Couch to 5K
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Fail!

Yesterday morning I went out for a run. I did my usual route but the other way around. I really, really struggled and for the first time since I started C25K, I stopped and walked instead of continuing to run. I was disheartened and if I hadn't been out in the public I would have cried. I was so disappointed. I tried to start running again, but emotionally and physically I just couldn't push myself. I can't really say what it was - psychological maybe. It has been a couple of weeks since I graduated and I thought by now I would be finding it easier and enjoyable and that I would now be able to push myself either to increase my speed or distance, but that is just not the case. I still struggle to do the 30 mins. I feel like maybe running isn't for me - I will try and give it another go tomorrow morning, so disappointed. How long will it take for me to be able to enjoy this. If I enjoy something then I am more likely to keep it up. Grrrrr! Sad!

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You had a tough run Fifitrixiebell, it was a good idea to run your route the other way around, but I wonder if it was harder?(you usually go the other way for a reason😉)

Remember you can run for 30 minutes, remember you are a Graduate of c25k...remember that you are still new to running and still building stamina and running legs...

You didn't do anything wrong yesterday, but your expectations are high. Maybe you set off a bit too quickly, trying to better your last run, maybe it was a bit hillier...

You wanted to be able to run....and you can😊...just keep going with those 30 minute runs (because you can) and it will start to get easier..Slow running..

Have you seen the post about the toxic ten? take a look at this, it may be helpful...

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Have a good run next time..😊xx

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Thank you bluebirdrunner. Yes, maybe I was trying to push myself and go faster than I should have. Yes, I have read the 'toxic ten' and I found it really interesting and helpful. I so related to it and didn't realise it was an actual 'thing', not just me. So now I know to push past that and now that I know about this when the toxins have sorted themselves out - I feel it happen. It is like when the turbo comes on in the car and I feel a bit of a boost. That is a few moments when I am enjoying running and aren't even thinking about running. Those moments will eventually get longer. I need to just enjoy myself and continue to celebrate this achievement of graduation.

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Well I'm just envious that you can run for 30 minutes! That's my aim! Don't give up! :)

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You will get there and please remember what you wrote to me and 'Don't give up'. Thank you for your post.

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:( Try not to feel downhearted about it - we all have bad runs sometimes, often for no discernable reason. I know after the first time I graduated (five years ago!) I very quickly got into a downward spiral where I found it impossible to run more than 20 minutes without a break, so I absolutely do recognise the feeling of frustration and disappoinment.

Can I offer you another way of thinking about it though? Two months ago, if someone had told you that you were disappointed with the running you did yesterday, what would you have said? I suspect you'd have been baffled as to how any more running than a couple of minutes could be a disappointment! And there's nothing wrong at all with taking a walking break - if it helps, you can plan them in. There's a whole thing about the run/walk technique - some people do marathons like this (and in a good few cases, quicker than if they ran the whole thing!).

If you're thinking that you should be able to increase your speed by now, is there any chance that you're actually pushing a bit harder than you realise? is it worth trying a run where you deliberately go really slowly to make sure you're not pushing on too quickly?

For me the enjoyment always begins with a few moments somewhere in a run where I think 'huh, this actually feels good!'. Usually lasts around 10 seconds the first time, but ever so gradually increases. I think I'm up to about 5 mins of enjoyment now (in a 28 min run!)... but I love the fact that I can run, I love that I want to run, and I want to love running. And for me, for now, that's enough :)

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Yes, I enjoy the few minutes of enjoyment where it occurs to me that I am not even thinking about running and I feel like shouting to passers by 'hey look, I am running'! You are right. A few months ago I rejoiced over being able to run 5 mins! I must remember to still take it slow and to enjoy myself.

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Oh please don't give up Fifi!! You are amazing. I know what you mean though. Keep thinking 'not exactly loving it yet' but we are out there 3 times a week getting heart and lungs going even if there is a bit of walking involved. And I don't know about you but I definitely feel 'lighter' in the head in between runs even if the runs themselves are still a bit grim!!

