Will I ever enjoy running?: Hi So far on I am on... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Will I ever enjoy running?

Wigsy profile image

Hi

So far on I am on week 6 and every run has been completed successfully, however i can't say I have enjoyed any of them. As the weeks have gone by I dont think the runs are getting significantly easier, and the friend I run with feels the same. I really want to learn to enjoy running. Any advice about how I can achieve that?

Can I also get advice on whether other physical activities should be stopped when on this programme. Typically I walk for a couple of hours every day ( including run days) and I'm thinking this additional activity may be contributing to an unenjoyable run (either that or I'm just not cut out to be an effective runner)

Finally, any advice on what and when I should be eating and drinking on a run day, that could help improve my performance.

Thanks

89 Replies

I can safely say I hated most of the C25K runs! I felt great afterwards but really didn't like the runs themselves. It was months before I felt as if I was enjoying it and even now have days when I just want a run to be over. Once you graduate and the pressure is off, try different things. A short drive to a new route can work wonders, as can running 'naked'! No, not without your clothes, but with no music/watch/run tracker etc. In just a few weeks you'll be a graduate and then you can experiment and hopefully find what makes you happy. If not, just grit your teeth and enjoy the post-run feeling🙂

Archerygoddess profile image
ArcherygoddessGraduate in reply to Archerygoddess

Edit. Click 'Home' at the top of the page. On the right hand side you'll see a section titled 'latest poll'. Underneath that is 'see (or view, not sure) all polls. You'll see one about whether you enjoy running. It's quite interesting and shows that you're not alone!

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Archerygoddess

Based on what you've said, I'll keep pushing on. I really want to get to a point when it feels almost natural to run

Thanks for your reply.

booksie profile image
booksieGraduate in reply to Archerygoddess

I can't find the edit on my page Archerygodess. Is it on the "Health Unlocked"?

thanks

Archerygoddess profile image
ArcherygoddessGraduate in reply to booksie

Sorry, didn't make myself clear. At the top of this page it says Home, Posts, About, Members. Click on the word home and on the right hand side will be a pinned post called latest polls. I find them really interesting

booksie profile image
booksieGraduate in reply to Archerygoddess

Found it now - thanks. I seem to fit into the lower category of enjoyment 😟 but at least I'm not alone. I sort of read on and interestingly liked the comment of someone who said much depends on the warm up as to how much you enjoy the run ( or similar). I do the 5 min warm up each time but maybe it needs to be more vigorous. Will try it and see...

Rick-shaw profile image
Rick-shawGraduate in reply to Archerygoddess

VERY interesting.

Kind of sad, though, that so many people don't enjoy running (I'm o,e of the "none of the time" ones, hoping to improve to the "very little of the time" group soon.

Archerygoddess profile image
ArcherygoddessGraduate in reply to Rick-shaw

😂😂

Frizzbomb67 profile image
Frizzbomb67Graduate

I felt like this all the way through the program! I enjoyed reading about running and talking about running on this forum but I didn’t actually like running 😂😂 I think it was because it was just so hard at the start. It does get easier and the enjoyment grows as you start to enjoy the runs and not just ‘survive’ them. It’s very motivating to see your progress too. Six weeks on from graduating I’m still running 3 times a week so I must be enjoying it a bit more now 😂😂. Hope you will too.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Frizzbomb67

You have given me hope. Keep plodding and then one day I will turn in Mo Farah 😂

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate

When the pressure is off you can do whatever you want. On Monday I did a really slow run. (I shouldn't have done as I was still injured, but that's a separate matter.) It was so slow I hardly broke a sweat. That was enjoyable.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to nowster

Trouble is I fear that with no schedule and the winter drawing in, I'll be tempted not to bother (but I'm trying my hardest to fight against that)

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to Wigsy

You then pick a new programme or a new target. There are plenty of options out there.

You might try to work up to an hour or to 10km. You might practice for a 5km parkrun (when they start again).

NickiCS profile image
NickiCSGraduate in reply to Wigsy

After C25K, I signed up to Raceatyourpace. It's £10. You chose your mikes for the month and then you get a medal at the end - and very nice medals at that. I am on my 2nd one this month - didn't do one last month. It has given me extra motivation and have done some of my best runs as a result

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to NickiCS

Thanks for the info, I'll look into that

Scout37 profile image
Scout37Graduate in reply to nowster

I'm exactly that, as you know! I love my really slow jog runs, I'm completely comfortable and can thoroughly enjoy being outdoors, moving at my own pace, not breathing too hard and simply being able to keep going as long as I want.

