W3R2 - still found it hard, feeling disheartened - Couch to 5K

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W3R2 - still found it hard, feeling disheartened

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I still completed it, but that second 3 min run is still hell. If it isn't comfortable at the 3 mins, how can they be the 'easy' runs next week, and add 5 min runs!?

Very few people seem to find week 3 tough. The general consensus is W1R1, the week 4 jump, and the W5R3, so I'm dreading week 4!

I found the first run in week 1 tough, but the 2nd and 3rd were quite easy for me, and so was all of week 2, so I was thinking 'oh I'm getting fitter' but maybe week 3 will be my wall?

I guess I'll see how the third run is, and at least attempt week 4. As I say I'm still completing them and I guess I recover faster than I did in week 1 where I felt like dying! Anyone else find week 3 tough?

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I've almost always found run 2 the hardest of each week. Do keep going though, even if it turns out that you do need to repeat a week in order to complete it - every single run you do increases your fitness a bit, so even a run which is difficult or which doesn't go to plan is still way better than no run at all.

And - in case you've not been told yet - slow down! As the time increases, your pace may well need to decrease, just to make sure you've got enough in the tank to complete the full running time. If you're going too quickly (for you - not by any external measure), you'll make it harder.

Keep running...


Hi Adam, I can still remember counting down the seconds till I could stop running and have a walk break, then be surprised at how short it seemed before I had to run again. With heavy legs and short breath I worked through the runs in weeks 3, 4 and 5 before my stamina started to really improve. Something along the way just starts to click and your body adjusts.

I found if I left it two days between runs, rather than one, my legs had more time to recover. I was also going to fast, or trying to.

It took me 12 weeks to complete the program, not 9 but I got there in the end. Soon you will look back at week 3 like you are now at week one, keep going, you will be surprised at how your stamina increases as time goes by.


No, no! Don't even consider being disheartened. No person of even average fitness who has done c25k would say this is easy. Your body will complain - all the way through to week 9 (and beyond). I remember my w1r1, last August, when my legs felt so strange that I had the distinct impression that I was using somebody else's. But I persevered and two days ago I did my first 8k. I can honestly say that c25k has been one of the very best things that I have ever done.

Despite your body complaining, this is very much a mental battle too. Give yourself a serious talking to and get those running shoes on, and as RainbowC says, take it slowly. It's not a race.


Make sure you're warming up properly, you could do some dynamic excercises before you go out on the warm-up walk .. hopefully to help get your body firing on all cylinders..when you start to run make sure it's only slow and steady.

Practice Your Posture

Before every workout: Stand tall. Imagine a straight line running vertically down your body. Line up your shoulders, hips, knees and feet. Engage your core slightly so you feel a light tension in your lower abs. Relax all your other muscles as much as possible..

If you haven't seen this already there's some great info here in this link...


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Of course, at times it could be difficult. My body ached, breath was lost, total circus. Then, in no particular order, I learned how to run slower, then veery slow which sorted out all breathing issues. Then I learned the importance of proper hydration, at least a few litres of water every day but not before the run, which sorted our heavy legs and cramps. And then I took up all those strengthening exercises to boost up my leg/hip/shoulder/arm muscles, which sorted out the fatigue business. Now I can torpedo myself for up to a couple of hours without collapsing in agony.

Take it slow, easy, and with one step at the time your body will adjust and adapt, and you'll be alright.

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I agree with RainbowC - I'm only on W2 - just completed R2 & found it harder than R1 - same in W1. Maybe you just had a bad day? I think we all have good runs and not so good runs. See how you go R3 & you can always repeat R2 if you want to - remember- your run - your way. Hang in there you got this.


Thanks guys. I think I'm starting off too quickly. I was really strict with keeping an easy pace for week 2, now what I 'think' is an easy pace seems to be faster. I feel better about it now, after all I still did it. I'll see how run 3 is before I start getting too obsessive over it.

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Just slow down..if you are struggling... slow down more...Just take it steadily and really try to relax into the runs... rest day exercise for strength and stamina will help too.

Warm up really well and stretch after the runs...in the early runs, there can be a temptation to set off like a rocket.. don't...think snail on a go slow :)

"No one will tell you it is going to be easy, but they will tell you it is worth it. "


Honestly slow down. remember it’s a light jog then if you feel like you have energy to burn then maybe speed up a little towards the end and don’t worry about future runs as when you get to them you will be ready.


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