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Yes, I agree. And when I have run, I feel proud of myself and a great sense of personal achievement and that every second morning I get up out of bed and go for a run. I have been out in every weather, except when it was really icy. I have not used the weather as an excuse. I actually quite enjoy being able to go out in all weathers - bit exciting! I feel strong and brave.

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Oh please don’t be sad, I thought like you the once I had graduated I had cracked the running game . No this was just the start.

Once I realised that actually I can choose when to run ,how far to run , how fast to run I began to calm down. I’m now running regularly 3 times a week. It isn’t ‘easy’ but compared to how I felt the first couple of weeks it has become increasingly doable. The finish buzz still surprises me, I don’t worry too much if I was slower than the last run or did less distance. My only aim is to run for the whole time I’m out so if some days that means a shorter run the so be it.

Once I left the structured programme I thought I always had to more as we had done each week on the couch to 5k. Now I realise how very important consolidation is, our bodies are only just adjusting this new excessive.

Please don’t give up, take is easy on yourself. Many on hear say there is no such thing as a failed run. Give it a few days, go out again just run don’t think about challenges and goals, walk run if you feel like it just remember how you felt your first week.

I look forward to reading about your next outing.

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This is great advice. I am on week 8 and was slightly anxious about how to manage post-c25k but you have helped me to feel more relaxed and confident about it. Happy running!

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Thank you! Yes, psychologically I don't know what happened to me. There are no rules - it is about me and what I want to do. I just have to remember that it is not a competition and to just enjoy myself. This forum is great to getting encouragement and advice - helps to get over those down days.

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There are runs like that. Just chuck it in the f**k -it bucket and move on. Get back out there, slow down, and maybe download another programme to run to (sometimes not having a plan can leave you a little lost for motivation - I know that I found it unsettling to suddenly have no boxes to tick or goal in sight). Something like 5 to 10 k, if you are ready for it?

Tiny things can shift your mindset, including changing your habit for a route on a day when your gremlin has got it in for you. I went for my first run for three weeks the day before yesterday. I felt like my feet were sealed in buckets of concrete, and I was swearing like a trooper when I finished my 5K. It still happens to me, three years and two half marathons after I started C25K, and every time, like RainbowC says, I imagine telling my R1W1 self that I am peeved about my performance. I'm off out there again tonight and I'm going to give Gary (the gremlin) a run for his money. Chin up, chuck, you are running rings around your pre-C25K self.

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Thank you! Yes, to think a few months ago I struggled to run for 5 mins and look what I can do now. It is encouraging to hear from people who have been running for a while now, still have bad days from time to time, that is just the runners life and that we just keep trying.

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Hang on to the tried and tested C25k programme.🤔

It is designed to serve all our needs of beginners and all abilities.

Since finishing the C25k programme I have thought a lot about why the facilators advise us beginners what they do.

Running slow and steady is the solution to everything, as follows,

Allows you to breathe anyway you wish without thinking about how to get the extra oxygen you need to run and get through the initial sticky patch until you settle down in your running and breathing groove.👍Use it , your handbrake.🤔

By encouraging us to keep our footfall under our hips it reduces your risk of injury but also without realising it, we are building up our cadence, steps per minute, because we are discouraged from taking large stride lengths🤔

As you know the product of these two items is the measure of pace or speed.

As a graduate you have your choices and all the time in the world to work on whatever you wish.🤔

The core programme is always there to help you, and it can.

For example, if you are trying something new, take a training run slow and steady to first get a measure on it .🤔

If you want to do something on upping your pace you can lengthen your stride a little🤔 or increase your steps per minute🤔.

Depending on your posture and running form you may want to lean forward and get more onto your mid foot and propel yourself with your arms also.

