W9 R1: Well I did it but I’ve got this annoying... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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W9 R1


Well I did it but I’ve got this annoying voice in my head telling me I’m too fat and too old to be running round for 30 seconds let alone 30 minutes. I told it to go away and leave me alone and turned my music up louder but still it was there telling me I was mad to have started and I’m never going to finish 😡 Any suggestions on how to get rid of this gremlin would be gratefully received...please?

110 Replies

I would say don’t listen to rubbish you’ve got this far, you really have got this now only two more runs TIL you graduate. Well done

SJ60Graduate in reply to J111eth

Thank you. I need to turn the music up and drown it out 🤣👍


No... no... no ... no ... and NO!

I’ve just read your profile blurb... with all you got going on with your knees you have serious respect from me to run full stop let alone get to week 9!!!? 👏👏👏👏

2 left and you my lovely... have done it! 🎓👌

The gremlin?... you have two options - you laugh in its face .. with 2 runs left I think you definitely have the upper hand


You pass it my way ... and I will willingly beat the crap out of it! 👊

You’re doing amazing!

I bet that gremlin can’t even run!... he’s a moodhoover 😡

I can’t wait to read you W9r3 post titled - “Graduated/ I slayed the Gremlin!”👏👏

SJ60Graduate in reply to Tinytears60

Awww thank you! I’m going to deafen the gremlin with my Queen essentials album and if he’s still there after Tuesday’s run then he’s all yours!!! 🤣

Tinytears60Graduate in reply to SJ60

You’re doing amazing and if you breathe in you can smell .... success..... graduation... oh and toasted Gremlin 🤣👏👏👏👏

You got this!

I’m so proud of you


You have already done it!! You have 2 runs the same as today to go, you are amazing!!! You have not only told that voice to be quiet but shown it that it's wrong.

Go out, get your tunes on high and go for it. For my gremlins I like to choose music to embrace that fear, stick 2 fingers up to your inner voice and embrace your beauty, your strength, confidence and your new you.

I can't wait to see you post that you've graduated.

SJ60Graduate in reply to SammiN3

Thank you so much for the support. Two to go...🤞🤞


Think of me if it helps. I’m almost 65, was obese when I started this 11 weeks ago (lost some weight and have just dipped down into the ‘overweight’ category) and I graduated 2 weeks ago. I’m fitter now than any time over the past 4 decades. If I’m not too old or too fat, then neither are you of course. Most people our age couldn’t run for 30 minutes, so we’re setting them a great example. 👏👏

SJ60Graduate in reply to Frissels

You are so right! I’m still firmly in the obese group but I’m so much fitter already. 👍👍


Can I offer you some of my pearls of wisdom that I have learned through headspace and my counselling sessions??

The more you have these thoughts, the more they will create a pathway in the brain and the stronger they become. If you try too hard to push them away, they get stronger. If you entertain them, they get stronger. You need to acknowledge and go "oh, OK, it just the gremlin" and then consciously switch channels to something like "I love running" or "I can definitely do this". These thoughts create their own pathways and we can then make them stronger, instead.

Hope this helps you or anyone else reading this 😊🤗

Hope they go away for you

Jools2020Graduate in reply to Plattszo

Wow. That is enlightening, Plattszo - not just for running. Thank you for that! x

PlattszoGraduate in reply to Jools2020

Best tip/information I ever learned to manage anxiety ❤

Jools2020Graduate in reply to Plattszo

I love it. I’m going to start using that TODAY! ❤️

SJ60Graduate in reply to Plattszo

That’s really helpful. Thank you. I’m definitely going to try this. 👍

PlattszoGraduate in reply to SJ60

It takes practice.... it's called "noting". If you can get a free trial with the headspace app, hopefully you can find this technique on there. It may be available with other apps kr on your tube, too. ❤

SJ60Graduate in reply to Plattszo

I’ve got headspace so I’ll have a look for it 👍

AutocutieGraduate in reply to Plattszo

Thank you for posting this- so helpful. ❤️

PlattszoGraduate in reply to Autocutie

You are welcome. If I can help 1 person, its worth a share 🤗

Cp1965Graduate in reply to Plattszo

Your counsellor was obviously better than any of the ones I have ever seen... I'll try that, thanks.

