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Couch to 5K
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Reassurance needed!

Hi All, I haven't posted for a while, but I graduated in May and since then gave continued to run 3 times per week. I feel like I've got a good routine going, I do park run on Saturday, run by myself on Mondays and go to a running group on a Wednesday. My park run times stayed pretty static at between 37 and 38 mins until a few weeks ago when, with the help of one of our brilliant trainers from the Wednesday group, I managed a 36.02 followed by a 35.11 the next week! All good and going in the right direction I thought, until I had a week off as went on holiday to Cornwall, and even though I did quite a lot of walking, i didn't run and I ate too may pasties and cream teas!!!

Came home on Friday, so got up bright and early yesterday for park run only to find my legs didn't want to work and I only managed a 38.11 😱 I think I walked more than I ran and found it really hard, my legs hurt so badly afterwards as well!

Please tell me this is normal after a short break ( I didn't think one week off would affect me so much) and that I'll be able to get back on it quickly? Any advice on how to keep the momentum going? Thanks in advance

6 Replies

Just keep running 🙂 Consolidation of 30 minute runs is useful too. Try the C25K+ podcasts too...Our legs do take advantage of time out; Especially if no other exercise has been done 🙂

Just out of curiosity...does the speed/time matter?


Hi I think it is more about how hard I found it just to keep going than the time, although I was disappointed. I only look at the time at parkrun and just run for fun on my own. Thanks for your help 😊

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I normally find a short break does the opposite and most of my PBs have come after a rest from running.

Don't panic. We all have ups and downs and the rest of our lives impacts on our running in ways that are hard to identify, never mind understand.

I have no doubt that you will beat your PB, but it doesn't happen every week. I haven't had a sniff of a PB for two years.

The important thing is to enjoy your running. Sure, aim for a PB at parkrun, but better to make a concerted effort once a month than slog away relentlessly week on week.

Try running somewhere stimulating and beautiful, purely for fun, forgetting about pace, distance and time. This is life affirming and will remind you that running is more than chasing PBs.

Run for fun.

Keep running, keep smiling.


Thanks I am trying not to get too concerned about times!

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You sound really motivated - park runs and running group, I'm in awe! I'm sure it's just a natural blip, and once you get back in the swing of things it'll sort itself out. Your times look amazing to me!

I graduated at the end of July and I've never timed myself. Mainly because I know that I will judge myself and make life hell for myself if I do - just the way I am. So I haven't got a clue what's going on. In fact I've slowed down because I was going too fast and every jog became a slog :) Now I find things a lot more enjoyable - and easier! We always push on for improvements, it's the world we live in, but sometimes it's ok to ease off the pressure and give yourself a breather :)


Some days we can run faster than others so I wouldn't worry too much. You are doing very well, so just relax and enjoy your running. And maybe focus on the positives of the exercise rather than the time. As you said, you only look at the time for the parkrun runs, so have fun at whatever speed you go. :)

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