Newbie needing motivation and advice.

I'm a 46 year old woman who has just decided to learn how to run. I've just done W3 R1 and am currently thinking "what the hell am I doing". I can walk for miles but not entirely sure that running is for me. I cant seem to breath correctly, not even sure I am running correctly!! Looking for a bit of motivation from anyone who felt this unfit so early on.


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33 Replies

  • Simple. If you can't breathe easily you are running too fast. Slow down. As your cardiovascular system develops you will be able to speed up, but a sustainable pace is one at which you can breathe comfortably.

    You should be able to hold a conversation..........if not, you are going too fast.

    All this may make you think you are going too slow but if you still have both feet off the ground on each stride, then you are running and that will do just fine.

    The plan is duration based, so your speed is irrelevant.

    Slow down, relax and enjoy the journey.

  • This is and I bet will be the only time Ian - I have to quibble with you :)

    The " be able to hold a conversation when you run' is a tricky one for people who have asthma/damages lungs/deviated septum/whatever.

    There is literally not a chance I can talk and run, I can now blurt out a "good morning" or "coming through" but even that I hate doing as it throws my breathing off. And with my regular 5K in 38 minutes I sure as heck am not "fast" LOL.

    Ten thousand percent agree with the go slower advice though :)

  • It is considered to be the simplest gauge of comfortable pace, John.

    I am sure there are exceptions to the rule.........'s Tim.

  • I am the exception to the rule?

    Or you are also graced with having the best name on the planet?

  • Yeah, but because of my obscure nom de web everyone calls me Ian......... sometimes worse.........

  • A really good rule of thumb Tim but it lead me astray for real in the early days unfortunately.

    Tim eh? :) No wonder no trace of you on the Interpol files lol. ;)

  • Sshhushhhh!

  • (Whispering )

    "So how is life in witness protection?

    Big Tony has upped the contract on you to four pounds fifty seven pence btw!"

  • Enough tomfoolery, hijacking someone else's post..........did I say hijack?

  • Timfoolery and hiJohn? LOL.

  • Well done on your 5km time 👏

  • Great advice. I too found breathing difficult for a few weeks. It's hard at the start as it takes time to develop a basic level of fitness. Then it seems to just click. Breathing becomes a lot easier. Stick with it. The feeling you get when you finish the plan is amazing. Then you get to experience your first 5k, first Parkrun, first 5K race, etc.

    don't give up. Stay motivated and take each run one at a time.


  • You can do it!!! Check out some of the graduates, and look back to their early posts. I found it really motivating. I’m at week 7 now, and find that as long as I’m taking deep breaths, rather than panting, I can keep going. Usually, I walk faster than I run. Based on my average pace. But that’s ok - because mh fitness is improving, and six weeks ago I struggled to run a minute, let alone the 25!

    Have faith in yourself and the programme!

  • I started of being able to swim faster than I could run! Can still swim farther but one day..........

  • I am 50+ and could not do all 60s runs in week 1. Went through all the doubts along the way and still having them BUT this Friday I ran non stop for 20 minutes after about 5 weeks of the program.

    I have struggled with knees and breathing but the mantra on the forum is “slow and steady” - it does work. Just believe in yourself and trust the gradual steps up each week of the program.

  • Yay.....another W5R3 convert.

    No turning back now

  • Over half way - no point in stopping now! :)

  • Persevere, your running fitness will improve, honestly! I'm a 47 year old woman who could walk for ages but hated running. Started c25k 6 months ago, thought the first sessions would finish me off. But I stuck with it. I'm stubborn so could keep my body going and the support from this forum kept my head going. I graduated around 3 months ago and am now regularly running at Parkrun and in a running club. I'm sure you can do it too - good luck! 😊

  • I have two forms of Asthma so breathing "properly" has never been an option :)

    As for motivation - if you read the beginner posts of Graduates, you will see we all had the same experience when it came to hopes, fears doubts and so forth :)

    Running is not as easy as sitting on the Couch - but I very never heard anyone say "I am so chuffed! - I just sat on the sofa for x amount of minutes!!!' :)

  • I think my dog might say it!! But I love that!

  • LOL 😄

  • I too suffered with that to start with. I'm 54 and hadn't run before - what I had to do was slow down so much I felt I was barely moving but it meant I relaxed and could breath and make progress. Keeping moving is all I focus on now and I've just completed week 5. I had a couple of set backs (fell over - not running related! and had a sore knee which meant I took a break for a bit) but just kept at it and I hope that you, like me, you will absolutely love it the more you do. I never thought I would say I just cant wait to get out there again! I was also self-conscious to start with which probably didn't help my breathing so I used to go out very early before many people were up and about but now I don't care- go out straight after getting home from work and just keep putting one foot (slowly!) in front of the other :-). You can do it! Slow and steady .....It really does work.

