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Couch to 5K
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Week 8 struggles

Help please. Really struggling with week 8 as 28 minutes feels like so much longer than 25. I've done a couple of unsuccessful week 8 runs where I haven't made the whole 28 mins so was going to drop back to week 7. When I did I found I was actually able to continue past the 25 marker and make the 28 (although it was hella hard!). I suspect it's all entirely mental but I just can't seem to get over the mental hurdle of the number 28.

I've just been out today (with W8R3 playing) and only managed 20 mins. Going for a further 8 seemed too big a mountain to climb.

Granted it's way more than I could run a couple of months ago but I'm so keen to get to week 9 and graduate (and make 30 minute runs my regular thing).

Has anyone else struggled mentally with week 8 and if so how did you get over the hurdle??

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Just don't overthink it. Just run it.. each run prepares you for the next :) It does. Think how far you have come :)

If you are struggling..... then slow down..if you are still struggling....then slow down more!

As you run.. look around, make names up for things, the folk you see, the trees and shrubs.. think of daft rhymes or change the words of songs.. just go gently and don't think of the time...

You are talking three minutes.. take us with you and imagine us by your side..I will be the one whispering in your ear.. slow and steady.:)

You can do this......

" You are stronger than you think you are.. believe it"


Thanks olfloss, I like the idea of taking you all with me! I will give that a go on Tuesday.

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It is fun.. sometimes, my run routes are so crowded :)

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Sounds like a mental block to me.

I assume you are going nice and slow but you don't say what is actually making you stop.

Many people, when the little voice first suggests stopping, do a mental checklist. Am I hurting, am I breathing ok, etc. etc. just going through the things that might force you to stop. If you can say no to each one, then you have no reason to stop, by which time you may have reached your target time.

You could try the "Just keep going to that lamppost" ploy and when you get there, onto the next one.

Try listening to something to take your mind off the time or do the opposite and deliberately look around you making a commentary of your surroundings.

The important thing is to forget about the time and just run.

If you are exhausted, check hydration levels and restedness and if necessary take an extra rest day.

You can do this, so don't build up any negative anticipation, just enjoy it.

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Thanks IannodaTruffe. Yes I'm going nice and slow (I average about 7:30 per km) and breathing is ok. I've run through some Achilles tendinitis and heavy legs in previous weeks and they are not bothering me now. Today my lower legs ached like heck at the sides (no idea if/what muscle is there) but I know I've run through it before. I think the fact that there are less prompts at week 8 is not helping but I know really this is all mental.


Have you had a gait analysis?

It is often on these Ionger runs that the problems of wrong shoes show up.

Distraction is your best approach to the head problems.


Never had a gait analysis no. Not really sure what it is though (other than looking how you run?). Is it worth checking out?


Try not to think about it too much or overthink it.

I try to equate the running time to how many songs will I need to listen to in order to run for 25 mins, 28 mins etc? I also make mental lists for shopping, what I need to do at work for the coming week, who needs what clothes washed for work this week, who's birthday is coming up and what would they like, what colour underwear shall I wear tomorrow, how much chocolate is really really bad for you. Literally anything that I can make into a list, I make into a mental list to fill the time!!

This has worked for me so give it a go. What's the worst that could happen.....?๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

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Thanks Kimchoc08, I'll give it a try. An no amount of chocolate is bad for you - it's all medicinal ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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I think you have done amazingly well to get this far. Take the advice of the more experienced runners and you will get there. I admire you for keeping going and wanting to reach your goal. Go for it. You can do it. Good luck for Tuesday ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ


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