Couch to 5K

Frequency of running...advice wanted!

So I graduated in October proudly. I have certainly never felt prouder of a fitness achievement than this. Over the winter months I have found it difficult running in the dark alone but found a safe route and stuck to it. Over the months though I have really battled mentally with it. I am hard on myself. I have persevered and the last few weeks have done the three times a week full 5k running and been improving my time but still struggling with stomach cramps etc. I went for a run yesterday and my legs were like lead and for the first time I stopped at 3k. I just found it stupidly hard work. I am beginning to find it a drag not enjoyable.

I am really struggling fitting 3 runs in a week at the moment with work commitments. I do pilates class on a Monday too. Do u think it would be acceptable to do 2 runs a week and pilates or am I going to lose on my running? I feel like I am letting myself down to drop to 2 runs a week for a couple of months just to give me a break physically (hips and runners blisters hold me up a little) and mentally (I put myself under a lot of pressure to run).

I thought when the longer nights begin I can return to 3 times a week when for me I find it so much easier and more motivating.

What do you think?

10 Replies
oldestnewest

Well 2 runs a week is far better than 0 runs a week in my book, don't beat yourself up life gets in the way, dark nights etc I'm sure many will struggle.

Do what you can without pressure and try to regain some pleasure xx

4 likes
Reply

If it is not making you happy, don't do it. If you are not in training for something specific, there is no need to flog yourself when you don't enjoy it.

Don't get me wrong, I am all about the discipline of getting out of bed when I don't feel like it and making myself workout in wind and rain and darkness and misery, because discipline and consistency equals results, but... and this is the kicker... I make mysef do the workout and feel better afterwards and then that's okay.

A couple of months ago I was having a lot of personal difficulties with my children and life stuff. Training daily suddenly became a chore and my mind wasn't on it and my performance deteriorated and it just wasn't working for me. So I stopped doing it every day. I still did the odd workout a couple of times a week as an escape, but didn't worry about it otherwise. When things settled down I came back to it, and it was a delight to find how much I enjoyed it again and how much better it felt to come back to it fresh.

7 likes
Reply

Sounds like you're being really hard on yourself and taking all the enjoyment out of your running in the process. Do you really need to do a full 5k three times a week? Perhaps you could do shorter runs in the week (and the dark at this time of year) and plan a longer run somewhere more motivating at the weekend? Or try some interval training to mix up your running routine a bit. You've clearly made lots of progress so hold on to that and don't worry about it so much.

3 likes
Reply

Try two runs per week and see how it goes for you. Then if it does feel better do it for a while then maybe work back up to three per week. There is no harm in changing the way you do things to fit around your daily life just as long as you don't give up on it altogether.

1 like
Reply

You sound like someone who is running hard too much and suffering from burnout.

You should not be trying to improve your time at all costs. Have a week off, something we should all do now and then. Come back refreshed and make sure that 70-80% of your running is at an easy pace. This will improve your enjoyment, allow your body to recover and develop even if you only run twice a week.

This might help runnersworld.com/running-ti...

My wife only runs twice a week and although she has never worked at distance, she is still a capable 5k runner.

4 likes
Reply

I have been doing 2 runs a week all through January, not particularly through choice, there was always a problem outside my control and it meant for 3 to 4 weeks I only ran twice a week. It happened after christmas so it has been really hard for me to get into it.

Today I wasn't going to bother running at all and I think I was on the verge of quitting after running for 7 months. I took a note of the times and, allowing for the interruption over christmas , I felt that I haven't lost fitness but getting back to where I was in terms of time and improvement its taken me a few weeks longer to get back there than if I had run 3 times a week.

I think it is far better to drop down to two runs a week than keep ploughing on risking a moment when you think running sucks, especially if you run the same course all the time as its so monotonous . I think you have to keep your toe in the water with running. Its annoying when you cant run as often as you like but compare two runs a week to back when you started couch25k and you were running for things like 2 minutes then walking.

1 like
Reply

You are beating yourself up if you are running 3x5k each week and trying to improve the time of each one of them!!!! Take a look at any "Intermediate" 5k race training plan - you will probably see that the plan lasts for maybe 8 weeks or so -- and the RACE is held in the final week of that 8 weeks . You will probably see that the plan has all kinds of training runs - long slow ones, short fast ones, etc. Some might even have you doing say a one mile time trial to determine how your fitness level is coming along and which will determine the above training paces for the different types of run. There is a saying - don't leave your best time on the training track - leave it on the race track. if you aren't training for a race, then there is no need to even think about times - you should be simply increasing training volume each week with slow easy runs ( time of which is largely irrelevant) .

1 like
Reply

A commonly asked question is "What is the best exercise to do? - The answer to that is "The one that you keep on doing!!" So - which one is the one we all keep on doing? - the answer is - it is different for all of us but it is always the one we enjoy the most!!!" If we don't enjoy it, we won't keep on doing it - and keeping on doing it is the most important goal of all.

2 likes
Reply

I graduated in September and was doing 3 5k’s a week for a month after until I felt like you do now! I just had a week a off completely and really enjoyed it again when I went back.

I do one one or two runs a week now when I can aroun work. Although I try to get in at least one 5k a week the second (or sometimes third!) run of the week is always 30 mins- about 4.3k to 4.5k- it’s helping me improve times a bit- one day I want that half hour to be 5k! But I’m not ‘loosing it’ by running once or twice a week.

1 like
Reply

I graduated in October and have tried to do 3 runs a week since then and not all of them by any means have been 5k. I also sometimes do one 5k a week, one about 30 mins and sometimes one of the 3 ends up being a fast walk, especially if the pavements are slippy! I have found it so much harder in wet, cold and dark. I started the programme in May and had the lovely warm sun and light mornings all through spring and summer so running in the dark and cold has been a shock! What keeps me going is whatever I end up doing per week is so much more than this time last year! Dont beat yourself up I am convinced once the spring comes my times will improve again and distance will get easier.

1 like
Reply

You may also like...