So, so many other stuff to pursue , but returning always to the core initial technique that built you to the 30 mins in the first place is the gift you gave yourself with the help from the facilitators and forum.🌟

Always believe in you and it.🌟

Be patient and return all the time to this mode of running just to affirm and test stuff.

All other unknowns put to one side, I just feel I could run forever with this slow and steady method.

I hope this helps in some way.

I want to suggest to you Brene Brown , data,

Vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage.🌟

She is world renowed for her work on courage/ vulnerability/ empathy, and much much more.🌟

Do not go out straight away.🤔Remember your repair day.🤔🌟👏👏

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Thank you. I had a days break, went out again. I felt much better. It was a frosty morning and this triggered my asthma and my inhaler was empty, so I walked home. But felt ok with this. I will go out again tomorrow morning and I will take it slow and enjoy it. Yes, I have listed to Brene Brown before - she is brilliant.

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Cold oxygen.🙈🤔

Well done you.🌟👏👏

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It's only a run that felt tough! No fail on here, it happens! Don't beat yourself up over it, you'd be silly to just let that get you down!😊

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Yes, I have done several 30 min runs and they are not easy, but I have been able to complete them. This one was my first that I had not completed, since I started and it shook me. I am feeling much better now and will try again tomorrow morning.

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Well done! Tell me about them not being easy!! We know that, but you know the saying, there's no gain without pain, as long as there is no actual pain, just some mind gremlins maybe, push on through those.. in time the running may help with your asthma, it's helped some...

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No 'f' words... ! Check this out...

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

You are a new graduate... everything about the running is still new...Relax.... and do some runs just because you can.. I called them runs for joy :) Try to just pop in a slow and I mean slow 30 minute in some where.. but do some.. shorter runs and some different routes...look around, make up names for folks you meet... plan where your next run will be...

Just slow right down and see how it goes:)

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Thank you old floss. Yes, it was good to read that link again and to be reminded that I am still new at this and to keep it slow and to enjoy it. I will!

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No such thing as a failed run, think of it as a practice run for achieving the next one!

No rhyme or reason for a bad run, try not to over-analyse and you’ll be fine!

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Yep, that's me - over analysing. I will remember not to for future and just do what I can, push myself when I can and most importantly, enjoy myself. Thank you for encouragement.

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Not a fail at all. You still ran. I still have good and bad days with running. Last week I did two 6k runs with a day in between. The first was really hard work and I almost stopped halfway. The next run was way easier and I knocked over a minute off my best 5k time! No rhyme or reason to it at all. Don’t give up, you’ve come too far 😊

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It is strange. There doesn't always seem to be rhyme or reason as to good and bad days. You just go out and see what you can do. I am not going to give up. The thought of wasting all that hard work that I have put in - puts me off giving up. Oh, the encouragement that I get from this forum. Thank you.

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That's what we're here for. This forum helped me through the programme and has given me encouragement to improve afterwards. :)

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Just like Mike says, we experience good runs and bad runs even after graduating, in my case, in November. It is unnerving but we are only beginners. So no F...... at all for you: just don't expect too much from you too soon. Take your time and most of all enjoy yourself. There's no obligation for you to run 5K each time. Try to go for a shorter run in your three runs a week and see how you feel.

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Thank you Anthie. You are right - there is no obligation of anything. Just to enjoy myself. I will keep this in mind for future. Thank you for taking the time to post.

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mfamilias and the others are spot on here - Just chuck it in the f**k -it bucket and move on. It takes a little while to work on your running recipe. I now know that for me for example running in the afternoon is more or less impossible as I prevaricate and just don’t get out there.

Please don’t put pressure on yourself to be ‘achieving’ stuff so soon - cumulatively your bod and you have been through a lot, from previously not much exercise to a regular regime - you clocked up loads of kilometres and the post graduation buzz has dropped a bit. All these things can mount up and affect your runs.

