Dreading week 4: I’ve just completed week 3 of... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Dreading week 4


I’ve just completed week 3 of couch to 5k and am dreading week 4. I found the 3 minute runs excruciating and am apprehensive of doing 5 minutes, especially after a 3 minute run and only 90 seconds walk! Should I repeat week 3 until I feel able or push ahead? Maybe lose some weight first? I’m 56 and have not exercised for about 2 years. Not run 5k since my 20’s.

21 Replies

You can do this, if you believe in yourself.

This might help healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Keep going I only kept going on one of the three minutes because a load of men in a white van were staring at me and I was too embarrassed to stop!! It does get better just keep it slow x


I felt the same as you plus I had to have a week off after week3 because I was injured. I did Wk4R1 today and although it was difficult it was not as bad as I was fearing. As Amanda2463 said keep it slow


No, there’s no need to repeat a run you’ve successfully completed. You only repeat a run if you didn’t manage to finish it. Your body is ready for the next run but your brain is trying to say you can’t do it. Unless you are ill or injured, give your body the chance to prove your brain wrong.


Slow down. It is the only way.


Move onto the next one! Trust in the program, it really works and you will be amazed in a few weeks when you realise even 5 minutes wasn’t very long

I have just finished week 2 and found it difficult so well done for completing week 3, keep it up .I start week 3 tomorrow and am dreading it. I am over weight and embarrassed to run in the street,so I am doing it on the tread mill at the moment .

FatBob793 in reply to Brod2

Whatever works for you. The nhs strength and flexibility exercises I do on non running days are pretty embarrassing. Doing rowing movements while walking briskly is probably the worst. If I had a treadmill I reckon I’d use it for that. I prefer running outside though when weather is ok. I want to say don’t be embarrassed but doubt that will help you.

Brod2 in reply to FatBob793

Thank you, I will have a look at the strength and flexibility exercises. I completed day one week 3 today ,I should have done it at the weekend but my knees where so painful I waited until today. Moving up yo running for three minutes was a little difficult but I completed it without stopping , can’t wait for my next run

FatBob793 in reply to Brod2

Good for you! I did my week 4 run 1 today and it was difficult but I managed it. Following everyone’s advice of going slow and trusting the program. Still dreading each run but pleased to complete and do the next one.

Don’t be scared. Relax, slow down and enjoy. I’ve never ran in my life and I’ve just completed week 8 tonight in about 12 actual weeks and I did smile to myself when I saw you were dreading 3 mins runs. In a few short weeks you’ll be done big 20 mins!!! Your doing it that’s all that matters.

Brod2 in reply to cobrien

Thanks for the support and well done for getting to the end of week 8 . Ready to do day two of week 3 tomorrow but have swollen knees so hoping they feel better tomorrow. Good luck you are nearly at the end 😊


did people not tell you to slow down enough? :)

there's a few posts on here - search for the word "epiphany" usually! - where people say "I thought I was going slowly enough but then I slowed down some more and it was amazing" ...

That and a healthy bit of positivity will see you through! good luck.


Trust the program. Just go slower. W4 seems like a jump, so will W5, etc., but the program works. We promise you that if you did W3, then you can do W4, but maybe not as fast as you'd like, that's all. I'm 68 and hadn't run since I was 16.

Most of this running lark is all about convincing your head to let you try.

No- push on go slow and steady what’s the worst that can happen? Trust in the programme and you will be surprised. If you can’t breathe properly you are going too fast, good luck and don’t let them doubts in x


Please don’t dread it, it’s just another run, and you can do it. As I said to another person who was dreading it, just take it as it comes. You’ve come this far, don’t over think it, simply take it as one run at a time and we’ll see you along the way - and smile 😊 🌻

Thanks everyone for your positivity. I was and am intending to try week 4. ArthurJG and others make the point that I should repeat the weeks I fail to complete but not ones I’ve completed. This seems sensible. I am already running like a geriatric and could almost walk faster so not really possible to slow much more. I feel inclined to winge about how bad I feel when actually running but nobody wants to hear that so I’ll just do as much as I can bare and try to keep thinking of how much better I feel after I’ve stopped. I do feel it’s doing me good. Thanks again for all the replies. BTW I’m also doing the NHS strength and flexibility exercises on alternate days and, in contrast, find it too easy. I’ve started using it as a warmup then lifting some weights.


Don’t panic! I loathed week 3. But have loved week 4 and 5. I think we all have a week where our brains and bodies grow or slow grow so are tough. Like everyone says trust the program and don’t repeat unless you don’t complete. You never know what the next week will feel like!

Really?🤔 fingers crossed. Good advice, Thanks

Equi-geekGraduate in reply to FatBob793

Yes, we all wonder how we’ll cope with the following week or next run - you aren’t alone. All you can do is give it a go and you might surprise yourself! In this heat there are a lot of us running slower than we could walk, but that isn’t as important as keeping going. Do the ‘extra’ minutes first in each interval, as slow as you can bear, and then keep going for the remainder as best you can. Good luck 👍


Slow down and slow down again. You can do this. Believe us. We’ve been there. Just slow right down.

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