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Couch to 5K
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How do I not give up when I always do eventually?

Hi!

I am just starting out on this journey of running - very overweight but strong, but finding the runs so painful on my shins and feet. I am very successful professionally but when it comes to self care, I give up after "getting into" something. Any suggestions or advice welcome. I am ready for a real lasting change.

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Hello and welcome.

Maybe when you got into other things you didn't have a support network to keep you honest..............this forum will do that. Ask any questions and post your progress, good or bad. We have all been through, or are going through the process, so we understand your situation and genuinely love seeing another couch potato transforming themselves into a runner. The programme works.

As for your aches and pains. they are to be expected when you first start any new exercise regime and I am afraid if you are overweight then it is more strain than if you are not. There are plenty of people here who know exactly what you are going through.

What are you wearing on your feet?

What surface are you running on?

Try to land as lightly as possible. You only need to do a light jog, so no need for long strides. take your time, it is not a race.

Good luck.

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Thank you. It's so nice for complete strangers to be so comforting and supportive of each other. I am definitely going to stick with it because for the rest of the day no matter how poorly I did I feel great. Thanks again!!!

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I do Zumba classes 3x week and wanted something in between days so I started couch to 5k today I had to push myself but was pleased once I'd done it x

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Hi and welcome.. as IannodaTruffe says, you have come to the right place. Support and encouragement. :)

Try not to overthink this... just follow the programme, take your rest days and listen to your body. It is going to complain..of course it is...but with each slow and steady run you will get stronger, physically and mentally!

As has been said, the right shoes are a great start and then landing.. lightly and gently, try not to stomp...( many of us did at the start!) Kiss the ground with your feet:)

Slow and steady and keep posting too! You are going to do this... there will be so many of us urging you on :)

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Hi and welcome!

I'm now on week 8 and the advice you have already been given is what has got me to this point.

I believe in this programme and I know it works , just stick with it and you will do great !

I wish you well 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

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Maybe analysing what you do that makes you successful professionally (I.e. What values/constructs etc you have signed up to mentally) but what you are not doing when it comes to your own personal health may help.

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I was exactly the same. Then I realised I was going to hit 45 professionally successful but unfit and obese. I felt I owed it to myself to look after myself better so I take time to do this now. Work hasn't suffered. To be honest I probably bring more to my work life as a result. I keep a running/exercise diary which helps me to track my exercise achievements. I did also write my daily food diary. I don't do that now I'm at my ideal weight but will resume if any pounds creep on. I find cross training helps build my fitness for running. Good luck!

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This is super inspiring. Thank you!!!!

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Have a look at my profile page to see the difference running and healthy eating has made to me. I'm never going back. Ever.

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So how did you stick with it mentally in the beginning?

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I gave myself an internal cheer every time I ran and made healthy eating choices. Sounds daft but it worked. I also looked hard at my mindset. I asked my self Am i a quitter? Am I in control of the choices I make? I became more mindful if that makes sense.

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I started running at 43 and I have to say its helped my career no end. I never give up which I have learnt from training and running my marathons!!

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If I was you I'd try walking for the first week and then start with the program if you've not done exercise for a while

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I actually do strength training 2x a week and an avid walker - and can walk for miles at a brisk pace. It's just as soon as I start jogging that I get that intense pain in my shins and feet and then I mentally give up

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I know what are you talking about, I had the same thing. Walking / hiking for miles - OK, runnin 60 sec - please somebody kill me ;) Recently I completed 20 minutes (!!!) of non-stop running :D My journey was (is) very long with many breaks (some longer than others) but I am back on the path running 3x per week for 5 weeks in a row ;)

You're using different muscles while you run than when you walk. That's why your shins hurt - you need to develop those muscles.

Keep up the great work!

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I was also quite a happy walker before I started, but running was hell! I don't know quite what mentally clicked this time but I stuck with it and pushed through. I graduated 10 days ago, ran my first full 5k on Sunday, and the sense of achievement was fab. Couldn't have done it without the encouragement of this forum.

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Hi Linda 100

This is a bit of a cheat, but I mentally picked a run buddy and started following her posts so I follow Rebecca 7913 and if she posts I respond and use that as my mental kick butt to go out. Also I am the world's flakier excuse maker... So I reckon following someone gives me the commitment not to let them down. Good luck and keep going....

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This is a great idea. Thank you!

