Totally Failed...Advice Needed Please - Couch to 5K

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Totally Failed...Advice Needed Please


Well I started off with good intensions, got to Wk3R3 and just as I was about start WK4 it all went up in the air! I had a family bereavement, then got a chest infection & pneumonia. My friend I was running with changed her work shifts and that put us back another week. 5 weeks later, both of us tried to start back at Wk4R1 and epically failed :(

Now my friend doesn't seem to want to do it anymore. I would still like to but I'm so unfit, I feel like a total fat failure and so self conscious at running by myself. Also don't know where to start back with it, any advice please?

31 Replies

dont be so hard on yourself , why not try a run from each of weeks 1 , 2 and 3 and see how you feel and then progress , ALONE , that way you only have your own commitments to work round , if you want to do it you will , im on week 9 now and couldnt run for the 60 seconds in week one without gasping for air , follow the program .. slow and steady , you will be great xx happy running

WeeCee in reply to secksy34

Thanks for the advice, I never thought to just do just a run from each week! Will give it a good bash and hopefully I'll make it to week 9 too :) x

MuttleyMoo in reply to WeeCee

The fact that you have even posted on here means that you haven't failed as you still care about your progress!!!


Don't use the 'f' word... you didn't ! You had a blip.. set-back .. whatever... :)

The time you have had lately has not helped you...the bereavement alone and then a chest infection and pneumonia ! Goodness, it is a wonder you even got out. :)

So... stick with this... we are right here for you.

I am a solo runner, as are many of us and love it:) Maybe... just to get yourself back into it... repeat Week 3 ?

You know what to expect.. and you know how to tackle it slowly and steadily.

Have no fear about running out there on your own..if folk stare..then let them..they are either jealous, runners, or just curious:)

Focus on the run.... look around, take your time and let those thoughts run with you and away into the air:)

You are out there doing it... start by being a bit kinder to yourself.... give yourself a huge pat on the back for saying... "..all this has happened..but I still want to try.."

I am going to start following you now... and like all the forum family, will be with you as you start this next exiting step of your journey. :)

" Be you.... and do it, for you" :) x

WeeCee in reply to Oldfloss

Sorry, noted! :)

Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement. I'll start again at week 3 and see how I go.....slowly.

I know it's silly to be bothered by other people but it's just one of those thing that I can't seem to help. I'll make sure I take my focus elsewhere.

Will let you know how I get on. Thanks again :)

OldflossAdministrator in reply to WeeCee

Just imagine me, a 67 year old, Snail.. but dressed in my funky purple leggings and orange top!!! That will keep your mind of things :)x

Keep me posted :)

WeeCee in reply to Oldfloss

Love the sounds of the funky purple leggings 😀

Will let you know how I get on x

GoogleMeGraduate in reply to WeeCee

It's not 'silly' to feel what you feel... it would just be sad if it stopped you doing something you otherwise genuinely want to do.

A lot of learning to run is about acceptance of negative emotions - just accepting what comes up and carrying on, 'cos there'll be another emotion along in a minute...

WeeCee in reply to GoogleMe

Thank you, so true in what you say. Definitely a learning curve for me and it'll be good to push my boundaries.


Start again.... no harm in doing that, and it will give you a boost when you complete the early weeks. Having a chest infection etc really takes the stuffing out of you..... 😎

WeeCee in reply to ju-ju-

Definitely going to give it a bash :)

Definitely try running alone. It lets you chose your own (slow) speed. I love running alone with music and Jo Whitley on the app to tell me when to run and when I am done. Not enough breath to talk to anyone else anyway! I am lucky enough to live in the countryside and the sweet smells of flowers coming from the hedgerows at the moment is pure aromatherapy.

Let us know how you get on x

WeeCee in reply to Docmum

The speed will definitely be slow for me! Your run sounds soothing! :)

Will keep you posted x


You have an army of cyber running buddies here on this forum. 🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻Irish-John told me when I started ( according to the app, I am 996 miles from the nearest C25k er) that " we may run on our own, but we never run alone!"

I start week 6 today so it's working for me.

Keep running, keep posting and most of all , keep smiling👍🏼👍🏼🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻🐢

WeeCee in reply to Bonkersbrit

What an amazing thought, definitely don't feel on my lonesome now :) Thank you!!!

Agree with everyone..keep are not alone.You have Laura (or whoever is on your coaching podcast), you know this program works and we are all ready to cheer you on😊

Sorry you have been through a tough time, doing this for yourself might just be the pick me up you need.

Good luck.x

Thank you, I'm definitely all geared up to get this done now :) x


That's not failure. That's taking a break because it's the only sensible thing to do. I got to week 2 earlier this year and then got ill and a new job. I had to take a couple of months to concentrate on being well enough to start the job and getting to grips with the job. Then I started again - got to week 4 now. If I'd tried to start again any earlier I'd never have made it. When you are ready just do it, but not before.

WeeCee in reply to Hidden

It's good to know I'm not alone then and it's gave me the kick up the butt to get started again, I will do it :)

It can take 3 months or more to recover from pneumonia, weeks even for your lung capacity to return to normal so you should not really even be thinking of going out running yet. Rest until you are fully recovered. There's plenty of time for running.

WeeCee in reply to Rignold

Wow, I didn't think it would take that long. I've been out walking again with my dog and have been feeling not too bad so thought it was time to get back to running. Maybe I'll start from week one again then when I do start back and just build up from there.

Rignold in reply to WeeCee

What did the hospital advise?

WeeCee in reply to Rignold

I got a 10 day course of antibiotics and advised to get plenty of rest and fluids. They said I may have a cough for a while but it's more or less gone now so thought I'd be OK to start back now.

Rignold in reply to WeeCee

I would def leave a few weeks for your lungs to recover. I had pneumonia once many many years ago and from what I remember it was some weeks after the symptoms had cleared up before I was actually back to full energy and not tired out by any exertion.

WeeCee in reply to Rignold

Thanks for letting me know, will maybe leave it another week or two then but increase my walking until then.

My goodness - Mo Farah would have trouble coming back from that lot. Don't beat yourself up. Take it really slowly, but please don't give up.

WeeCee in reply to ancientrunner

Haha, thank you! I'll definitely get going again. Everyone here has definitely given me the kick up the butt I've needed, it's good to know you're not on your own x


You've come to the right place...last week I used the "f" word on week 5 run 2. Everyone on here was amazing and got me through. You have done a,zing to get to week 4 and you have been through an awful lot. I haven't found any of the runs easy but stuck with it. Not finished yet be determined to get fitter and fight the demons. Running alone is actually great...put your music on and you getting out there is amazing. It's time for you and start back at a week you think you'd be comfortable with as there is no time limit it's about what is right for you. You should be proud you don't want to give up and be a couch potato. Good luck and you can do it

WeeCee in reply to Julesh15

Won't use the 'f' word again :) Glad you got through yours, it's amazing reading everyone's success stories. Thank you and I promise, I will be starting back! Everyone's encouragement has been so heart warming and it's really making me determined to get back to it.......even the scary first run on my own. Good luck for the rest of your runs, I'll be following in your footsteps :)


I have a suggestion if you want to try the run again. Do you have anywhere near you that is gently undulating? (very small hills) If so maybe you could run DOWN the hills for the minutes you have to run. It's still good for your legs and your still running and finishing the run might restore your confidence.

WeeCee in reply to Foxsmumruns

Good idea, will get a route planned out and I'm going to go back a week or two and start from there too.

Huge thank you to everyone for your responses, I will do this! :) x

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