Struggling : Hi guys I am on week three and have... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Hi guys I am on week three and have completed week three run two however I am really struggling with motivation and don’t know what to do, any suggestions

14 Replies

It depends why you’re doing this: some reasons are more sustaining than others. I ran to show my kids that healthy changes are possible, and that has kept me going all through and beyond the programme. Little rewards can help too. Make yourself a sticker chart and give yourself a treat each time you finish a week ! The forum is a great motivator, so don’t be a stranger x


Why did you start?

Have those reasons changed?

Motivation is purely personal and just about the only thing we cannot supply to you.

If you want to change your life, you have to put in the effort.

C25K has transformed the lives of countless thousands, if not millions of people worldwide over the past 20 years.

The physical gains are obvious and wide ranging, reducing your risk of many life limiting conditions and making you more able to fight other illness.

Mental health benefits are also spectacular. Yeah, I know it sounds corny, but the vast majority of graduates will tell you that they are happier and more confident for having discovered running.

It is a simple plan, requiring only a couple of hours each week and yet can have such far reaching effects.

I don't know of any other free programme that can do all this.

Give it a go, it is worth the effort.


Very well done. The next run is one third of this plan done... there’s goal one... goal 2... finish this... goal 3 you decide. Set goals always... one for soon, one for in a little while and one longer term. You’re doing great... keep dragging your butt to those start lines. I had to do that, but then it changed... I now find it harder to not go to the start line on my rest days. Let the addiction come and take you. Finish this plan... see how awesome you are and then see just how far you can go in running and also in life.


When I started out on C25K it was maintaining my motivation that most worried me. I set myself a goal - to do 5K by my big birthday later this year. I also set myself a mid-way target and reward - proper running shoes when I finished Week 5.

However, I can honestly say that the further I have progressed through C25K the motivation to keep going now comes purely from the running buzz and the sense of achievement I get from completing a run.

The support, advice and encouragement from everyone on this forum has helped to keep me going through the tricky patches.

Think back to what made you decide to start C25K, give yourself a clear goal and build in some rewards. Keep posting, everyone will encourage you on. 😊


Hey Olive, what entertainment are you using? Music, podcast, Silence? Are you having rest days between runs?

If you’re feeling like this, I would say read the faq articles! This is the time to do it, it’s filled with great advice and hints and tips. There’s about 7/8 posts and they helped me prepare for my runs, change my attitude and keep on track.


I've just finished w3. I have never run before. I'm so chuffed with myself. I feel so much better in myself,physically and mentally. Hang in there,pace yourself and try and finish w3,then see how you feel.


hi Ol-iv-e well done getting to week3, do you remember how hard week1 was but you did it , why, what made you start, what did YOU want to achieve?

Runs are hard, I can vouch for that, 58 and not exercised for 40 years but still hanging in on week 5🐢😂

you must have wanted to change so dont give up now, I am kept going by the support of this forum but also the buzz I am now strting to feel after each run completed, the sense of achievement

please keep at it, one run/stagger at a time, we can do this😊


Hi Olive - as others have said, it really does depend why you started this in the first place. People have so many reasons for doing it. I had started a Race At Your Pace challenge at the beginning of the year, and as a busy person I wanted to complete my 50 miles a month with a bit more speed... the walking speed increased and increased until I started to jog a little, and then I decided I'd better do this with a bit of structure! Then I found the forums and found them SO motivating, they've replaced my daily Facebook browsing now, I'd rather come here and see other people's successes and advice. I completely agree about setting yourself goals, achievable ones. E.g. I want to 1) complete this programme (reward: new running shoes / better fitbit) 2) extend to actually being able to run 5k (reward: go to a park run with my friends who run them) 3) start to improve my times (reward built in). After a few weeks I found nice little side effect rewards in my shape changing, and being able to walk up hills without needing to stop "to admire the view". These two effects are SO worth it. Yes, it's hard, it can be half an hour of tortuous effort (in which case, slow down!) but the results can be amazing. My run on Saturday was not fun at all, but I really want the results so will keep on going.

Other ideas:

* Get yourself some good music that pumps you up (there's nothing quite like Eye of the Tiger or Don't Stop Me Now when you're starting to flag!)

* See if you can rope a friend/family member into doing this with you

* If you run on a treadmill, see if you can set up some sort of arrangement where you can watch virtual runs on a screen in front of you, it gives you a vague sense of going somewhere and helps with the boredom. I get really into them and find myself tensing up when the runner taking the video has to jump over a log, or finds a group of people blocking the path!

* Try a different trainer on the app maybe? I ran with a different one the other day just out of interest, and I'm going straight back to Sarah Millican, there's something so comforting about her voice! I was surprised it could make such a difference to me.

SO sorry for the essay. :-/


Love this post!! Very generous...


Hi Olive, I don’t know why I’m running, I just decided I would! So for me there is no real motivation. I’m about to start week 3 and what’s kept me going has been music. I’m not a huge music fan but I like country music as they’re very lyrical so I’ve been absorbed in the story of the songs and not really noticed my run. It’s taken away the subconscious counting down I was doing until I heard stop! I’m not suggesting you listen to country music 😳 but maybe podcast, your choice of lyrical songs, talking books, something you can loose yourself in and enjoy, to which running is secondary, if that makes sense?? Good luck.


Some days I don’t feel it at all. Last week I had to really force myself to get my trainers on for a consolidation run. But what keeps me going is knowing that I’ve never regretted doing it and feel so much better afterwards. I also found that it helps to make a playlist of your very favourite tracks! 🎧


What sustains and motivates me are the following:

(1) I have subscribed to and read a monthly running magazine

(2) I listen regularly to Parkrun focused podcasts, sometimes when I’m running but often around the house

(3) I have signed up for Parkrun and will take part following completion of C25K

(4) I have entered a 10K race in September

(5) I have told people who are into running about my C25K programme

(6) I have kept conversations about my C25K programme short with people who are not into running

(7) After week 3 I went to a running shop and got measured up and bought some running shoes

(8) After week 4 I bought some running shorts, shirts, socks and cap

(9) I have downloaded a running app on my phone which I will start to use when I get to the latter stages of C25K

(10) I run outdoors and mix up my routes every now and then

Hope this helps



Can you think back to why you started? Is it for your health, weight loss, a way out of depression, or the joy of movement? Perhaps you need to concentrate on one day at a time or are you better heading for a goal? I hope you find your motivation soon, don't give up when you've come so far.

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Do you have a local running group to join?

I just joined mine. It's free, run by lovely encouraging volunteers and fun. We're doing a c25k style but as a big group which hel pos motivation and pace.


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