PlattszoGraduate in reply to Cp1965

She was a psychotherapist practicing gestalt therapy... her methods were all about teaching you to be in the moment and the feelings you have at that time. Very enlightening, she was.


hope that isn't too heavy 🙄🙈

SJ60Graduate in reply to Plattszo

Not at all. It’s really helpful 👍



Try filling your head with positive thoughts and images. Someone on this site suggested a mantra - “I did it! “ to say to yourself when the going gets tough. The use of the past tense ‘did’ is intentional. Not “I can do it! because -No, I can’t” just slots in there far too easily as demotivating gremlin backchat. Sounds odd but worked for me... as did thinking of an image of myself walking home thinking-‘“yes!! Job done! “

Good luck! You can do it.

ChokkaGraduate in reply to Run4Hills

Blimmin Gremlins ... powerful little creatures aren’t they?!?

Jo’s advice was that she changed her inner voice from (something like) ‘I hate running’ to ‘I love running’ ...

My yoga teacher says ‘raise the corners of your mouth a little’ ...

Have another inner voice that is you being your own best friend ... & cheer her on ... if that fails you can use her to stomp on that gremlin!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Chokka

Good idea! I need to stomp on this gremlin. I’m so close now to finishing 🤞

SJ60Graduate in reply to Run4Hills

Thank you. That’s a good idea. It is so easy to listen to the gremlin.


My inner gremlin is still there 3 weeks after graduation, yours must be its twin because it says exactly the same things... "you're a fat 55 year old bloke, what on earth do you think you're doing, you look ridiculous..." somehow despite all this I keep going in the hope that one day I'll speed up enough to leave it behind. Whenever the gremlin strikes I think of my daughter telling me she is proud of me, the only person in my life ever to do so... and I keep plodding on somehow.

SJ60Graduate in reply to Cp1965

Pesky gremlin! They need a good kicking don’t they! Mine does its very best to munch away at my self-confidence. My family are all behind me offering support which is lovely but that niggly self-doubt gremlin edges its way in when you’re not looking.

You’ve done so brilliantly 👍🙌 great job! And it sounds like you’ll definitely be leaving your gremlin behind very soon!

Cp1965Graduate in reply to SJ60

Must be good having a supportive family, I've never had one which is why the gremlin is so strong!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Cp1965

My gremlin is left over from childhood....nothing was ever good enough, even personal bests weren’t celebrated. They were just another milestone to beat. My children are amazingly supportive now which is fab.

These gremlins are very tenacious 😡

Cp1965Graduate in reply to SJ60

Likewise... still remember now getting my O level results, 8 passes including 5 grade As, but my mother's opening statement to everyone was "he failed history"...

SJ60Graduate in reply to Cp1965

Oh I remember that soooo well 😱


I am old and very fat and I did it. I have accepted i am not an athlete but at least moving - even if slow! I do 5k in about an hour but i plod to it once a week. Just be kind to yourself and recognise how epic you are getting to this point and that you are a runner.

SJ60Graduate in reply to CaptFrey

Thank you. It’s not the speed we do it at is it but rather the fact that we’re out there and not sitting on the couch!


I could have written this , but as I keep being told , you ARE doing it .I'm slow, but I'm a quicker snail now and aside from anything else , I'm almost enjoying it now. And I'm a graduate now, woo hoo .

SJ60Graduate in reply to jwillmac

Thank you. I love running. It’s hard work and I think the gremlin pops in just at the point when I’m tired and even a snail is faster! Well done to you on graduating 🙌😃


You did it! Despite the fact the annoying gremlin joined you for a free ride- just keep reminding them of it, keep running up to the point his voice fades away. There still may be days when he would feel in control - but keep reminding you of the battles you have been winning! 🥳

SJ60Graduate in reply to NotAM

I hadn’t thought about it hitching a free ride. I’ll definitely be trying to tell it to get out of my head and see if it can run any better than I am. 🤞🤣


I’m 55. Tomorrow I do week 9 run 1... I’m also 3 1/3 stone overweight...

Hell yes you can do it. Just push through. Don’t beat yourself up

I tell myself at about 13 mins in when I’m

Struggling- cone on you can do this ....


SJ60Graduate in reply to Scw787

We can definitely do this! Good luck tomorrow. 👍

GetFitMum71 in reply to SJ60

Ps its never too old to do anything in life. Go for it 💕

Pss life is too short to regret!

