Really really struggling!!!

I really need help, I just can't do the three 28 mins. I can only do about 25 mins and that's my limit. I've done one 28 mins and failed in two other attempts.

25 mins is my limit I just can't do the extra minutes. I'm covering about 3km for the 25 mins and 3.4k for the one 28mins.

I don't feel I can go any slower. How do I get through this. I'm so despondent.


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45 Replies

  • You say you have done 1 28 minutes. So you can do it. Just a matter of working out what the problem is with the other two. It's not your physical ability if you've done it once.

    Could be all sorts of things. Didn't sleep well the night before, didn't drink enough (water obviously) the day before, running at different times, something making you stressed, boredom, eating differently. weather, different route.

    You have come this far and managed 28 minutes once so you can do it and if you keep trying you will do it. But maybe give yourself an extra rest day and see if you can work out the issue. Then head out the door with the knowledge you can do it and run.

  • Thank you. I didn't sleep much last night at all and it's been a busy day so maybe it's that. I'm just really worried that I can't do this

  • "You say you have done 1 28 minutes. So you can do it." This!!! You are NOT a failure! And remember, you are lapping everyone on the couch every time you step out the door to run.

    Just slow down, and try not to overthink things! I graduated 2 years ago and recently I have slowed my pace down and it's helped me so much to be able to run for further and for longer (only last week I ran 8K and today I ran 10.5K!) and feel more capable in my running. I just find it more enjoyable! You probably feel you are running slowly already (as I did) but I promise you can go slower! Then after you have cracked it, you will have broken that mental barrier and your pace will naturally improve if you repeat the distance over and over (not that it matters!)

    Good luck, we are all with you :)

  • Hey, I'm only on W5 so I won't pretend I know everything and give you advice, I'll wait for someone who's been there to come along. But l saw that no-ones replied yet and don't want you to sit beating yourself up.

    YOU RAN FOR 25min!!!

    When I'm doing that (note I say WHEN not IF) I'll be singing it from the blooming rooftops!

    Just take a look at how far you have come so far. You're doing brilliantly - that graduation badge is being polished and is waiting for you. Don't give up now.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Malc I am so way behind you on the plan, but hit a psychological wall this week and all these lovely people put my head and heart back together again. Remember Oldfloss and IannodaTruffe , their wise words are to go slower. You can go slower, remember I think it was Week 2 when you're told to imagine running without bobbing, behind a hedge so no one would know it was a run. For me that is about - a 9 to 9 and a half minute pace. Definitely more snail than hare. You're in touching distance of doing the big one. Don't give up on yourself, it can be done, be kind to your soul all your past achievements are there to support you. We all do.

  • Thanks Jan, I usually don't ask for help like this but it's been a hard couple of runs. Thanks again

  • Never be ashamed of asking for help, that is what this place is for. The runners' clinic never shuts! Good luck next time out. And looking forward to your jubilant post when it's done.

  • The only thing to be ashamed of is struggling and not asking for help. That's what this forum is all about. Don't make it harder than it needs to be.

  • My last few runs have been 3k in 30 minutes. I've tried blaming nearly two weeks break, I've tried blaming tough terrain... all legit, but last night just the same.

    Would you like lessons on slow running, it looks like I'm a bit of an expert?!

  • Slow running is cool running in my books. Maybe there's a film in it? So Malc it looks like GoogleMe is your John Candy coach and the quote to hold dear. Is ' I am feeling very Olympic today'

  • Me too :) x

  • That's a teeny but faster than me, GoogleMe! It is surprising how slow you can go - if you try hard 😉

  • can go slower, you really can... there is no such thing as too slow .:)

    You have let that small persistent, " can't do any more than this", Gremlin into your head...ignore him, or better still squish him when you next head out. You are going at quite a lick.. now wonder you feel defeated!

    Right.... Relax.... breathe.... look how far you have come ? Did you think you would come this you didn't !

