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Couch to 5K
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About to give up, help!

Hi all. I'm a very overweight first time runner who started at the gym last September and doing this plan in December I think. All was going well, I quickly progressed to W5R3, the 20 minute run almost killed me but I felt incredible. On W6R3 I struggled, stopped during a run for my first time, walked, cried, basically failed. I then pulled a muscle or something, top of my glutes, running was really hard, I still managed the gym. I tried to rest but didn't want to slip back. I restarted at W5R3, all good, then W6R1 & 2, ok, but have just completely failed at R3, (25 min) ! I was feeling really up for it, have had 3 days rest due to work as normal (I do gym, run, gym, run each week), my normal canalside, spongy, quiet run, got to about 11 minutes and couldn't go on. It wasn't my breathing, nor heavy legs, nor my heart, maybe a combination of all 3? I tried to restart twice but didn't get far, on the long walk back I've just beaten myself up mentally, told myself I'm just not meant to run I'm too big, old etc - I'm 50, have lost over 2 stone but am still 16 stone (though pretty solid) and have a recently diagnosed underactive thyroid that is restricting my weight loss. I also have anxiety and depression but live for my exercise, I feel amazing after a gym session or a GOOD run! I'm also logging my food etc currently, eating pretty clean, watching calories.

So my question is - can EVERYBODY run for more than 20 minutes? Regardless of their size/fitness level? Can I do it? I've entered Race for life but its looking impossible :-(

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Aww really sorry to hear that. Don’t give up the benefits to your health & well being are so great. Try take a step back and go back to a week where you were comfortable and successful. Once you get your confidence back then you can push on a little. Good luck... don’t give up.

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Hi fat but fit

I am too 6 stone overweight and 60 soon.

I honestly thought that I would never be able to do it, but I just took it very slow and managed.

I went back to week 5 once to build my confidence and stamina.

I now run three times a week, I still find it very hard but feel a sense of achievement.

If I can do it, I am sure you will be able to too. Keep us informed and good luck

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I believe that everybody who can walk for thirty minutes can run for thirty minutes.

Any runner can make it easier for themselves simply by slowing down. Many people can walk faster than they jog, which is fine.

Have you read the guide to the plan? healthunlocked.com/couchto5... it is full of tips including a link to the mental approach to C25K.

It is impossible to fail this plan unless you give up and head permanently back to the sofa.

You can do this.

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Remember the only failed run is the one you never started. Keep trying you'll get there so what if it takes more than 9 weeks.

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I think sometimes on this journey we tend to be too hard on ourselves - 20 mins running is something I never thought I would do. I found the first week absolutely awful and it was a real shock to the system how unfit I actually was. I believe you can do it, you are doing it already! I went for a run on Wednesday and it was absolutely awful and for the first time I stopped and walked when I should have been running - went last night, same route, and it was good. Just chalk it off, be chuffed at what you have achieved so far and go again when you’ve rested.

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We all have runs like this. For me, I struggle with pace. If it's a new route, I'm off at the start like a greyhound out of a trap. It's only when Strava starts talking to me do I moderate my pace. Yesterday, I managed to take 90 seconds per kilometre off my first kilometre! And yes, on this run, I had a few walk breaks. (Admittedly one was because I ran out of pavement and had to cross a busy road, but hey) just keep plugging away at it and ignore the negative thoughts that tell you you can't do it. You can, but only if you decide to.

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Hi, I was in a similar situation 7 months ago when I tried in August and had to stop due to persistent leg cramps due to weight. I found that losing a bit of weight hugely helped when I resumed in January and I'm nearly finished at week 8. Also I was able to strengthen my legs with simple squats done daily for a few minutes and swimming twice a week with short fins. The fins really helped. So my advice is to get stronger and never give up. If I can do it you can.

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Aww, wow, thanks everyone for your support and some useful tips. I will definitely try again on Monday, even if I only manage 20 minutes and not beat myself up. If for some reason I can't manage that maybe I'll repeat an earlier week that I was good at, as suggested by littlemac24.

I really want to succeed, not to enter races but to just step out my front door and RUN. I joke that my trainers are my antidepressants, I feel incredible when I get a sweat on.

Thank you all again so much x

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Hi first of all well done! Your reaching out before stopping.

Last year I was were your at, I got a treadmill and resented it.

I made a decision to do the Cambridge Diet.

Started this year with c25k. It was hard but addictive.

Stretching is the key for me and pilaties spiki balls when used brake down the facia that causes pain.

Warm baths with Epsom salts and massage to muscles, all help to promote blood flow .

Be kind to your self, good luck.

