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Couch to 5K
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W5R3 - awful. I simply can't do it!

I knew the jump was big but I am so disappointed. So far it has been really hard but this run was impossible for me. I can't see how I will ever be able to run for more than 8 mins at a time. In fact I could even do the 8 mins tonight. I went really slow but still had to keep stopping. So disheartened. Maybe this just isn't for me and I'll have to settle with just doing week 4 repeatedly. I'm so upset. I do seriously admire anyone who was able to do it though.

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Don’t give up! Even if you have to repeat week 5 again you CAN do it! No one is watching to see how many tries you have. I had to repeat all week 6 last week cos I was knackered and I managed to run for 25 minutes at the end of it!

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You got out there, you tried it, well done. So you met impossible... time to work and it will no longer be so. This run has added to your fitness and strength. We are all born to run, we are also conditioned not to, so all you gotta do is keep trying. You’ve done 4 weeks and two runs of a tough programme... you did 8 minute intervals, no way you could have done that on day one... all you have to do is keep building that fitness run by run until you beat that 20 minutes, and then you’ll really now that you can do this.

Rest well and come back relaxed and tell yourself that you can do it.

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I've just done w5r2 and I'm already thinking this. It's a massive jump! Surely there should be a run that's like 10 mins run, walk, 10 mins run before you go straight up to 20? Even that would be a big jump!

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You’re running 8, brisk walk keeping the heartrate up 5, then running 8... 21 minutes of cardio. The 20 minute run is, well, 20 minutes. There’s no big jump if you keep the run speed low and have been keeping the walks brisk. As far as your heart is concerned W5r2 is harder than the next. The only way it’s a jump is it’s double digits and it doesn’t start with a 1... numbers are concepts made in our minds, only our minds see the next run as harder, is a huge mental challenge. You can do it.

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I'm not sure my lungs would agree with you! But we'll see...

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You can do it, and it will be easier if you trust the plan and believe in yourself... the feeling at the end of the run, I wish I could bottle it and let you have some, it’s amazing... you’ll have to come get it though.

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You can do it and you will in your own time. Don’t give up! Impossible just means try again.

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Don't give up 'FinnamTap', we all have bad days, you are almost halfway, have a few days rest, perhaps, two or three instead of the normal 1-day rest, then try again slowly with week 5, perhaps run 2 before attempting run 3. I am sure that when you started C25K it wasn't just to get to week 5 and give up. Unless you have a serious injury, stop running, but you seem to be tired, not really a reason for giving up, keep going, we here on C25K call that type of tiredness 'gremlins' the gremlins telling your body to give up, but you must tell them that "no way am I giving up" as they say in that program Mastermind "I have begun, I will finish" so good luck and "keep on running".

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Don’t be so down on yourself FinhamTap, think how far you’ve come since week 1! You had a bad run today, and 20mins straight is a big jump up. It’s mostly mental, so if you’ve got some negative thoughts (gremlins), you need to blow those away, think about all the hard work you’ve put in keeping yourself moving forward even when it was hard and give it another go! Keep it slow.

If you’re really feeling disheartened and think a win might help, maybe go back to R2, but no need to back up to week 4, that’s in the rearview mirror!

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You had a crap run. And, yes, it's disappointing but it happens to us all. Lots of people repeat runs so do whatever you need to do to cheer yourself up and then dust yourself down and have another go!

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Don't be discouraged. Week 5 has almost the same amount of running as week 4: the challenge this week is not about running more, but about walking less. You've successfully reduced the number of walking breaks from three, to two, to one. And the step from one to zero came a little too early for your brain (though probably not for your body.) Why? Who knows? As has been said everybody has a bad run now and again.

It sounds to me like you need a rest. You can do this but you maybe need two or three days off first. You'll be surprised at the difference that makes. Meanwhile calm down, think clearly and realise that the step is not from 8 to 20 but from one break to none in what was already a 20 minute workout - and less than a week ago, remember, you needed three breaks. It's really important to think that through because if you THINK you can't do it, you won't do it. Give yourself credit for what you've achieved already and don't beat yourself up over a couple of difficult runs. But give your brain and body alike two or three days rest before you go again, and you'll see a big difference I reckon.

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Try this - do it as SLOWLY as humanly possible WITHOUT breaking into a "walking step"

It's fun - but not as easy as people think :)

You will learn a lot about how you're body moves when you are running, will learn that running slowly is a harder thing to guage than speeding up...and I bet you will be rather surprised as to how "not slow" you're time will actually be for the distance covered.

Give it a go - this technique has helped a lot of us find our pace and measure our stamina...but remember, go as SLOW as you can possibly run :)

Let us know how you get on, but having got this far I have zero doubt you have thirty minutes in you just waiting to be honest and achieved in your own time, at your own pace :)

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I managed to run today slower than a 4 year old who didn’t want to be there could walk... it was a revelation to me and great fun.

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It sure breaks the "normal" routine and is great fun when you just do it for fun :)

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First of all, well done! You ran for 8 minutes! It is better than sitting on the couch and doing nothing. Do you remember how hard it was during week 1? Would you think that only 4 weeks later you can run for 8 minutes?!

You CAN do it! Don't give up! Sometimes we just have a bad day, and it happens to all of us. Just have a rest day, or if your legs are the problem then even 2 days, and then just try again. Additionally, repeating week 5 once or twice is not so bad ;) You will increase your stamina and endurance. Go out there and do your best! You will run 20 minutes, believe in it! Play your favourite songs, especially in the hard time, when toxic 5 / toxic 10 is hitting, i.e. the time in the beginning of every longer run when your body is switching from resting mode to the continuous work. You can try doing 3 minutes jog as a warm up before you will start your 20 minutes. I believe in you!

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Actually FinhamTap, IgaT has a good point there. Did you know most people find the first ten minutes the hardest, and that there are well understood physiological reasons for that? If you haven't run for more than ten minutes at a stretch, I dare say you may expect that if the first ten are hard the next ten will be harder. It turns out that's not the case. If you can get to 12 minutes you'll probably make it to 20.

Even now, a few months after graduation, I still think in units of 12 minutes. I don't let myself stop in the first 12 because I know that's always going to be a bit hard. But I have a deal with myself that if I'm struggling at the 24 minute mark I can stop. But only two or three times has that been the case. Usually I'm feeling better by then and I can continue to 5k or whatever it is I've set out to do. So getting past that psychological barrier at 10 minutes is huge. Once you get past that you'll be confident of getting to the end of the programme and indeed of continuing to improve after that.

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You can do it!!!

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Well done for getting this far in the programme. You have demonstrated now on 14 runs that you can do this, so why let one experience count for more than all your successes?

Take the setback as a learning opportunity. What could you have done better in the two days since your last run? Did you eat well? Drink plenty of water? Rest well? etc. If there are things you can improve to better prepare for your second attempt then make those changes, then when you go out, take it slow and steady. A little self-talk helps – along the lines of 'come on legs, we can do this' or 'I'm feeling fitter and stronger every day and I can keep going and do this'. Good luck and keep going!

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