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Couch to 5K
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Graduated in November but found post graduation tougher...anyone else or is it just me?

I absolutely LOVED doing the couch to 5K app. It kept me on track, motivated and I was buzzing by the progress I made. I could never run and now I can do 30 minutes which I never dreamed would be possible. Now was the easy bit...getting better, fitter, running faster or further. So why or why am I feeling so deflated? I don't get faster...I just feel like I plod, I am not any fitter...think I may have exercise induced asthma which may be part of this, now suffering with stomach cramps running. Desperately wanting to improve. Used map my run to make sure I cover the 5k which I do in 33 mins or just under but that's on hilly places (I live in Wales...flat is rare!).

Anyone else hit a dip in motivation. Any tips to help me? I have a serious mental battle going on 😂 Map my run deflates me as I get frustrated with split times but need it to make sure I hit 5k. I use the 5k app with Sarah millican as I love the motivation of 5 minute splits and encouragement. Any ideas?

Thanks x

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It's pretty common to lose your way a bit after graduation. I've used loads of things to add variety, because it keeps things interesting.

Want to go faster? Try adding a shorter session of fartleks a week (conditions depending, I don't do these in the icy winter). Run fast for a little bit. Then slow. Then fast again. Maybe walk because you went too fast. etc. These will make you faster and they are damn good fun.

Want to go longer? Try adding a little bit of distance to one run a week, building up slowly to 10km.

Enjoy run/walks? Choose your own intervals and get out for a little bit of a longer run. Or if you enjoy the motivation of C25K, put two sessions back to back (I love this trick. Laura keeps me running like nothing else). Or do one earlier session and run it faster than the first time. Or run fast on the run bits, and slower on the walk bits.

Try running in new locations, running to a podcast, running to a new playlist.

Sign up for a race or a Parkrun. They're fun, they're exciting and they keep you accountable.

And don't sweat it if you just enjoy getting out there a few times a week for exercise. I'm slower now than I was a couple years ago. I hope in the future to be faster again. It ebbs and flows, same with the distance.

Happy running. You are doing GREAT!


Great post full of ideas for thanks 😀


Thank u. Lots of good ideas and what I need to be focusing on a bit more. I run by myself and have pondered on running with someone else but have a full on job so fitting runs in is tough now let alone organising with a friend or group. Will definitely look at doing some of your suggestions. Thanks for your time and help x


Great advice


You are doing fine Lib 😊. 33 mins for 5k is very quick it takes me over 40 mins...

Cut yourself some slack, there's no need to try and break your record every time you run. Slower runs where you relax and enjoy it are fine. Maybe take a look at the c25k+ podcasts which are aimed at Graduates who want to improve their form. Here is a link to them...


You could take a look at the Bridge to 10k site on here if you want to start increasing your distance too.

Change things up a bit with short runs,different routes and a new playlist.

Happy running 😊 x.


Thanks. Will take a look at that link now! Xx

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I think you have to manage your expectations. You can’t expect to rip it up out there so soon after Graduation

For every mile you put on your legs you will be getting stronger and developing stamina to support you as you run longer. Longer runs help shift weight too providing you are eating healthily. Hilly runs mean we tend to twist our sides as we go up them - or down them for that matter. Hill running does shred our mid sections though quite like nothing else. Running hills is hard, but it gets easier, but it’s like anything else, it takes practice. You chip away at them, bit by bit, you can pause for rests as you need to. Before long you will run them in one go and barely notice you did it 🙂. If you know you are going to run hills get your food right and time it right to avoid stomach ache. It takes a bit of trial and error, but you’ll sort it. I used to run to soon after spicy food and it would give me hell. Try and run with your arms going forward, not across your body. Think pocket to socket, eg your armpit 🙂

I would do away with bothering about split times and worrying about such distractions as time, speed, distance. It detracts from the object of the exercise which is to get fit and healthy 🙂🏃‍♀️💪👍✔️

As you get stronger you will speed up ! Never quit! 💪


Beautiful crafted response Miss Wobble


Hello Lib.

I graduated about the same time as you. I think it's important to realise that we are both beginners at this. I let my Olympic ambitions go ( I turned 60 a couple of weeks ago) BUT I CAN now run with my adult children when they visit, am sleeping better,And have more energy. Well that's a fantastic return on investment. I'm also learning to take the info from the tech and decide what to with it based on how I'm feeling.

Sometimes it says I'm going faster than my planned pace but I'm feeling great so I carry on. Other times the reverse.

I'm working on consolidating the 5k. Already I'm noticing that apart from some minor muscle aches I'm recovering quicker.

See you out there (probably only if you forget to stop and end up in Hertfordshire!



I graduated in December and feel a bit like you . I am doing the c25k+ podcasts at the moment and really like them. I keep reminding myself how much better I feel and how I my muscles are slowly feeling more toned :-))

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The stepping stones podcasts are the bees knees

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Thank you so much everyone. Your words reassured me and motivated me and I have finally gotten back into the swing of it. Just been for my 3rd run this week and have nailed it each time. Still stomach cramps but only when going uphill and shorter on breath so will definitely look at oxygen rates!

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for your advice and support! X


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