When pushing myself to increase speed, I'm not so happy. I don't like gasping for breath, as an astmhatic it panics me a bit.

I can go faster for short runs, but for long ones I have to settle into my customary snail pace. I will continue to push myself, probably one run of three. But it's a joy to know that I can go out and love it too when I need to.

Hope that makes sense. I guess the moral for the OP is...don't feel pressured to go faster than is comfortable. You can go as slowly as you like through C25K...and beyond if you choose.

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to Scout37

A suggestion for if you want to get faster: intervals. This is the idea underlying fartleks.

Scout37 profile image
Scout37Graduate in reply to nowster

Trouble is, I like running slowly so much! But yes, I feel I need to push myself once a week. My next run, tomorrow, will be an easy one as that's the day I do the first run of W2 to mentor a friend. Might add a bit...depends on the knee which isn't quite right yet. If all feels good on Thursday I may try some speed work. I can't speed up the intervals tomorrow as the whole point is to support my friend.

Plenty of time, plenty of runs ahead...😁

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate

PS. Welcome to the C25K forum.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to nowster

Thank you. Really useful forum

mrrun profile image
mrrunGraduate

What's the main reason why you run?

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to mrrun

I wanted a challenge, and want to increase fitness and shed some pounds

Setters profile image
SettersGraduate

I too walk around 3 hours every day, including my 3x runs per week, I have a coach as currently training for a metric marathon and he does take my walking into consideration when setting my weekly distance as he regards walking as a different type of training rather than ignoring it completely. I also do weight/ strength training 3x a week. The afternoon Of the day I did my first HM distance we went for an hours walk and I think it definitely helped my body to recover as had no aches/pains as a result .

Hope that helps re your query about walking/running.

Oh and I am not a fit young thing, am 70 🙂.

As others say once you are on your own after the regimented C25K you can choose your own path, as it where and you may well find that makes it more fun for you. But whatever you do keep running!

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Setters

Thank you for replying, I'm very impressed by all you activities. You sound far more fit than me!

Some days when I walk and then run later, I feel fine. Like you said, I think it actually helps. However on other occasions I've really had to push myself to run because I've felt so tired.

I guess there's no easy answers here, but just to keep going!

TopCat22 profile image
TopCat22 in reply to Wigsy

I’m new to running, so maybe this isn’t good advice, but from my own personal experience I find walking after a run is better than walking before a run. I do lots of long walks and have found it does badly affect my running if I do a particularly long or hilly walk the day before, so I can imagine walking in the morning and then running later that day would adversely affect your running. I think walking after a run is better as from what I’ve found out on this forum, walking will loosen up your tight muscles and help (like a glorified cool down). So, maybe run first thing in the morning, and walk later afterwards. Good luck

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to TopCat22

Thanks for that. I am willing to try anything that may help, so I'm going to try walking after my run

Graleystives profile image
GraleystivesGraduate

I graduated 2 1/2 months ago and, if I’m honest, I still don’t enjoy running. I always feel a jolt of pleasure when I wake up and realise it’s a non-run day!

This is compensated though by the fact I am so pleased that I am able to run (slowly) now and that I must be much fitter than I was in April.

Occasionally I have a run that has felt easier and that feels good too.

I still do hope the day will come when I wake up and think “ oh good, it’s a run day!”.

I would love to look forward to a run day. In my mind that means that I would then be a "proper runner".

Well done for carrying on, I'm going to try my best to do the same

Morning! I pretty much always feel like this when I’m on a run, unless I’m going downhill then I love it!! 🤣 or occasionally when someone smiles or says well done whilst I’m dying then I feel good about it. However for me the big draw to it is the feeling after and what I’ve achieved. That keeps me going.

I’m not a fast runner, I started c25k this time last year when my youngest finally started school and I could barely run for 60seconds but have continued (other than a injury in Feb for 8weeks) and that makes me feel good to say I’ve been running for a year.

BradC profile image
BradCGraduate

I graduated at the end of August and am really enjoying my consolidation runs. Whilst I enjoyed most of the runs during C25K, looking back, I think it took me a while to get my speed right and I’m sure I ran faster than I needed to for some of them. So my advice is if you’re finding it a chore, slow down - i.e. shorter steps. You can build up speed when you’ve built up your stamina.

