Couch to 5K
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Can’t finish week 7 - feeling despondent 😔

About 8 days ago I went out to do W7R2 and didn’t finish. Went out a couple of days later, concentrated on pace and did the full 25 minutes. Since then I have run with my stepdaughter who runs faster than me and I only managed 22 mins, run with my younger daughter who moaned she was tired all the way round and only managed 20 min. So today I thought great, just me, my run at my pace let’s smash W7R3. Well I lasted about 15 mins, got a stitch I could shift and walked home.

I get that I have had some tricky runs recently but I am worried I have hit my limit. Finding it difficult to keep motivated when it feels like the progress has stopped.

Sorry for feeling sorry for myself but could do with some encouragement.

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Hi yes I know the feeling of hitting a bit of a wall. Have a think about how you are in terms of busy at work, nutrition, sleep, hydration. Do you run to music?

I found it helpful at this stage to change my route and also improve my diet. Made quite a difference. I also put some music together for the same amount of time and this also helped.

The main thing is to persist it will get better

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I think you're being too hard on yourself. You owe it to yourself to give it another shot. The run with a moaning daughter doesn't sound conducive to concentrating on actually running! You've still been doing lots of activity and think how far you've come. How happy would you have been in week 1 to have run for 15 mins straight?! You can do this 😀

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Hi Matal

Sometimes running can be a real pain in the pinny. Just as you think you have it sussed, you get a bad run and it blows your confidence.

Of course running with your stepdaughter may have been just too quick a pacemaker for you and then it looks as though for you it got worse on your next runs out. Are you feeling generally okay - often fatigue is a sign that something is not quite right, especially in Winter with sniffles and colds and bugs hanging around. If you feel fine, maybe you’re just a bit tense about the run, I know when I totally ploughed my W6R1, it was so hard to do the rest of that week. It really was a matter of grit and bloodymindedness that got me through. Then funnily enough W7,8 and 9 were fine.

Running is as much in the head as in the legs and if I had my time again on the plan, I would have taken extra rest days from time to time, especially in the later weeks, because the cumulative impact of the running really starts to be felt. By now it’s conceivable that you’ve run/walked close to 80/90 kms, that maybe your bod had never done previously, so it could be a bit of fatigue playing up.

I’d be really surprised if you’ve hit your limit, W6 is generally the one that most of us complain about (on a poll in. here it was judged to be the hardest week by the majority of respondents).

Why not give yourself a couple of days rest and really focus on speed management - later on in the plan enthusiasm often means we start the run intervals much faster than we actually realised - hence that often causes an early blow out. Always worth checking your stats just in case. Slow and steady is the usual mantra, go glacially slow if it helps. Slow running is seriously the best running you can do.

I don’t know if any of this strikes a chord, but I do hope you feel happy enough to give it another try, me and a whole host of others will be with you in spirit when you do.

Best of luck next time out.

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Hi Matal, don't worry you have not hit your limit, you can run for 25 mins and just had a bit of a blip...

Now the runs are longer its a good idea to take extra rest days inbetween, and when you do run start really slowly and relax into it. You can go really slow to start with and find your happy sustainable pace that will get you to the end of your session.

I don't know if you have heard about the toxic ten, its just the science behind why the first 10 minutes or so often feel so hard, once you push through that by running gently you will be running aerobically and feel much better.

Here is a link to a post about it...

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Running at your stepdaughters pace will have worn you out, better to run alone while you are building stamina.

Rest up and finish Week 7...you can do it😊xx

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I very much doubt you've hit your limit.

One thought--because I've done this myself--is that the combination of the frustration of the last few runs and determination to "smash this" may have translated into you inadvertently setting off too fast at the beginning of the run.

Or maybe running at other people's paces has just upset your rhythm and made you a bit tense.

Next time will be different, I really believe it.

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Oh poor you Matal, I can understand you feeling despondent, but you haven't reached your limit. The circumstances have just transpired against you. Are you using the NHS podcasts to listen to when you run, or the app? You could try putting together some really calm music to play on your phone while using the app, and just take it really slow. Hopefully whichever voice you choose to be your coach will help to encourage you. And remember lots of us can run with you virtually. Just imagine you have someone like Oldfloss running with you and when it's tough think about what she would say to keep you going. It worked for me when I was struggling on the programme and for many others.

I hope you can get past this blip and start to enjoy your running agin. :-)

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Get well rested. Eat well. Hydrate sufficiently. Put on your shoes. Engage full positivity. Stay in a low gear. Tick off the run.

You can do it.

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Take it nice and steady and don’t worry it’ll come x

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So then, did all our encouragement work??

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It did indeed thank you. Not only W7R3 done but went out this morning and did my first 28 min run. Should have learned by now to have more faith in the programme and myself.

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Oh that's brilliant! Very happy to read that 😀

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Thank you xx

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