Couch to 5K

Struggling

Hi everyone and Happy New Year!

Thanks all for your advice and comments following my last post. It really is so good to know you’re all out there.

Only managed 2 runs in last 2 weeks because of my back -despite sticking to the exercises recommended by my Physio, I just can’t seem to sufficiently undo the tightness created by each run. Also, I’m back at work tomorrow, sitting behind a desk which just compounds the problem, and starting to feel despondent.

The structure and the focus that the programme had started to bring into my life (in addition to the sense of achievement and improved wellbeing) has just been amazing. The problem now is, I’m starting to feel I’m losing that momentum. Im going to book another Physio appt but also looking for help and advice from you lovely people too.

Linda x

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Sorry to hear that. Would it help to drop down to shorter sessions and intervals, walk/run/walk? Also try to consciously relax so that youre not tensing up in anticipation of pain or stiffness. Gosh, this is outside of my experience, so Im probably talking out of my bum 🤨

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Not at all Flick, thank you and what you say makes sense. I’m presently repeating Wk 5, perhaps I need to go further back.

As far as consciously relaxing, I’ve down some tai chi and therefore aware of energy flow and avoiding any blockages with tension - though doesn’t necessarily mean I’m being successful!

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I think energy flow with tai chi, yoga, meditation, drumming, ritual etc isnt necessarily the same as being tense in anticipation of bodily stress, though it can help. Im just sorry you have this setback. What a pain. My sense is that this is a very temporary setback, or at least wint go on as long as you fear. I hope Im right.

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My Physio did say it isn’t uncommon in new runners, so that’s reassuring. My underlying problem is depression and difficulty motivating myself. I was on a high with the momentum I had created and now I’m struggling to keep that afloat

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Does it help to browse running sites, look at gear etc? I find that keeps me motivated. And keep sharing how youre feeling with us. I dont get depressed so Im not going to presume to give you advice on that, but if it helps to express things, I would think here would be a good place. Hugs. I just have this gut feeling things will be better soon. X

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You’re a darling Flick, thank you x

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We will not let you lose motivation..:) Just persevere with the Physio exercise,,, and when you head out, really try to land lightly..kissing the ground with your feet..is what I call it, as you know :)

Slow and steadily as you go... make sure you up your exercise regime a little too. on rest days.. Maybe take a look at this... not sure if it has any useful ideas.. ?

strengthrunning.com/2010/06...

FlickM3 is right... really try to relax into the runs.. we do hold ourselves tensely, sometimes, and even more in the colder weather... I frequently , consciously, shake out my hands and arms and concentrate on my landings...:)

You can do this :)

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Thanks so much Oldfloss. Funny but as I was getting stronger before this blip, I could understand your ‘kissing the ground with your feet’ analogy. And how good did that fee feel?! Yesterday in comparison, I just felt like a dead weight.

The link is great thanks.

I may have to accept that I need to go back further, not just a week (tho resisting this idea) and continue the physio’s exercises along side.

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It's not really taking a step backwards. It's choosing a training plan to suit your circumstances at the time. Which is a really sensible way to approach it.

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Thank you, you’re right, I just need reminding.

Before I started C25K I joined 2 different beginners groups only to find they were both too fast for me - I have plantar fasciitis and thankfully it doesn’t worsen if the pace is right- so I knew the only way was to go it alone.

Yes, as you say, the right plan for my circumstances and my circumstances have changed... just struggling getting my head round that one this time!

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Hi Linda, I can empathise on the depression and motivation front and I know that it can feel quite gutting to have found something so helpful and then not be able to do it. I also know (for me anyway) that sometimes because we know it's so helpful we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try and keep it up and it can backfire. I don't know if some of that might apply, but you have my sympathy. Agreed with FlickM3 about expressing things here if you think it would help!

I really hope your back issues get better and it sounds like you have the physio help so that's great. Also like what SlowLoris said about making the training suit you :)

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Thank you icklegui, feels so good to know you’re all rooting for me x

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I. Sorry to hear about your current blip Because I’m sure that’s all it is. Depression can be such a heavy baggage, does visualisation help you at all? Perhaps your tension comes from that and visualising it like sand running out as you run muight make the load lighter by the time you finish? Please forgive the cod psychology but if we all share what works for us might give you some encouragement. I do hope you can manage to keep on the programme at your own pace. Good luck

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Hi Laurel,

I guess it’s for that very reason I share my challenges - in the hope someone comes back and hits the nail on the head, or at least shares their learning. I appreciate you sharing yours and thank you, it really does help x

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Hi Linda, I didn't see your previous post but I seem to remember you've already overcome quite a few obstacles with your insoles and PF. So, don't feel bad about taking a bit more time off to solve the back problem, which is also connected to PF: I'm familiar with the problem and your physio should be able to help you there.

If you are already working on reinforcing your back muscles, then the only other thing I would advise you is to make sure you work on posture while running if you're not already doing it: look ahead of you and try to be as upright as possible BUT without getting tense. It's easier said than done: indeed, as it has been said, you need to relax when running, shoulders down and as supple as possible. With back pain, all the parts of your body count.

What helps me a lot is a particular kind of stretching which works on posture (a bit like yoga) and improves your suppleness but also makes deep mucles more tonic. It's static stretching you do when you're not running (30 mns session or an hour). It also teaches how to breathe properly and relax into mindfulness, which could also help you with stress and depression. I guess the closest thing you would have in Stockport would be a yoga class.

I'm pasting a link to a video so that you can have a look but it's in French as the school is French (it was founded by a French doctor). You can always ask your physio about it.

Each posture is repeated three times when symmetrical or two times on each side if asymmetrical so that your body learns to stretch gradually.

I hope you'll get well soon enough to take up your 3 runs a week but make sure to rest in between the runs. You won't lose the benefits of the work you've already done on the programme. Wish you a lot of good things along running for 2018.

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Hi Anthie,

thank you so much for taking the time to write such a full reply. I’m overwhelmed by your support and generosity, and others like you.

I’ve had a quick look at the video. Some of the stretches I do already and yes, I will show to my physio.

Thank you again x

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You're welcome!! That's what the forum is about. When you stop the physio (because you will get better!), perhaps see if you have the time to get a stretching or yoga class: to do it in a group is more stimulating (if it's not a big group that is! 20 at the most). And the instructor should be able to adapt the yoga posture to your problems, if they don't, find another classs. Good luck for getting back to work tomorrow and I'm sending lots of good virtual vibrations!

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Thank you Anthie, They’re coming through! x

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