Oh dear :(: Well last night I completed W6R3 and... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Oh dear :(


Well last night I completed W6R3 and I was so chuffed with myself. I even ramped it up for the last 60 seconds. Then during the 5 mins cool down walk I managed to go over on a stone or a branch and headbutted the pavement.

I now have an ankle like a balloon and a black eye. My children said I looked like something from a zombie apocalypse when I got home covered in blood. I am absolutely gutted now though, as I won't be able to start W7 for a bit now until all the swelling goes down and the pain eases.

Has anyone else had to take a break mid-way? Did you have to redo any weeks or start again from the beginning?

114 Replies

Oooh. I hope you are feeling better soon.

Thanks so much.

Oh no!!! That must feel so crappy after all your hard work xxx you will get there x don’t give up xx

Thank you. I'm definitely not giving up as getting this far has been a huge achievement for me and has really boosted my mental health. Determined to carry on, just hope it's not going to be too long before I can get back to it.

Oh no, poor you 😖 after all the hard work achieved on your run. Hope you feel better soon and can get back out there again before too long

moshpitmolly in reply to CazzaW

Thank you 👍

Sorry to hear this. What a bad time for this to happen. I wish you a speedy recovery!

Thanks so much.

You’ll come back stronger! 🦾 and less zombie bitey! 😆

🤣🤣🤣 thanks, I've always loved vampires more than zombies so hopefully 🤞🧟‍♀️🧛‍♀️

So more bitey, less zombie! Got it! 😁


Oh you poor thing, you won’t start to lose fitness for a couple of weeks by which time you might be able to take a gentle run to see where you are and then go on from there

Oh, ok, thank you for that. Hopefully it will be a quick recovery. I'll still be walking, as my dog won't accept me sitting with my foot up 🤣 so I'm hoping that I'll heal and be ready to carry on sooner rather than later.

WillowandSolaGraduate in reply to moshpitmolly

A tubi grip might help

Good idea, I will get one tomorrow. Thanks.


Oh dear , sorry to hear this but don't worry too much , you can afford a few days off.

You won't really loose fitness for the first 2 weeks and then it is gradual.

I had 16 days off after week 8 run 1 due to injury and then managed my next run .

Hope you can resume soon 👍

Oh thanks for that, hopefully I can just carry on then and not have to repeat anything. I'm determined to carry on as it's been such an incredible journey so far.

Instructor57Graduate in reply to moshpitmolly

I'm sure you will , and yes, it's an amazing program, but the Running gets addictive 😬

I am hoping it will become addictive as I really want to keep it up. I was sooooo unfit when I started and that first 60 second run felt like it lasted about an hour. To be honest I am most pleased with the positive impact it's having on my mental health - I suffer with depression, anxiety and C-PTSD and the sense of achievement I've been getting after each session has been phenomenal.

Instructor57Graduate in reply to moshpitmolly

I have also suffered with depression and anxiety, so know what you mean !

This helped me no end

I'm 63 and started this at end of may , graduated, early August , ran several 5 k's now, 6 , then 7.25 and 8.5.

Managed my first 10k last Sunday !

Wow that's phenomenal. You must be incredibly proud of yourself. That's some great inspiration for me, so thanks so much.


That’s rotten. Wishing you better so that you can start Week 7 🤞🏼

Thanks very much.

JetsNannaGraduate in reply to moshpitmolly

How are you feeling today?

Not so bad. Ankle very swollen and the bruising almost covers my entire foot. I put ibuleve gel on it as j went to bed last night. Also got a constant headache so have to keep dosing up with the paracetamol.

I'm feeling more positive about things though after reading everyone's comments and advice.


JetsNannaGraduate in reply to moshpitmolly

You’ll be on the mend soon. It you hit your head/face when you fell and you now have an uncharacteristic headache you may be wise to speak to your GP. Sending positive thoughts 😊

Thanks so much 🤗


Ooh that sounds painful.

I had to take 3 1/2 weeks off due to injury after W5R3, I repeated a couple of runs

Hope you're back out there soon

Good luck 👍🏼

moshpitmolly in reply to JK20

Oh gosh, that sounds bad. I'm really hoping I can get back to it sooner rather than later. Fingers crossed I won't have to repeat a lot.

JK20Graduate in reply to moshpitmolly

You'll be fine.

I repeated W5R1 then W5R3, I could have probably just repeated R3 but wanted the option of walking in between in case I needed to.

You'll smash week 7! 🤞🏼

Meanmommab in reply to JK20

Good to hear that. I've torn a calf muscle and have been out for 3 weeks and don't know when I will get back. Was really enjoying the benefits - mental and physical- and now am worried I will have to start again! I was running with my daughter and now she is so far ahead I'll never catch up!

