Couch to 5K
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How to keep going in the winter weather, I need tips and inspiration please!

I am a recent graduate and very proud to have reached this point! :) I haven't posted here before, but I now need some advice and inspiration! I feel that with the cold weather, snow and ice and the busy weeks that I am losing enthusiasm and finding it very hard in a practical way to maintain my running. I started out easily fitting in 3 runs a week, but now I find it hard to even run once a week...I guess really I want to know how long it will take to lose fitness, is once a week going to be enough to sustain 30 minutes of running? I have worked so hard and don't want to have to start again. Does anyone have any tips to share with me about how they kept going? Thank you!

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Hi Helen,

Don't worry, you have completed the program, which shows you have the discipline and enthusiasm for running. It is hard to find the time during December, when there is so much to do, and the weather isn't very inviting to fit running in. You will not lose too much fitness by just running when you can.

Try to keep active by walking, or a gym session or swim, and a short run is still good exercise.

You won't need to start the program again, you have trained and built up some good stamina over the C25K program and won't lose that even if you can only manage one run per week for a while. Some of us have taken time out because of illness or been on the injury couch and still come back and picked up our running and taken it further again... Once you have graduated there is every chance that running has gotten into your system. There is a whole New Year about to start, stay positive and keep going... :)

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Thank you Jan, I was so keen to start with back in the autumn, unfortunately, I can't physically get out much as, as well as working part time, i am a carer, but I think maybe i will dig that exercise bike out of the shed and use that when I really feel I need to run but can't! :)

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I also struggled this month and only managed out twice since 18th dec but made the 30mins today & i think what im going to do is 2 shorter runs during the week & then 1 longer run at the weekend as i think for me 3 x30mins each week bit much till i build up my stamina & speed! Im going to go back to varying routes too & try some of the earlier weeks which were intervals to see if i can pick up speed! Keep reading posts & posting as its like making a commitment to ourselves & helping others too😊happy Running January a fresh month & year! X

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Thank you, I think that's good idea, shorter runs and I won't beat myself up about it! I always think that everyone else must be doing better than me and is out running all the time! It's good to know that it's not just me :)

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O don’t worry you are not alone i miss the structure of c25k and not ready to move up to 10k 😱we will get ther & aim for 3 times a week & who knows what 2018 will bring 😊👍🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️

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Get the right kit on and just get out there... keep it steady and keep it slow, embrace the season.... take each run as it comes... I did C25K all through the winter of 2015 and believe me.. there was wind, rain, hail and snow.... but... also sparkling clear days and winter sunshine.

You need a hat.. gloves, a buff and maybe a lightweight jacket. You just have to lace up your shoes and go.... look around and think how wonderful to be out there, even in the winter...

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Try it...you don't lose fitness that fast...but if you run... you won't lose any :)

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Thank you Oldfloss, I already have all the gear! I don't mind the cold so much it is the stuff that comes with it, but I managed 25 mins up and down a snow free part of the park, the roads were just treacherous. I k now I can do it if I put my mind to it! :)

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I agree it is a challenge. We all live such busy lives and the dark evenings really don't help. There are so many things to be prioritised that it is easy for running to be pushed out. So, I have committed to running three times a week (but am forgiving if I don't always make it) and plan a longer run at the weekend, with shorter runs/intervals (trying to improve my speed) during the week. As long as you have the right gear it's only really ice that should deter you. It can be exhilarating running in different types of weather and lovely to come home cold and proud. Man, does that hot shower feel good :)

Maybe you need some training goals? Maybe consider the treadmill as an emergency tactic?

Maybe sign up for parkrun or a race? Maybe join a running club?

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Thank you :) I do have the right gear, I guess it's just motivation. I have been thinking of doing a park run, my new year resolution should be to sign up for one. It is very icy here, but I have managed a run in the local park on a bit of ice and snow free grass! I think it is because I have only limited opportunities for running and when I can't do it because of the weather or circumstances, i get quite disheartened, but onwards and upwards and maybe a treadmill present to myself in the sales?! :)

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If you are very busy, perhaps you can try to fit shorter runs like 20 mns as Pc59 suggested? As far as the cold is concerned, if you have the right gear, you won't feel it that much once you're warmed up and running! I find it easy to cope with the cold but far harder to run in the wind and rain, so I always try to plan the runs according to the weather forecast. But I know that on Sunday, I'll run in the rain and wind: it's a mental preparation ;-)

Don't worry so much about not being able to run 3 times a week if you can't: twice is good enough (I could only manage that before the Xmas holiday) and once if you can't do any other way. But as Jan said, it's better if you can still do a bit of physical activity, plus you feel so great after it! It gives you all the energy you need to finish the year beautifully!

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Thank you. I think I feel that I am the only one who does not manage to get out there and everyone else braves it and goes for it, so it's good to know that you can get by on less frequent and shorter runs, without it affecting you too much. I do feel so much fitter than I did when I started, I can't believe that I have actually done it sometimes! :)

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Yes, same for me and a lot of others! It's fantastic how the programme improves your general condition. I also got a bad cold at the end of November and couldn't run for more than a week, so don't worry. You won't lose that stamina so quickly.Besides, it's also mental: you've graduated so now you know you can do it! Just go out for a quick walk or short run and enjoy it!

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While you’re thinking should I/shouldn’t I you could have run round the block 😁

Don’t think, just do! Saves all the hassle/guilt/angst ✔️🏃‍♀️

You always feel fine once you’re out the door. The thought of it is always worse than the doing 🙂

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Yes you are so right ;)

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