I’m at the point now where I’ve built up my fitness and plan to just run 2 or three times a week for pleasure from now on. No marathons😊🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to BradC

I agree about the pace and I am quite conscious now if I'm running too fast. Maybe I'll try to really slow it down and see how that feels. Thanks

I love a downhill as well. I think my ambition to be Mo Farah needs to be challenged in my head 😂

It helps to know that others feel the same.

Thanks for your reply

booksie profile image
booksieGraduate

I started the programme beginning of lockdown or thereabouts and graduated a month or so ago. I manage the consolidation runs but I struggle to "enjoy" it - ever! I feel great afterwards and have lost 9lbs in weight . I think its important to acknowledge that not everyone does enjoy running despite wanting to. I've read all the tips here and love this forum as it really helps to motivate but the" enjoyment" factor - maybe one day it will just happen!! I hope it does for you but keep on running anyway as its good for you.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to booksie

It's good for me to know that there are runners out there like you who don't love to run but still do. I'm going to try my best to keep going.

Thanks for sharing your experience

booksie profile image
booksieGraduate in reply to Wigsy

just finished a 30+ min run and I did slow right down. I plan to keep doing this for a while till I enjoy 😅. Hope it all goes well for your next run

Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

Can you speak aloud, clear, ungasping sentences as you run?.........if not, you are going too fast.

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

Say this sentence out loud to yourself "Am I going slow enough to enable me to speak this sentence in one breath?" If you cannot, you are going too fast.

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.

Enjoy your journey.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to IannodaTruffe

I must admit I haven't been talking on my runs because putting all my energy into keeping going but from your information, maybe I am going too fast.

Thanks for the link, I'll look at that tomorrow

Tasha99 profile image
Tasha99Graduate

Slow down. That makes it much more enjoyable. It’s also better for you. Your pace will naturally improve as you run further despite slowing down.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Tasha99

Quite a few people on the forum are saying this. I'm going to try a slow run tomorrow. Thanks for your advice

Tasha99 profile image
Tasha99Graduate in reply to Wigsy

It’s much more enjoyable and actually far more beneficial!

I know this isn’t helpful but OMG it’s like this post could have come out from my words ...

I am about week 8! After about two weeks off :/ (poor time management/consistency)

And whilst I have enjoyed some runs and like you say ‘surviving’ the runs .. I still want to feel the enjoyment and not just at the end !

I have a friend who is also doing the program and she loves every run and I guess I’ve been wondering if something is wrong with me as I haven’t felt the whole ‘wow..fab..brill run day’

Anyways your post has reminded me that I’m not alone in this ! I do however think it’s something to do with the pressure of the programme/wanting to complete the programme

But keep running 🏃‍♀️ I’m optimistic ;)

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to ScribbleKid

Thanks for you reply. I think I'm going to try and run at a slower pace tomorrow and see if it makes me feel better. Have you tried running more slowly and if so did it help?

Must get out of the mindset of "the quicker I run the quicker I can get to the finish" 😂

ScribbleKid profile image
ScribbleKid in reply to Wigsy

Good luck! Keep at it :P

I didn't enjoy running until I could go to Parkrun (maybe one day it will come back, if the misgovernments stop their insane Covid strategies) on Saturday, and run with a horde. This taught me to run a lot less competitively, and slower. I leave records, and pushing personal limits to others.

Now I don't worry much about how far or how fast I go, I just like to get the kit on and run for 30 minutes every other day. I still don't actually 'enjoy' the running, but I do enjoy the process of staying fit.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to theoldfellow

That's what is motivating me, the getting fit and staying fit. I just need to keep plodding on I guess.

I think running with others will also help me. Thanks for your reply

Run4Hills profile image
Run4HillsGraduate

Hi.

Well done for keeping at it.

I have to run first thing in the morning. I wake up, drink, get dressed, stretch a bit, go to the loo and get out the door. I can’t eat or do anything else or it all goes wrong.

I try to drink more water on my rest days.

What is your pace? You say you go out with a friend. Are you going at the right speed for you? Have you tried to use an app eg. Strava, Nike (NRC) to record your run? It gives really useful information about how you run. I always think I start slow but the beginning is usually the fastest part of my run. And, from what I’ve read, it shouldn’t be. It would be interesting to track your run alone and compare it with the same route run together.

Have you got a music playlist? Some songs are great but they are really not running songs. That is worth thinking about.

