W5 R3. Bit of a disaster: I was unsure I could... - Couch to 5K

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W5 R3. Bit of a disaster


I was unsure I could do w5 r3 but had some fab support from this forum last week so went out this morning ready to give it my best. Unfortunately my best came up way short and I am so dissapointed. I managed 14 minutes then felt as if someone had taken my batteries out. I decided to keep going and to brisk walk for a couple of minutes then continue running but I just couldn't get back into the rhythm.

Totally gutted. Really not sure I can do the 20 minutes.

Any suggestions appreciated.

21 Replies

Look at that run, not as a failure but a practice run, have a rest day tomorrow from running, drink plenty of water, on Tuesday have at least a 5 minute warm up walk and run, run 3 of week 5 a little slower than you did today, good luck, I know that you can do it.

aww Scram bit of a disappointment for you but let it go, you did 14 mins, only 4 weeks ago it was 60 seconds

We all have bad run days, I had such a day the other day but today ok. Forget it, have rest day then tuesday try again🐢, we will be virtual running buddies tuesday as I have run 3 week 5 that day aswell so drink drink and we go for it slowly slowly, we can do this 🐢🐢🙏🤞🏻

ScramGraduate in reply to notquiteretired

Thanks. Good luck with your run


Understand the disappointment BUT just learn from it and move on. Repeat on Tuesday if possible, go slowly slowly for the first ten minutes, you already know that you can get to 14 minutes so just get over that hump too and then keep going, as slow as you like for the final six minutes. Could you perhaps plan a different route that might help, less uphill? Prettier? Softer underfoot? But don't be hard on yourself, you're doing it which is a lot more than most people are!

Scram be kind to yourself, you can do far more than many of us who are starting our journey. Be proud of your achievements and I’m sure you will make it. We all hit that wall, the mind takes over and then it’s a struggle so just believe in yourself and keep going!

ScramGraduate in reply to Gimliwoo

Don't let me being a big moany muppet put you off. One of the great things about this forum is you can be brutality honest and lots of lovely people will pick you up and help you move forward.

Thanks for your support.

Oww Scram! Really feel for you but chin up, as others have said, we all have bad runs. Low batteries is why I liked to have 2 rest days before the 'long runs'. Do you listen to music when you run? I found my weak points in the runs where I knew I found it tough so I planned my playlist for those times. For example, I listen to the theme music from the Denzel Washington 'The Equalizer' film over the half way point of my runs. Between 10 and 15 minutes I tend to find those gremlins thoughts set in and that tune really spurs me on. I'm laughing at how ridiculous I must sound but it works for me. ☺ I also try to factor any hills in for the first half of the run to get them out of the way. I love knowing that at a certain point of my run, the downhill sections are there to look forward to. Best of luck for the next attempt, you can do definitely do this!

ScramGraduate in reply to DeterminedLass

I have started listening to music and it does help. Maybe the Rocky music might be my thing!

DeterminedLassGraduate in reply to Scram

I have that on there too! Always makes me smile and gives me a boost!

Wait a minute - 14 minutes in itself is a real achievement!!

Take it really really slow next time - and keep going - you will get there.

Good luck and you will enjoy it after you have done it.


Scram, I hope you don't mind but I just looked through your previous comments. This is from Week 1 a month ago.

"After 50 seconds I feel faint."

50 seconds, that was 4 weeks ago... You just ran for 14 minutes. It's incredible what you've achieved, absolutely ASTONISHING! You are a running machine, you WILL run 20 minutes, you WILL graduate.

Just keep running and you'll keep improving. 🏃‍♀️

ScramGraduate in reply to Hidden

I think I need you in my headphones when I run! Thanks for your support. Chin up and trainers on..... but not until Tuesday!


Ok. You remember the start of this plan? That first run? It was tough yes? And now just 4 and a bit weeks later you’re seeing 14 minutes of running as a disaster? I think you’re being overly tough on yourself right there. Just think how far you’ve come... you should be proud when you think about it.

Those 14 minutes made you stronger for next time. Those 14 minutes made you fitter. Those 14 minutes made you a better runner. There’s 3 victories in today’s run... ok, you set off for 20... so I make that a 3-1 win. I had a run like this a few weeks ago... I was setting out for 5 miles, I managed 4... for a few seconds I was upset... then I realised that the mile I couldn’t run was the same mile I couldn’t run before I started C25K... but the 4 I did run were the product of my hard work... so I smiled, and I looked at that little defeat with different eyes right there in the cooldown. A few more runs on my plan and that 5 miler was back... and I did it. It’s the same here for you... you didn’t run 6... before this you couldn’t run 6... the 14 are the product of a lot of hard work.

Next time out is the same run for you. So, let’s get the mindset right... relax before you run... tell yourself you can do it... and then just run nice and steady. When 14 minutes ticks over you’re winning... 15 is a victory... 16 is great... maybe 20 will be amazing... take the pressure off yourself, believe and then celebrate the run after regardless of wether or not it ticks a box... every run makes you a better, fitter, stronger runner who will succeed as long as you keep coming to those start lines. Happy running.

I always found that if I ran slower I could do it. I'm on week 8 and wanted to be close to 5K but as they say its not the speed or distance its the duration. Take it easy and you'll get there.


First of all, 14+ mins is still good for a beginner. Second, try to run a bit slower day after. W5R3 is all about mental blocks. If you are mentally not prepared, it will discourage you drastically. It seems you were done by lack of proper hydration (maybe). Since you havent mentioned anything specific, take a day's rest, drink lots of water and be back on tuesday again.



Me too. I just couldn’t make it. It’s pretty depressing but I am going to have a go again in a couple of days and try to just add a minute or so on and see how I feel.

ScramGraduate in reply to Babyalmie

Sorry you found it tough too. But lots of lovely people have replied to my post so I'm going to pick myself up and get back in my trainers..... but not until Tuesday! We can do this. It just might take us a bit longer to get there.

Good luck, let me know how you get on.

Babyalmie in reply to Scram

See you at the finish line!


Have you read this healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Stop telling yourself you can't do this.

You can.


Do you hydrate properly? 2-3 litres of water daily? Do you go slow enough? You do? Then go slower.

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