When does it become fun ?: Finished W8R3 today... - Couch to 5K

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When does it become fun ?

dmb0058 profile image

Finished W8R3 today, but every run is a hard slog around the park until its over, no problems running out of breath, a bit hot especially today but my legs just feel tired and heavy, like they're dragging me around for half an hour.

I'm very surprised to have made it this far (8 weeks ago the prospect of running for a whole two minutes seemed incredible ha ha !!), but every run is as much fun as banging my head against a wall, and as much of a relief when it's finished. I'm determined to finish the next three just to have done it but I'm not sure I'll continue after that.

Does running ever actually become enjoyable ?

27 Replies
mrrun profile image

No, it doesn’t unless you decide that’s your idea of fun. I’ve had some bad runs and many great and relaxing ones, many factors determined the outcome and the main one has been the willingness to go out there and run, rain or shine, holiday or not, home and abroad. And the affinity for long (er) distance running. Your call.

dmb0058 profile image
dmb0058Graduate in reply to mrrun

Ha ha ! Yes, that's true, makes sense. I'll see how it goes ... though while the "shine" bit has been good, the "rain" bit might be the deciding factor :)

icklegui profile image

Well, I am just not sure *everyone* finds it enjoyable. I am also sure that that can change over time (I've gone through phases with swimming).

If you're asking now though, before even finishing C25K, it might be a bit soon to know that you don't like it. Most people here seem to get some degree of enjoyment - at least more than you are getting - but there are a few who only seem to find that enjoyment a while after, perhaps when they've worked out something else to make it enjoyable like new routes, races, running with people, running listening to podcasts or audiobooks ...something different. It sounds like you only run round the same place every time? Do you have anywhere else you can go? I think it'd be a chore if I only went round the same place every time.

Good luck, it's not a given that it gets enjoyable for everyone, but give it more of a chance than the 8 weeks is my suggestion :). Oh - and actually, massive kudos for getting this far when not enjoying it, that's grit!

dmb0058 profile image
dmb0058Graduate in reply to icklegui

Yes, maybe somewhere different might help - though the advantage of having done the same place a few times is now I know it's only seven laps and it's all over, which is a good motivator for me :) I've also found that listening to streamed radio helps me forget about the running and makes the time go by faster, so that's useful too.

AlMorr profile image
AlMorrGraduate in reply to dmb0058

When you are running exactly the same route and ⌚ timeing it as well, you get to the same part of it a bit sooner as time goes on. I got to a certain car park on my regular route in 15 minutes when I began the longer runs, after I graduated I got to that same car park in13 minutes.

AnnieW55 profile image
AnnieW55 in reply to dmb0058

If at all possible I’d definitely look at other routes and take on the advice from icklegui. For me personally 7 laps of anywhere would make me think twice about the programme (but then I don’t like laps and don’t do them). A change of route might bring a change of mind set. Well done on getting this far. It’s also true that the fitter you get, the more you push, the harder it gets - I know you say breathing isn’t a problem but try reining back your pace a bit?

If it’s not all a mental thing but physical too - what’s your hydration like? Pee should be light coloured all the time. If your body is not well hydrated it cannot perform properly and can lead to heavy legs. Try the search box or FAQ’s for the subject. I know there have been explanatory posts on the subject.

And, in the end, if this is not for you, you have tried and will hopefully stay active in some other way.

sHAYM4N profile image
sHAYM4NGraduate in reply to AnnieW55

Defo agree with this and was talking about it with my gf the other day. Suppose everyone is different. I like a circuit that leads back home but a single circuit without laps. Knowing where I am on the route (rather than laps) really helps to motivate me rather than I went around in a loop 7 times.

icklegui profile image
ickleguiGraduate in reply to dmb0058

"Seven laps and it's all over"- you really are waiting for each run to end! Honestly it is disciplined of you to keep going with such lack of joy, so I commend you.

You have also identified that the distraction of radio helps forget the time (ahem, maybe a new interesting route would too! 😉) so i am wondering if when you finish C25K and you are free to run shorter and *gradually* longer runs as you feel like, rather than a rigid timetable, might you like it more?

Keep going for week 9 at least!

dmb0058 profile image
dmb0058Graduate in reply to icklegui

W9R1 done this morning, and it was fine ... nice sunny morning, good music on the radio, and I do think that running earlier when I'm more energetic feels much better. Maybe it's just building up stamina, I'm sure I'll enjoy it more when it doesn't feel like hard work :D

Faith94 profile image
Faith94 in reply to dmb0058

I’m definitely enjoying it more now - 2 weeks post C25k. I was opposite to you and had problems with my breathing but not my legs. Now my breathing has slowed down and I’m trying different routes, I look forward to it. I think it depends on your starting levels. I was doing strength training but no cardio, so it figures that I’d find the breathing more difficult. Preserve and I hope it starts to become more enjoyable for you 🙂

Bazza1234 profile image

C25K is a double edged sword - on the one hand it is very satisfying for most as they slowly progress through the weekly tasks. But, on the other hand, running IS hard and we quite often just want to "get it done and over"!! How do we do that?? By running faster and hence making it even harder. :)

Flyingred profile image

I'd say it's a balance of pain and pleasure. I enjoyed the sense of achievement from completing each of the runs in C25K. But I also had the achy muscles to show for it, which I didn't mind. Because it was evidence that I was pushing my capability. Seeing my weight drop on the bathroom scales and my waist shrinking was the biggest prize though.

I kept going after graduation and took a few weeks to get used to not following the coaching. Then I decided to start Bridge to 10K. And I'm enjoying ticking off the progress again. So for me, having a challenge to work towards appears to be important. Stick at it and enjoy the health benefits.

dmb0058 profile image
dmb0058Graduate in reply to Flyingred

Yeah, I hope I'll drop a few pounds, thinking it about it, it's almost certainly a power-to-weight ratio thing ha ha !!