If you go out feeling light, have good music and start nice and easy, you should be ok. Autumn running is lovely because I don’t come back beetroot from the heat. I’m looking forward to winter runs!

I did wonder if C25K progressed too fast. Like you, I completed every run but it was all pretty hard going. Looking back, I wonder why I didn’t go slower. Insert a run from the first couple of weeks every now and then to remind myself how far I’d come. Struggling to the end every time is hard BUT proving to yourself that you are capable of running for eg. an unbelievable 20 mins is also very valuable. I wouldn’t mess with the plan really.

I don’t think you can expect the runs to get easier when the run times increase as fast as they do. Sorry.

The most demotivating thing of all for me was weighing myself.. I was expecting to lose weight, I gained it. Don’t bother weighing. Keep running and the flab will slowly melt away - in unexpected places first for me -arms, back, inner thighs. Best of all, I feel great.

Keep going.

I agree with the advice to slow down, also, when you think of improving your performance, I'd consider improvement to be having a more relaxed, enjoyable run, rather than increasing speed.

I'm just going into the final week and enjoying the journey. I've found looking at online videos of technique helpful.

I have a mental image of being able to run fast and effortlessly - I'm definitely nowhere near that, but don't expect to be yet.

I usually do about 10 mile, hilly walks a couple of times a week, and if tired, take an extra rest day. I'm taking pleasure in noting my increased fitness when walking.

I got bored of my own music pretty quickly and was pleased to find that I can download BBC radio programs that work with the ap.

I'm also a bit worried about keeping going once winter sets in, and am busily stocking up on warm, lightweight second hand running gear.

Hope it gets easier

Moominette profile image
MoominetteGraduate

I enjoyed the thrill of the progress in the first few weeks of C25k and then, post week 6 when the walking intervals stopped, I started finding it a really hard slog. However, I was determined to see it through to graduation on this, my 4th attempt at the programme so I kept going. I wasn’t enjoying the runs but I did enjoy the feeling after and I think that dragged me through.

However, once I graduated, it was both daunting and exhilarating to be free to choose what next. I started experimenting with what I listened to (podcasts, nrc coaches, rock music, classical music, audiobooks, nothing but the sound of my puffing and panting!) and with running with or without noting the time/distance etc. It’s been great to find out what does and doesn’t work for me - I personally didn’t think I’d be able to run without the distraction of music but actually, it turns out that audiobooks were a game changer.

The biggest thing for me was deciding why I wanted to be a runner, keeping this in the back of my mind and then not overthinking it on run days - if it’s a run day, I just get dressed and go out and do it before I can overthink it or find a list of reasons why not to do it! (There’s a always a long list of reasons!)

8 consolidation runs later and I can say that I have at least enjoyed some parts of some of the runs and I feel a bit excited when it’s a run day and a bit deflated when it’s not. Good luck with the rest of the programme and hope that you can find a way to make it more enjoyable or at least endurable for yourself 😀

Like you I posted a why am I not enjoying it more post around week 5/6. It's hard sometimes to think you are the only one not catching this running bug thing, but obviously that's not true.

I just did W7r3 this morning. That means I've now done 4 x 25 min slow canters around the park. I still love knowing it's a non run day and make myself go, rather than look forward to, running, but I do feel great afterwards.

In fact today, armed with a new playlist starting 'I will Survive' ... but ending with 'Happy' and 'The Greatest Show' I found myself really smiling and singing along!

For the first time I really believe I can finish this thing now, however slowly, and much as I was terrified of all these non stop runs I think given time I will prefer them. Just keep getting out there. It sounds like you are way more active than me but don't push yourself. I've started taking 2 rest days between these longer runs because I don't want to injury myself, in fact this week I've only fitted 2 runs in. Take the pressure off. Sing along to your music and enjoy the proud feeling at the end. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

shsoga profile image
shsogaGraduate

It has been over three years since I graduated and I would say that I still very rarely actually “enjoy“ a run. But I have made my peace with it, it is an easy, portable, equipment-free way to exercise which has been a lifesaver since I have not been going to the gym. And I am so much fitter than I was when I started - my weight has not changed but I am inches smaller all over and my average resting heart rate has dropped by nearly 10bpm.

Just keep reminding yourself why you are doing this and enjoy the benefits, if not the actual process itself. Try mixing up your runs and finding beautiful places to do them, I know I enjoy it more when my surroundings are attractive.

