Couch to 5K
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Can't run for 8 minutes.

I'm at week 5 run 2 but I'm really struggling to complete the 8 minute runs.

I've been doing this really slowly as I have early onset arthrititis in my knees so I've just moved on when I felt ready so it's took me longer than 5 weeks to get here.

I can't seem to complete 8 minutes without stopping for a small walk. I think it's in my mind but I can't seem to beat it. Should I go back to run 1 until I feel ready again. I have been suffering from shin pain and a stitch the last few times I've run as well so I'm taking a break just for a few days to see if it helps.

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Week 1? Don’t think there’s any need for that... you can run 5 minutes. I’m assuming you ran 6 or 7? When you meet the impossible work until it isn’t... so just keep going at the 8.

Are your feet landing heal first? That usually leads to more pain, try focussing on landing your foot flat. Heal first also means you are landing your foot in front of you, flat will bring that foot more under you, which is better.

Stitches. Have you eaten too much or too close to your run? 2 hours before is preferable... maybe a banana 45 minutes before. Make sure your warm up walk is truly brisk to get the heart and breathing up a little. If you get a left hand stitch, slow down and exhale hard as you land your right foot. Press on the stitch too if you need to.

Hope this helps.

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Not week 1, week 5 run 1. I run in the morning before eating, just drinking lots of water before I go out. To be honest I don't think my legs go that far in front of me lol.

I think the stitch feeling is a muscle strain as I always warm up properly and it's there as soon as I start running. Also had it on a brisk walk with hubby the other day. Not running again until Saturday so I've got 4 days to rest and hopefully get back into the right mindset.

Thanks for your advice and support. X

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Watch the pain tho Sam, okay? While some of the comments on here are well-meaning, don't ever, ever run if you're in pain. I'd get some professional advice from a sports physio if your shin pain doesn't resolve itself. Shin pain left to continue can lead to stress fractures and we don't want you badly injured.

To advise that you should just carry on and "Go for it" is bordering on the irresponsible. By W5 most of the initial niggles should have gone away.

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Was going to reply, but no need as UnfitNoMore has said it all!

Good luck! 😀😀

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As UnfitNoMore says, you should just stick to the same run but keep at it. You will get better each time you do it and eventually you'll be able to complete it. You've done great to get this far so don't feel too despondent. Go for it. 👍

As for water - maybe just a glass like 250ml before you go. Your body shouldn't really need food or water for any of this programme as it's only 30 minutes. (I assume here that you're doing C25K as soon as you get up otherwise you'll already have been eating and drinking during the day. 😜)

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Shin pain is usually caused by either over-training (especially if you're on an incline) or by over-striding.

The action you're looking for is a bit like cycling, so your leading foot comes down and back towards you and touches the ground in line with your hip. If you keep your leg straight (like you do when you're walking) that's going to put a lot of pressure your poor shins. This isn't the same as "heel striking", which is a hotly debated "issue" anyway.

But if you think it's not a running "form" issue, then take a couple of days to recover and have another go.

If it hurts when you're running - STOP running.

Hope it all sorts itself out.

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I did week 1 and 2 for over a month.. had a break.. started week 1 and 2 again.. week 3 I did over 2 weeks and can honestly say week 4 run 1 which I did 2 days ago..I virtually ran on the spot.. all for the very same reasons you are having. I think its wonderful that you did it regardless of having a little walk inbetween. That's what I'm going to do until I feel able to.. (probably take me a good 2 wks).. we're all different. Does it matter if it takes over 9 wks to run it.. or the fact you can run it.. keep going 🤗👏well done..x

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Thank you. It's good to know that not everyone is doing it in the 9 weeks. At least we are out there running and trying our best.

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👏keep going. I've been doing this since May!!.. lol week 4... at least we're fitter than then..I Couldn't run for a bus wks ago!!.. I'll wait to see your post wks from now that you did week 9🤗

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I would just repeat the run until you can do it. At your own pace and in your own time. Mental gremlins can be very powerful - have you sneaked a peek at w5r3? Is that what is subliminally daunting you? You shouldn’t run with real pain, but i’m aware that my mind sometimes tries to tell me that a niggle is pain and i have to make a conscious judgement of whether it is real or whether it is just the gremlins trying to make me give up.

Try some distraction techniques to take your mind elsewhere while your body gets on with it:-

- A gripping podcast?

- Complex mental mathematical calculations?!

- studying a spot in the landscape just beyond where your 8 mins are up?

Good luck!

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I'm still on the walk home but couldn't wait to tell someone. I've just smashed week 5 run 2. Ran for 8 minutes twice without stopping. And I'm still alive!

It was all in my head!

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Amazing, well done 👏👏👏

You've beaten the gremlins in your head 👿🔨🔨🔨 👍🤜💪🏃‍♀️

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