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I agree with what a lot of people post here: there is no such thing as a ‘bad run’. I remember a couple of weeks ago I was all geared up for W9Run1, sun shining for a change and feeling great. I managed 6 minutes and had to stop. My head just wasn’t in it, I suppose. When I got home though, instead of sitting on the NaughtyStep, I remembered what folk were always posting here, that no run is a failed run. No ‘F’ words here, they wrote. Next day I did a different route, took it steady and cracked it easily. No idea why! So just keep at it, and the best of luck to you! 😊

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First off - you are doing it. Nine weeks may take a little longer but so what? Repeat a week and run you were comfortable, then repeat again and again each time running a little faster. You know you can do that week and repeating it will prove it. Even if you repeat three times (whilst increasing speed) as you progress to the new week, return to the speed of the original week of the week you were comfortable. Then keep going at that speed. If it’s hard still, repeat the run and increase the time you can run by 30seconds. You’ll get there - how long it takes is the journey. Make yours enjoyable and be kind to yourself and circumstances. Then when you’ve done the whole programme (however long) you won’t be thinking ‘oh but...’ you’ll be thinking I did it. Once done you can refine and improve speed etc., it took me 11 weeks to complete the 9 week programme. I repeated the first two weeks. I repeated to deliberately force my mind to switch gears from ‘a competition’ to ‘a lifestyle and personal goal!’ It was exactly what I needed. I was able to prevent injury. I focused on where I was rather than where I “should be”. I helped myself this way. You’ll be proud that you take yourself into account and your relationship with yourself will most likely change too. Mine did. Good luck.

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I’m also 16 stone (at only 4’ 10” that’s majorly obese) and have also had struggles. In fact I had to repeat week 1 nine times before I achieved it completely. You will get through this if you want to enough, so don’t worry. You’re doing all the right things, so this isn’t a physical issue but a mental one. I also suffer from periods of anxiety and depression, so I do understand what you’re going through. Anxiety weakens the muscles and reduces breathing capacity, making running much harder and cramps more likely.

What you need to do is to relax. Rather than stressing about what you aren’t managing yet, think back to week 1 and look at all the progress you’ve made ! You’re a star ! When you go to run, put on 6:3 but don’t think “I MUST do this.” Aim to enjoy seeing what you can do. Make a note of how far you manage, then walk the rest. The next time, aim to do 2 minutes more - you may manage more, but don’t force it. Make a note of what you’ve done, walk the rest. And so on, until you’ve done it. This honestly works. Not being able to complete a run is not a failure. Watch time lapse film of plants growing and you’ll see that natural growth isn’t a straight line progression: it happens in jumps, plateaus and even the odd regression. That’s all that’s happening here: natural growth. Always remember the First Rule of C25k: The only run you fail is the run you don’t go for ! Relax and enjoy your journey. You’ve got this x

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This - healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Also, screwed foot bones since birth so have to wear steel inserts AND just one month ago started Synthroid regime as it turns out my Thyroid has been kaput for a long time - at the very least, two years.

A hip dislocation last year saw me laid up for four months or so and then starting the programme from scratch - and once more also thinking I would never make it to graduation....but, did a ten mile event non-stop since.

I take it "easier" these days. I don't get hung up on speed OR time. I like to go for distance, but more importantly I want to enjoy myself. I'd rather run a short ways and feel good about it, than half kill myself and it still would be "slow" and "short" by competitive standards anyway.

I've learned to focus on what feels "best" when I'm running - how to run relaxed and not all tensed up and anxious. The "wish I was faster" Gremlin kicks in sometimes, but not so much anymore.

I guess what I'm getting at is - why does anyone run? The goal might be the Olympics or simply to get out of the house.

I run because it gives me a sense of just being happy for a wee while every two days, plus the enjoyment of being able to fully participate in this Forum. In all honesty, my life is rather overwhelming mostly so it's a lifesaver to have something that is as "simple and straightforward" as running and the challenges and variety each run offers.

A day will come - if we live long enough - when even the marathon runners won't be able to make twenty minutes...but I bet they will still get something from the 19 they will still go for.

Your next run - maybe just run. No "time, speed or distance" but "slow...then slower still".

Keep us posted, we might run on our own - but because if this Forum, we never run alone. 🙂

Wishing you many happy miles in your future.

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Dear one, so sorry this has happened, but you can do this!

You didn’t FAIL, you SUCCEEDED for five whole weeks and then you had a hurdle that was a bit too tough to deal with, at the time - not permanently. The role of psychology in all of this can not be underestimated - that critical inner voice can have such a major impact, can’t it.

So, I suggest you revisit week 5 because all the time you’re training your body and your mind to get stronger and succeed . Get some seriously good music going, if you listen to music, plan a playlist that makes you happy and motivated, and run! You will get there - some of us, myself included, have additional physical and mental baggage to cart around but when we succeed, WOW! It’s so good.

Best of luck and you can do this!

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