Feel a bit as if I'm going backwards - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Feel a bit as if I'm going backwards

Perry-Formis profile image

Just finished my 10th run - by rights I should be into Wk 4 but I am still on Wk 2 having chosen to repeat a few runs. I didn't quite manage to complete it - chose to stop with about 40 seconds left on the final run. I am still getting pains in my lower leg - shin splint pain is a constant niggle, although I think it is slowly improving - but I also seem to be developing some sort of muscle tightening/cramping in the calfs too, especially the right leg. I am having gait analysis done next week, all being well, really hoping it improves things. One thing I have taken away from this run is that I need a longer break than the recommended 1 day between runs to give my shins more recovery time - thats frustrating for me but I think necessary. Will continue to repeat Wk 2 until I feel ready to move on.

On another (lighter) note this was my first run in daylight. Had to psych myself up a bit because I can get very self-conscious. However there was nothing to worry about - too busy concentrating on running to worry about what other people thought. Glad I did it because it opens up more running variety for me.

18 Replies
diahug profile image

I used to worry about what other people thought but I’ve realised that actually no-one is even slightly interested. They are going about their business wondering what to have for tea, is their bus going to come, what they are doing that night. None of them are actually thinking ‘look at that slightly overweight woman jogging badly’.....that bit is in my head! Well done on your run and remember those people who see you aren’t ‘runners’

Perry-Formis profile image
Perry-Formis in reply to diahug

Thanks for your reply, it makes a lot of sense. I have always had a problem with having attention focused on me - I hate it when my birthday comes around. But you are right - nobody cares and as I discovered neither do I - just getting through the run takes most of my mental energy at the moment.

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate in reply to Perry-Formis

I discovered after a few weeks that two of my neighbours are actually thinking, 'I should be doing that. ' So don't be so hard on yourself!

Thanks Speedy

AdamB profile image

There's nothing wrong with taking extra runs in each week before moving up to the following week. Just make sure that you have those rest days in between (at least one, but again, there's nothing wrong with 2 or more). It takes some of us longer than others. Once you can successfully manage that week's run and have done it 3 times then you should progress.

I've two tips which may (or may not help).

1) As far as having to pull up short on that final run - SLOW DOWN. This is a classic sign that you are running too fast. We aren't concerned with speed at this stage. It doesn't matter if you run more slowly than you walk. It's a different action, using muscles differently and you need to "acclimatise". I only have about 3 tips that I give to my C25K groups about running style - "slow down" is the one they hear most.

2) Are you stretching at the end of your run? Stretching will promote recovery and limit the aches and pains the following day. Don't worry about feeling stupid - just go and stretch.

Well done for getting out. Just keep it up. You are amazing :)

Perry-Formis profile image
Perry-Formis in reply to AdamB

Thanks very much - haven't been called that very often. I fully intend to keep it up.

I am finding it hard to maintain a slow pace - I know its necessary but I am finding it quite frustrating and the temptation is always there to just step it up a bit. However I know that keeping it slow is the right thing to do so will endeavour to squash my inner Roger Bannister from now on.

Yes - I do stretch after every run and try and do a few strength exercises between runs - calf raises and such.

So you don't think that repeating runs is helpful - for instance I did 6 WeeK 1 runs before moving onto Wk2 (over the course of 2 weeks) and have done 4 week 2 runs. I am just worried about pushing myself into injury but if the advice is to slow right down then perhaps my next run should be week 3 run 1?

AdamB profile image
AdamBGraduate in reply to Perry-Formis

I do think that repeating runs is very helpful. I would repeat the week 2 run again until I can happily manage the last 40 seconds before moving on. As you might have guessed, as you move through the course the amount of running increases, whilst the amount of walking decreases. If week 2 seems impossible, week 3 will be worse. Don't move on a week until you are ready. I would try that week 2 run again, but take it very slowly, right from the first run session. The important thing is not to run on successive days. Give your body time to recover. It may take you longer to complete the course, but that doesn't matter.

Perry-Formis profile image
Perry-Formis in reply to AdamB

Thanks. Will most probably take your advice

You are doing wonderfully good idea to give yourself extra rest days and go as slow as you can all will be well

Thanks for your encouragement. Looks like slowing down is the key here. Will try to keep it slow from now on.

Roxdog profile image

Well done for getting this far into the programme and repeating runs is fine. Slowing down will help as others have said.

Aches and pains are normal, but if they are keeping you from finishing runs then I would suggest doing warm up exercises as well as at least the 5 min warm up walk. Stretching afterwards for a proper length of time is important- I learnt that the hard way a couple of weeks ago!

Good luck - of course if you think you're injured then see a physio, but the normal aches can be sorted out. I had shin pain until I got my new shoes so that might help too.

Good luck!

Perry-Formis profile image
Perry-Formis in reply to Roxdog

Thank you for the reply.

Will try the extra warm up.

Yes, as all of the others have said, well done for getting yourself out there in the first place and well done for persevering at a steady pace of progression through the runs. Also, as others have said, try slowing your pace down even more even though it is difficult. It is only natural to be hung up on running speed when you start (I know that I was) because we all relate the word 'running' to going more quickly, but it doesn't have to mean that. As long as when you are moving both of your feet happen to be off the ground at the same time, that means that you're running, speed/pace/distance (whatever you want to call it) will come later. Have a good look at the Japanese Slow Running videos for helpful guidance. I've downloaded a metronome app which I play when I go out for my runs, and have the pace set really slow (138 BPM at the moment) to encourage me to run slowly in time with it, this has been a great help to me. Well done with repeating runs until you are happy to move on, that shows great determination. The whole idea is to get right to the end of C25K successfully no matter how long it takes, not to give up before half way through because there's no way you'll get it done in 9 weeks. Keep on doing what you're doing, but do it much slower and I think you'll be fine. Keep on telling us how you're getting on too, we are all here to help and happy to do so.

Perry-Formis profile image
Perry-Formis in reply to Alast

Thanks for your reply. Your advice and encouragement is much appreciated as is everyone else's. Will slow down from now on and will keep posting my progress too.

Wenderwoo profile image

I have a dodgy Achilles and was advised by my physio to take at least 2 rest days for the time being - it makes a difference for sure. I try to do some stretching and strengthening in between. Put it down as a practice, slow right down, and I’m sure you’ll be fine next time 👍😁

Thanks Wenderwoo. Thats what I try to do too. Will see how I get on with the next run. Going to slow right down.

Dexy5 profile image

In addition to all the brilliant advice you’ve already been given, do make sure your foot is landing on the ground underneath your body, not ahead of you.

Thanks for the reply. Yes, good advice and something I try to do when running. No t sure if I always succeed though

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