Hi meditation before the run. I prayer and meditate every morning and it helps me have a positive mindset for the day. If I am having negative thoughts during the day, stop, breathe, quieten the negative thoughts and reset. This can happen any time of the day. Don't have to wait for a new day. Meditation is a powerful tool and Great way to kick start the day on a positive note. There a specific one for running. Try it.

SJ60Graduate in reply to GetFitMum71

Thank you. Great idea. I’m off to hunt on headspace. Normally I just head out of the door but getting my head in a good place beforehand sounds like a plan 👍


I agree with everything that’s been written above- I’m not an elegant runner and never will be but hey we’re all out there doing it! I graduated on Friday and if you’d told me 9 weeks ago I would be “running “ for 30 minutes( I use the term running very loosely- it’s more of fast walk😂) I would have laughed at you- but here I am a fully fledged C25k graduate!! Keep the faith and you will be a graduate too- oh and if the gremlin reappears just pop him in a blender like the did in the film- that’ll sort him!!😂😂wishing you all the best for your last 2 runs before graduating! X

SJ60Graduate in reply to Tracyu

Thank you. I’m loving the image of popping him in a blender 🤣👍

Congratulations on graduating 🙌🥂🥇 brilliant job!


You are a legend and an inspiration, tell those gremlins to shut up and go sit in the corner, your too busy reclaiming your health to listen to them!!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Madloonmary

Thank you 🤗


I have found that using a mantra that means something to you, mine are Failure is not an option or You’ve done it before you can do it again, keep saying this, at Gremlin times, even aloud, everyone knows runners are mad so don’t worry about the looks you may get 😂

You are never too old, I have just done my first HM two days before my 70th birthday after graduating C25K 18 months ago😉 Only you can stop you!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Setters

You are so right! My gremlin is NOT going to win 👍

A half marathon???? That’s amazing - inspirational 😃🙌


When ever I got a nagging voice in my head, I thought back to week 1 when I was willing the 60 seconds to be over so I could have a walk. That really puts things into perspective!

Now I have graduated, the voice has changed into 'You ve proven you can do it, you don't need to every other day' or 'this is really hard, why not do a shorter run today' or the classic, ' give up and try again next time'. I just run through and think about the 5 min victory walk home and how good it will feel!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Jenny115

What a great way to think of the cool down walk...a victory walk! I’m going to do this tomorrow for my R2 👍


I love all the brilliant and truly helpful replies to this ... we can all take something away with us. So you see SJ60, your Gremlins power has already been diminished by your sharing it ~ as we all carry them with us in one form or another .... so you don’t have to carry him alone. And those Gremlins weigh heavy ... so the fact (and it IS a FACT) that you are managing each run carrying that too is truly impressive. So run a little taller and keep looking at the path ahead .... you have already got this. Thank you for sharing as I am sure this has helped inspire many others, myself included x

SJ60Graduate in reply to TenaciousDeb

Thank you. Such helpful replies...I can’t believe how great the support is here 🤗

Easy to say ignore it but that can be difficult so take a different approach.

You have used the app for 9 weeks and it hasn't failed you. Have faith and trust I the app and you will succeed. You won't be the only person who had these gremlins but the difference in you is that you have gotten to the end. Awesome.

SJ60Graduate in reply to TEOTWAWKI1066

Thank you. Run 2 tomorrow so I’ll be shouting at the gremlin to go away!


You used to do so much sport back in the day, you listen to music whilst running, youre on this chat, you run, its all in your DNA, ive never done any sport in my life. You got this far because your body can, thats it! 😉

SJ60Graduate in reply to Sabrina77

Thank you. I’d never thought of myself as sporty but I guess I was 🤣


I think it takes time to get rid of that nasty gremlin that sits inside our heads.

You have done all the hard work already and you can do it 100%.

Your gremlin wants to persuade you to go back to comfy couch again and he knows he loses 😉

Show him what you are made of 😙

SJ60Graduate in reply to RunGirl31

Thank you. Mr gremlin is definitely not going to win...I’ve put too much effort in already 🤣


I have named my gremlins (Enid) and talk to her. Initially I left her at home. (It helps to joke around with it...recognise these voices of doubt for what there are.) But now I am repeating the programme and addressing the concerns one by one. You are smashing it...Well done. 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️👀🤸🏻‍♀️🧘🏼‍♀️👍

SJ60Graduate in reply to Nilsam

Enid! 🤣 I like it!!

