Still a reluctant runner at week 8!! - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Still a reluctant runner at week 8!!

BeckyED profile image

I’ve just finished my third 28 minute run (well actually I failed the second, which I put down to going out in the midday heat!), and I have to say I’m still not loving it.

I’m not a natural runner - although I’ve always been sporty, cardio has been hard for me since a kid - and I’m finding it so hard to get into. I spend the whole run thinking how hard it is and how much I’m hating it... does anyone have any advice or similar experiences?

I feel really pleased with what I’ve achieved so far, though I’m definitely on the slow side, but I thought that something would click where I’d start to enjoy it. Will that come in time?

I listen to music I like and try to ‘lose muself’ but no success! I’m finding I dread each run even though I’m so close to graduating!

Would love to hear from people, thank you :)

8 Replies
Wanna-Be profile image

I'm impressed you've managed 8 weeks of something you dread! When you say you've always been sporty what sports have you enjoyed? What aspects of those sports did you enjoy? Is there anything in running that could be similar? For instance if you like the social side of team sports park run or a running group might help.

For me I'm starting again for the third time in over 15 years. I'm finally letting go of the must go faster and just enjoying moving after being stuck at a desk all day! I've found I am not fond of housing estates and business parks. Tarmac down by the river with some trees is good as is the seaside. But forest trails amongst the green is my happy place!

The last few weeks can seem like a slog as you get used to continuous runs. Stick with it and don't worry about slowing down.

Make sure you are running at an easy conversational pace, as described in the guide to the plan

It makes running much more enjoyable.

After graduating you can run without having to increase the load week on for fun.

You can do this.

rollyrol profile image

I don't remember ever loving it but I do now (some months past graduating) so keep going and see how you feel in a few weeks. There's so much to think about when you're running - getting your pace right, head up, arms in the right position, not to mention breathing! I actually found it quite stressful but I think this all becomes a bit more natural eventually and then you can start to look around and notice what a great thing you're doing. Keep it up!

I did lose myself quite literally on my w6r3 today, and not knowing quite where I would end up distracted me from the problem with the heat and an aching calf. I’m enjoying seeing the world in a different way by running, and that’s keeping me interested - there’s so much to see out there...

MelsieJay profile image

I never loved it. I was determined and stuck at it but always anxiety before a run and sometimes put it off a day. I graduated and kept running but nothing changed. Didn’t even lose weight. I knew it was good for my lung disease so made myself but with a mental battle each run. YET .... the first thought when I broke my leg last week ( apart from goodness me that hurts) was absolutely gutted that I would not be able to run for months now. How bizarre is that? And I’m missing it and struggling without going. Who knew. 😂

Anyway there’s all the new kit and shoes and watches to buy. Apps to download and see how many you can coordinate to go at the same time. It’s fun to run and I can’t wait to get back!!!

I think it takes a while to experience enjoyment whilst running. It comes after a time as your fitness builds and your anxiety decreases. I guess it probably goes along with being relaxed.

Many runs are still a slog but enough are enjoyable to keep me at it. I ALWAYS like the feeling of achievement when a run is done.

Maybe practice some positive self talk during the run and when you complete, tell yourself how well you are doing, what you are achieving. Remind yourself why you started. 😊

Oldfloss profile image

Don't overthink the run and enjoy your pace. Look around..keep a diary of your runs.... make up names for folk you meet.. or the trees or bushes:)

Just take each run as slowly as you like... vary your routes... reverse them... make up rhymes or songs and make silly shopping lists. Just focus on what is all around and then think how much good this is doing.

You may never feel a real love... I hope you do...but what you will have done will not be a waste :)

GoogleMe profile image

Listen really carefully to people and you'll notice that it isn't as simple as 'loving it' or 'enjoying it': that for many/most people every run is a rollercoaster of emotions. Running isn't about being 'sporty' and a big part of the learning is not in the legs but the mind, learning to just 'be with' all the up and down feelings.

I would also say that maybe choosing something different to listen to would help. Those who use the podcasts have some very special 'delights' included which keep it interesting, or perhaps a spoken word podcast or audiobook would engage your mind enough for it to let go of the utterly unimportant business of trying to decide whether you are enjoying it or not. As others have said, trying different places and routes can help too - a winding woodland path where your brain is engaged with not tripping on roots will also occupy your mind usefully.

Fair old chance that you could ease off the pace a bit - words like 'sporty' and 'cardio' suggest you are indeed simply pushing yourself out of a comfortable pace (it could be that your choice of music, quite reasonably intended to buoy you up, is pushing the pace too). Though I have to say that it really must take some effort and focus to be thinking such negative thoughts for the whole 28 minutes of running plus the walks at the beginning and end. Dump notions of 'natural' runners (no one talks about 'natural walkers') - they are not helping you.

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