Complete Fail

Complete Fail

I went for my first outdoor run yesterday, and the only thing that was good was the view. It was terrible, I couldn't even manage the first 3 minute run, never mind the 5 minute. I'm pretty disheartened, and I'm not quite sure where to go from here. I'm on W4R1, and I was so pleased that I'd gotten this far and was getting close to half way.

Was it because, until now, I've been running at home on a trampette (which wasn't easy, and still had me dripping with sweat and gasping), and so I wasn't used to the extra impact of running on concrete? Was it because last week I was off work and so was less exhausted and better able to cope with exercising? It can't have been because I wasn't in the zone, I was actually looking forward to an outside run, especially since it was actually sunny for a change. I expected to struggle on the 5 minutes, but not on the first 3, I tried going slower, since I've often heard advice about going slow and steady, but I struggled to the point that I eventually just gave up.

The problem is I have no idea where to go from here. Have I been kidding myself by running on a trampette, doing the cardio but not having to deal with the added impact? Should I start from scratch outdoors or should I just repeat last week? I'm stumped, I really don't want to have to start from scratch again, I think that would completely demoralise me.

Another thing I struggled with outdoors was getting a really dry mouth and throat to the point where it was hard to breathe. I didn't take water because I didn't want to be carrying a bottle with me, and I've never had that issue at home. Do the rest of you take water bottles out with you?


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32 Replies

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  • Today it didn't work out. It happens, don't dwell on it otherwise you will make it up to something bigger than it is.

    I graduated a few months ago and aside from an injury am now running three times per week. I do this round the same route, usually on the same days and time each week. However, on two separate occasions now, I have pulled up short. No reason, just hit a wall.

    The next run following this I went out and did the full 5k no problem - both times. I have no idea why it happened.

    There are many factors. Today was not your day because of one (or more) of them. Next time you will be better prepared.

    As for the water, it is up to you. I get a dry mouth, as I breathe through my mouth, but a bit of closed mouth swallowing to generate saliva whilst running puts paid to this. I don't take water, as I would find it a chore to carry, not to mention that I would probably end up choking if I tried to drink mid-run.

  • Well done for completing the first three weeks.

    Now listen, no way did you f**l, it was a trial venture into the unknown. Take your rest day and then put on your running shoes and set off with the knowledge that running outside is different.

    Some runs are good and some not so good but every one is taking you towards you becoming a runner.

    Keep it slow, take your rest days and trust in the program.

    Keep smiling, keep running and let us know how you're getting on.

    Go for it ... you can do it!

  • You have not failed, you gave it a go and it just didn't come together. But think about it, you have 3 full weeks under your belt, but today you changed your method trampette for the streets, you had to cope with sun and goodness me that is hard, because it doesn't take much of an increase to affect your stamina. Where do you go, you go back to thinking that you will do the run, you put on your trainers and you go again. I carry water regardless of necessarily needing it, I find like you I get a dry mouth, and so little sips help me. It seems from what I read that we all have a nemesis run that hurts. But please be kind to yourself, no run is a wasted run, you put some more km on the clock and added to your stamina bank.

    These practice runs help us to become better runners. You can and will achieve it - believe in yourself. I believe in your strength of character. ...

  • I don't take water with me but I always have half a glass before I leave the house and more when I get back. If you are generally well hydrated, I would have thought that would be enough.

    By the way, I think you have spelled "fail" wrongly - around these parts it is "practice run". Because there is no such thing as a failed run - it all adds to your stamina and mileage banks.

    Keep on running.

  • Thank you everyone. So is the general consensus to carry on with W4 rather than going back and redoing a week or restarting?

  • Personally, I would repeat a run until I have done it then move on. Other opinions are available.

  • Running outside - congratulations! :) Your first outdoor run completed. :) We all have those "first runs" "practise runs" "OMGHIllS!!!!!" runs, the runs that make us beieve a Marathon is in our future and the ones that leave us feeling like battered rat-crap. :)

    I ran once and once only on a treadmill - after graduation - and had to struggle mightely, ran a couple of times on an indoor track and struggled mightely. Did not repeat those venues as outside is where I want to be.

