Love/Hate Running: I'm having a bit of a love... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Love/Hate Running


I'm having a bit of a love/hate relationship with running.

I don't like struggling with anything which means I can be a perfectionist, I've never been a person that enjoys physical exertion of any kind. I'm naturally inclined to be lazy. That's my default "happy" setting. Therefore in my mind, I've always associated physical effort with feeling the opposite of "happy", my negative bias was set.

That's something I'm learning to unlearn now since I started this journey.

I'm learning that I like achieving goals and I like getting better at things even more.

I like the feeling I get when I've finished a run, knowing that I endured a constant battle with my mind especially when I'm not in the mood for it, telling me to stop, telling me I'm having a panic attack and just walk the rest, my calves ache, I can stop if I want, do it tomorrow, do it another time, catch up next week, fob it off. I'm good at that. Justifying all of the reasons that I should take the easy way out and face the difficulties another day.

I'm learning that if you push yourself when you don't think you can anymore, it becomes easier. Halfway through my run my calves don't ache anymore. And it'll be like that again, but maybe less than halfway through my run next time.

6 weeks ago I struggled to run for 60 seconds straight. Infact when I did my 90 second run some of you read about how I had a panic attack because I thought it was too much. Week three was hell. Week 5 was both terrifying and triumphant.

Today I'm running for 25 minutes straight with a sprint for 60 seconds at the end.

Don't ask me how I'm doing sprints after 24 minutes of running, because I don't know how. I had a stitch today and told myself I will slow down for the last 60 seconds but for some reason when I heard Jo say the word "sprint" my legs took off and it was over before I knew it.

This is so much more than getting out there and getting fit. This is a psychological challenge. I'm training my brain to think better, to think positive. Some of the time whilst I'm running, especially if I'm tired and my legs don't want to anymore, I don't "like" the physical act of running but I do really like being ABLE to run. The moments where I lose myself in the music and just absorb my surroundings are getting longer and more enjoyable. That wouldn't be happening if I wasn't able to run.

I think I love this.

18 Replies

Nice running... you’re right that much of this is psychological, and if we didn’t default to lazy many of us wouldn’t be here and this plan wouldn’t be needed, we’d have been running since we could walk and rest days wouldn’t be needed, so by definition you’re not alone. Your awareness of all of this is prefect and you’re changing so much about yourself, including that default more (maybe slowly but surely) and the willingness to go into it.

I have had a couple of deliberate couch days since graduation and they’re fun, but I don’t think I’d like to do two back to back, which is strange after years of them being the default day.

Enjoy sprint finishing week 7!


I identify with much of what you’ve written with regard to both the mental side of things.I have never enjoyed the physical feelings of running or exerting myself too much. Some people I know love that lung splitting sensation after exercise, because they know their body and how much it can take😕Personally I have never understood it and it has always scared me. I used to have panic attacks and worry about having a heart attack and exercise can remind me of those feelings of being out of control.😟 I think a lot of the obstacles have been in my head which have stopped me.

This is why C25K has been a revelation for me 🙂 as I like the fact that it feels safe even though I do have to make myself push through certain physical and mental barriers to do it. 💪

Really well done on your progress and battling through. I’m sure you’re learning a lot about yourself that will benefit you loads! 👏🏻


A good read, sums it up quite nicely :)


Oh yes, running trains both your body and your mind to get fitter, and that makes it truly magical. 😁

Great post, great journey! I feel very much like that, and it keeps becoming more love but with enough hate to be challenging and fun!! 🥴😃


I love your post.


Pretty much explains how I feel about running too! Well written x


Loved your post too. For me it sums up all those mixed feelings including the final (and most satisfying) one when you think about what you have done at the end of the run.


You have just summed up how life changing this running can be, both mentally and physically.

Go BirdyRose!!


Hi BirdyRose, I'm with all he other replies, a great post. I had convinced myself for years that I simply couldn't run, I could walk for miles but I've had a few false starts at jogging where I didn't seem to be able to get past 1 minute I simply gave up. After being made redundant last year (still job searching, anyone got a vacancy??!) I decided to have a go at C5K and will be doing w9r3 this Friday. Like you, I don't really like running - although to be fair I don't run, its a slow jog - but I like the fact that I've discovered I am able to do it. Not sure what will happen after Friday's run though, I'm clearly not motivated enough just to do it, I'll have to find another programme to follow. Well done to you for your achievement so far.

in reply to Zags

There is a 10k app you can download. My partner is on it now it carries on from week 9. He did week 9 a few more times before moving up to the 10k app and he is really enjoying it. If you're anything like us, you'll want to keep hitting milestones or sensing achievements. Have you thought about joining some Park runs or group runs too?

PS. My run is only slightly faster than my walk, it's much harder than walking though 😂

Brilliant post. If you’d told me when I started C25k less than 18 months ago that I’d be running half marathon distance for fun I’d have laughed at you. But I can, and I do, and it’s probably 50% for the headspace it gives me, once I’m into that running rhythm.

I’m incredibly jealous if that’s your regular running environment by the way!

Hey we run in all sorts of places as we're often on the road. I have to say I prefer being by the beach over suburban areas any day 😂


Sounds about right to me. I'm not enjoying the actual process, just relishing the achievement. At the moment, getting up early on a Saturday and going down to do a Parkrun is a major victory for this old lazybones. But that was what I wanted out of C25K.

Find a goal in this that motivates you - not just the running itself. I now find I have more time on a Saturday cos my day gets moving earlier.

Oh - and run slower!

in reply to Oldjigger

I run as slow as I can 😂

in reply to BirdyRose

It was that mention of sprinting that raised a doubt! 😊

Great post Birdy! Right with you - what a journey, huh? I knew it would be a physical challenge, but didn’t realise how it tests you psychologically. Humbling and life enhancing 🙂


Wow. What a fabulous and positive post, that I'm sure lots of us can identify with. Compulsory reading for every newcomer to C25K :D

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