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I think you just have to believe in yourself nothing will change overnight but I think you'll feel differently after the first week after all 30 minutes is nothing really it's just having the willingness to get on with it and you're the only one that can make these changes x

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Thank you! I guess one foot in front of the other right

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Firstly well done you for starting! I'm definitely morbidly obese and while I am just starting I know where you are coming from. If I was you, don't look at past 'failings' as something you need to bring into this new journey. Accept now that you may need to repeat runs opposed to moving onto the next week straight away this is not a failure, but a chance for you to dominate that week before moving on(follow the course as much as you can obviously). I've seen on the forum people disagreeing with this, but I would go and get fitted for trainers from a running shop that looks at your gait(if you can)- might be more beneficial if you are carrying a little more weight. (I tried trainers on that really killed my shins!) I also bought some running leggings from M&S...which help with the heat! I take my jog super slowly...sometimes walk a couple of seconds longer (I pause the app). I find running on grass easier on my joints/legs. I think a treadmill is good for that too. Also, if you can drag someone out with you to make sure you pace yourself that might help (not always possible I know), slow and steady seems to work better for me(and limits the pain) Epsom salt baths seem to be helping too. Most of all believe in yourself, if you don't hit your targets some weeks or days then come back at it the next time (remember to have rest days between runs). You are more capable and strong than you think you are! - sorry this is a bit of an essay and I am no expert. Hope it helps a wee bit. X

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Thank you so much! How is your journey going?? Sending you lots of encouragement too!

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This might sound nuts - but when you realise you are 'giving up' - just tell yourself you are going to give up on giving up, and go run :)

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Hi,

I've been struggling with shin pains and had to take a month off, then restart.

I've found that short strides where I hardly lift my feet off the floor have helped (ran this morning). Waiting for the day I fall flat on my face but it's better than shin pains!

I've also been trying to keep my upper body as still as possible (no bobbing about!) which helps for a lighter landing.

I'm a giver-upper too. I've been trying to stick within a week but sometimes have had to take 2-4 rest days to let my shins recover. The way I see it is it's hopefully going to be a lasting change so I'd rather get it right, more slowly 🙂

Everyone here is super supportive and non-judgemental - it really helps.

Good luck!

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Thanks charlotte! It's so nice to have people in a similar position so I feel less alone. Let's not give up together.

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It sounds as though the NHS Couch to 5K programme has lots to offer you (I'd recommend the podcast presentation... less opportunity to waste time faffing to get the perfect playlist, more technically robust, distinctly character forming (so, you don't much like the music, so you'll learn to get over yourself... but the attractions of running post graduation with a sound track of your own choosing will carry you forward beyond the end of the programme)

The compulsory 'non-running' days will help you form a sustainable habit - better than all those things where people tell themselves they are going to do X every day and they start out well but the moment they have 'broken' the routine, it all starts to fall apart.

Loads of useful contributions from other folk. It can be invaluable to learn that even those of us who have completed the programme and kept up with the running (and some of us gone on to amazing feats) experience the emotional roller coaster and rubbish runs. It's about learning to 'be with' those difficult feelings - not waste energy trying to suppress them but not being controlled by them either.

My mantra was "You don't have to do this if you don't want to"! Don't wait around for motivation, let it catch up with you.

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Yep, another 'giver-upper' here! Shin pain? Aaaaargh! But... For once, I kept going. I did resort to Ibuprofen gel in the early weeks on my calves and shins but it does get better (promise). The biggest help was keeping myself accountable on here. Even when I had a really diabolical run, the support and advice was what kept me going. The idea of a virtual run buddy is a brilliant one. I had three or four people around the same stage as me and I think we pretty much dragged each other to graduation! Please, please dont give up. I had no idea how running would change me (not only physically but mentally). And now you've posted, there are so many people cheering you on. Enjoy it😊

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Firstly believe in the program, it will stretch your abilities and improve them. Take it slow. If you do have problems, work, pains, injuries, gremlins etc, don't beat yourself up, dust yourself off and try again, repeat a week, drop back even, but don't give up! Some amazing people complete the program in 9 weeks but I know how hard it is to start and sustain this, especially being a non runner and obese (as I was). Everyone does this their way. Just remember you are doing this for you, it's fantastic me time, getting you fitter, improving your wellbeing. But don't judge yourself, it's hard but there will come a point it becomes enjoyable, you can do this!