    But outside there are days too where I struggle mightely :)

    Good runs, practice runs - every day though a run is a run is a run :) And as long as we go out the door we sure as heck are not "failures". :)

    It's all a learning and enjoyment process - on the very best of days it's a bit of both. On the very worst - we are even further away from the slob on the sofa so how bad is that really :)

    Take it steady as well as slow - the adjustment from inside to outside will come :)

    Wishing you many happy miles in your future :)

  • There is no right or wrong answer. My advice would be to do the week 3 run outdoors. If that goes ok move on the week 4.

  • Yes, by all means, stay the course. Week 5 brings a special challenge, so don't hesitate to repeat week 4 to feel successful. You might look for a softer outdoor track-like surface. One of the beauties of C25K is that it's designed to meet individual needs. Repeat week 4, then power up into week 5. That, in my experience, was the most crucial week to get thtough.

  • EVERYONE will or has had a "bad" run... guaranteed!

    Don't give up, have a day off and go out again to either try the run again or go back one week and complete a run that you had already successfully completed.

    I had a really c**p run last night and I struggled to keep going... that is now history and I'm planning my weekend run and looking forward to it. :-)

  • Oops, maybe I'm throwing a spanner in the works here, but imho for what its worth, you have been missing out on the impact training part of the plan, which strengthens the bones and tendons.

    Running on the trampette, whilst improving your aerobic fitness will not be giving you the same stresses and strains and therefore building up your legs. Also not sure what speed you are working at, outdoor or treadmill running is done slowly as you are working legs, lungs, heart, arms, back..

    I would go back and start outside at Week 1 and see how you get on... if running is going to be something you want to do regularly and enjoy, best to get the groundwork done.

    Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear, but its only my opinion.πŸ˜•

    Good luck and keep running..

    Please don't feel demoralised and give up..this plan really works and running outside is fantastic.x

  • I'm already fairly active and wasn't starting from the point of couch potato, but I think maybe you're right. As much as I really, really don't want to I think perhaps I should try to do a week one run outdoors and see how it goes, if it's easy I'll know I can jump on, try week two the same way, if not I suppose I'll have to start again. :(

  • Cheer up :) There is no 'end" to running and you have already started :) We will still be here in nine weeks or however long it takes to congratulate you on your shiny new badge :) "Slow and steady" remember ? :)

    Some time ago we did a survey here - less than 30% of Graduates did the programme on time/with distance. I personally wish I had been more concerned with building up a solid foundation for my future runs than focusing on graduating :)

  • Thanks :) I suppose even if I need to start again just doing the cardio side of things must have helped a bit. Knowing so many people took longer is good, it's nice to know I'm not alone!

  • Thats exactly what I was thinking...that cardiac work will have set you up and you and whilst you could get away with doing one run from w1 then one from wk2. Its better discipline to stick to the rules and graduate as a strong runner without injuries.

    We will definately be cheering you on, 😊and by the way I took seven months to graduateπŸ˜‡(repeated wk 4 for a while, holidays etc..) and am coming up to 2 years since graduating.

    Keep running and posting...

    *The runs outside are not easy, but doable.

  • 'alone'??

    'Round this way while you might run on your own you never run alone ;)

    I would encourage you to read lots of the earliest posts of those who are now Graduates - darn few of us went into this feeling full of vim and vigour, but almost despite ourselves ( and definitely despite the Gremlins) we made it. This programme is literally miraculous - it will work if you work it :)

  • I agree with you... a safe and steady build up... :) x

  • I am by no means an expert on biomechanics, but I would have thought that running on the spot on a trampette would be using entirely different muscles to running out in the open, because in the open you are having to propel yourself forwards, which clearly you are not on a trampette. Also as Jan-now-runs said, the trampette is much lower impact than running on the ground.

