When does this become fun?

I'm just finished week 6 and although I finished the 25 minute run by repeatedly chanting 'I can do this' over and over and cursing at Laura when she pipes up to tell me she knows I must be really tired but not to stop because I'm halfway through (which just makes me think 'aggh, I've only halfway through!). I am really not enjoying it nor am I getting that runner's high I hear about. Is it possible that I'm just never going to be a natural runner? I'm determined to finish the 9 weeks just to prove to myself that I can but I'm not sure I'll want to keep doing it after that which seems a bit of a waste of time. That said, my motivation to keep going is the idea of going on a beach holiday later this year with my fiendishly fit sister who runs every single day!

I only run on a treadmill at home because I have this weird block about running outside that if I get tired halfway I've still got to get home whereas if I get tired on a treadmill I can just stop it! It's like a safety net, I guess. I'd love to be one of those people who see running as their form of meditation but honestly, I just find it a bit tortuous!


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

20 Replies

  • It depends what you call fun. Sweating, discomfort and hard effort are some people's idea of heaven 😉

    Seriously, you are still a very new runner. This thing takes time and there is no short cut. Some people never get that runners' high but still have their reasons to get out and run. You just have to find your reason. I'm not sure that your motivation to compete with your sister is enough to last long term! Sibling rivalry aside I think you really need to do this for yourself.

    As to running outside, this could be the difference between not enjoying running and loving it. I've done both and can say that nothing compares to running outside in the gorgeous big world. There's so much to see and you don't have to breathe in someone else's sweat 😖 Try running a circuit around home so you're always close. Anyway you can always walk back, you don't have to run.

    I admire the fact you're going to finish the programme even though you're not enjoying it. But I would urge you to keep going and give it a really good chance. Surely you don't want to lose all that hard won fitness?

  • I'm with you! I used to be on the treadmill but outside is so much better! Fresh air and interest scenery! I'm lucky to live in the forest so there are some lovely views and areas to run!

  • I can see why you'd like running outside. I would too if I lived in a forest!

  • Thanks, I can see from yours and other replies that running outside is the way forward. I live in the sticks though and country roads with tractors and tourists on motorbikes and campers zooming past and no footpaths aren't the best for running on. I'll maybe leave it until I'm more confident I can run comfortably the entire distance. You've misunderstood my motivation though - it isn't sibling rivalry at all, simply the desire not to look like a flump beside my very trim sister. She works hard at it while I've never been quite motivated enough until now and if the thought of feeling more comfortable in my skin is enough to keep me going either on or off the treadmill, I'm happy with that.

  • I sound just like you! I did feel a runner's high on week 5 run2 but haven't felt it again. I agree just seems like blooming hard work! I also won't run outside until I have completed the 5k on the treadmill cos I have a bit silly as I'm so unfit. I think running outside will be even more of a challenge as it's not totally flat & I can't do inclines! My motivation is to follow thru on a bet with a friend & complete a parkrun. I don't know what I will do long term as I was hate running in the dark or wet cold weather!

  • I've done both treadmill and outdoors and prefer outdoors. I would say this is probably why you're not enjoying it tbh.

    Try outdoors, you can always start with a route near your house

  • As others have said running outside in the fresh air is much more enjoyable. You can mix up the route you take each time or stick to the dame one and remember where you reachvat significant distances to judge if you are getting quicker. Give it a try 😀

  • Dreadmill Treadmill. I'm sure some people swear by them , but I'm not sure for a person who doesn't like running. A treadmill for me would be insanely boring and I just know I wouldn't keep up running if I only ever used a treadmill and didn't go outside. When you are outside you see a bit of life or nature, much more than in a gym in my opinion

    The other thing is that once you complete the course you can go onto another sport as you will be in good condition. And then you can always come back to running when you don't fancy doing your other sport.

  • Just get out there... you will feel differently... Your own skin is clearly becoming itchy.. you want not to look like a flump ( love that).. against your trim sister...so you do actually want to do this really?

    No excuses about living in the sticks or tractors or country roads... check some of her majesty's posts out... Irishprincess .. she lives in a little village and her lanes have possible homicidal maniacs on. them. I run on country lanes and tracks and trails and fields and have been accosted by many an irate pheasant!!!

    If you get out there.. you will have such a great time you will forget about the tortuous bit and love it!!!


    Get up really early...before the camper vans and the tourists are out there:)

  • You're right, I do walk our dogs on the country roads and we're up at 5.50 every morning to do that before work and it is lovely and quiet at that time. I could try the whole outdoor running thing, maybe once I've completed​ the 9 weeks and don't feel like I'll collapse in a heap at the end of a 30 min run. Failing that I could just go back to using Davina's DVDs in the privacy of my own home as they work for me when I actually use them but I really want to love running so I'll definitely persevere for a while.

  • Why not make the early morning walks with your dogs a run on run days? Perfect time to do it if you're up and out that time anyway 😉

  • That sounds like a good idea on theory but our westies are the worst at even walking in a straight line never mind running alongside me, I'd spend more time herding them along than listening to the podcast!😂

  • Get off that treadmill and run outside. When i was running on the treadmill all of the time it WAS torture. I hated every minute of it and five minutes seemed like five hrs! Now that I run outside the time goes by so fast. If you get too tired to run back home (afterwords) you can always walk.

  • Unfortunately, you can't become a natural runner. And if you are expecting some epiphany then you may always be found wanting. It is called a work-out for a reason. The runners high is the sense of achievement from completing the challenge, some days you have a good run (it all seems easy) some days you have a bad run (when it feels like a struggle). I do it because it makes me feel good to know I can.

    However, running down the clock on a treadmill is probably not giving you the best experience of running. Can you do your runs in a circuit so you are never too far from home?

    I used to just run round-and-round the block, but my confidence soon built and now I go out as far as I can.

  • Agree that circuits will get rid of the worry of a long walk back. I do sometimes find myself doing smaller circles at the end!

  • Defo get outside. It's so much better. I don't enjoy running either and have never been a natural, but I do it for my own sense of achievement. I have the odd run that I actually quite enjoy but they are few and far between. Being outside gives you a chance to have some space and fresh air and early mornings are great at this time of year. And if you can't manage the full run, so what. It's only you against you. Just give it a go.

  • I find getting outside is the answer for me. Felt a little self conscious wearing the running gear when I started but soon got over it. The fresh air and sun early morning is pretty good in Wales at the moment.

  • Thanks everyone. It certainly seems that outdoors is the answer. In fact I was walking the dogs this evening just in jeans and trainers but got the urge to have a go and so on the way back to the car I jogged and amazingly the dogs jogged alongside me (it's a country track that leads to the beach and not very many cars go past so they're off lead). I liked it and I think I'll take your advice and start jogging outside on our morning dog walk when there's no one else around! Thank you!

  • I think you've found your answer as you state you liked it. 👍

    Dogs do surprise us, I thought mine would be awful as he used to bounce around whenever you went into any kind of run but he loves it, happily plods along next to me 😀

  • I don't think I could ever run on a tradmill - I think the motivation for me is the fact that I can be in the fresh air, out in the open, away from the four walls of home. Once you know how far you can comfotably run, why not just plan your route so you can turn back if you need to. But I try to do circular routes so I know when the home straight is, and can look forward to the end! Just think of that beach body you want to achieve!! God luck :)

You may also like...