Good luck, I hope you get through this and stick with it because you are doing so well and it really it worth it 💪

That is what I feel , what a relief to hear you say you don't enjoy it. I love the feeling at the end but I definitely don't enjoy the runs, I find I get quite bored. I've tried, music, talk radio and silence to see if that helps. I'm on Week 8 and when I complete , I'll see how I go . However, I can't see me running outside in the Winter. I read an interview with Paloma Faith and she runs but she says she hates every minute but she does it to keep fit. I felt so much better after reading that!I will complete the week 9 runs and that is what is keeping me going at the moment , after that who knows! Good luck.

Dups profile image
DupsGraduate

I am in the same boat as you. I started couch to 5k during lockdown. For years I have been a consistent gym attender. I enjoy exercise and as the gyms were closed I decided to do running. I am enjoying the challenge but don’t love it. I want to love it and enjoy the outdoors and leave the structured times of gym classes behind as I work shifts and can’t get consistency in any one thing. I want to carry on after the nine weeks but worry I will lose motivation on completion.

Any advice from anyone to keep me going would be welcome.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Dups

Hi

Don't know if you have seen the replies I have received, but I feel a lot better after reading them. "Real runners" admitting that they don't love the process of running but continue doing it because they feeling healthier etc.

I'm lucky at the moment as I'm doing C25K with a friend (we both don't want to let the other down)

I'm going to press on, hope you do too. Keeping running 😀

Dups profile image
DupsGraduate in reply to Wigsy

Hi,

Yeah, I have read all the replies you received, lots of different opinion and advice. I think I have decided the hardest part is actually getting the trainers on and setting foot outside the door! 😂 I completed W6R2 this morning and found for some reason the last 5 minutes really hard. I didn’t give up but wondered why I had to dig so deep to finish today.

I started this couch to 5k during lock down as the gyms were closed and hoped that I would find a new ‘buzz’ in doing a different exercise.

I don’t hate it but don’t love it either. I think I am probably to critical of my performance, and need to remind myself that I am a novice in this new activity.

I will definitely carry on because the challenge is important to me and like you I exercise to stay healthy.

Thanks for your reply, I will stay motivated and maybe who knows I might make to C25k! 😁

Hello,

I have a slightly different opinion than others.

If you don't enjoy running, then perhaps it's because this particular activity is not the right fit for you.

Let me tell you, that I have always been very picky about what exercise I enjoy. Never liked the gym, always hated running. Tried swimming, collective courses at the gym, and others. The only activities I truly enjoyed were dancing & self-defense. I tried going to the gym, but I didn't like it, didn't feel happy. Same thing with running. I tried few times, counting the minutes it would be over.

I change with time, however. Few months back, a friend told me that running ease the mind, which I certainly needed. I decided to give running another try, see if I could find the joy and discovered C25K. I did enjoy the runs, the challenge, it helped me get more relaxed. I finished the program and am currently doing the C210K. And I simply cannot wait to run again and again. During my summer holidays, I insisted on running. I ran along the beach and felt so satisfied! So I found a park where I try going regularly, even though it means spending 2hrs in the public transport (back and forth), because those runs I enjoy the most. I started running with a colleague once a week, which is great, too. I run three times a week and suffer every time I have to skip.

I am not trying to discourage you. I advise that you try to finish your program, see if you are able to enjoy it (try slowing down, run alone, run different path). And if, at the end you still don't, then don't feel bad. It is perhaps just not what you can truly appreciate. Maybe there is something way better for you. Swimming, cycling, dancing, CrossFit, hiking... Something that gives you the "yay, cannot wait" vibe :)

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to karol363

Thanks for sharing.

I guess it's still early days for me really (just finished week 6) and I need to give myself more time, and not give up!

karol363 profile image
karol363 in reply to Wigsy

Of course, and we are all here to encourage you ☺️

Yellowshade profile image
YellowshadeGraduate

Hello! I have completed 12 consolidation runs since graduating C25k and I do now feel like I’m starting to enjoy running. Even still it’s often hard to motivate myself to get up and do it but I do enjoy the clear increase in my strength and fitness. It’s an ongoing journey and maybe feels like a slow one at times - but so worthwhile. I hope you keep going and start enjoying soon. Until then, if it doesn’t feel too hideous, just revel in the smugness of having done the run.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Yellowshade

I love it when Laura say "you're done". The best feeling 😂.

Thanks to yourself and the other lovely people on the forum, I've learnt others don't find running a breeze, but keep going nonetheless.

