Week 5 run 3 failed :(: I went out to do run... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Week 5 run 3 failed :(

aphex profile image

I went out to do run 3 this morning and started off alright but it was tough and just felt like it was dragging on forever. I just kept wanting it to end and just couldn’t keep going after 15 mins. Feel so defeated :( I’ve never failed or gave up on a run before.

I do feel like most of it was in my head and I probably could’ve pushed out the last five minutes otherwise but I just couldn’t get myself to carry on. I do listen to music when running but I feel like that’s not enough to distract me or keep me going when it gets difficult.

When I read some other people’s advice they say that you should be able to say a sentence aloud comfortably when running, but I’m not sure I could do that, maybe I’m going too fast? But according to strava my pace this run was 7.10/km, and I really feel like I’m going as slow as possible, I barely even feel like I’m running.

Not sure what I should do now? Whether I should just attempt run 3 again or repeat all of week 5. Advice?

26 Replies
Dmc33 profile image

Hey you ran 15 minutes - that's still a big achievement! Take it as a practice run. I would probably take a couple of rest days then go for it again - even slower if you can! Don't worry, you can definitely do it - i like a bit of chatting to myself when i want to stop, i find it takes my mind somewhere else and i usually find there's just a bit left in the tank. Good luck for the best run 😊

PhoenixRise profile image

An attempted run is better than no run! Be kind to yourself, you are doing brilliantly! Don’t use the F word (hehe).

I too had the same issue with W5r3 and felt I had to sneak a short walk in. I was gutted. BUT - I took a days rest and repeated the run again. I smashed it! Now on week 7 and completing without sneaky walks!

You may be going a bit too fast ... so try slowing down a bit and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Does this Strava stat include your warm up/cool down walk too? If yes, then you would be running faster than the 7.10/km ....

In short, give r3 a go again (you’ll smash it!) and don’t move on until your happy/it’s complete. Repeating is fine - no one is judging! I’ve repeated a whole week and a few final runs so actually in my 9th week of running ...

Keep me posted!

aphex profile image
aphex in reply to PhoenixRise

Thank you! The strava is just the run, but yes I think I will try again tomorrow and just try and go slower, I’ll update afterwards!

Couchpotato2 profile image

Hi! You did not fail, you went for a run, failing is not bothering. And think about 2 weeks ago, could you have run 15’? No so dont worry a run is a run. Your pace is faster than I go now after 18months so try and go even slower. Make sure your nicely hydrated from day before, that you’ve had a good rest and try again another day. You can do it!

aphex profile image
aphex in reply to Couchpotato2

Thank you, I feel like it’s so easy to focus on not completing the run that I didn’t appreciate that it was my longest continuous run up to now! I will definitely try and slow down and give it another go

Couchpotato2 profile image
Couchpotato2Ambassador in reply to aphex

yes I have to do that all the time myself, look at what I've achieved rather than where I plan to be next or still left to do. You can think of it in relation to a mountain, look how far you've come rather than to the top. You'll find that running is increasingly a mental work out. 15' is a good run and a preparation to your next run. Next time aim for 15 and you will probably get to 20 or at least 16. A run is a run and is doing you good. Well done on starting this journey!

I sense your disappointment and some days the runs just don’t work. You ran 15 minutes more than you ran five weeks ago. Well done. I bet when you do your next run you’ll wonder what you were bothered about. You know you can do the distance, you’ve done it twice. By the way, I wish I was averaging 7.10/km every run!

SETC profile image

15 minutes is still a huge achievement and after three weeks of consolidation I’m just touching a 7.10 pace, and to me that feels like sprinting 😊

Phela profile image

Im going to attempt it tomorrow. Hope i will be your motivation. Dont give up. It gets better as you do the runs.

aphex profile image
aphex in reply to Phela

Thanks! How did it go?

John_W profile image

Hey aphex

"started off alright but it was tough"

"I’ve never failed or gave up on a run before."

"you should be able to say a sentence aloud comfortably when running, but I’m not sure I could do that, maybe I’m going too fast?"

>>>>> S L O W ..... D O W N <<<<<

Let's get this right... W5R3 is a mental test, *not* a physical one. That's because your body is ready. And due to the lack of a walking break, it's also the biggest test of pacing in the program up to this point. So setting off at the right pace is quite important and probably the main reason why some C25K first-timers struggle with this run.

It sounds like you've achieved all the other runs with no bother... that means you are physically ready, it's just that your mind hasn't worked that out yet.

The clues are in your post. It sounds like it was 'tough' cos you set off too fast despite how it might have felt. Very simply, if you can't say a sentence comfortably while running (JOGGING!) ,then for C25K, you're going too fast. It really is that simple.

