Hit a wall, so depressed: I think I have to go... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Hit a wall, so depressed


I think I have to go back several steps. I graduated towards the end of last year and after a bit of a Christmas break I got back into my 5k three-times-a-week routine again. It was my intention to go for a Park run on my 65th birthday next week and then last month I hit a wall. I failed to complete a run - I just run out of steam - and I was devastated. I couldn't face the thought of a run and even the jaunty emails from HealthUnlocked with their little tales of success put me off. My confidence evaporated and I felt like a fraud and a failure. Then I got ill with pneumonia and it is taking me a while to build my strength back up. I'm trying to walk every day and my plan is to gradually increase the duration and difficulty of my walks, throw in some hills, and then start running again. I will have to build that up gradually too. What is strange is that even though I'm not great at running and I don't particularly enjoy it, it gave me a sense of achievement and I miss being able to call myself, in my small way, a runner.

13 Replies

Welcome back! You did it before so you can do it again. I would suggest that you try and learn from previous experience- it seems quite a dramatic fall from grace! Remember that we all have crappy runs, when it is really difficult to keep going- but that doesn't mean that the next run will be a repeat. Sometimes I know that I am tired or not sufficiently hydrated. Other times- its just one of those things. Chin up, come back to the forum and start again. Hope you are back to full fitness soon :)

in reply to helenwheels

Thanks for taking the time to reply.


Any runner, at any stage, can have a run that doesn't go to plan, so you try to learn why and move on.

Progress is not a constantly upward curve..........there are blips, hiccups and steep declines............but if you keep plugging away, the the benefits accrue.

The ability to run and the effort put into achieving it will repay in health terms for many years.

Perhaps you are too tough on yourself. Most people who don't enjoy running are pushing themselves too hard, possiblity in an attempt to achieve some arbitrary target. Run slowly, at an easy conversational pace, appreciate your environment, relax and relish having blood pumping through your veins and it is an empowering and joyous experience.

Don't lose heart if one run doesn't go well...........it is one run........

Ease your way back in. Repeat the process if necessary. Many do. One sure way to push depression aside is to go for a gentle run in glorious countryside.

in reply to IannodaTruffe

As usual, a lot of common sense, thank you.


No wonder you hit a wall if pneumonia was threatening ! Poor you ! Great to have you back. I’ve been struggling since graduation and I’ve gone back to the beginning and started again - thoroughly recommend it as a confidence builder. Always remember the First Rule of C25k: The only run you fail is the run you don’t go for. Your lungs will thank you for some slow and steady jogging. Enjoy x

in reply to ButtercupKid

Thanks, much appreciated.


Pneumonia takes some getting over... and it was quite possibly on its way for that incomplete run. I’m glad to hear that you are on the mend, and I really wouldn’t worry about the running... it’s going to take some building back up, but that’s also sensible after pneumonia.

I don’t think you’re a runner in a “small way” either... you’re a runner... maybe a recovering runner, but a runner non the less.

I found the end of C25K was quite hard to enjoy, apart from the actual achievement, and I couldn’t wait to get out and go short... I was happy once I took myself out of consolidation and into some varied runs. I worked up to 5k and now rarely run it... according to my tracker I’ve only done 5k once on a Sunday. Some runs are long and slow, some runs are short and quick... and both of those give me a buzz of achievement, my other runs are slow affairs, and usually short, and those are the ones I enjoy the most... that’s the running that I love. I think once you’re back up to where you were you may well benefit from varying the runs up a little.

in reply to UnfitNoMore

More good sense, thanks.


Good to hear from you again! Pneumonia would give anyone a knock.

Look after yourself. And remember you can walk at parkrun. Its the taking part that counts.

Fingers crossed!


Thanks for that.


Hi Poole4752! Not relevant at all but reading through your posts (as figured your username was to do with your town) and saw one of your maps from a few months ago. Branksome Rec is where I did 2 of my week 1 runs and many more to come (hopefully!). Small world!

in reply to Hbb1502

It's very convenient as it's 4 laps, including a stretch along the road, for 5k. I'll be back there soon.

in reply to Poole4752

Looking at your map, the stretch along the road literally begins and ends at the bottom of my road. Very convenient! Good luck getting back out there 😊

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