Couch to 5K
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W5 run 3 - made a mess of it

Hello all, I’ve never posted on here before but I’ve made a bit of a mess of my w5r3 and feel pretty down about it. My hubby doesn’t quite get why I feel so disheartened so I’m hoping this community might be a bit more supportive and be able to give me some advice. So I’ve followed the programme to this point, repeating some runs here and there, but pretty much got to here in one piece so far! But I’ve come unstuck. Went out for my 20 min run, but my negativity and “you can’t do it demons” got the best of me. After about 5 mins I just couldn’t do it. Walked for a little bit and then started again, but by this time I knew that I had already failed. And I just walked the rest of the way home :( I know physically I probably could have done it, I mean it would be tough, but I wasn’t exactly about to drop dead on my feet. It’s more of a mental challenge. I still feel like a bit of a running fraud, I’m quite self conscious and I find a negative mind set can really knock me (in all parts of life, not just running) and I’m more the person to give up, rather than “prove people wrong”! So i don’t really know what to do next, should I go back to the start of the week to build my fitness a bit more?just repeat this run until I get it? Miss this one out and go for intervals again? I’m so disappointed in myself! I know this 20 mins is always going seem daunting so worried that repeating the intervals might just be delaying the inevitable and I’ll have the same problem next time. Thanks in advance and sorry for the long winded post!!!

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I could be wrong but it sounds to me like you had already decided you could not do it but worry not have faith in yourself as you can do it all the other runs have proved that. The best thing to do is take a step back refocus on what you have to do keep it slow and steady and go for W5R3 again if you don't do it treat it as a practice but don't go out with the attitude that you can't do because you can.

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I think you are exactly right. I wish there was a magic fix for will power!

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I'm sorry that it didn't work out this morning but this attempt is not the last word. Personally I don't see the need to go back to the beginning of the week - I'd go straight back into trying the same run again.

Please don't build up W5R3 too much in your mind as this can be counterproductive. Yes, it's the longest single run without a walking interval so far, but it can also be a real turning point as you are unexpectedly faced with proof of what you have built up even without realising. I think that deep down you know you can do it. It is no more of a leap forward in a physical sense than the other runs. As I think you have already realised, the step forward is primarily psychological.

So forget what happened today, that's done and dusted, and get back out there when it's time for your next run, sure in the knowledge that you ARE ready and CAN do it. Take it slooowly and whenever you think you have to stop or walk, just try slowing down a bit more. I think W5R3 is a great run for making you think about pacing yourself.

Good luck and let us know how you get on! xx

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Thanks, really good and kind advice. I just need to get over this mental hurdle! Will try again on Friday and let you know how I get on. Thanks again

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Do you know how amazing you are just by starting this programme and getting this far? You've done something hard that most people never even try or have the courage to try. But you have.

Each run has prepared you for this one so you can definitely do it.

Don't go back. Take a day's rest and try again but lock those g********s up and instead think of us lot here cheering you on and running beside you.

Just take it slowly, know your body can do it and tell your head to think gorgeous thoughts. Like how epic you're going to feel afterwards 💪💪💪

Then come on here and tell us all about it and how you can't wait for the next run. Honest. This is what will happen 🤗🤗🤗

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Oh yes, the longer runs require more mental stamina than anything. You just need to learn to pep talk yourself, be kind to yourself, and not blow it out of proportion!

I would repeat the run, but think of it this way. "Okay, let's get out there, enjoy this, and just see if I can do it." Run super, super slow! This is crucial. If at any point you want to stop, distract yourself - look around, listen to music, run to the next lamppost and so on.

Physically you can do this - all the previous weeks have been building you up to this. Go out, see what your legs can now do, and believe. You are doing fine, we all have wobbles along the way. x

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So you didnt complete it. So what. The fact that you were even out there is testament to how determined you are. The fact that you are at W5R3 shows that you are determined to do this. And you know what.....lets say next time you run for 7 minutes and then stop. That's 2 minutes more than the last time. You know you can run for 2x 8 minutes no problem so why not have a mini goal of just running for 16 minutes with no breaks. Because I bet at 16 minutes you'll think....hang on...I may as well just plod along for another 4 minutes.

