Not looking forward to w5r2: I sometimes feel so... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Not looking forward to w5r2

I_will_do_this profile image

I sometimes feel so heavy and lethargic when I start to run. I’m sure it’s psychological but still makes it hard. I didn’t think I’d manage w5r1, but did, but now I’m not looking forward to the next one. I’m getting so slow with the walking and the running! The outsides of my lower legs hurt, as does my knees, when I’m running. Can’t seem to stretch or work through that pain.

17 Replies

Don't worry about slow. Slow and steady is best so you don't put too much pressure on your joints. Your next run is half way through so you've done great to get this far. Keep on going, the walking parts will soon be ending. Sounds a bit daunting but you will be ready. 🦔

I_will_do_this profile image
I_will_do_thisGraduate in reply to

Thank you for the supportive words

Have you heard about the ‘toxic 10’. Many people find the first 10 (or5 or whatever) minutes difficult. It’s because your body takes that long to get blood and oxygen to where it needs to be. So if you start the first part of your run slowly, you can speed up as you start to feel better

Just think, as your runs get longer the proportion of time feeling heavy will get less and less✅👍😊

I_will_do_this profile image
I_will_do_thisGraduate in reply to helenwheels

I hadn’t heard of that. Thanks for telling me. It explains the way I feel. Onward and upward. 👍

This explains the Toxic Ten which all runners experience to a greater or lesser degree.

Heavy legs can be symptomatic of poor hydration. Runners need to drink a minimum of 2-3 litres of fluids daily, running or not.

The guide to the plan has advice on minimising impact and recommended stretching routines, which I do after every single run.

There is nothing wrong with slow.

You are doing great.

I_will_do_this profile image
I_will_do_thisGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks. I read the previous post you embedded the link to. Really interesting and logical. It helps when you realise it’s not that your ‘just bad at this’ !! The hydration tip is a good one too. Didn’t know that. Sometimes I’m so busy with stuff I realise I haven’t drunk much at all. I’ll change that!

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to I_will_do_this

If you didn't know that then it sounds like you might not have read the guide to the plan which is full of tips.

Roxdog profile image

Well done for getting this far!

Have you tried doing some warm up exercises before your warm up walk? I found that doing 20 minutes or so of yoga or some other warm ups helps enormously. I have arthritis in my knees and they used to niggle a bit during the first few weeks of the programme, but building in warm ups and knee strengthening exercises means that I have no pain or niggles now!

Good luck. 😊

I_will_do_this profile image
I_will_do_thisGraduate in reply to Roxdog

I don’t do that. But will aim to find things that work. I have arthritis too. What particular yoga exercises have you found help with your knees?

This is the first time I’ve posted on here and have felt really supported by all the responses. Many thanks.

Roxdog profile image
RoxdogGraduate in reply to I_will_do_this

So there is a good yoga with Adriene youtube session called Yoga for sensitive knees - you'll find it easily.

There are also knee strengthening exercises via the couchto5k website somewhere. I have found both invaluable and my knees are stronger now than for several years.

I also do something called Qi Gong, which is a bit like TaiChi/Yoga for general warm ups. If you look on YouTube the ones by Ksney(yes that's the right spelling) are good.

Good luck - seems to me that dodgy knees, if looked after, are no barrier to running.

I_will_do_this profile image
I_will_do_thisGraduate in reply to Roxdog

Thank you!

I am just behind you, I start week 5 this week. I feel the same, the first couple of runs my body is like a lead weight and I can’t breathe to save my life. Fills me with dread going straight into a 5 minute run next time.

Good luck with your next run and I hope you find something to help the pains.

I_will_do_this profile image
I_will_do_thisGraduate in reply to Runrunrun2020

Good luck too. I feel great when I’ve finished but don’t look forward to it at all. 😔Hopefully the enjoyment comes with the improved fitness 😬

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Runrunrun2020

Do not dread any run it is totally counterproductive........relax and enjoy it.

This might help

Bracken2018 profile image


Remember this couch to 5k is for you and only you . You will progress when you , your body and mind are ready . I was prepared to repeat a week thinking, it must be better to repeat a week knowing I can do it rather than struggling with the next week.


This way I’m still with the programme . As it is , I pushed through and start week 7 jog 1 tomorrow . I have stretch bandage under my knees with pull on support called Tubigrip from below and above both knees. I spoke to my local pharmacist about the Tubigrip so I have the correct size.

This helps me, it may / may not help you.

I also have good shoes . I make sure I eat sufficient food on my jogging days with enough to drink too.

I struggled with getting my breathing correct however , I’ve now slowed down and this has stopped the fatigue ( for me) which I was feeling about halfway through my sessions .

Keep going , you can choose to repeat a week if you want . You will make it - we will all make it to the end of :Week 9 - jog/run

1, 2 and 3 - here we come :) 🐾 YES

I_will_do_this profile image
I_will_do_thisGraduate in reply to Bracken2018

Thank you for the support and advice.

Bracken2018 profile image
Bracken2018Graduate in reply to I_will_do_this

Your welcome , your look back on this and say to yourself - I did it :) me - yes

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