  • I’ll tell you ‘what the hell you are doing’, you are 3 weeks into a great program.

    If you had started W1 with W3’s program would you have managed? Or even if you had started with W1R3 as the opening session? I think you need to ‘woo hoo!’ you for how far you have already come.

    For the breathing, I have asthma and was like a fish out of water on a river bank. So I slowed it down. And just kept going. By the time I was at W6 it just sort of clicked if you know what I mean. If you are thinking about the breathing you are trying too hard. That was the one thing I didn’t like when I was being told by MJ to breathe in through my nose and out of my mouth. I remember that run. I would have breathed in through my eyes, my ears and my a**e if I could have.

    But now it sort of just works and this morning I ran (at a nice slow and steady pace) for 40 minutes.

    As for the not being sure if you are running correctly....

    If you put one foot in front of the other and repeat then you are running.

    If they both go forward at the same time that is a sack race.

    Try not to analyse so much and just relax, slow down, slow down a bit more and enjoy the journey

  • Thanks everyone, your comments are really appreciated. I think I need to be a little more patient and a little less self conscious.

  • Yep - always try to keep it fun on some level.

    At my worst, I enjoy envisioning being glowing with this newfound health while adding up the total circumference of all the tubes going in and out of my sworn enemies as I eat all their oranges from the gift basket by their bed in the ICU. :)

  • Slow and steady - sounds like you are going to fast! Slow down and you will find that happy jog rate! Well done for starting this! You can do it

  • This 56 year old is a newbie runner who completed week 6 today. If I can anyone can👍I still don't think I have the breathing right but I am sure it will get there one day. Keep going slow and steady and keep us posted on your progress 🏃👏

  • As a 57 year old never ran before and has a dodgy knee I like yourself can walk for miles no problem but this running lark is different I slowed right down and listened to all the advice and support here and I love it I'm starting W4R1 tomorrow I'm apprehensive and also excited so go for it and be a tortoise 🐢

  • think i struggled up to about week 4 then noticed how fast my recovery was becoming and improved from there when i could actually notice an improvement somewhere. mind over matter, keep at it, i never would have believed i could run for 25 metres never mind 25 minutes a few weeks ago when 60 seconds felt like forever but im on week 7 so keep at it.

  • Most are like it as new runners, percivere and it should get easier as you go on, slow and steady...😊

  • I'm older than you, but I walk a lot and do lots of physical work, so I imagined my legs would be fine and breathing the only issue (sounds rather arrogant now). In the first few weeks breathing most definitely was the issue! Maybe I was going too fast, but it didn't feel like it! Round about week 4 my legs started to feel it and from then on I had no choice but to slow down. Suddenly breathing was less of an issue. On any run now, it is only ever my legs that nag me for an early finish, if breathing becomes laboured I simply slow right down and catch my breath. The longer you run the more intuitive it seems to become and the more enjoyable it becomes too.

    Slow down. Give it time and you too will find your own enjoyable rhythm :)

  • I think the key is relax and don't think about the breathing too much. I had it very similar at your stage ("bit" older than you, could swim for miles, couldn't run). The more you think about how are you breathing right, the more you think about breathing and then it doesn't feel tight, you tense up and get out of breath. Ignore the advice on the podcast about when to breath in & out. A quote I remember from when I was about your stage (not that long ago at all) was you have been breathing all your life, just continue, if you don't go blue then you are doing it correctly.

    I also had the not sure I was running correctly. The start of your post caught my eye as you said "learn how to run" not start running. I started there too i.e. don't know HOW to run. Well think I have got it now (just). Start by thinking of jogging (note Iannoda Truffe's post on going slower - although I can't talk & run if it is uphill even if a snail's pace). Again don't over think it. I soon realised not everybody runs quite the same way (obvious really, we don't swim the same & we are not all Olympians etc). On a good day, I sometimes "pretended I could run" and sometimes it felt right and very good.

    Week 3 is an interesting stage, keep going, relax and you will soon find you have some of those runs where you end up with a silly grin on your face.

  • I'm a 64 yo male. I graduate tomorrow. Don't be concerned about being too slow, after all, we only need to do a gentle jog. At the end of a 30 min run/jog I have covered just short of 4km so I aim to reach 5km in the coming weeks. But, that is at my own pace. Every day is a challenge that I WILL overcome. Keep up the good work cos you are doing this for you

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