarding pace - it absolutely does not matter. I consider myself slow. To some people, I am very speedy. I did a 10k yesterday in 1:18, which is slow for me as it was a terrible race. There was a Nordic walker who completed about the same time as I did, and there were half marathoners who finished before I got round half their distance. There were people doing the 5k who finished in 1:06. A friend of mine ran the London marathon yesterday and she finished in 3:14. Does any of this matter at all? Unless you have an ambition to beat the mighty Mo, no. It's all about you :)

    I'm going to stop lecturing now!

  • You beat my 10k time:)

  • And loads of people beat mine :)

  • I wonder if that Bolt lad over there gets disheartened when he comes second on the rare occasion that happens LOL :)

  • LOL :) runlikeagirl -See what I just wrote about walking speed :)

    See? You definitely are NOT terminally unique round here :)

    Next run, just totally relax, lope along and enjoy it :) None of this is worth it if we don't have fun doing it on at least some level :)

  • Thanks so much 🙂. Yes I was well and truly on the couch before I started and my basic level of fitness is pretty low. Perhaps a slightly longer rest period might help, especially once I graduate 🤗 and am trying to improve speed or distance. For now I am going to try and stop comparing myself to other people and just concentrate on what I AM doing rather than what I am not.

  • Yep, exactly! That's brilliant - you're the one that matters, you're the one who is doing this, not anyone else. Well, we're all doing this, but you know what I mean! The wonderful thing about this forum is that no one is in competition with anyone else. Everyone does what they can do and is supported for it. I'm sure you've seen it - a mile is a mile is a mile, no matter what pace you run it. Keep going, you're doing great! I shall look forward to reading your graduation post :)

  • Try running with someone else. I didn't for almost a year and couldn't believe how much of a difference it made. Have met some amazing people. Try runtogether.co.uk

  • You are still building up, so just forget speed at this point..it is the path to disaster., ( just my thought anyway).

    The time for speed and distance really does come later, when all the pieces of this programme come together. Maybe just relax more into the runs...find a happy pace that suits you..if as you say, you felt it was a slog... then you do need to slow down.

    Concentrate on landing lightly and gently, focus on relaxing your shoulders and arms and face.. look around you and think how great it will feel when you reach that podium :)

  • Yes the good thing about this point in the programme is that the goal is in my sights and now that I have run for 28 mins 🙂. I know I will be able to do it twice more and then add on those magic two minutes even if it is really hard work.

  • PS

    You are doing brilliantly...Hang on in there :)

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