Yes it will be sort of a feeling of defeat if I have to start again too. But, quite a few people saying they had to take a break due to injury and illness and didn't have to start again. Fingers crossed for us both.

JK20Graduate in reply to Meanmommab

Ooh nasty 🥺

I certainly wouldn't think you'll have to start again, I would go back to the first run of the week you were on or last run of the previous week.

Hope you're back out soon 🤞🏼xx


You're not alone. I somehow pulled something in my left ankle on W9R3 nearly two weeks ago. I'm seeing a physio tomorrow.

Meanmommab in reply to nowster

I sympathise and feel your pain, physically and spiritually. Thought having issues in wk7 was bad but wk9 must be awful!

nowsterGraduate in reply to Meanmommab

It happened a couple of minutes before the end. I kept running (so close!) which I probably shouldn't have.

moshpitmolly in reply to nowster

Oh no! Right at the end too 🙄. Hope the physio gets you sorted.

What a disappointing end to a great run.

I can’t help with advice on breaks but wish you a speedy recovery.

Thanks so much.

When you resume I'd try repeating the last week of runs and seeing if you manage that OK. If not try the week before etc .

moshpitmolly in reply to mgrds

Thanks for that, I think that's what I'm going to do.


Oh dear bad luck hope you’re soon better. I did my week 9 run 3 a few weeks ago and graduated and the next day was down with a bug. Two weeks later I felt ready to run again and thought I’ll run for as long as I can and ran 20 mins. The next run 25 then back to 30. Just take each run as it comes and listen to your body you’ll soon be back on the programme. Good luck!

That sounds promising for me then. Thanks for that. I'm much better walking today even though my ankle is still very swollen and all my foot is really bruised too. Like you say, I'll just have to listen to my body and see how I get on.

nowsterGraduate in reply to moshpitmolly

Just be careful. I thought I was on the mend after a couple of days, and ran and walked on the injury and felt OK at the time. I ended up making things worse.

moshpitmolly in reply to nowster

Ok, thanks for that advice. Much appreciated.

I got recurring calf injuries in week 7 and, after several false starts, took a break and then went back to the start of week 5. It wasn't a fitness driven decision, more about making sure everything was ok before increasing the continuous running distance. Whatever you do you will no doubt take it steadily until you know the ankle has healed. How unlucky can you be though when it was all going so well.

Gosh, I know, I was gutted. Yes, I will definitely be taking it steady. Thanks.


So sorry about your fall, you wern't even running, it's bad enough walking but if you had tripped over during the run it would have been much worse, I can only sympathise with you but also tell you that once you have recovered it's nice to know that you are now officially a runner, I hope it won't be long before the swelling goes down and you are back to running.

moshpitmolly in reply to AlMorr

Yes, was in the first minute or so of the walk at the end. You're right though, would probably have been worse had I still been running. Off to get an ankle support and get my glasses fixed today 🙄

Bad luck zombie Molly.

I had to stop around week 8 for nearly three months early this year due to a knee injury. I had to go back to week 4 as a result. :(

I completed the programme from there but on my second consolidation run after graduating my knee went again and I’ve not been able to run for another two months. It’s a drag but stick with it. Just get back out there as soon as you’re able. You’ll know which run is best to resume on I suspect.

Oh no, week 8, that must have been so disheartening. You have done amazing to get back to it and graduate then, that must have taken an awful lot of detonation. Yep, definitely going to stick with it.


Oh no 😢 that’s rubbish after doing such a great run. Hope you’re mended and back running again soon.

moshpitmolly in reply to SJ60

Thanks very much.

Yes . You may have to go back but you will have muscle memory and be able to skip some . Wish you better

Thanks for that.

Such a shame and I totally get it as I'm about to start w9 and my back has gone! Encouraging that even a couple of weeks out won't really affect your fitness. You'll get back to it - just don't trip up again! Feel better.

Oh no! Hope you're going to be ok. Well I definitely won't be doing any further runs in the dark that's for sure 🤣 I need to be able to watch out for trip hazards.

Your poor love! Hope healing is quick....

I took a 5 week break after getting to Week 8...my first run back was awful, I couldn't even run for 3 mins. So, I started back to Week 3 and ran every other day consecutively through each run. I'm now back to Week 6, it's comfortable (maybe even more than the first go?!), and I'm confident this is the best way for me to build up again.... Hopefully!!!

moshpitmolly in reply to AKFIELD

Oh, well done for sticking with it as that must have been disheartening. I suppose all we can do is our best.

I also had to have a break after week 6. Although not as dramatic I woke up the day after w6r3 with bad pain in my left knee. I had to take pain killers in order to get abut & there was no way I could continue.

I stopped for a week until the pain was completely gone & was super anxious but decided to try and move on with week 7 but was prepared to convert to a week 6 run if it was too much. In the event I managed to continue through to week 7 and I’m heading in to week 9 now.