    Could it be that the muscles that you would have developed when running outdoors have not been developed running on a trampette?

    When I started c25k it was after many years of cycling into work (about 6 miles each way). And yet, I had a struggle on Week 1 to keep running for 1 minute stretches, and was waiting in agony for the instruction to slow down. Again, cycling is a low impact exercise that uses entirely different muscles to running.

    So in my (admittedly inexpert!) opinion, it's not just your cardio fitness level that is important - it is developing the muscles you need for running, pounding the hard ground and propelling yourself forwards that counts. During C25K I noticed that the shape of my thighs changed markedly, even though I had been an active cyclist for many years.

  • I have to say..firstly..very, very well done you and secondly..... I do have to agree with Jan-now-runs ...

    The trampette, just so, so different.. great for core stability maybe a cardio workout..but not for the building up and growing of our running legs!! :)

    My advice would be to go with Jan.... start the programme, steady and slow... you have built up ... and take it one run at a time.... that way, outdoors, you can have a very safe build up to the longer runs... and you will most likely enjoy it a lot more:)

    What a great place to do those runs too...I have just had to do a slow build up again..( not quite from scratch, but for me, quite a disciplined regime.. but it works:)

    So... start afresh... knowing you are strong,take it as slowly as you like and never, ever use the 'f' word again!!!

    Together we will do this! :)

  • Hopefully you know not to give up - and I would agree with all the advice about the trampette being different. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • I'll start again. Give myself the weekend to mope, and aim for W1R1 on Monday. *sigh*

  • That's a brave and admirable decision - you will sail through the early weeks and graduate with honours.

  • Thank you, I certainly hope so! I feel glad I've made a decision what to do next so at least I have an aim now and I'm not stuck floundering.

  • Good luck on Monday Pseud0nym 😊...

    Im running that day too..

    Nice and steady...

    Have you got the c25k app or podcasts on your phone ir mp3 player so you have a voice coach and music?

  • I use the app so I can have my own playlists. :)

  • Don't sigh... breathe easy... you have a goal... you know you will do it and you know we are all here in that journey, right beside you!

    Use the weekend do rest and recoup.. do some strength and flex exercises... put your gear out on Sunday evening and get ready to go!

  • I wonder if it's worth brisk walking round your running route sometime this weekend? I'm one of those who likes to know my terrain - the inclines, how I might time my start point so that the inclines are kind for running for example; rabbit holes or dodgy pavements are good to spot; also nice road crossings etc. Good luck and be patient - there are new logistics for outdoors.

  • I chew peppermint gum during some of my runs, it helps keep the saliva flowing. Used it tonight for a 7k as it was quite warm. Just remember to dispose of responsibly πŸ™‚

  • I have just completed W4 R2, been doing C25K for longer than most as I don't move on to the next week till I feel ready, I completed W3 4 times before feeling confident enough to go on to W4. I'm following the training regime but going at my own pace. I drive my car to the canal and run down the path, I have a drink before setting off and water in the car for when I finish, I don't carry water with me while running though. Keep at it and you'll get there, onwards and upwards

  • Start the week again, don't get disheartened. I've started weeks again because it's not felt right. Just remember you'll get there doesn't matter how long it takes.

  • I'm on week 9 and have been running on a treadmill at the gym. This week I decided on an outdoor run and struggled massively. No way could I run for 30 minutes, struggled to do 5!. I understand that the impact on my legs and feet is harder but I am also struggling to breathe. Not sure that this is helping you but at least you know that you are not the only one struggling with running outside 😣

  • Ive only run outside, but I've had good runs and crap runs. I'm on week 9, but sometimes over the weeks Ive felt like i could run for miles and others have been a struggle the whole way. I'd just try it again-i do remember that one being hard the first time and the 2nd two that week were ok. Don't beat yourself up. Try again and if it's still too hard, maybe go back a week, but you are doing it and dont be put off by a setback. We all get there eventually, one way or another xx

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