When does the enjoyment come?: I’m trying couch... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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When does the enjoyment come?

gvirtanen profile image

I’m trying couch to 5k as a time efficient way to try and not put on weight and to improve my fitness during lockdown, when there are limited exercise options available. But I don’t like running (or any kind of exercise really!!)

I’m up to the end of week 3, and at the end of each run I do feel very proud of myself for getting through it and managing to complete it, but I spend the whole run thinking “Are we nearly done yet”, and counting down the minutes until I can flop on the sofa.

Particularly now the intervals are getting a bit longer I’m getting bored even before I’m exhausted - “urgh, isn’t the time up yet?! I know I can keep running but it feels like it’s been aaaages already...”

Any tips? Anyone come out the other side of this? I’ve been listening to music as I thought the rhythm would help, but wondering if audiobooks might help more with the boredom - although the app talking would become a bit intrusive to them then I guess...

13 Replies
Dtay1978 profile image
Dtay1978Graduate

I think your mental game has to be as strong if not more so than you physical one with running. I used to feel like you early in the program, but as I progressed further in, the sense of achievement outweighed the negative thoughts. I’m now running for at least half an hour and find that I often drift off into other thoughts whilst running 😊

Madge50 profile image
Madge50Graduate

Well done in doing what you’re doing, it takes quite an effort to get started on anything new let alone get out the door!

It has to be said running is not for everyone, and it’s not easy, but remind yourself why you are doing it, what made you choose C25K in the first place? I remember thinking, oh 30 mins, that’s ok, not too much, I can fit that in.....(I now run half marathons......😄)

Hope you find something that suits, it may well not be for you, but that’s for you to decide.......

Mx

Issywhizz profile image
IssywhizzGraduate in reply to Madge50

Hey just wondering how long it took you to train for the half marathons?

Madge50 profile image
Madge50Graduate in reply to Issywhizz

Ages! 😂.....I took getting on for a year to do C25K,.....three runs a week were too much, I got to about week 8, and got overuse injuries- plantar fasciitis 😱, took it down to two runs a week and was tickety boo, built up to 10k, in not too long, did some events etc., then I did a 10 miler, and promised myself if I could do 10 miles I could enter my local HM, did my first one 2017, about 2 years after properly finishing C25K......I’m a slow burn! 😂

I’ve done 9 HM’s now, try to do 2 a year.......

I generally follow a standard 12 week plan, my regular maintenance distance now is 10-12k.....

Mx

In life, I find, that joy sometimes finds you; but often you have to find joy! Smell the flowers listen to the birds and feel the cool morning air on your skin. Notice the beauty around you and experience your body doing what it was designed for. When you get home, wallow in that pride and sense of achievement. Make a nice breakfast and know that you earned it.

As for boredom, I started with audiobooks from about week 7 when the continuous runs started. Sometimes it's a good book that entices me out for a run. These days I sometimes listen to books, sometimes podcasts and sometimes music. Every now and again, I leave all tech at home and run for joy :)

AppleB profile image
AppleBGraduate in reply to helenwheels

Lovely post - thank you!

Definitely focus on the reasons you are doing it and remind yourself it is only half an hour to get those benefits. Also try podcasts, something positive maybe something to remind you of the benefits of what you are doing. Good luck and keep up the good work

I think you are thinking too much about the running if that doesn't sound too strange. Apart from a quick check of running posture, let your mind wander where it will, until the buzzer goes for the next section. Are you running somewhere with nothing to look at? Can you find somewhere that you'll enjoy being? I really only enjoyed it once the intervals got longer and I was that little bit stronger, a few weeks in. Somebody posted about listening to podcasts just the other day, so it's worth a try. But if you just don't feel the love, it's ok. That's how I feel about swimming, so I get it.

GoogleMe profile image
GoogleMeGraduate

I think the whole pandemic/lockdown has really thrown into sharp relief how many of us rebel, even if just on an internal level, at feeling we are being told what to do, regardless of whether we know it is sensible or even want to do whatever it is and have chosen it.

And C25K does involve an element of surrender and just doing as you are told and that rubs some people up the wrong way, they are just not ready for it. If you are only doing the programme because you feel you 'should' and, from the sound of it, 'fighting' against it the whole time with a picture of yourself as someone who doesn't like exercise, then you are carrying a much heavier weight than the morbidly obese person with underlying health conditions and no confidence who has a spark of wanting to try.

You could try the podcasts as they come with their own soundtrack (rather notorious here but it will be novel, you won't know what's coming next) If you can get yourself somewhere to run where you want to be looking at the scenery as grumpyoldgirl suggests, perhaps without long straight stretches, that may help. I find woodland paths are not only easier on the body but the mental stimulation of avoiding the roots occupies the mind usefully. And do take it slowly - a lollop is much gentler on the mental state than a sprint.

If all else fails, just think of it like cleaning your teeth, it's just a thing you do and you don't expect any 'enjoyment'.

I’ve had a few runs where I’ve loved every step and a few run where I’ve hated every step. I just look forward to getting a good one 👍

Well done for trying. Even I was like you ..not enjoying during the run for the first few weeks. But then I realised that it's all in mind. Now, I'm in week 9. Once you started thinking that you are going to enjoy the run , you might enjoy your run. You will feel happy once you completed your run. All the best

annasee profile image
annaseeGraduate

Audio books are great, but not Bill Bryson A Walk in the Woods, it was too funny and I lost all strength in my legs ;-) I like Mapp and Lucia, lots of intricate details so you have to listen hard and forget you are running. Also language learning is good too, I find Spanish with Michel Thomas is useful because again I have to concentrate so hard. Or get a friend to run with so you can rant. That's also good!

This is exactly how I feel. I just don't think I'm ever going to enjoy running. I thought I did, but actually maybe it was more just the fact that it was something for me to do during lockdown! Now that I'm back at work I struggle to fit running in and i just think what's the point in trying to squeeze it into my busy day if I'm not really enjoying it that much anyway. The weather hasn't helped as it was raining everyday and this week's supposed to be really hot.

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