What others have said about a couple of weeks rest not setting you back rings true with my experience.

I hope you have a speedy recovery & wish you the best of luck with the rest of the program 👍

Yes, it's good to hear the 'two week story' it's definitely made me hopeful.

Thanks and good luck with Wk 9 👍


Hello- ouch that sounds painful hope you’re ok? I had several breaks along my journey and the first few I went back to beginning but that is not what to do!! The guys on here are great for advice and the time I successfully completed the programme I went back just a couple of weeks and pretty much picked up where I left off. I think it depends on how long you’re out for as to where to pick up again but hopefully won’t be too long for you. I really hope you have a speedy recovery- well done on getting this far you will get there!!! Xx

moshpitmolly in reply to Hanfel

Thanks for that. Yes everyone on here gives such great advice and wonderful encouragement.

Oh no! I hope you’re okay!! 🤕

I believe you should retain your fitness for around 2 weeks, but don’t push yourself to try again until you’re ready and risk being on the sidelines for longer! You’ll be back out before you know it and i’m sure you’ll be a graduate in no time!

Thanks you.

I picked up a knee injury and I should have taken it easy for 2 weeks as I didn’t I am still unable to carry on with week 3. Just take your time and listen to your body.

Oh gosh, that sounds frustrating. Hope you'll get back to it soon.

Thats awful news. Hope you feel better soon. I have had three injuries / illnesses. Two ligament pulls in week 3 and then again in week 5 and then a stomach bug after week 6 run 2. I had to take a month off with the stomach bug and am now repeating week 6 run 1 every two days for two weeks, just to get back into it, then going forward with the program. Last one today and then back on it on Monday. I did some other strength training during those two weeks too and some other runs to create variety, but just kept doing week 6 run 1 so I didn't feel like I had dropped back too far. Feel good now, and ready to go forward so am sure it wont set you back too far, even if your off for a few weeks. Just rest, ice, compress and elevate. Works every time. You may need to get the ankle checked, but hopefully just a minor strain.

Keep positive, it happens. You will recover and get back in.

That sounds like great advice, thank you.

No problem. I am an older person who hasn't kept my fitness up as I should, overweight etc and keep picking up injuries, but for the first time in my life I really want to get out running....

Oddly the injuries have made me concentrate on running and ways to enjoy it, rather than just the C25K, and that gives me hope for when I graduate, as running 30 mins 3 times a week doesnt appeal, but running for longer, with varying intensities and changing it up regularly does, so I am confident this is a change for me for the future and it will continue because of the injuries, instead on in spite of them. Dont worry you will get through this and it may actually help you going forward, once you realise it will happen occasionally.

Thank you for that. Sounds like you're incredibly determined.


Hope you're on the mend soon. I started the programme in march and repeated most weeks in the early stages, the idea was that extending the structure would encourage me to continue as I had a goal and also help my fitness

Thanks so much. I think I took two weeks to do a couple of the earlier runs as they were like torture, but much happier as I went through the more recent weeks. As people are saying about the two weeks out I'm hoping I can pick up where I left off or just repeat week 6.


Yes I had several breaks in the trading program due to injury and strains , I think I took 12 months to get to 30 minutes , but I did get there and I do my 30 minutes three times a week now , my weight dropped of significantly , my breathing improved so much, and I now feel the benefit of the program , so don’t worry get fit again and then restart the training,

And good luck you will get there,

It’s so beneficial

moshpitmolly in reply to Legs10

That's fantastic that you stuck at it like that. I'm determined to get back to once I'm feeling able. How can I possible not with all the advice and support from everyone here 🤕


Yeah, I took about 14 weeks to get through the nine week program. :) I used to try and add a couple minutes onto my run time so the next run was easier and ended up tearing my calf badly enough that the leg was black and blue from the knee to the foot. I didn't redo any of the weeks but it was at least a month off with rest, Ice, compression and elevation.

I had 5 weeks off this summer and went straight back and did an 8km and it was the nicest run I've had in a long time but the legs ached for three days after - which wasn't the end of the world.

Hope you're feeling better soon. :)

That sounds like a very nasty injury.

I want to keep that sense of achievement going as it's been so good for me over these past weeks. Then hopefully, like you, I'll be able to go further. If I could lose weight too that would be the best thing ever!!!

paulmeisterGraduate in reply to moshpitmolly

Best thing for losing weight for me wasn't so much the exercise (although it helps and tightens things up a bit) was downloading a food and calorie logging app (Samsung Health in my case) and seeing what I could live without.

Oh dear! So sorry to hear that. It’s just the worst.

Yep I sustained a ankle ligament injury on W6 R1. My ankle ballooned where I couldn’t put any weight through it. Be patient and and do RICE, maybe have X-ray to exclude fracture.