I know what you mean BUT you are on wk 9, that I AMAZING. I am also overweight so every run bits wobble but they are getting slightly less. When you hear it surely you need to tell it to go away, you have proved you can do it. The subconscious hears this and is your gremlin. You’ve got this. Keep going. If I see anyone, any age, any size and going at any speed running I have nothing but admiration for them. Go go go...

SJ60Graduate in reply to Wally2808

I’m going to smash it! Run 2 tomorrow then finish up on Thursday I hope 🤞🤞🤞🙏🏻

Treat the thought like a bully. What do we do with bullies? We ignore them. We don't engage with them - we just ignore them. Eventually (and it will take time) the bully will give up. So, acknowledge the thought if you want ('Ah! There's that bullying thought again') and turn the focus of your attention to something neutral (e.g. How many red cars can you see on your route?), or something positive (e.g. beautiful trees. nature etc.). It does take time but with perseverance you will find the thought starts to lose it's power over you.

Well done and good luck!

Right, time to try W9R2... wish me luck!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Bridgetlikessinging

Good luck! How did you do? Brilliantly - I’m certain of it 🙌

BridgetlikessingingGraduate in reply to SJ60

I did it! And I did it again today which means I've finished! Woop woop!

Thanks for posting and hope you are doing okay too xx

SJ60Graduate in reply to Bridgetlikessinging

Brilliant! Congratulations!


Just been reading your profile and posts - you’re amazing! 🌟

SJ60Graduate in reply to Islandmacmum

Aww thank you. I’ve had so much support from this group. It’s incredible 🥰

Massive well done for completing the 30 mins - I did this run this am too so I’m looking forward to seeing us both graduate this week 😁🏆

Ignore the gremlin & its negative energy - it’s trying to feed off your insecurities. Be satisfied & proud of yourself in the knowledge that you’ve proved already that you can do it by completing the 30mins in this run, which shows that to have faith in the program is all that’s needed.

Good luck with the next 2 runs! 😊

SJ60Graduate in reply to Needtoescapepo20

Good luck to you too 🤞🤞 we can do this!


Gremlins are horrid ! But remember we need balance! I have a gremlin and a genie. When the dreaded g pipes up I engage my inner genie who beats him away!!!

Meditation helps me and support from you guys.

You have come so far and the gremlin hasnt won

You have got this!!! We have got you 😁

SJ60Graduate in reply to Smile23

I need to find my inner genie...I’ll search tomorrow morning!

That gremlin should simply do one !!!

You’ve proven it wrong ... you’ve just run 30 mins ! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️ So there ... it should just go and you tell it I’d it pops up that it’s wrong!

Well done ... you have so got this ... just 60 minutes until you graduate 🎓... go for it !

SJ60Graduate in reply to PlymBorn

Eeek! 60 minutes....yup I’ve got this 🤞🤞🤞🤣

Thanks for posting as it’s made us all realise that we all seem to have gremlins that tell us we can’t (and sometimes it’s good to know we’re not the only ones who have gremlin sabotages) BUT the reality is the gremlins wrong - you completed week 9 run 1 - you’ve shown the stupid gremlin who’s in charge. Keep reading everyone’s posts reminding you “you’ve done it, you can do it”! - Good luck

SJ60Graduate in reply to Health2020

I never realised so many people had those pesky gremlins! They need removing big time 🙌


Ohh, I hear you. We all have those gremlins, for me is Week 5, it has been quite the mental challenge (still is actually) my head full of ghosts from the past shouting you are too weak, you are ill, you are old, you will never make it. Well, those were my "parents", not a gremlin TBH.

You can do this. I mean come, on you got this far!

SJ60Graduate in reply to StarkeyGo

Thank you. With All this support...I know I can do it!

StarkeyGoGraduate in reply to SJ60

Of course you can!

I have found that if I ask those negative thoughts inside my mind, "What is your need?" they sometimes shut up and my mind falls silent. Sometimes it is just trying to keep you safe. You can then bargain with it and 'parent' it by saying, "Just going to finish this, then I will have a chat with you in a minute..." Ha!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Taliesin7

Oh I like that! Make it wait till I’m done 🤣👍

StarkeyGoGraduate in reply to Taliesin7

Yes! a psychologist once told me to say to "it": Thank you for trying to look after me, but I'm an adult now. I got this. <3


I had exactly the same sort of feeling R9w2 ???