That's planted firmly in my brain now

Thank you

I finished C25k at the start of August and have been consolidating since then. I ought to have started Juju's magic plan this weekend but have been shattered so have taken a few rest days.

I don't enjoy any run, ever. I cant switch off. I dont find the runs easy. My tips though:

1.My slower runs are much more enjoyable than the slightly faster ones. My slightly faster ones are at a 40min per 5k pace. My slow ones are about 43 min pace. I do a 15 min one at 35min pace and its awful. I hate it. As much as I can i just stick with the slow one. It means I'm more likely to want to do the next one.

2. Varying the route helps massively. I have 3 routes for the 3 runs a week.

3. I listen to podcasts. Music just makes me concentrate on how much I don't enjoy running. There are a few set gealth and wellbeing podcasts that I enjoy and am working though. This has been a game changer for me.

4. I like saying that I run or have run. I hate the process but I like it once finished.

5. I need to make sure I've had about 2.5l of water or squash the day before I run. If I havent I feel it and the runs are ten times harder. I run at 6.30 in the morning. I dont have all day to talk myself out of it if I run then. I just have a few sips of squash before I go and eat porridge when I get back.

I'm not sure i will ever love running but I know its important for my health and actually half an hour is quite a short workout that fits in with my week.

Hope you find your groove.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to frozenberry

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Particularly interested in the 2.5 litres of liquid the day before. I'm going to try that

I was thinking about running with music but I can't decide on suitable tracks (not too fast, not too slow, not too annoying 😀). Maybe I'll have a look at podcasts and try and distract myself

Two years on and I'm still not sure if I enjoy running as such. I gain satisfaction from completing a run and from the fact I stuck to the programme and am still running, but generally as I'm running I'm sometimes hoping it'll just be over very soon. Sorry if that sounds negative. I do have runs where it clicks and I love the fact I'm out there and getting stronger. And during these strange covid times, I've loved the reassurance that if I can run for 30 minutes then I must be okay and not coming down with anything sinister.

Also, I miss it when I don't run, so I probably do enjoy it more than I think.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Crolla

That's an inspirational reply. Two years running but not necessarily loving it.

Your reply, and many others have shown me that lots of people run but don't particularly love it, but know it's good for them. This is a comfort to me and will keep me going (hopefully!)

Guess like trying any sport/activity - aome you like, some you don't. I love swimming but my partner doesn't and that is a great way to.keep fit. I never like start of a run, after 10 mins it okay. But love the feeling afterwards - this beautiful morning in London was a great early start to day. I think helps if the route appeals - i generally repeat same route as a dog walk through nature reserve/park - so have favourite bits. Hope you start to.like either run or after feeling but if not, maybe another way to get fit could appeal. Best wishes either way.

Thanks for your reply. I really want to enjoy running and continue running this time

I've been so encouraged because lots of the replies from runners have said that they don't love it but it they do it anyway. Just what I needed to hear!

Larrykat profile image
LarrykatGraduate

I didn't enjoy the running, but I did my C25K with a running club and I loved the company, after I completed C25K I did bridge to 10k again with a running club. I love running with others and I love the buz I have after running, but I still don't actually enjoy running. Though strangely, in the last 2 months since my Dr told me to stop running I have really missed it. Keep going it is great for your mental and physical health. I hope at some point I will be able to start again,

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Larrykat

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It's comforting to know that even if I continue to feel like this, others do as well, but they're still running.

I think the running with others will be vital for me also

I hope it's not too long until you get your running shoes on again

Greysixty profile image
GreysixtyGraduate

Hi Wigsy. I started the couch25k more or less on a whim 2 years ago in Dec and graduated after 9 weeks . I never particularly enjoyed it , it became more or less addictive though. I carried on running 2 to 3 times a week , always trying to improve my time. When I stopped that and realised that , at my age (64) , I’m not getting any faster, is when I started really enjoying my runs. I run at whatever pace and distance I feel like on the day. Sometimes I set out to do 20 minutes and end up doing 5k, usually about 35 minutes. I never do more than 40 minutes and I always try to smile and enjoy my surroundings. Have a look at Japanese slow running and take the pressure off yourself. I amaze myself that I now look forward to my runs nearly 2 years on but if I only get to do one run a week , so be it. I love the cooler days and the days when there is drizzle in the air. I try always to keep breathing in through my nose and if I really feel like walking... I do. Keep going, the difference in my health has been amazing even if sometimes.... it doesn’t feel like it.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Greysixty

That's a really inspirational story, thanks for sharing. I hope I'm still running after 2 years like you

What the lovely people on this forum have told me, loud and clear, is that some people don't love running but keep going because it's good for them. I needed to hear that

Tobytiger profile image
TobytigerGraduate

I find every run hard but it gives me a great sense of achievement knowing I’ve done it. I think if you go out of the door thinking ‘I hate running’ then you will hate it. Try to think of it more positively- you might have to con yourself to start with. You love running!!!