Although you are gutted, stay motivated, and recover from your injury.

After 5 weeks of no exercise I started back on W3 to regain some fitness levels. I am now back on W6 R3 , so it’s 9 weeks since I injured myself but I’m back on it determined to finish C to 5k.

The more you rest it the quicker you will be back out there.

Get better soon 👍🏻

moshpitmolly in reply to Dups

Yes, I will definitely carry on. I'm determined and that sense of achievement I get each time I finish is amazing so I want to get that back. After reading everyone's comments/advice/encouragement I'm feeling happier about everything and hopefully I can maybe just repeat week 6 if I feel like I need to.

May consider the x-ray too 👍

You poor thing, sounds frightful! (The fall/pain, not the zombie look.) You tell those kids to look after mum for the next few days!

As everyone says, you won’t lose fitness for a few weeks so in the meantime take it easy and be kind to yourself. Get some arnica gel around the eye and insist someone else makes dinner! Hope you’re back on your feet soonest x

Hahahaa, thank you.

My daughter was amazing actually - calmed me down from two panic attacks, got me sat in the shower and managed to heave me up again. Got me ice, cushions, a cup of coffee and even brought me some dark rum 🤣. I'm so glad she was here as my son stayed in his room as he'd heard the mention of blood. She's gone back off to Uni now so I need to make sure not to do anymore runs in the dark as my son might not be as helpful if I return zombie-like again 🧟‍♀️

Oh bless you, sorry to hear you had panic attacks too. What a turnout from an evening run 😕 Your daughter sounds like an angel! Fingers crossed you’re right as rain soon, leave those zombies in the zombie running app! 😉

🤣🤣🤣 thanks.

nowsterGraduate in reply to acountrycabbage

"Let's go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for this all to blow over." 🤣


moshpitmolly in reply to nowster

Hahahaaa, I'll race you there 🧟‍♀️🧟‍♀️🧟‍♀️

nowsterGraduate in reply to moshpitmolly

Fancy a cornetto?

moshpitmolly in reply to nowster

As long as it's a vegan one 😍

Oh dear, indeed. Sorry to hear that. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Thank you.


OMG hope your OK 🙂

Thank you 👍


Particularly annoying that you weren’t even running🥴☹️ Give it a while to get better then you should be able to carry on where you left off. If you need to repeat a week, that’s OK. Good luck!

moshpitmolly in reply to BradC

I know right 🙄. Yes, I'm feeling more positive about the fact that I may need to repeat I week. I've come this far, so repeating that week if I need to doesn't matter, it will still be a great achievement.

Thank you.

oh dear! Me Too! Tripped on a branch having done run 1 of week 4, also gutted as doing the very cancer 5k run( by myself or with my sister) on 26th, at least you were further along than me! Wrist better and leg so just waiting fir my back to recover! Hope you get running soon!

moshpitmolly in reply to FLASH01

Oh noooo. Hope you're recovered soon and can get back out there.


Oh, so sorry to hear about your fall. ouchy! I had to take a three week break after the last run of week 8 when my ankle became inflamed. I think it was overuse. I didn't seem to lose fitness and after three weeks went on to complete week 9. Don't rush back, give yourself time to heal.

Oh wow, that's great, well done. That's great encouragement, thank you.

I hope you feel better really soon, poor you.

Thank you.

Oh dear, what a bummer, how disappointing for you. Take good care of yourself, lots of pampering. Looking at other posts it seems that many others have had to take a recovery break, they've returned back to the programme. Seems to me you've had the determination to get this far and will be back as soon as you're completely recovered. Take care. 👍👍🙋🙋

That's the plan. Thanks.

Oh poor you. I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you recover soon. Take it easy for a couple of weeks then try 1st run of week 7 and see how it goes.

Take very good care.

moshpitmolly in reply to Jamiroq

Thanks for that.

Aw, I am sorry to hear!

I really dont think you'd need to start from the beginning, unless your break is significantly long.

I personally had to take a week off around week 5 I'd say (pain in the shins), but I did not redo any of the previous weeks. Although, I don't think it is a bad idea to redo the last run before the break and see if it goes well.

Good luck!

Thanks so much.


Sorry to hear of your misfortune. When you look back in a couple of months I hope you see this as a minor setback. When I got injured and felt like I was able to run again, I did a very short run which got my confidence back and then got back gradually to regular running. Good luck fellow runner!

moshpitmolly in reply to johnm12

Thanks very much 😊


Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Hope you are fighting fit and back on the plan soon.

moshpitmolly in reply to Week7



Oh bless, sorry to hear that. Have a few days of to rest and feel better soon. You will be running again before you know it! 💪


Important you recover, take your time. Once you have, go back to earlier week or do some consolidation runs eg 3 x 20 mins. Thats what I did when I took a break after shin splints.

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