Load up your play list with your favourite songs and just listen to them. Slow the pace right down. Now that this one is 20 minutes you need to maybe be starting off that little bit slower to keep a slow steady pace.

And you know what....if you do have to stop, who cares! But instead of walking home why not walk the rest of the route you were going to do. And then when you run it next time you know that there are markers you can set as targets. The bench around the next corner. The phone box at the end of the road. Break it down into bite size chunks.

Like I have said before, the only reason you had a bad run....is because you were out there running.

Chin up missus!

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Couldn't agree more with all of that :-) . . The only bad run is the one that doesn't make it off the couch. And in the words of . . Err, Doris Day???? the song - Nothing's impossible... la la la ...'just pick yourself up, brush yourself down, and start all ovet again' :-) ;-)

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Loads of really good advice already given, I just wanted to add that a big part of running is having a good and positive mental attitude. Over the course of the programme try and work on your thoughts and the beliefs that underpin them. At the end of each run, make sure you praise yourself, notice what you have done well. Before runs try not to set up a chain of negative thoughts and predictions. How did you "know" that this was not possible? Are you psychic? Try to go out the door with a "let's see how we get on today" mindset.

You are setting up a long term running habit and you need a 'can do' approach to support the physical activity.

You are doing really well 😊

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You can do it and you will do it. Listen to the advice from the mentors and graduates on here, they are great. I had a wobble and this forum really helped me. Good luck!

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You had already done the 8 minute runs, so you know you can do more than 5 minutes. Sounds like it was a mental challenge for you which can feel just as real as a physical one. The good news is that you're not the first to feel this way. Countless others who have now graduated felt the same way, but they go through it, and so will you. I completely understand why you are feeling disappointed. But believe you will get there. This was a practice run. Keep going <3

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Hi What I can say is, I have found that once you get into the longer runs, the Programme really helps you enjoy it and you find the stamina from somewhere. I am on W8, just completed Run 2 and although in the middle I was thinking “Sarah, speak to me, pleeeeze!” the last 10 mins were really good, as the endorphins kicked in. It’s so worth it to try again and no effort is failure, please don’t think that.

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Don't think of it as a fail. Think of it as 'I had a setback, so I took a rest day and planned how to get past it, and then I nailed it!'

Determination/ willpower is like a muscle too, it gets stronger with practice. And now you know to expect the anxious voice to be talking to you, you can think about how to deal with it or make it turn the volume down :)

Maybe you had been using the walking breaks to help with that, but this is important training too, thinking about how not to need them psychologically. And think how you'll feel when you can post here that you did the full 20 mins :)

Good luck!

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I suggest trying the same run again too if you have successfully completed the runs before. As said before, use it as a practice and forget about it. I find that giving myself a good talking to before the run helps. It gets me into a positive mindset. It’s hard to believe in yourself sometimes but so many people on here have done it and I’m sure they weren’t natural Runner’s. So, take a deep breath, boost yourself with a positive talk and take it slow and steady. You can do it. Good luck. Let us know how you get on 🙋🏻💪🏻😜🏃🏻‍♀️

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Some lovely replies on here for you 😊. I felt exactly how you felt. And I never really thought I'd be a runner- overweight, never been good at exercise how would I do this?? My mind is always set on the negative. No one can put me down better than I can. BUT... I've done this and got through it. It is hard but not impossible. Changing music regularly is important it freshens things up or podcasts or audio books. Distractions are key, as is positive mental attitude. I get all pigheaded before a difficult run and swear a lot (this helps greatly!) I am going to bl**dy well do this!! I've come so far to give up now..... and so on. Psych yourself up - it works. Then if you get stuck during the run keep yourself going: 10 reasons why I shouldn't give up; 10 things I'll be if I do give up; 10 things I'll be if I don't etc. Until you get to the end. Shout it out if need be. Sing, swear, laugh, dance .... just to get through it. You will and it will start to build an inner strength you didn't know you had. But you do.... or you wouldn't have got this far. Keep on you will get there and we'll be there to celebrate with you, having felt it all ourselves... every heavy hard painful step. Good luck 😊

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You've had loads of good advice so I won't repeat it all, I just want to say YOU CAN DO THIS!

You've done so well to get to W5, this really is a minuscule blip.

