These consolidation runs are not getting any e... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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These consolidation runs are not getting any easier!

And I don’t know why. I’m not running any faster than I did when I graduated & I’m doing 30 mins each time but battling with myself not to stop. Could it be that I haven’t got Laura encouraging me on? Maybe it’s a psychological thing. I don’t know but I’m starting to get cross with myself - suck it up princess & strap on your big girl pants- you’re playing with the grownups now! Even the tough love isn’t working tho. I’m not running regularly 3 times a week due to stuff getting in the way but I’m managing at least twice if not 3 times. I’m foxed.

44 Replies
Whatsapp profile image

It is hard to keep up momentum. If you are just going out and running for 30mins x3 a week then it will quickly stagnate for you. You need to mix it up.

Firstly, stop running to the clock. Pick out one or more 5k routes and run them. Running to time is hard work and more like a treadmill run, but running for distance - well enjoy the views and the challenges of new routes. Download an app like strava and record you runs. You can compare them and see progress made, and start to learn about pacing, etc.

Also, try some different runs. How about intervals or fartlek? I would suggest you start off with these at a lesser distance than 5k as it does take it out of you. Both are great for building speed.

Maybe a longer run, or a hill repeat. The opportunities are endless. Have fun with it!

in reply to Whatsapp

Thank you! That’s all very helpful. I will ponder on it. 🤔.

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappGraduate in reply to

Also, look around for local running events. Your runs can be training ready for the big day. You can rock-up and run with likeminded people (not all speedy athletes), and even bag yourself a medal - careful though its habit forming.

in reply to Whatsapp

Yes someone at work suggested the local parkrun which I’m def thinking of doing - will wait until the cooler weather though!

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappGraduate in reply to

Parkrun is great. If you have never been to an organised run then that is definitely a good place to start.

Ang33333 profile image

I know what you mean. I'm having to run when I can early in the mornings. Like you say, things get in the way that I can't do anything about. It feels like a bit of a chore, just ticking it off. Looking forward to cooler evenings so I can run then!

I’m finding it hard to get back on the horse too. I don’t know wether it’s the heat or work exhaustion. I wake up at 5:45 naturally but have turned over and continued sleeping till 7. Too late to run. But I only get disappointed in my self later in the day. I run to The Archers Omnibus. Do you think that’s doing it? 😂🙄

Goforitmama profile image

I'm guessing here.... but the heat is not helping and how about the headaches? I hope that they are easing off.

After graduation I felt free of the schedule, it felt good, I could run longer, shorter or faster if I wanted. Yet I still went out and aimed for 30 minutes or 5k depending on how I was feeling (30 minutes is nit the same as 5k - and not in a good way). Strangely enough it wasn't getting me down. I guess it was just the idea that I had the choice.

More recently I have been running shorter runs because of the weather, faster runs because they are fun and over and done with quickly, and even a longer run because it felt right on the day and the weather was kind to me.

So maybe you need to see it as freedom to choose too. Try shorter or faster or longer. Mix up the routes and find your runner's mojo, it's out there.

in reply to Goforitmama

Thank you. Yes I’m not good with the heat. The migraines are under control (beta blockers) but I often get a headache after the running- knowing that’s a possibility can sometimes deter me. Also knowing that I might stops me from doing anything else after I run - so I can’t run b4 work for example - or if I’m due to do anything else on the day I run. I’m hoping that I will get over this eventually if I stick at it - my neurologist seems to think they will eventually cease. Thank you for your advice - I maybe need to let myself off the lead!

Jay66UK profile image

I think there is a lot of good advice there. The heat is really hurting and the 9 week programme is intense.

Some shorter runs or some unstructured runs might help. Or you might need more structure?

I needed (and continue to need) a structure to build my running around. Not big things just clear things - so 2x 4k (33 mins for me) and a 5k (about 43 mins) - so that I “know where I am”. You might need something similar, or you might need all of the pressure removing and just “running until you feel like not running” for a while.

Hope you find your path x

Goforitmama profile image
GoforitmamaGraduate in reply to Jay66UK

Ahhhh.. 'Find your path' so much more poetic than 'find your runner's mojo'. Jay you are a wordsmith! 😎

in reply to Goforitmama

He’s the best. But finding my mojo is just as good. I’m just grateful for all the support. Makes me emotional (in a good way!)

Jay66UK profile image
Jay66UKGraduate in reply to

A beauty of this place is that none of us are in competition with each other. We recognise that the support we need comes to us and we all try to give it back. You’ve helped us get to here and this is just us returning that x

Jay66UK profile image
Jay66UKGraduate in reply to Goforitmama

That is up there among the nicest things someone could say. Thanks. 😊

Goforitmama profile image
GoforitmamaGraduate in reply to Jay66UK

Just the truth, you always have sage advice and your delivery comes across so humble too. I like to read your posts and your responses.