    Rest up and then go.... slow and steady, then slower.... relax your shoulders, your hands your face, on your warm up walk! Set off gently, just to the next tree,lamppost, shop whatever.. think of rhymes, people watch, make up names for them... anything except the distance... just think... I am running and I am enjoying it :)

    You can do this...keep posting and we will support you... many have felt like this and come through the other side :)

    Confucius said,

    " It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop"

    Please... don't stop, just go for it... we will be running with you x

  • Thanks so much, I will go again and again. Your post is great thanks

  • Slow.... and remember... I am the one hanging onto your sleeve to keep you steady! You are gonna' do this!!!

  • What about your route? Can you plot a relatively flat route to make things easier? (depending on where you live that can be tricky) Also, are there any landmarks on the route? I know we're encouraged to measure the runs on C25K by time, but as you've managed a 25 minute stint and seem to be struggling with those extra 3 minutes, could you use landmarks to 'talk' yourself along that last part? I've found this helpful in the past- by identifying landmarks a short distance apart I can keep going when I'd be tempted to stop. For example, I make up names for certain houses- there's the Football House (because they have a set of goalposts in the garden) and the Ford House (because there are two Ford cars parked in the driveway) so I tell myself that I'm going to make it to the Football House, then once I've got there, I'll tell myself I'm aiming for the Ford House, etc. As others have said in the past, running is as much mental as physical, and sometimes we just need little mind tricks to help us get there. Good luck- I have every confidence that you'll crack this.

  • Thanks for the tips. I like the name game idea, I will try that next time.

  • Oh and smaller steps if you're struggling!

  • Thank you so much, you are all wonderful people, I was really low when I typed the first post.

    I will go again and again until I succeed

  • Malc, if it is any consolation, I did the first many weeks of this plan without knowing about this place. So, in my innocence, I felt that I had to repeat runs I had only just managed, needing to feel confident that I could do the next one before I tried it. This has to do with my personality and no-one told me otherwise. So, I did week 3, for example, and week 4, for several weeks each before moving on. It has probably taken me 15 weeks or more to do the 9 week plan.

    What this has meant is that I have done a lot of work on my stamina in the early days and I have not struggled with the later stages in the way that some have. Yesterday, on my W9R1, I did a park run and ran the whole thing - it took longer than the 30 minutes I was supposed to do on that day, but I had done the ground work.

    What I want to get at is that all the running you are doing is good running and will stand you in good stead in the future. Nothing you do is a fail and you should not think of it as such. When you do graduate, you will be several hours of running ahead of those who have run straight through the plan and you can look on that as a positive.

    You will complete these 28 minute runs soon but don't be hard on yourself for not getting it first time.

    See you at the graduates podium.

  • Sheps, what a fab observation I had never thought of that at all. That those practice runs are building a stamina bank, and a miles run bank at the same time. What a great piece of insight

  • I wondered if it was just me finding excuses so I am glad it makes sense

    to you, too.

  • Thanks I'm like you, if it ain't done right it doesn't count. Good to know you overcame you're hurdles

  • Hi, I haven't read the other replies so I apologise if I'm repeating everything.

    You're doing brilliantly, 25 mins is terrific and you know you can do 28 mins because you've done it before.

    I suggest you take an extra rest day day, maybe work out a different route and lock those gremlins in a dark cupboard.

    Then put on your running shoes and plan to run for 25 mins. At the end of the 25 mins just try to run for a few more seconds, no pressure, stop if you like, you never know those seconds might turn into minutes.

    I know you can do this so good luck and keep running. Go for it!

    Let us know how you get on.

  • I will give it my all. Thanks for taking the time to help me out.