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I thought this programme would test my physical boundaries - and it did. However, what I was not expecting was how much it would challenge my mental strength. The latter weeks of this programme especially, become as much about developing your mental strength as anything else. It has tested me and I am pleased to say made me realise I am a lot tougher and more determined than I believed.

As the programme progresses, and you build on your achievements, you are able to draw on these, and they in turn help to make you stronger for the next challenge ahead.

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Hello and welcome!

Shin pain can be awful and has started to get me down recently. I attempted to 'run through it' but that def made it worse and affected my ability move about at all. Only intense pain in one calf so I assume a small injury. I have been icing and ibuprofening and am off to the gym today to attempt a light cycle and maybe a brisk treadmill. Apparently these are good to get back moving.

So - in my experience, I would suggest you build up slowly, listen to your body (don't ignore intense pain) and take your time.

I am in week 5 and have seen such improvement - just to run and not be huffing and puffing is an amazing feeling!!!! It is so worth it!!!!

Good luck - you will start to love it quicker than you realise!

Keep us posted.

X

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Maybe an idea as nuts as Irish-John's. I have yelled out loud "I am not stopping now". If it is a 3min run e.g I think already managed 90sec in previous weeks and once at the 2 min point and legs feel like lead, I think shame to stop now that you have done that much.

I do hope this works for future longer runs!

I suspect professionally you are in control. The person that is hardest to be in control of is yourself. That btw is a bit psychy for me but I think I recognise someone :p

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You sound determind, so focus on that to get you through. Go and have gait analysis as you will need the right support for your body to prevent injury etc....

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There are some ace people on this forum, you have already met some of them! I find the trick is to decide when you are going to run and just get your kit on and get out there without thinking too much. I like to run in the morning, and I leave my kit beside the bed, get out of bed, get it on, and get out. It really matters that you start the run. Finishing it is great, but starting is the really important bit. There is no such thing as a bad run, and please for your own sake do not mention the f word (failure!) Enjoy !!

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This is such an interesting thread, lots of useful advice :)

I also put myself in the "very overweight" category, currently creaking the scales at 87kg and haven't been happy with my circumference for a long time, partly why I've started doing this programme myself is to build up my aerobic fitness so I can try to live a generally much more active lifestyle!

I've just completed week 1 today and feel really good, a little bit nervous about the 90 second runs in week 2 but I'm going to do it, and if I don't it's not going to be a problem, I'll just keep trying until I do :)

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It's worth seeing your GP about the shin pain - I used to get quite intense shin pain & eventually my GP did a blood test and found out that I was vitamin D deficient - and this was in August. I'd thought that in Summer I'd probably be OK, but due to working long hours and not seeing daylight often enough, I was just not getting enough sun to my skin. It might be something that is treatable and then you could run with a bit more comfort.

I had hip pain and leg fatigue and had to have 4 months off running (advice of osteopath). When I came back, I had a gait analysis and it gave a different result from the first one. My first gait analysis was on the treadmill and I was neutral, but the 2nd one was treadmill and floor, which showed me as a mild overpronator when I ran on the floor, but neutral on the treadmill. I also had the opportunity to try on different shoes and run around the shop in all of them. The shoes I chose that day have transformed my running experience from a slog to something I am beginning to enjoy.

It's good to keep going but don't ignore pain. 3 friends have had stress fractures in recent months, simply through overdoing it. Pain is a message from body to brain, we have to decipher whether it means 'ouch I'm not used to this' or 'be careful, you're causing me damage'! A visit to your GP might help, especially if he/she also runs, or alternatively a sports physio/osteopath/chiropractor might also help.

Best of luck,

Liz

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Linds, I am guessing either today or tomorrow is a run day for you - Best of luck with it, we are all with you on this one. I am going to follow your posts so I can see how well you are doing. I read a great tip the other day, which is to put aside a £1 for every km you manage on your sessions and then use the money to get yourself some nice running kit. So I started doing some window shopping and found a lovely running top for winter that's 40 euros here, so I am saving a euro a kilometer...

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No advice for you Linds, but just to say I'm in pretty much the same boat - I've just started today and have always given up on fitness and health plans in the past, whether exercise or food focused (or both). Really hoping I can stick to this one and looking forward to 9 weeks time when I will (hopefully) be able to run 5km. We can do it! 💪🏻

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