Strangely I haven't lost any weight at all, even though I haven't missed a run in the last eight weeks. I'm always +/- 0.5kg of where I started. I do plod around, average is around 12km/hr according to the app on my phone so I'm not really running, but my pace works for me.

Though it reminds me of a few years ago when I was about 25kg overweight and started walking to/from work to lose a bit. Nothing happened for about 3 months, and then suddenly I lost around 1kg every week or two until after about a year I was close enough to where I should have been. Since then I've done less and put on a bit of weight but maybe my metabolism just takes time to get its **** in gear :)

Flyingred profile image
FlyingredGraduate in reply to dmb0058

Yes, it took me about 7 or 8 weeks to lose weight. But before that, there were some changes – I had comments that my face looked thinner and I lost some fat from my chest and waist (well probably all over but that was where it was noticeable). My leg muscles increased in diameter a tad too, which meant my skinny holiday chinos didn't fit any more. Just have faith in your exercise programme and stick with it!

Hi dmb0058, the most enjoyable part of running for me is when l finish my run lol. Your not alone!!

Oh dear, I’m on week one, so can’t help there! The programme looks like it keeps pushing you so you are always developing, but I guess that always makes it feel challenging too. Maybe try thinking about how far you have come? (Figuratively as well as literally!). I bet if you did a week one run now you would be amazed at how much easier it is now compared to when you started the programme.

I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying it per se but I enjoy the feeling I get afterwards! I’ve just started listening to an audiobook rather than music and I find it makes the runs go a lot quicker 👍🎧

Almost 6 months in and not enjoying it! Lol. I do however love feeling fitter and being thinner so a love hate thing 😁😂🤣

IannodaTruffe profile image

Your masochistic streak may develop in time.

Running is hard physical work and let's face it, not everybody enjoys that.

We are all different, but I can't understand people who enjoy running laps. No other pastime has delivered life affirming experiences on such a regular basis as running in beautiful environments has given me over the past five years.........so I get vast, grin inducing satisfaction and joy from running, at irregular moments........at other times it is a hard slog.

This was my favourite run of last year and exemplifies why I run healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Try slowing down and looking at your environment.

ItstheMarchHare profile image
ItstheMarchHareGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Wow, that looks amazing! I run in the local park, and I like to look at the trees, dogs, etc as I run. Makes me feel better about running so slowly!

That looks heavenly! I keep thinking about driving further afield to run somewhere more scenic 🙂

Kallyfudge profile image

You say you are doing 12kph, that's v fast for a beginner, I would try slowing down and experience what you are doing while you are running. Even the most experienced runners only run hard 20% of the time and at this stage you will get 99% of the benefits with 60% the effort.

Biggest advice might be to sign up for a 5k race and see how fast you can go, get a training plan, alter your route and run in nice places. Running is like walking you wouldn't always walk round a park 7 times, you would walk somewhere nice.

Also realise what you are doing, you have gone from running for 1 minute to 30 minutes. That was enough for me to get hooked. I really got totally addicted on one of my first easy runs when I started a HM training plan.

dmb0058 profile image
dmb0058Graduate in reply to Kallyfudge

I was a bit suspicious of the speed my phone reported, so I timed myself today on W9R1, measured the distance on Google Maps and calculated my speed manually. The phone reported 11.5kph but I calculated 8.4kph so that might explain why it doesn't feel that fast, I think I'm really slow TBH :D I might give it a few more weeks and see how it goes, then if it's getting easier there are a few park runs around, might take the leap :)

Kallyfudge profile image
KallyfudgeGraduate in reply to dmb0058

Honestly don't worry about speed! Your GPS is probably OK, but slow down if you are feeling rubbish. It is a lot like walking, if you were walking so fast up a hill that you felt like it was torture you would slow down without thinking. But all runners get caught up in the speed aspect and think initially it is wrong to slow down. Main aim is to enjoy running, especially at this stage. Once you are hooked, and you will be, then work on speed.

Bazza1234 profile image

Another thought ---- C25K is all about getting us to run continuously for 30 minutes. I first completed C25k almost 5 years ago and have gone on to run 10K continuously many times - but have never attempted to run continuously for longer than that although I have completed a number of half marathons using run/walk technique. After all this time and several thousand klms spent on the road, I have decided that I REALLY don't like running continuously and much prefer to run/walk. So that is what I do now. It is especially enjoyable for me if the run is in a scenic place and I do not put any time/pace on myself to complete the run. Of course, this has it's downsides - one of which is that where I live NOBODY run/walks. I have come to enjoy the running community - via parkrun and also local amateur events and larger local/International events -- and hence run/walk becomes a bit "lonely" for me. It's complicated but Nobody said that life was meant to be simple!! :)

dmb0058 profile image

Well just finished W9R3, still waiting for the fun to kick in but it does get easier 🤣 The "seven laps around the park with the radio" works for me - I'm learning a foreign language so listening makes me concentrate harder than usual and I guess makes me focus less on the running. Legs don't feel like lead any more, and when I started I had trouble believing I could ever run one full side of the park (quarter of a lap) so definite progress. Let's see what happens next 🤣

dmb0058 profile image

Kept up the 5min/30min/5min plan three times a week since graduating three weeks ago and I've now stretched it out a little bit to 5 mins walk/5 km run/5 mins walk. Yesterday was good, did the 5km in 35 mins at a nice comfortable pace so I'm going to stick to this for a bit and see how it goes :) Happy to report that it gets more fun when it gets less hard ha ha :)

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