Advice - struggling to run: So l graduated... - Couch to 5K

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Advice - struggling to run


So l graduated 2 months ish ago & was loving it. Did my first park run too in 41 mins. Slow but still 5k! Then got some very bad news causing lots of stress still ongoing and the last month my running has been terrible, stopped completely for 2 weeks. Back out there now but I am struggling to run for more than 5 mins at time. I feel so tense l can't seem to get a rhythm going and soon as it hurts l stop whereas l used to push through. I even tried going back to week 4 on the app but struggling - l get annoyed with myself.

Any advice how to stay with it. I know running would be so good for me with all stress right now



10 Replies

Has your weather broken yet? Even the most seasoned runner is struggling in this heat. Keep going, I am sure things will change. Stress takes its toll on many parts of our body and you need to treat yourself with lots of TLC. My advice would to just keep going out and do whatever you can, something is better than nothing, if it is a bad run just say to yourself I tried that’s all I had to do and I did that and be proud.


Hi there. Really sorry to hear you’re having a stressful time. Try to take the pressure off yourself. How about running for five minutes and walking for one? Then psychologically you know you’re going to get a break - you might find you don’t need it when you get there. Have you tried a running app like Rock My Run - it has music collections with specific BPM - find the one that’s comfortable for you - maybe about 145-150 and see if that helps? Given what you’re going through try not to pile more stress on yourself - you’re doing really well to get out at all so be nice to yourself and just do what you can.


Ever tried yoga? I find it helps my mind to switch off and concentrate on my breathing. Also a great stretch after a run and on in between days. Even 10mins a day might help. You’re doing well- big hug x


Hi, I had a similar funk post graduating, although not as heavy as yours I think, and found reducing my time and expectations helped enormously. Like puff said, run 5 walk 1, maybe after a few days repeat that twice and so on. Build slowly and be kind. I changed my route and I stopped listening to music. I think changing the routines that reminded me of running 30+ minutes helped. It took a few weeks but I’m back on it, if it’s any consolation. Sorry to hear you’ve had a tough time, I hope you see a clearer time ahead.


Running is a great stress reliver. Instead of viewing running as another chore to add to your already stressful life, try to see it as an opportunity to get some free time away from all life demands and just allow yourself the freedom to run.

Mindset is your issue, not fitness. It takes a good 10 minutes or so for your body to catch up when you start running. When you start to run you have an oxygen deficit and your heart rate and breathing increase to get oxygenated blood pumping around your body. After about 10 minutes or so you heart rate and breathing settle back into a steady rhythm and you start to relax into the run. If it feels hard at 5mins stick with it. You've got this!


Hey Tia, sorry to hear about your recent stress and the challenges of running. I myself woke up this morning wondering whether you’re supposed to be raring to run as you get up bouncing and getting your kit on (answers on a postcard), because I’m not there yet if you are. I still have to push myself a bit and remember the great after run feeling to motivate me. So with high tensions and stress, I think it takes even more motivation. I don’t want to be accused of advertising as it’s not the intention, but I find the Headspace runs in the Nike+ App perfect for getting the most out of running when you’re feeling below par! There’s also some really fun and funny guided runs if you feel you’re up to having a laugh instead. Sometimes I just know when that’s not going to work for me today.

Running does free the mind with an opportunity to just let go for a tiny fraction of a day! I hope you do find just enough mojo to give it a go! Sometimes that’s all it takes! Big hugs!! ❤️

in reply to Fabulous450

No, at least thats not how it works for me either. I always focus on how good I will feel if I make myself run, and how bad I will feel if I don't.

in reply to Whatsapp

Wise words!


Wow some terrific advice, ALL of which l am going to at a time. Hadn't heard of the Headspace thing, not BPM run, previously just run to my favorite tunes.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.



*nor the BPM ... typo !

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