Even though you may be actually going slower than a brisk walk, your JOGGING (yes, JOGGING) pace should feel very easy, very comfortable. Listen to your breathing... it's the best indicator you have of your effort level, how hard you're working. If you're breathing too heavy ... gasping etc then S L O W D O W N. This should NOT be a struggle . That's not the way it's meant to be.

Aim for pace that feels like it's almost no bother at all and at the end, feels like you could carry on if you had to. It *is* possible and it feels great. You can do it.

You're ready.

Do it.

Watch this:


aphex profile image
aphex in reply to John_W

Thank you! Yes I think having the walking breaks in the other runs must have let me get away with going too fast, I feel like I’ve definitely not been running at that comfortable pace. I’m going to try and go a lot slower tomorrow and see how it goes!

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to aphex

Do that and you'll be absolutely fine. And probably enjoy the experience a whole lot more.

UnfitNoMore profile image

15 minutes of running... that’s not failure! That was impossible only a month ago right? Besides... when you cross a start line whatever running you do makes you stronger and fitter for the next, so failure isn’t possible.

Pace comparisons in general are difficult and pointless... but to put yours into some kind of perspective, you’re running just under 36 minutes 5k pace, which is pretty quick for a new runner... and happens to be my happy pace for a relaxed 5k after 2 years of running... I can run faster... but I can also run slower... yesterday I ran 14:46 per mile, which I think is a shade over 9 per km... so while you may think it strange at first, there’s scope to slow down! If you have less lift on the knee, and less kick backwards you’re still running, but a little slower at the same cadence.

You’ve ran 15 minutes non stop... I don’t see much point going backwards from there... go for 20. You may run 16+ (to be celebrated as progress) or the whole thing.

Try to keep the pace down, especially in the first 10 minutes.... and yes, a little more refusal to stop for the mental side of things... you can do this.

aphex profile image
aphex in reply to UnfitNoMore

Thanks! Yes i feel like as each week gets more difficult it’s so easy to forget about the progress. And yeah I will definitely try and slow it down, I think because I’ve always been better at sprinting than long distance it’s not easy for me to grasp what a good jogging pace is! I’ll give it another go tomorrow :)

steviej99 profile image

No failures on here aphex! We either succeed or its a practice run. You cannot go to slow on this programme. Its all about time and not distance. So slow and steady and youll smash it. Trust the plan it definitely works. Good luck and enjoy your running

Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

This guide to the plan is essential reading healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

and includes advice on minimising impact, stretching after every run, hydration and strengthening exercises, all of which will help.

If you cannot speak aloud clear ungasping sentences as you run then you are running too fast..........quite simple.

Slowing down to the recommended easy conversational pace makes it more achievable and for most, more enjoyable.

Enjoy your journey.

aphex profile image
aphex in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks! Yep definitely going to slow it down and give it another shot

Tinytears60 profile image

Ok well I’m old - and my runs are good at 8.3/km 😳

Ps... we never use the F word here!... week 5 reached is in no way, shape or form a F*** ... it’s a practice run for you 👍

For a newbie that is rapid... in fact 7.1 is phenomenal!

Week 5 was my nemesis and got in my head but SO many people on here told me SLOW down!

I felt I was already going snail pace 🐌

I tested singing out loud to my music and lo and behold I WAS going too fast! 🏃🏽‍♀️ 💨

I found a new TinyTears all time slow but guess what... I did it!

You got this!.... promise!

Well done on progress so far! Week 5 you are more than half way! 👏👏👏👏

aphex profile image
aphex in reply to Tinytears60

Thanks so much! Will definitely go a lot slower tomorrow and hopefully I’ll be able to complete it :)

Tinytears60 profile image
Tinytears60Graduate in reply to aphex

You got this! Slow down and smash it! 👏👏

15 minutes is brilliant especially as it’s really warm out there today, slow down some more next time and tell your head to be quiet

We ran this morning and it was tough, slow and felt like we couldn’t get going but are pleased we just got out and so should you be

SamiaT profile image

I can tell you now I'd be ecstatic if my pace was anywhere near yours! I got through that run by forcing one foot infront of the other. My pace was 9:52 per km for that run. Now that is sllloowwww but the end was still a struggle.

Slow it right down and keep telling yourself you can do this because you can! That and abit of Rocky IV Hearts on Fire will get you through.

aphex profile image
aphex in reply to SamiaT

Thank you! I’m going to slow it right down tomorrow and yeah might need to try and make my playlist more motivating hahaha

Have just completed this run 2 days ago and it was tough. By the end I felt like I was crawling but my average was about the same but mine include the walks (didn't think of that before!) I also confess that I honestly nearly cried twice during it. I properly teared up 🥺. And regarding saying a sentence. When I'm running I can barely say one in my head!!! Keep going and definitely don't beat yourself up 🙂

I did it!! :D healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

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