All the stuff I’ve read says that you can’t expect to graduate then be able to run faster and longer - in fact I think it was Irishprincess who advised us all that it can take up to a year to get your running legs in.

You got out there, you tried something different, it didn’t work for you, but you haven’t all of a sudden lost your motivation or drive - because you’ve posted on here and that tells us something.

Take a breather and the next time you go out, a few of us will be shadowing you, willing you to have a nicer run.

Best of luck runner - you’ve done stormingly well so far. And if you’re tempted by the nasty head gremlin who tells you you’re not fantastic - just have a look at the next time you’re in town and you see a ‘street sprinter’ running all of 10 paces for a bus, and just smile and think about how your distance running is now measured in kilometres.... not seconds.

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Thank you for your encouragement. I did go out again two mornings later and psychologically I felt much better and ready for it. But the frosty air triggered my asthma and my inhaler was empty, so I walked the rest. But I wasn't down about that, like I was the other day. I will go out again tomorrow morning. I think that without this forum I would have given up. It really does make such a difference.

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Brilliant that you got out and had a bash . I’m glad you’re no longer down, but I hadn’t thought about inhaler gremlins.... well done and good luck next time. This forum is the support we all live I’m sure. Happy running

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Oh fifi. So sorry to read this. Hope you're feeling a bit more positive now. After all the fanfare of graduating comes the dawning realisation that we're really just starting out and have so far to go still! I feel exactly the same. But, we're still running, still out there 3 times a week and you will be improving. In one of the FAQ posts there's a scary fact, even at graduation you'll only have run for something crazy like 7 hours in total which is just nothing! Chin up ☺

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Thank you for your post. There will always be good days and bad days. I just have to realise that and not get down about the bad. Shrug it off. I did go out two mornings later, feeling much better, but it was a really cold frosty morning and it triggered my asthma and when I took the inhaler, it didn't work, well that was because it was empty. So, I worked the rest. I will try again tomorrow morning, with a new inhaler. I have done 30 mins before - so not sure what it was that got me so down the other day. I appreciate your encouragement. This forum is so great!

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Don’t be disheartened, you have achieved something great. You can run for 30 minutes, that can’t be taken away from you, and it also means you can do it again! Take your time and listen to your body. As others have said, this really is only the start of your journey. I graduated in August last year and I don’t always run for 30 mins and I can’t run a 5K non stop (have built up to running 4K non stop). But I feel so good when I go for a run; I always feel like I’ve achieved something.

Just remember that you have achieved something that you couldn’t do a couple of months ago. You will get stronger. Happy running runner!👍

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Thank you for your encouragement. I think I am too impatient. There is no time limit to this, you are right, I just need to go out and enjoy it and do what I can, sometimes a 30 min router and sometimes a shorter one.

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Don’t be so tough on yourself. I’m like you, every run is different though and I can’t say I particularly enjoy any of them until it’s over 😅. Accept the good and the bad, you still actually got out there, and the cumulative effect will be better running 🏃‍♀️🙌

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No no no!! There’s no such thing as the F word...my goodness Fifitrixiebell ...you sound JUST like me!!! I felt so lost after I graduated...I didn’t know what to do & I also thought that maybe running wasn’t for me....and if it weren’t for my lovely running family on here I would’ve packed in...but I didn’t...they kept me going...promising me that it will get better, telling me to change routes, change music..consolidate my runs...everything...the only thing that made it better was good old determination & grit...I made myself enjoy it...I think, like you, I just expected everything to fall into place, but it doesn’t, not straight away...I graduated in Oct & I honestly cannot imagine my life without running now...it will get better, I promise, you just have to try different things out, don’t expect too much of yourself, your legs are still learning, so are your heart, lungs & head...you can run, you’ve proved it, you just have to practice now...I have only just run 5k in the last few weeks...read back on some of my old posts & you’ll be able to relate to them, I know you will...but I’m still here & now I’m doing to you what everyone did to me...please keep going, you’ll never look back....xxx

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