Couch to 5K
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Stuck in week 3

I started just after new year having not exercised in over 10 years. Wk 1&2 were hard work, but doable and I felt really pleased. Wk 3 however has been really hard and I am in my 3rd week and it isn't getting any easier, in fact my run yesterday was possibly the hardest yet.

I've got a lot of weight to lose and am doing WW, so that's not going to help but I guess I thought it would be getting a bit easier by now...

Any tips and reassurance would be gratefully received.

Thanks.

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Hi Iornal , well done on your progress so far. Like you , i have lots of weight to lose , but i found this programme a great help in so many ways . I graduated last month after 9 weeks . I hope you find my experience helpful, i found it easier to run on grass ( much less stressful on knees , ankles , hips etc ) , stretching before and after each run is a must . Long soaking baths with epsom salts after each run. Proper footwear especially when the running part of the session becomes longer are so important. Proper refueling of your body ( the sugary snacks won’t be of any benefit when you need energy for longer runs ) , make sure to take at least 1 rest day between each session. Best of luck , the programme works , it won’t always be easy but enjoy it anyway , see you on the podium 👍

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Hi lornal Firstly congratulations on the hardest step yet on just having the courage to start doing this . I personally know how daunting it can be . I am currently on week 7 run 3 and am loving it when I started I really struggled to run 60 seconds . But put your faith in the program . Like you I have been extremely inactive and overweight . Infact extremely over weight when starting I weighed 25.8 stone . And it was really tough on my legs below the knee. . I changed my footwear which helped so much . Week 3 and week 5 I personally found the hardest feeling some times almost impossible . But if I was struggling I would slow down to a snails pace to make sure my breathing was under control .. but I do not know why this program in a matter of weeks as well as my own determination to succeed I have gone from not being able to run 60 seconds to running 25 mins non stop covering 4.3km with warm up and cooldown it crazy to think isn't it wowww. I hope this inspires you to keep going with your journey I look forward to hearing from you in the future xxx Darren

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As others have stated, you've taken the hardest step by getting out for the first run. If you're struggling, slow down but try your very hardest not to stop. I found Week 3 hard, compared to week 2 and wondered how I would do it, the same for week 4, which has 5 minute runs added. Whilst I was very anxious, posting on here helped and also something miraculous happens as you complete each run and by the end of the week your stamina has improved and you're satisfied/surprised that you got there. Some runs are harder than others but that is a sign the programme is working. Trust in it as I'm seeing for myself, it works and trust in yourself. Once you complete one weekly run, you've proved you can do it, so keep the faith.

Remember to cast your mind back to week 1 as the evidence that you can do it can be found there. I completed week 4 today.

Keep it up and don't lose confidence if you have to repeat a run. :)

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^^^^ This totally. It's all faith. Faith in the programme and faith in yourself, because it's seriously magic! :D

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Two things. Some runs are harder than others. Could be anything. Weather, food, time of day, mood, speed. Just move on.

Second is that it isn't getting easier because it's getting harder. 😀. More running each week. Slow down, you might feel better.

You're doing great. I huffed and puffed my way through the whole program. It's normal. Happy running.

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Thanks everyone, only my husband and kids know that I'm doing this so it's great to get some reassurance.

Definately some great tips there for me to try, particularly more stretching...the feeling of 'tightness' is the main problem for me.

I'm loving reading about everyone's fitness journey's, they help me feel positive when I'm doubting myself👍🏻

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Yes, some sessions feel hard. Keep it slow and keep on going. You’ll do it.

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Agree with above. Remember: slow and steady. Remember, the only bad run is a no run. You can and probably will have easy, hard, super-terrible, or even stopped in the middle runs, but with time you will also have amazing, super-Gadget-leg-runs, eye-opening runs, super-light-and-easy runs. You can also repeat runs, if you stopped in the middle. I love the idea that there are no week 1, week 2,... but phase 1, phase 2... ;)

I am running (irregularly) for approx. 1 year. I hated running before, and I couldn't run. Well, ok, I was able to do very short sprint, but running for 1 min, for 5 min (?!)??? I would have to be chased by a bear or something. This year, after many illnesses and non-running injuries, I'm doing the programme from scratch. And I still have easy and hard runs. I'm running at least 2x per week, due to various reasons, but also muscle and joints regeneration.

Just repeat the mantra: slow and steady. And then even slower Even if you think you are not running, but barely moving. Even if walking 90yo overtakes you (well, tbh, once I was overtaken by walking approx. 60yo). I remember for me doing he programme for the first time it got easier around week 5, when the runs got around 8-10 min, as I was able to pace myself correctly and overrun the beginning 3-5 min crisis. And yes, some of the runs around week 5 & 6 was also one of the most difficult ones, when you need to switch between interval running to continuous running, and then back to interval, to go again to continuous. But you will get there, and you will conquer it as well. Everything in the right time. Believe in programme and keep posting here: good news, bad news, worries, successes, everything. You will get tones of support from this forum.

Good luck! You ARE doing great!

Happy running!

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Epsom salt (e bay or Amazon) much cheaper....Long hot baths, are just awesome for the aches and pains. Give it a go, you just won't believe how much it helps.... It's like magic.

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Second runswithdogs - every run is different. Even when it's supposed to be the "same" run so many things can make it a joy one day and 2 days later a complete trudge. You might not have hydrated yourself enough during the day (I've found that makes a big difference to my comfort), certain weather might suit you better, running at different times of day also makes a surprising difference (each person has their own preference for a time of day, perhaps you've not found your ideal one yet?). Sometimes I have to run as soon as I get in from work to avoid the pavements being pure ice as the temperature drops. Loathe it, I'm so much happier & relaxed having had the chance to have my tea, couple of hours for it to digest and then run. I don't know if that's because I've provided some fuel, or it's my natural body clock or a combination. So re. WW I would think it was reasonable of your body to go "Hang on, you're changing what I eat AND you're making me do this physical hell?!" and proceed to have a strop with you in protest. You just have to get over that hump, while your body acclimatises and I appreciate that that *just* is not a small thing :)

Was there anything in particular that made it hard? As in, is that the overwhelming feeling at the end, or is it certain points that are hard? Knowing the specifics might make it easier to advise. :) Personally I found the pattern in some weeks more annoying than others i.e. the real stop and start ones. Now there was no way in hell I *could* have run for longer than they were suggesting at that point but I prefer to collate unpleasant and get it over and done with, rather than have relief from it and have to return to it. So it did my head in. They're doing it that way for a reason though. So I just had to grit my teeth through that whole week and meet run 1 of the next week with joy at the change! :D

The important thing is you're out there doing something. The *really* important thing is that it's been harder this week, and you're *still* out there. It's a mental battle so try not to have expectations, just concentrate on doing and the old cliche of one foot in front of the other. It's all progress, as long as you're still out there. Don't get hung up on the 9 weeks thing either - I bet there's more graduates on here who took longer than 9 weeks than did it in that timeframe.

Good luck! :)

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Well, I finally moved on to week 4 today and it felt pretty good! I slowed my pace right down and probably looked ridiculous, but I'm just happy I did it!

Thanks again for the reassurance👍🏻

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