Am I the worst runner ever?: Hi, I have never... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Am I the worst runner ever?



I have never been a runner but recently a friend of mine lost her battle with mental health, so in her memory Iv signed up to a 5k to raise some money for MIND the mental health charity.

But I’m finding this so incredibly hard I keep having to repeat runs and just as I feel my cardio is getting better Iv got shin splints. And Iv only just finished week 3, I can’t imagine being anywhere near ready in 6 weeks time.

Most of my runs have ended with me in tears. I just want to know I’m not alone in finding this so hard.

16 Replies

You are so not the worst runner ever as that’s me! At least you are making an effort you should be proud of yourself for even trying you will get there just stick with it. I find it very hard too have just done my first run this morning. Am sure your friend is watching over you cheering you on, good luck x


Calm down. ✋ Have a breather 🙂

You need to enjoy this. It’s not a war! It’s walking with a few slow jogs chucked in. You only need to go very slowly. No hurry, no pressure, no need to push. When folks get bogged down it’s usually cos they are trying to go too fast. Slow down and things start to click into place

Set off with the right mindset. You’re going for a walk with some speeded up up bits.

Let us know how it goes but do try and calm down 🙂👍

As misswobble says you are probably trying to go too fast. My first runs were barely faster than my brisk walks ( not much better now) and I’m on week 7 now so keep going... but slower. You’ll get there. It’s more about stamina than speed... speed can come later.... MUCH later in my case !!!


As misswobble says.. breathe:) relax... and think.. I am doing just fine..because you are...the only thing you need to do is slow down and then slow down more...:)

Think snail on a go slow:) Then a really laid back snail on a go slow:)

This should be fun... so take it at your own pace and when you get to do that marvellous run for your friend..go you.... walk some of it... hop some... run a bit too..because you will be running will!!!

You can do this.. so post your next run please... and I know it is going to be okay !

Giving it a go puts you millions ahead of those that don’t even try!


I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend and what a wonderful thing you are doing in her memory. You must be feeling so much pressure, relax, it might be that 6 weeks might not be enough time, maybe you could do a combination of run/walk? you are still there doing it for her. Be proud of yourself. All the best.

Thanks so much everyone I neede all those lovely replies!


Yep youre not alone, it's really tough, especially when you're not feeling great emotionally. It doesn't matter if you walk the whole 5k, what matters is that you're doing something in memory of your friend. Try to keep that in mind and don't push yourself too hard. If it's upsetting you, that's not great, try to cut yourself some slack. Start from the idea that you'll walk the whole thing , then go from there. Then anything faster than that is a bonus :) also keep posting.


Sorry to hear about your friend and that you are struggling. But fear not you can do this! Take on board the advice given. Have you got a music playlist? That will help, some of your fave tunes - uplifting stuff. Good luck 😉


When I have said similar things to my uber-fit husband, he has always said, "But you're lapping everybody still on the couch". And for that matter, I'm lapping the old me who would have been on the couch too.

This is a good thing to do, for your friend's memory, and for your own health. But don't panic about it! See the big picture and think of it as a long term scheme to change your life for the better.

Even runs which don't go according to plan and have to be repeated are useful "practice runs" and "deposits in the bank of strong legs". When the MIND event happens, you can walk/run it if you have to and look for another 5k a few months later as your first run-the-whole-way-without-stopping event.


You are putting WAY too much pressure on yourself Kira. Seriously - slow is good. The programme is about learning the "Baby steps" of running, keeping us from injury and building a firm foundation for later achievements.

Speed - forget about it. 9 weeks and 5K - less than 10% manage that.

My BEST time ever was 5k in 33 and a bit minutes when I was at my peak. Nowadays a sub-40 minute 5k is just fine with me.

Read a lot of the advice tips and experiences on the Forum and I think you will no longer feel as bad as you do now - there are a LOT of us here who could rightfully claim the "Unlikliest to be Runner" title in our past ☺

And if you will forgive me for a personal comment - I have a feeling your friend would not want you to be in tears about this upcoming 5k you are honouring her with. You can still do it by running what you can and walking the rest. There is absolutely no shame in walking - we've ALL done that on those days we just can't find the right "gear' to run in.

Wishing you many happy miles in your future ☺


It took for me to read “slow down “ about 20 times before I took note. It REALLY made a difference!


Hi, I find every run hard too but keeping it very slow, has made it possible to keep going. I think that even if I just did week one every week, it would still be an enormous improvement over my former couch days. I am sure no-one would care if you walk more than run the 5k, that's not important. Your commitment to raising funds is what matters and very commendable. I think you should feel proud just by getting out there. Best of luck!


I'm on first name terms with the snails that overtake me on my runs... The 5k won't be a race and plenty of people will be part jogging, part walking. So if you do it "week 3 style" that would be 90 second and 3- minute jogs with walks in between. What a lovely thing to do in memory of your friend and for an amazing charity. I have a feeling that you will find the strength to complete the 5k when the day comes x


Big hugs 🏃‍♀️ You’re doing great but remember to be kind to yourself 😉

You can do this if you slow right down 🐌

I have only just managed to 🏃‍♀️ 5k and I graduated weeks ago!! But when I realised it really doesn’t matter if I run/walk as long as I keep moving my mindset changed😊

Trust the program, everyone is different but we all get there eventually so enjoy the view 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Your friend is by your side whether you’re running or walking and I’m sure she is very proud of you xx

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the word of support!

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