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Tobytiger

I am really working in the "think positive" strategy! Like you, I take pleasure in the achievement and LOVE it when Laura says "You're done". Just trying to love the running bit!

Thanks for your reply

I’ve been running for 2.5 years now and have racked up 2100+ km but I still don’t enjoy running. I enjoy the feeling of doing something good for my body and mind and I love the feeling of accomplishment after. Definitely don’t enjoy the actual running.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to sofaspud

I love you! You have given me hope. You're a real runner, who keeps running but doesn't particularly love it. I will remember this when I feel grumpy before my next run. Thanks for sharing

I’m now on the third time round for C25k and st last I can say I’m enjoying it. The first time I was so embarrassed and worried someone I knew would see me and I really didn’t think I could do it, The second time I got pneumonia in the middle of it so it took an age to compete. This time, I’m very motivated, I put on 7lbs in lockdown, 3 holidays were cancelled and I just knew I needed to loose the weight and improve my fitness levels. I start week 5 tomorrow, I’ve lost the weight and I’m at last enjoying it, the weather had been mild and I run Virtually with 2 others and we report back on WhatsApp. The competitive bit, sadly, is important to me. Oh and I’m 67 and apart from walking I’ve not been sporty in any shape or form before.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to SueCTo5k

Thanks for sharing your story. It is comforting to know that others are feeling the pain, yet and carrying on. This will inspire me to carry on

Happy running

Bogshuffler profile image
BogshufflerGraduate

First thing, get your head and look around you., you should be going slowly enough to see this and that, which you have never appreciated before. Secondly, give yourself half a chance, it sounds like you are doing way too much! Your body will be changing as you stretch your capabilities. The day day off is there for it to adjust. A stroll with the dog for an hour, yes, a march for 2 hours, how is that allowing your body to rest & recover? Lastly , its a mindset thing, you have to say positive stuff, if you say negative shit, shit is what you will get. Come you have got this far, you are on course to having a brilliant running future, focus on all the positives so far and exsult it wbat you are, for sure, going to avhieve!!!

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Bogshuffler

Thanks for your reply.

Thanks to yours and others replies the walking on run days is no more.

Bogshuffler profile image
BogshufflerGraduate

Head up

Karenlisam profile image
KarenlisamGraduate

I didn’t stop hating every step until I’d got to the point where the every run was 25 mins plus weirdly .

I’ve just graduated and I’ve stopped dreading going out and while I don’t hate it when I’m running now then I enjoy finishing the most

I don’t know if that’s a common experience or not and I do hope that as I get used to it then I’ll actually enjoy the runs ( or maybe just parts of them ) genuinely at some point but for now then I’ll just take the knowledge I’ve improved my health as reason enough to keep doing it

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Karenlisam

Thanks for sharing your experience. It really helps to know that there are runners out there who don't particularly love it but keep going. I have been thinking that if I don't live it, them maybe I'm not cut out for running.

Live you, I'm really going to try and keep going because it is good for your health

Enjoy your next run (or the finish!!)

Oh I can sooo relate to this question. I remember complaining to my partner's mother about how hard it was for me to run. She replied. "Well at least it's fun!" And I said, "No it's not. . . I don't enjoy any of it." So she asks me why I'm doing it and I said because the shower afterwards feels so great. Which was true.

I was trying to build strength and lose weight after a Cancer diagnosis. The drugs they gave me were thinning my bones. Plus feeling sorry for myself I ate like a crazy person and gained lots of weight. I did the whole C25K thing without enjoying any of it - but I got to the end and guess what? I had started to feel a little better so I started over at the beginning and did it again. All in all I would say it was about 6 months before I enjoyed running. Before that it was sheer torture because I was too weak for it to be fun.

Now that I can easily and quickly run 5k I like it, I can actually say I enjoy being out in nature, the fresh air, the meditative pace, everything about jogging.

