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Couch to 5K
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Help I've run out of energy!!!

What's wrong with me, got to week 5 and ran 5 mins once, gone to do it again and again last night and I couldn't run for 3 minutes let alone 5, i was absolutely shattered and my legs were like lead! I am worried now that I'm not improving and dreading going again - any advice much appreciated xx

8 Replies

It would seem highy unlikely that you have used up your entire lifetime's worth of energy, or that you have reached the limits of your genetic potential. More likely is you need a few days rest to allow your legs to recover, and then return to the programme refreshed.


Thank you Rignold, I am going to have a quiet few days and maybe go back to week 4, do that again and then move to week 5 and hopefully keep going - feeling a bit gutted that I'm going backwards not forward


you're not going backwards. Probably no need to redo W4 either, but if that's what makes you comfortable then do however you like. Progress isn't always linear.


It does happen. Relieve heavy legs after running, Stretch –just as warming up before a run is important, so too is stretching out your muscles afterwards. ... Stretching your muscles helps to minimise the effects of lactic acid in the muscles, and also makes you less prone to developing injuries.

Also, make sure you're well hydrated before running.. and I don't mean drinking loads right before you run, but always throughout the week.

well done on getting to w5😊


I agree with Rigs. A few days rest will do you good.

I see no reason why going back a week is necessarily a good strategy. If you completed W4 then you need to move onto W5.......that is the challenge that needs to be overcome, not W4.

Coming back refreshed, with belief, you can take on the next run. If you don't complete it, you will have found your current level, so repeat it, getting stronger each time, until you can.

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You've got to W5, that's brilliant.

Unfortunately it seems those naughty gremlins have been playing tricks on you.

Take a couple of extra rest days, plan a new route and plan something to think about while you're running. That probably sounds daft but if you're planning your next holiday or just your next shopping list you're not thinking so much about your legs!

Start off really, really slowly ... it doesn't matter how far you run as long as you keep moving. You're legs can definitely do this.

Good luck and keep us posted.


As the others have said, take some extra rest days and have another go. You have come this far, you can do it! I wouldn't go back to week 4, just rest and carry on, slower than slow if you need to. You will be fine!


Thank you all for some good encouraging advice, I'm going to go with week 5 definitely, I'll let you know how I get on next week!


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