A little advice please..: Not sure where I went... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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A little advice please..

Chiacchierona profile image

Not sure where I went wrong but... I stopped running. I was doing so well. I hit 5k on my WK7R2. I was enjoying it, even in the wet and cold. I even felt like a runner. Then I noticed I’d worn the soles of my trainers down and excitedly bought myself some lurid beauties.... I went for my WK7R3 and could barely manage 8 mins. My feet were killing me. My chest hurt and just like that I stopped. That was five weeks ago and I haven’t run a step since.. so, my question is, at what week shall I start. I doubt I’ll be able to pick up where I left off. What would you all advise. Should I go back to the two 8 min runs? Or should I start from the beginning?

17 Replies
RunForestR profile image
RunForestRGraduate

No need to go back to the beginning. I 'd start from the beginning of week 7 and not worry too much if you take it at a bit slower pace than you've previously done. Your legs won't have forgotten the km's you've done in the preceding weeks, especially if you were already completing 5k by then. Remember the process is about time run not distance so as a wise person continued to remind me (#OldFloss) take it slow and steady, and you'll be back running as you were in no time.

I would double check your trainers make sure they are a good fit - your feet do get bigger as you run, so ensure you're not doing them up too tight and cutting off that all important blood supply.

Good luck, don't worry about the break, you're back on the programme and will soon be earning the bling that goes with completing the course I have no doubt.

I think the shoes contributed quite a bit. My previous shoes had very flexible soles and the new ones are more rigid (I did walk about it they to break them in a little) thing is money is tight and that style doesn’t seem to be available anymore. I think I’m going to have to trawl through eBay to find similars.

MarkyD profile image
MarkyDGraduate

I propose a more cautious approach. Clearly there is something wrong with the lurid trainers. It could be as simple as being laced up too tightly, but your feet should not 'be killing me'. Let's solve that problem some point in the future - but now you may not be able to take them back to the shop where you had them recommended/fitted.

But having pulled up during Week 7, and 5 weeks ago, you need to get out for a run that you can 100% complete to regain your confidence. That will depend upon your level of fitness, and confidence. How about W5r1? You want it to be easy to achieve. And please go out in your old trainers whilst you rebuild your confidence.

Chiacchierona profile image
Chiacchierona in reply to MarkyD

I think going back to the old faithfuls is a good idea. I achieved so much in them. I am worried what happens when they completely die. The mesh tops are starting to fray also so it won’t be long.

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappGraduate

How about you just go out there and see what you can do. I had a break prior to W9, 2 weeks rather than 5 granted, but I just put my shoes on and with no pressure went out to see how far I could get. I actually did the whole run.

try it you might surprise yourself and do the whole lot.

If do 20 minutes great, then next run go back to W6R1, etc. to match your current level. If you err on the side of caution and think I will just do say W4 and afterwards felt you could have done more you may regret it.

I am on a months rest at present, but can't wait to get back to it. Although when I do I will just get out there and run, adn see how I feel whilst I am running.

T1gger profile image
T1ggerGraduate

The important thing is to get back to running. dropping back a week or two is no biggie really and if there are some added issues then you wont be damaging yourself by pushing too quickly.

ejvcruns profile image
ejvcrunsGraduate

From my perspective week 7 is a silent killer. I dropped out at week 7 on my first go round and nearly did it again this time. For me it is a combination of the run still being quite challenging AND there being no real short term victories. So it's harder to go and you feel less rewarded. My solution was twofold. First, an extra day of rest between runs. It made the longer runs much easier. Second, I upped my motivation by getting an app with a story attached to each run. To find out what happens, I have to do the run. The app is called zombies, run. You of course Might find something else that suits you -- podcast or playlist or whatever.

Good luck!

I’m a big fan of Zombies and have heard of it before but never tried it. As much as I have loved having Michael Johnson in my ear encouraging me it may help to have a little change up. Especially now they are solid runs. No walking breaks.

mrrun profile image
mrrunGraduate

When I graduated I repeated the entire program again. Just to make sure I remember it ;)

Then again, I wouldn't necessarily advise you to do what I do, let's just say we are all individual ;)

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator

Slow down first.. really slow down. If your feet are killing you and your chest hurt, that should tell you something :)

Head out, a route you know a route you enjoy.. go gently, relax into it and see how you feel...my advice would be to go back a little further.. :)

See, I didn’t ever feel like I was pushing myself speed wise but will take the advice and calm down a little. It’s not just the feet and chest, some is being in a difficult place life-wise (I’ve recently moved back to a city) so a fair bit of external pressure too. But yes, I will calm down 😊 I will dig out the old shoes and I will just try going with doing what I can The first couple of times. Thank you.

If you covered 5k in 25 minutes in W7 then you are obviously a fast runner.........probably too fast for your own good. Experienced runners are recommended to only run fast for 20-25% of the time, while the rest of the time should be at 50-75% of effort.

New runners, and that includes all C25kers, should be running slowly. We do say. Why.......because that is when the body can adapt your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal most efficiently. It will take many months of regular running before your body is safely ready to run fast, without hugely increased risk of injury. Slow is good and may reduce hurting chests and painful feet.

I have three pairs of running shoes and rotate them, so that there is never a sustained period of support changing from one pair to another. You could alternate your old and new shoes for a few weeks to see if that helps you adapt.

Were your shoes fitted after a gait analysis?

Five weeks is quite a break, so just go and have a gentle jog, say 15-20 minutes and see how you get on. After the run you can assess where you are.

Good luck.

I bought my first shoes on a whim so no gait analysis has been had. Is it massively important?

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Chiacchierona

Buying running shoes can be a minefield. The choice is vast and not all shoes are suitable for all runners.

When I had gait analysis done it showed that my knee and ankle joints were not vertically above each other and that I was pushing off from my outer toes. With the recommended shoes, my joints came into mechanically efficient vertical alignment and my push off was, as it should be, from inner toes.

I would not have discovered any of that. The correct shoes can prevent injury, while the wrong shoes can exacerbate or cause injury.

I would always recommend new runners to have it done, but many don't and are fine.

Right, then I think first stop is gait analysis. In the meantime i'm going to check out my new surroundings and find me a nice running route... I've moved to quite a rough area so it may take me some time :)

in reply to Chiacchierona

Hi keep up your motivation, sometimes its easier to go somewhere you really like and just have a long relaxing walk until your MJ comes back!!

mrrun profile image
mrrunGraduate

Hey, l ignored the gait analysis and bought the shoes (black shoes) that matched my shorts (guess? Yes, black).

Of course, l then ran fast as real man do. Slow was for...whoever..

Then l ran even faster to a first physio who could rid me of the pain coming from a balloon sized knee. That took 3 months to settle down, credit card repayment for all associated costs took a bit longer.

Once l finally decided to listen to sage voices l went for the gait analysts where the actual runners chose my, now, perfect pairs of shoes.

The outcome? I run 10K and will try to enjoy my journey to 21K.

Could that have been done without gait analysts that confirmed that my body was out of sync with laws of physics when running? Nope, is the answer ;)

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