Couch to 5K
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W5R3 advice needed

Hi im on my week 5 run 3. 20 minutes of running. I only just coped with run 2 this week so 20 minutes seems a long time. I agree ive come along way but feel that im going to struggle tomorrow when I do this. Anyone got any words of wisdom to help me through. Did anyone else feel like it was goong to be a hard run and how did you find it during and after.



14 Replies

The only advice is... as ever, slow and steady... and you need to know you can do it.

Believe it and trust the programme... If you think you will fail... chances are, you know that you can... and you also,. will!

Begin slowly... then as you go into that longer run, slow down even more... think of all sorts, rhymes, lists, names of people you meet.. silly names... anything to stop the mind gremlins getting you.. and if they appear, you imagine squishing them with every single slow and steady step!

" Believe you can.... and you are halfway there"


Go for it Yorkie82 with all the preparation you've done so far, you'll probably find you can do it. If you struggle just try the run again.

That's the mistake I made; 20 mins was about my limit, when I progressed to 25 mins, I struggled. I continued through the programme and just about managed a 30 min. After this I couldn't crack it and lost my mojo.

I changed my coach to Michael Johnson and went back to the 20 min run 3 x before doing 25 mins yesterday.

If you find the 20 mins hard, walk when you need to and repeat the run till you feel stronger.

You can do it!

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Believe!! If you think you're going to fail, there's a real chance that you're going to find it harder than it needs to be. Of course it's daunting. The sense of achievement when you complete makes the pain and hard work more than worth while. Go slowly and steadily, grit your teeth and think positive thoughts. Good luck.


Did anyone else struggle with that run, it's the one that pretty much terrifies everybody.

It's the first proper "big" run BUT the truth is everything you've done so far is leading to this run.

You can do it as so many of us have before and you will do it.

Just take it nice and steady slow your pace down to snail pace minus one and you'll be fine, it's one of the key runs and once you've done this you'll stop fearing the next run and start to look forward to the next challenge

So slow it down, the post that really helped me was about sustainable pace and it really turned it round for me, the realisation that I'd been running to fast for the distance I was trying to achieve so sustainable pace the pace that you can maintain for the time/distance required

Bingo, you've cracked it


Just do it 🙂🏃👍✔️

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Ditto to everything said, with one teeny addition do yourself a favour and look at the W5 posts and see how many "omg I am scared" posts there are for this run, and then see how many "I did it" posts there are. You're not alone in feeling this way. Running is in the head as much as the legs, so focus your thinking and the legs will follow, I promise. You will do it, you will do it oh and you will grin a lot afterwards too! 😀👟👟👟

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When I feel like I need to stop, you know when your head is telling you that you can't do it, I start telling myself, just one more minute, then I'll stop. I know I'm lying to myself but it works for me.

I found an article from someone who did C25K as I was trying to get a family member to try it with me:

Have a read, it may help.


If you set out thinking " I can't do this" you will be proved right.

Nobody sets out on a 100 mile ultra thinking that. Runners require self belief and Week 5 is where you really need to change your mindset. This is where you start to believe in yourself.

The previous run had you moving for twenty one minutes between warm up and cool down. This time you only do twenty minutes.

BELIEVE and practice grinning now, otherwise it hurts for the next few days.


P M A - positive mental attitude!

If you think you can do you will do!

Not that always works for me tho 😬


Hi All thank you for your help and support and guidance. I did it woohoo.

After about 10 minutes everything mentally and physically clicked into place.

My only concern whilst doing this run and with ever other run I've done is that my ankles hurt which my thoughts kept going back to.

I bought new running shoes about 2 weeks ago with customised insoles and had to run on treadmil as they checked my running style against the shoe so really not sure what's causing my pain.

To eveyone else reading this believe in yourself and you will run far.

Thanks again



See!! Well done wk 6 is waiting!!!🏃👍🏻


So was the grin wide then? I am thinking Humber bridge wide perhaps?


Well done Yorkie😊...that was a big acheivement.

Great that you got proper footwear for you now.

Go you.😊


Very well done, its all about pace. your sore ankles may be just different muscles being used, now you have more support from your new shoes perhaps? hoping it eases for you over the coming weeks. Its a big mental leap to go from the shorter ones right up to 20 but you will be feeling so proud.


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