  • I'm running week 8 this week too. C'mon. We can do this. I set myself landmarks too. House, pub (closed 😉) shop, school, bus stop. Just taking it very very slowly. Plenty of time ahead to speed up

  • I echo what everyone else has said. If I were in your shoes (and actually I am back building gradually from 15 minutes at the moment!), I would plan to go out for a 25 minute run and then when it gets towards the end just add a bit extra - maybe as much as a minute, or maybe just to the end of the road, or some other landmark. I went out the other day for a 15 minute run, looked at my watch and it said 12, next time I looked it said 16! So I thought I might as well run to the end of the road because then it was exactly a 5 minute walk home. In then end I had run 18 minutes!

    Play games with your Gremlins - they hate it!! ;)

  • I'm only on week 6 so can only echo what Kittentamer and everyone else is saying. To say you can 'only' run for 25 minutes is to belittle your amazing achievements so far - and I'm completely in awe of you! Good luck with your gremlins and keep us informed :)

  • Well done you!! You've obviously come soooooo far 😊 Everyone's given loads of really great advice so I'll not repeat any of that, but here's another angle, sort of along the lines Shep was talking about: maybe it's ok--maybe you don't need to be able to run 28 minutes every time, at least just yet. Take the pressure off yourself, perhaps; go out, do 25 minutes if that's what feels ok, and go home feeling satisfied. Do that every time for as long as you like--forever if you need to--except that it really won't. S long before you can go to 26 minutes, or 27, and even 28.

    Other idea: if you have a "there and back again" route, or can plan to do a 25 min one for a while to get familiar with it, then try thinking about it not as adding 3 minutes, but as adding 1:30, because once you've added that in one direction you've added 3 overall. Gremlins are terrible at maths......

  • Do you use music or radio or an audio book? I find that it really helps to distract myself from my goal. And it's a lovely feeling to realise you've just 'let' yourself run without scrutinising your performance- even for the space of a 3-min song, or a news feature or a chunk of a story. It's as though we have a false idea that our bossy intellect actually does the running when it's our much larger being. So - distract the boss? It's a theory only. All best - stuckness feels horrible.

  • Hold your nerve, trust the app! You absolutely CAN do it. This sounds

    Ike a mental block thing to me. Try not to over analyse the whole thing...just go with the works! 3k in 25 mins sounds pretty fast to me. I'm a graduate and running 3x 30 mins a week, and I'm still not hitting 3k in 25 mins! I would suggest you drop your pace just a little in the first 15 mins or so, and that way, you should have the energy to push through to the 28 mins and beyond.

    If I can do it, anyone can do it!

    Best of luck...and remember, it's not about distance covered, it's about consistency of duration.

  • Hi. Like others have said before me. You can do it because you've already done it. If you can do it once you can do it again. I too have experienced similar obstacles and feelings to yours. No run is exactly the same and this can be for all kinds of reasons. I find I run better at a certain time of day and when I've not eaten much. Drinking water before helps and I eat a handful of almonds or Brazil nuts for a little energy boost. Changing your route and or your music can help. You say you cant run any slower by you can! I also like to change my pace a couple of times. The main thing is you have done it so you KNOW you can do it, try to remember that when you set off next time. I hope, like me, you have been lifted by people's responses and that words of support and encouragement will spur you on. Keep a positive mental attitude going forward.

  • I think you should stop being so hard on yourself and congratulate yourself on how far you've come! I've struggled with the longer runs too. On the 28 mins I've occasionally run on the spot before continuing which sometimes helps me.

    I've found W9 tough, I went out Thursday not really up for it but felt I ought to as following the plan. The C25K app started jumping again! Previously all weeks were wiped! I decided to switch it off and just run till I had enough, only ran 1/2 the normal route then ran/walked rest. Instead of seeing it as a failure, I viewed it as a run which would aid me towards the goal of 30 mins

    Any run is a good run and if you just run what you can and add more when you feel up for it rather than thinking I've got to do this magical 28 mins, it will come When Jo Wiley said, "your legs probably feel like lead, some days your a gazelle skipping along and other days you're ...." I thought I'd never been skipping along, gazelle like! A toddler would probably go faster than me!