Jay66UK profile image
Jay66UKGraduate in reply to Goforitmama


mrrun profile image

I struggled afterwards as well but quickly changed it all, routes, playlists, running structures, everything in order to spice it up. I took a while to get faster although that never really concerned me, I got faster simply by running longer. I put my own plans together to get more freedom and ability to change it all at will and the only thing I never changed was 3 runs per week, no matter what. Oh, and the very first thing I did when I graduated? I ran an entire C25K again. So, the beginning of my post refers to the events taking place after my 2nd graduation. ;)

I hear you! I felt demotivated and stagnate post grad too. My 3 weeks of consolidation were lonely and lost. Yes I did the 5km’s and intervals etc but missed the structure.

Why not go back to Laura and repeat some of the runs like week 9? Also another good one is doing week 1 but jogging in the walking parts and running in the run parts.

But most of all keep posting on here. You’ll be surprised how many people feel the same or can give some support to push you through. You’ve done so well to complete programme! Plus I like seeing my C25k bud is still around. 😊😊x

in reply to Ripcurlrana71

Ha ha! Thank you so much. My husband suggested repeating W9 - & keep repeating until I get to 5k. I think Jay is prob right - I do need structure - I’m very obedient & like following rules ( didn’t when I was young but that’s another story!)I’m off to France in a couple of weeks & I ain’t gonna be running there - so I will carry on as I am until I come back & then re-evaluate - maybe try repeating W9.

Ripcurlrana71 profile image
Ripcurlrana71 in reply to

Good idea. Have a break - eat lots of cheese - drink lots of wine then run it all off when you get back!!! 😬😬😂

in reply to Ripcurlrana71

That’s the plan! Not to mention the yummy cakes..... 😂

Ripcurlrana71 profile image
Ripcurlrana71 in reply to

Oooh I’m looking forward to carb overload in Aug when I’m off to Tuscany. Fortunately there is a treadmill there. 😜

Gran4z profile image
Gran4zGraduate in reply to Ripcurlrana71

That's a brilliant idea, doing the early weeks alternating between running and jogging. Like everyone in this conversation I've been struggling since completing W9. Learning slowly to just run and enjoy...even adding in a few hills 😳, don't like hills!

Ripcurlrana71 profile image
Ripcurlrana71 in reply to Gran4z

It’s an odd time when you consolidate. Changing it up keeps it interesting! Good luck. 😊

Bridget007 profile image
Bridget007Graduate in reply to Ripcurlrana71

That’s a really good idea! I’m going to try that 😃

I’m doing it tomorrow. 😬

Tinker5393 profile image

I think I graduated similar time to you and was fantastic following the weeks. I have been listening to Laura it helps. The weather and long work shifts have meant I have not run 3 times a week

Going to try and get back on the horse tonight after England win . I am really looking forward the the cooler weather

Good luck.

in reply to Tinker5393

I love your optimism! I keep telling everyone it’s coming home - this is our year!! I listened to one of the podcasts but I have to have my own music - it’s what motivates me.

Oldfloss profile image

Shorter runs..longer too..just see where you get to a different route..just throw in a few 30 minute ones..😉

Look around.. keep a run diary...some great ones around...see if there are any small local charity a Virtual run for charity...and bling😊..choose one that has no fixed distance...I did the Lucky Penny one in June...which was tosee how far you would run thro' June..fortunately I got 2O K in before the IC beckoned..but it would not have mattered if I had only done 1K😊

It motivates you..focuses you and a charity gets the pick your time and location.

You will be back on track soon..never fear.😉

Hi WW, im going to throw the c25k + podcasts into the mix...I know the music is not great...but manup its only half an hour...feet to the can manage that.

A few people like the Zombiesrun! free app...a 30 minute mission that takes your mind off the running.

Lots of ideas from everyone to keep it fresh! 😊x

I just kept running 3 times a week, entertaining myself with books and podcasts and some music

Eventually the discipline kicked in and ow I just keep running

That’s it

QueenTea profile image

Hope you find something that works for you. I haven’t yet managed a postgrad run (still on IC), but was worried about running without Laura! Good to hear you’re getting out twice a week & doing it - hope it gets easier for you. 🙂

_SimonT_ profile image

Hi WW! Great to hear from you! Sorry it’s tough though.

I’m in the same boat re time for runs. Barely got time to read posts. I’m doing my best to keep up!

Glad to see you’ve got loads of good advice (as usual) - this forum is truly amazing!

Sorry if I missed it but have the happy wanderers returned?

Fabulous450 profile image

Hi Welshwitch. It's been pretty scorching out there and that may well have an impact on timings. But you're getting out there, so you're not slipping back at all. You're an inspiration! ❤️

Irish-John profile image

A lot of us floundered for a while after graduation. You go from a very objective framework to "what now?"