A fun things I learned along the way: if you don't feel ready for the next run repeat the last week until you feel ready. If you want to move ahead anyway don't be afraid to walk-run. I felt the sustained runs were awfully long so the first time I did the program I did a pattern of walk a minute jog two (or three) until I got strong enough to do more.

I tend to not eat anything before a run. I go first thing in the morning to beat the heat. But if you run for longer than an hour bring water or get a water vest.

Last thing, if you feel so burnt you can't see finishing maybe you are not taking enough time off? I agree that maybe the amount of time you spend walking is effecting your running. Try cutting back or cutting out the walking until you finish your first 5k and then see how you much walking you want to fit it back into your schedule.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to msmuffintop

What an inspirational reply, thanks so much for sharing your journey with me.

I particularly love the fact that you are running 5ks with ease, which is what I hope to do

Thanks again

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador

Hi Wigsy

Watch this and learn to love going slow - look at how easy it is for them to chat. The idea is to JOG not 'run'.

Too many beginners here have an image of 'running' in their heads and end up going too fast, find it difficult and either quit cos it's not enjoyable ('it's just tooo hard'. 'i'm struggling') or they've got injured.

youtube.com/watch?v=9L2b2kh...

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador

Hi again Wigsy

"I really want to learn to enjoy running. Any advice about how I can achieve that?"

1. Slow down and relax (see the video above). That applies to your friend as well. A test for you both: you should be able to comfortably chat to each other for the entire duration of the run. If you can't - SLOW DOWN until your breathing rate is more relaxed.

"... whether other physical activities should be stopped ... I walk for a couple of hours every day ( including run days) and I'm thinking this additional activity may be contributing to an un-enjoyable run (either that or I'm just not cut out to be an effective runner)"

2. Non-walking activities are GREAT and you should absolutely continue them - but be careful not to do too much, especially if running is your focus and priority for you. And... walking for a couple hours a day on your run day maybe making you a bit tired. On run day, I'd scale that back a bit. On non-running days.... fill your boots!

"Finally, any advice on what and when I should be eating and drinking on a run day, that could help improve my performance."

Nothing in particular - unless it's just a mouthful or a nibble, just make sure you aren't eating and drinking in the hour before you run. It really isn't complicated, trust me.

Hope that helps.

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to John_W

Thanks for you reply John, it really helpful. You, along with others, have helped me to decide to not walk on a run day ( or walk after the run). I'm hoping this will help.

I asked the food question because I tend to, say have a sandwich at 12.30 and then nothing else until after my run (run at 6). I can't walk efficiently after eating food, hence no food until after run but was thinking maybe the no food gap was too long.

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Wigsy

Walking on a run a day is fine, just don't overdo it - everything in moderation! And walking AFTER your run is a perfect way to cool/warm-down from it. But again, doing a 1 hour brisk walk might be over doing it. Just be sensible.

Food: That's quite a big time gap between sandwich at 12:30 and then running at 6pm. I suggest a snack between 3 and 4pm. Make sure you have something to drink as well - a cup or glass of whatever will be fine.

Hi Wigsy I think lots of people run because they know it is good for them. I am one of those. I always feel great after a run but sometimes it is hard to motivate myself. I never look forward to a run! Once I am home am always pleased I went though.

Put your running kit on and tell yourself you will run for 10minutes then come home. Most of the time you will carry on and run further.

If you are doing lots of walking maybe not run on those days. Perhaps you are just tired from your walk and need to chill for rest of the day.

Don't be so hard on yourself!

Wigsy profile image
Wigsy in reply to Nightingale62

Thanks for your encouraging words. Feedback from this forum is so useful and helps you to change what you think you should, in my case stop walking on a run day!

Hi Wigsy. This post was 8 months ago, so hopefully by now you may have a different view and getting easier? 😀Lots of so many helpful comments on this thread and good to hear we're not alone.

I started the program at the tail end of Jan this year. It was cold, dark and very hard to motivate myself. I didn't enjoy running and found the longer runs so physically challenging I thought I wouldn't complete it... but I did. I've only started to look forward to my runs 7 months after starting C25K. Yes, it's still physically demanding, but that's good as now benefitting from it. I have to have a goal. Signed up for Race For Life in Oct and the Rob Burrow story keeps me focused. I don't get that elation or buzz post run due to suffering with depression.

All that said, we keep on going.

Well done.

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