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Couch to 5K
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Motivation evaporated

It was getting harder and harder to run. Cold weather, lack of motivation, lack of the elevated feeling after a run, increasingly difficult to run longer distances...

On Saturday after a disastrous 5km run (which included many stops and stretches), I decided to stop for a while (two weeks) and try to get my mojo back.

I'm not sure how to get back the motivation and joy of running. Do I start slowly again and build my way up? Do I run shorter distances? Do I try on the treadmill (I've always been outside but the cold air is brutal).

I realise that my diet may have something to do with my difficulties. I got back on a keto diet after the Christmas holidays and my body may still be adjusting.

But I feel that it's not just a physical barrier - it's a mental barrier too.

When I look at my stats, I'm really proud of myself (400+km since Feb 2018, 100+ runs, etc.) but it's not enough to get me back out there.

Any suggestions, please?

12 Replies

Have you read the guide to post C25K running?

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...…….what-next it is full of tips.

Mix up your running and forget about stats.

Run for fun.


Thank you, Iannoda. I have read the guideline several times (and maybe it's time for another read).

The stats actually keep me going but perhaps it's time to leave those and to just run. I just can't seem to get out and do it.


Just a bad run. Next time could be different.

Take a break for as long as you feel is right and when you lace up your trainers for the first one back, do so with no demands or expectations. Get out there and run for the joy of running. If thats 2km then so be it. If it turns out to be more than 5km even better. Either way it doesn't matter.But remember bad runs happen.


It's been several bad runs - the kind where you just ask yourself why you're doing this. When not even the after-run feeling makes up for the trauma of the run.

But I went out yesterday and am resting today and hoping to get out there again soon. Have a good weekend!


Once a year I like to take a whole month off of running to recharge. I'm not saying you should take this long but do allow yourself a break if you need it.


Have you been doing some varied runs? I love going longer and indeed shorter. When I’m busy and can only find 20 minutes I love a warmup and a little 10 minute run which doesn’t get near to being difficult, and I feel great getting back to life’s challenges. Once I’m back at 5k after injury I will love getting back into a long run when I have a free afternoon/evening. The variation really helps me stay motivated.

The temperatures here are ok, but the wind makes it feel a lot colder and it can be difficult to want to go out and feel that chill. I’m thinking that I won’t be running as many times once the snow comes, and am considering the treadmill option if the weather becomes too bad, probably after a week or two off.

The great thing is that you are motivated to find your motivation, and so I’m sure you will find it. Maybe a break will help you miss running and want to get back out with fresh legs.


"The great thing is that you are motivated to find your motivation". Thank you for this. I had that in my head as I did a slow 25 minute run yesterday.


Cool... well done. It’s only really lost if you don’t want to look for it!


I lost my motivation quite a bit after I graduated. I had done lots of consolidation runs but was missing that voice in my ear that was always pushing me along whilst doing the c25k.

Try the Nike Run Club app. It’s brilliant. There’s a mixture of long runs, short runs and the voice in your ear to keep you motivated. The music is lovely too. You can chose a run matched to your mood too. It’s great. Give it a go and try not to let all that hard work go to waste x


Hi Sarah,

I checked out the Nike Run Club and ran the "I don't want to run" run yesterday. 25 minutes!

I didn't come across the guided runs with music. It seems that you have to introduce your own music? (Or did I miss something?) Which do you use most often?

Today is my rest day but I'm hoping to get out there tomorrow...fingers crossed.

Thanks for your reply and motivation.


Hello again Sarah,

I wanted to thank you for the NRC recommendation. I've been using it consistently now (especially the running plans) and I find that the variety of runs really cuts the monotony. I still don't have the music figured out but I just have my own music playing. I've noticed recommended playlists for the speed runs but haven't tried those playlists because I think I have to pay.

But I've been happy with NRC so - thank you again!


Thank you so much for letting me know how you are doing with the app. It’s great isn’t it. I’m so pleased that I have given you some more tools to carry on with you running adventure. Please keep in touch x


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