So, you are not terminally unique no worries :)

I took about six weeks to decide on going for distance and forget about getting faster - I'm not built for fast :) I also added two runs to my repertoire of "only running in the flat park"

One is moderate hills and five k twice around, the other is absolutely brutal hills and I only run it according to time - I started off aiming at 15minutes out, 15 back and I barely moved speed- wise even building up to that.

They all complement each other and they keep it interesting. I've run in a few charity races also and that is a treat to do now and then :)

Goal for this year originally was ten miles, next year half marathon and year after that marathon for my 60th. A spell on the IC has muddled that, but it's fun to go for an "impossible dream" as a break from grim reality :)

So, figure what you most enjoy about running - speed, time, distance - and take it from there ☺

Wishing you many happy miles in your future ☺

in reply to Irish-John

Thank you - sounds like you are doing great. That’s very helpful advice. I will ponder on things whilst in France at the end of the month. There’s no rush - as Oldfloss always says - running will always be there. Thanks again.

Fishypieface profile image

Lots of great advice here... I struggled after graduating for quite a few weeks (ok, months). In retrospect I was learning the discipline of running, coping with the boredom and getting over it, training my mind, which wanted to run off somewhere else. It does get better and we all deal with it differently and it's harder for some than others. Use every trick in the book you can to help you get through it. Then, all of a sudden running for 30 mins is more than ok, it's good.... then you can start on 10k :)

Bridget007 profile image

I don’t think the heat helps ... I have read all replies below and I’m going to try some of them myself .. it’s hard sometimes when there’s not an actual goal.. this morning I stopped to remove a stone from my shoe whereas when I was doing c25k I would not have stopped because it would have felt like I was cheating 😊 it never feels easy but we need to remember that we have come from the couch and can probably run further than a lot of people ... I think you have done brilliantly 😀

Agree with everyone that Consolidation is an odd period. I’m now into Week 3 post Laura & still miss her, in fact I’ve set Mrs Nike Run Club to speak to me every 0.25k as somehow I find it soothing. 🤣 But I am enjoying the freedom of experimenting with podcasts, routes and distances. I’ve just come in from my first 6k. Didn’t intend to run that far but it just happened, I reached that happy point where you feel you were just born to run, so I motored on. Next time I might only do 4k... or a 25 minute run...who knows, it’s a joy to have the freedom to do whatever I please. 😊 So mix it up, make it up as you go along and enjoy this whole running thing.

Ang62 profile image

Hi WW! I too am feeling that way. Thanks for posting as you have sparked a plethora of great ideas. Some of which I will try! I love this site !! 😊 have a fantastic holiday.

sallenson profile image

I'm not convinced that just running W9 segments over and over again is going to very helpful. You may improve, but it will get incredibly boring and it will take a long time to improve the thing you want to improve.

Get your "problem" clear in your head. Is it running 5K? Is it running faster? Is it running more consistently? Is it having more endurance/stamina?

If you can nail what the problem is, there are loads of different ways to attack it, that are going to be better (and less boring) than just going and running for 30 minutes and hoping for the best.

Fartleks, intervals, hills, cadence running.. Loads of options. Have a go at some of the C25K+ podcasts and see what floats your boat.

Worst thing that could happen now is getting bored with running. You've only just started. Get out and have some fun and mix it up and try new stuff.

Key thing for me has been "Why am I doing this run today? What's the goal?" It doesn't need to be complicated. But it needs to be something tangible. Otherwise I'll get bored and frustrated.

Just needs a slightly different way of thinking to the core initial programme where that was all set out for us. We're runners now. We find our own road... :-)

in reply to sallenson

Sounds like that will require engaging my brain & using cognitive thought 🤔 that’s too much effort. Ha ha just kidding- you are right but I really wanted to get to the point where I’m not struggling to run for 30 mins & I’m doing 5K or at least close to it. I will give real thought to my next move but will prob wait til after my holiday.

Ang62 profile image
Ang62Graduate in reply to sallenson

Stephen, thanks this is so simple but so helpful. I have felt a bit lost after graduating. I want to get to 5k, I want to increase my pace, I want to improve my technique, do a parkrun enter a charity 10k!!! Aargh...I am now just focusing on the 5k. Got to 4.8k this evening in 40 minutes in the heat so quite pleased with that. I feel I can maybe get to 5k on the next run...such great support from all on this site 😊😊

FlickM3 profile image

Run for joy. Run to feel the wind in your hair and hear the birds sing. Running for fun should be your aim, along with any other goals you may have. When it becomes a chore, it loses its sparkle. Just go out and run and don’t worry about time and distance, for at least some of your runs. See where your feet take you. 😊 x

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