The first 10 mins are often a bit of a challenge however long you've been running.

So put your running shoes on, do what your coach tells you and keep running till they say stop, don't think about it ... simples!

Keep smiling, keep running and let us know how you get on ... Good Luck!

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I stopped and walked unexpectedly the other day. I had to be careful it didn't make me think I couldn't do it ever. It's so easy to lose belief in myself when all that happened was I hit a mental or physical wall. ju-ju-

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Sorry, it wouldn't let me continue...ju-ju once told me to count through the tricky bits in lots of 25. So if I know I'm really tired, or there's a hill, or it's a place where I'd normally stop and walk, I count my paces in groups of 25 and see how many it takes to get past the tricky bit. Good luck. We know you can do this, we're all willing you on, just don't give up!

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Hey @beckyw1104 first off, we don’t use the ‘F’ word here. Everyone has a stumble now and then, stuff just happens like that. Just take a rest and do the run again.

Make sure you have warmed up properly, have a look for the Toxic 10 article that was commented on a few days ago, I’ll find the link, it’s basically about oxygen debt and why you feel rubbish at the start of a run.

If you have done all the runs leading up here, you can do this.

Rest up, get your gear on, use the podcast or the app and go do it ... prove your gremlins wrong and they’ll go away ...

Let us know how you get on ...

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I did this run yesterday and I found the first five minutes the toughest, the next five were slightly easier the third five were enjoyable and the last five were great because I knew I was going to finish and could anticipate how great I would feel. So if you did five minutes then you have already managed the hardest part. My advice would be to chop it into five minute chunks and have a mini celebration at the end of each five mins. Then all you have to do is run five minutes more, instead of thinking ahhhh I’ve got to keep going for another fifteen!

Good luck! Keep going and you WILL do it and you will find it even more rewarding because it has been hard.

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OK first of all ditch that ‘f’ word!! You got out there, you are outdoors running and have been for 5 weeks. How can you be a ‘f’? (Ha I won’t use it!!) This is just your brain and I understand it, I suffer with depression and anxiety and my mind is my biggest demon. Forget the fact that it’s 20 minutes, take that out of your head completely and just enjoy the ride. Look at everything around you, think of your shopping list or something random in your mind, take your brain off what you are actually doing. You WILL achieve this, you are more than capable. This is for you, nobody else. Anyone who sees you either thinks ‘ah time for my run!’ Or they wish they were doing it themselves. It’s for you, nobody else. Keep visiting here and keep in touch. You’ve got to week 5, amazing. You will get there. You are a fighter! You just don’t know it. Xx

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You can do it. You can do it. You will do it. Honestly - in a few weeks, you will be laughing and saying 'Haha - remember that week I thought I couldn't run for 20 minutes!'.

If you have completed the first two runs OK, then I would just do the last run again.

If you were the same on all three, then I would repeat the week. I repeated a full week.

Slow down. Slow and steady. If you think you are running like a snail - then slow down a bit more. So you never actually walk - you are still 'running'. Just slowly.

Think you will make it to the next lamppost - then the next car, and before you know it, you will be making the 'only 60 seconds to go'.

Good luck. We've all been there. Honestly. x

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Oh ... so sorry. I have this waiting for me in a couple of runs time:-/ We're all different, but if the same happens to me (& it might well), I'll adopt my usual strategy for when I get stuck, which is decide to do the previous run(s) as many times as I need till I feel confident & bursting with frustration to get the thing out of the way. What usually happens is I last for one repeat run max because the gremlins seem to get bored & b****r off & am left to do the problem run unencumbered. It's worth a try as a tactic. But however you deal with it, it's not worth angsting about. This programme is so good, we just *know* we'll get there. Doesn't matter how long it takes, we just will!

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I managed to do it yesterday but.... it was my second attempt! You’ll see lots of people posting that they’ve done it and that can make you feel a bit rubbish. We all do things differently - some people manage it first time and good for them but others need one or two practices. It’s quite easy to build this run up in your head to be something it’s not - I know because I did this and it lets the gremlins in telling you it can’t be done. Just think of it as 4 lots of 5 minutes - you’ve built up to this point and you have the fitness to definitely do this! 🤗 Don’t set off too fast.

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