Not going to do that again!: Good evening peeps... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Not going to do that again!

Good evening peeps. Would welcome your thoughts and sorry for the length of the post!

I am still regularly doing a few consolidation 30-40 minutes runs each week post graduation, but have not really got any positive plans what to do next.

The gym where I go to boot camps every week (that and static cycling classes is all they do - it’s not like a normal “gym”) has started a ‘running club’ session. The description sounded good, mentioned training, intervals, which I’ve not tried yet, and fartlek, so I signed up and went along last night.

Now I am used to being the oldest in the boot amp class and the slowest and weakest (usually, unless there’s somebody new and overweight), but last night was dreadful!

There were 15 or so of them, and I was at least twice their age if not three times, and we started off with a gentle jog, he said, which was not so far, but up and over a motorway footbridge. It was not long before I was well behind the rest and when I made it to the other side he had just about finished his explanation and they started off running up the country lane. I stayed well at the back throughout, which didn’t in itself particularly bother me, but it did mean I missed all the rest stops because as soon as I caught up they set off again. I think they were doing intervals but I never really caught up in time to find out.

There was another young lady who seemed to be struggling too, and I did try to encourage her (“don’t let him beat you! Don’t let me beat you I’m at least twice your age”), but I was still way behind her usually and she ended up mostly walking until I was threatening to overtake her

I will not be going again, because I felt unable to go for my usual Tuesday morning run after that, and my knee hurts so I’ve probably done myself some damage

My concerns on which I would welcome comments are

The description of the class never indicated to me the level it was aimed at. Is that usual? Should I just expect that any sort of”running club” is way beyond me at the moment?

The other young lady has possibly been put off running for life and I bet she was sore this morning

My failure to keep pace with the others did not allow me recovery time, but I appreciate it cannot all be geared to the slowest possible runner. How best can that be resolved?

I will respond to the gym manager as he is quite approachable, but I do want to get a feel for whether I was expecting too much?

So any comments please?



9 Replies

Useless instructor. I've made a living as a ski instructor for the last 25 years or so, and if I behaved like that I'd have been fired. The person who needs the rest stop the most is the slowest in the group. The leader should not have moved on until you'd had an adequate break.

If I were you I wouldn’t go again either. You deserve better.


Thanks Mike - glad it wasn’t just me being over sensitive!


Definitely seems like a very poorly run group! Everyone should have had the same access to hearing the instructions, and resting up. The fact they don't seem to have even checked if you and the other slower runner is ok is totally inexcusable!


That sounds horrendous! I’m sure the instructor should have made the front of the group loop back to you to encourage you and you definitely should have had adequate rest stops yourself. I would definitely stick to running your own way and not with that group.


Sounds like a poor show indeed! The trainer clearly wasn't bothered about newbies and should have talked to you beforehand to explain how the group works and they definitely should have waited for you how rude! I joined a boot camp style group near to me. I had a telephone consultation first and we discussed my injury and what my aims were. Every class they ask about injuries and then go through the exercises first to see which ones I will be OK to do and which ones I should adapt or change. They always tell us not to compete with each other or try and keep up with others that we should work to our own pace.


I am impressed you didn't just give up. I too am always the oldest and slowest in any group I exercise with (I'm nearly 65) and when I started running four months ago it was with a huge amount of trepidation - however they always made sure there was someone at the back motivating me if I was lagging badly and also they made a big deal all the time to everyone - this is not about who is the fastest it is just about keeping going. I hold on to those words everyday I run. I am never going to be Mo Farrah but hey at least I am not a couch potato and I do agree with the other people that have responded and have criticised the organisation of this group. What I would like to tell someone out there - it takes a huge amount of bravado/courage to join a group when you feel you might not be among the best and you need help and encouragement to return. Without that you fail and so does the group leader in my opinion. Hope your knee soon recovers and you start out again..................


Yes thanks Bert - I went out again this morning, and managed 4k (slowly, at my own pace.....!)

I am definitely going to give the trainer some feedback, now I have seen how everyone here thinks.


What an idiot... he should be nowhere near coaching.

Have you tried your actual local running club? They usually have beginners evenings and coaching sessions. One near me even has C25K sessions, so they really do cover all levels.


I do have a (much younger) friend who runs a lot and she has told me the local running club does do newbies sessions, so I may go along there instead to have a look see. She too was horrified to hear last night what I had been through!

Thanks for your response - I am really feeling much better about it now - seeing all the support from the forum!


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