Just could not get to last run ridiculous.

The more I agonised over it the worse it got. I posted here read the real help.

Then I thought sod it im going out today if I complete great if I don’t —-so what?

Guess what, I did it slow, but I made it.

Stop beating and competing with yourself.

All the very best I’ll be looking out for you.

SJ60Graduate in reply to Lokki33

Well done! I think slow is good 👍 thank you

I too am a 60 (nearly 61) year old granny, wrecked knee, recent rotator cuff injury and a stroke survivor of 3 years, I won’t talk about the weight thing 😂. I hear that gremlin too but I got through week 9 just 2 weeks ago and still going, still only doing the 5K and it’s still tough but no gremlin or disability will stop me. You are fantastic getting through this with all the health problems hounding you. Go warrior go 🏃‍♀️

SJ60Graduate in reply to RebelR

I’m pretty sure I’m not fast enough to get to 5k but I’ll be out there finishing up this week.


As previous, tell it you’ve got this far and then run away from it!!!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Spike75



I had that too and I still have it from time to time. Can depend on my mood . I think about it for a second then try then remind myself why I'm doing it. I can also get a bit stuck on why I didn't do this earlier . Negative thoughts will always come but you can choose to acknowledge and move on and recognise that doing what we are doing is great whatever age and stage and it will bring us positive benefits.

SJ60Graduate in reply to Runbird

Thank you. All this help is overwhelming. I’m so grateful.


Kick the gremlin into touch. You've got this...🍷👍😁

SJ60Graduate in reply to MontyMooDog



Well, you will finish if you're on week 9 - that's a great achievement. The gremlins do go away eventually, although they occasionally emerge here and there. It's those first few minutes isn't it! Good luck and keep telling yourself you're a runner.

SJ60Graduate in reply to Roxdog

Haha! A running tortoise more like it but at least I’m out there!


you've got this far, don't give up, the programme works. You can do it.

SJ60Graduate in reply to Run5000m

Thank you 👍

I can ignore the nagging voice. It's the stabbing sensation of a nail being driven through my calf that tells me I'm too old to run without proper stretching, foam rolling, recovery, etc. prior to getting out there.

SJ60Graduate in reply to StevePoling

Ouch! That sounds very unpleasant. Keep stretching!

YOU are an inspiration to me!! I'm going to be 65 in a couple of months and have pretty bad arthritis in both my knees and I'm overweight (down about 30 pounds and down from the "obese" category since last year, but still in the "overweight" category). I'm only on Week 4 and keep asking myself if I'm crazy for thinking I can do this. You're showing me that I can!! Tell that voice: too late, I've already done it!! Because you have. Thank you for showing me that it's possible!

SJ60Graduate in reply to LeFizz

If I can wobble my way to week 9 I reckon you can do it too! Keep going!

Ignore it you are doing great.

How did it go?

SJ60Graduate in reply to TEOTWAWKI1066

I’ve graduated 🙌🙌🙌 got rid of the gremlin in spectacular fashion! 👍👍👍

TEOTWAWKI1066Graduate in reply to SJ60

That is absolutely tresmendous. Now the trick is to continue but without the pressure. I don't know what your plan is but I still use the app for the consolidation run and I have just done number 9. I feel bad dumping Michael Johnson.

Onwards and upwards for you. Great job and now you can achieve anything and just think, now if something takes the mickey, you know what you can do. Not many can run 5km but you can. Hold on to that.

SJ60Graduate in reply to TEOTWAWKI1066

I’m planning on keeping Michael close by for sometime yet. I’m pretty sure I need all the help and encouragement I can get. I’m going to try and get comfortable running for 30 minutes before I try anything else. Slow and steady is the way I need to go. Thank you for the encouragement. 👍


There has been a lot of talk on the forum a about 'mantras'. So, saying things to yourself like 'I am strong'. Defining yourself in your mind as a runner or not doesn't matter, the point is you run!

You can run for 30 minutes! How amazing is that! You do run, that's the point. Get yourself a mantra to say to yourself when the gremlins surface. We all have the gremlins sometimes.


Just seen that you graduated and that your original post was days ago! Well done!

SJ60Graduate in reply to Roxdog

Thank you. The gremlin took some slaying but I got there in the end 👍🙌

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