    Went out again Sunday, although better it was still a struggle, 20 mins seemed about my limit.

    I think you should not be so hard on yourself, think how far you've come! Maybe for a while, don't stick rigidly to the plan. Do some shorter runs, then add a longer 28 mins run. That's what I've decided to do.

    Possibly have some longer tests in between the runs. When doing the interval runs it was easy to do 3 a week with a days rest in between. I've found it much harder with the longer runs but having extra days rest helps.

  • Some sound advice here. Many thanks for sharing

  • Lots of good advice there, this forum is great. When|I set out with a definite aim and want to give up earlier I tell myself it just means I will have to do it all again next time and so have wasted what I've already done. Of course, what I have done isn't a waste at all but it helps shift those gremlins. Or I do my times tables. Good luck.

  • I am having exactly the same problem 😕 I've done the first one and had to stop half way on the next. Really lost my enthusiasm as I feel I've failed. Some one suggested to go back a couple of weeks and get my confidence back so I've done week 6 run 3. I'm going to do that 3 more times as I feel it will increase my stamina and get that positive feeling back. It's a mental barrier I'm facing and I would guess you are too. Wish I could wave a magic wand over both of us to send positive vibes and determination. 🍀 Here's a 4 leaf clover for good luck ..... you (and I) will get there in the end!!!!

  • Yeah I'm the same I managed the first run ok, but the second and third time I just couldn't get there. I'm sorry you're having the same problems. It's really like I've fit a wall.

    Good luck my friend I honestly hope you can beat those negative thoughts.

    Hopefully we can get there together.

  • I was the same. First 28 min run okay but couldn't manage it again. So used to having a voice in my ear saying just 5 mins left or you've run 20 mins etc but no voice there to help me along. I could have done with hearing more milestones. But I will just keep running 20 or 25 mins and build stamina too. I'm in no rush to graduate. Good luck! Just keep running.

  • Hi! Saw this and wanted to let you know that I've just had exactly the same problem but gotten there eventually. My set of 28 minute runs has looked like this:

    1/3: Had to stop 20 minutes in because I thought I was going to pass out.

    1/3 (2nd attempt): Did it ok!

    2/3: Did it ok!

    3/3: Had to stop 10 minutes in because I thought I was going to pass out or throw up.

    3/3 (2nd attempt): My legs went half numb, but did it!


    I don't know why it's been so variable—I've managed all the previous weeks without this problem. I think it's just like that sometimes. All sorts of things can affect you, from hydration to energy levels to mood to hormones...

    I was really disappointed after the second failure and nearly cried in the park.

    My friends' advice was to drink lots beforehand, rather than whilst running, and I changed my route around a bit for the last one to avoid having a slow climb at the beginning.

    My pace is glacial, but I'm feeling confident about doing 30 minutes and getting to the end of the final week, even if it takes a couple of attempts to do it.

    You can do it too, just keep trying, even if it seems like you've hit a wall. :)

  • I was the same except my engine just blew after 22 ish minutes twice. I really thought that I'd never be able to manage the 28 minutes again.

    There is obviously more to this running business than just turning up and running.

    I thought that was my running career over before it started.

    I wish you all the best for your future running

  • Just been for another run, and thanks to you all I've just run 30mins and 2 seconds.

    Oldfoss I could honestly feel you pulling my right arm back when I was pulling to fast.

    I paid a massive amount of attention to my pace not bothering about distance or time.

    I tried the name game and soon realised that I'm rubbish at that, but it did help on the small inclines.

    You guys are true heroes in my book.

  • Well done Malc. I had no doubt that you would do it. Take that victory forward to the podium.

  • Agree with sheps 100%, we all knew you'd do it. Oldfloss hanging onto your arm mentally helped undoubtedly, but the biggest help of all was you Malc, you tried again with renewed hope and vigour. You didn't give up, you kicked the couch and ran. Well done my running friend...

  • That's great news. Well done

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