Advice/reassurance needed please!: I've... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Advice/reassurance needed please!

Campervan62 profile image

I've completed 12 consolidation runs now but it's getting harder not easier! Is this normal? When I graduated at Christmas, I was running 3k three times per week and it was taking me 30 mins each time. Within a couple of weeks, I had made it to 5k, which took me about 45 mins each time. As the weeks pass, I am finding myself really struggling with this longer distance and even 3k is becoming difficult. It's not my heart and lungs that are the issue or even my dodgy knees. It's my legs. They feel really heavy and my running is so laboured. I'm having to have two rest days between runs but continue to have regular walks. I'm hoping that once the gym re-opens and I can get off the country roads things will improve. I'm really missing my swimming too which I'm convinced helps strengthen my legs. What do you reckon? I've come so far and am finding this so de-motivating.

16 Replies

You don't have to run 5k on every run. Just do what suits you.

You might also benefit from having a week of no running, as recommended in the guide to post C25K running.

Heavy legs can be symptomatic of poor hydration. As a runner you need to drink a minimum of 2.5 -3 litres of fluid each and every day, running or not, as mentioned in the guide.

Relax and enjoy your running. Don't let it become a chore or you are unlikely to persist.

Campervan62 profile image
Campervan62Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you for that. I drink a minimum of 2 litres everyday but I'll try upping it to 3. I'll definitely take a week's rest too. Oh and read the guide again! Much appreciated.

Read up on the run - walk method of Jeff Galloway, also known as Jeffing. It is running eg. 1 minute and walking 30 seconds. I did my last consolidation run 5 mins running and 30 secs walking. It helped me to stay fresh and finish my run with the same distance as when I ran the whole route. Lots of people use Jeffing to get faster and / or run longer distances.

Campervan62 profile image
Campervan62Graduate in reply to BlackScorpion

Thank you BlackScorpion. I'll definitely look that up! 👍

Rundogz profile image
RundogzGraduate in reply to BlackScorpion

I grew up calling that ‘Scout’s pace’, as in army scout I think. Baden Powell certainly talked about it in his handbooks but I think he probably stole it (and much of the Boy Scout stuff) from army practice, in the Boer War probably. I can imagine it would be particularly useful in hot temperatures although also works well in the lung-tearing freeze we have currently in the UK.

in reply to Rundogz

Lung tearing freeze, it isn't that cold is it.

Rundogz profile image
RundogzGraduate in reply to

I mean, it’s not Canadian kind of cold, but I’m out before 6am and it’s pretty bracing then!

in reply to Rundogz

True it is quite a bit colder then.. 👍

Rennur profile image

I am sort of doing Ju Ju's Magic Plan to 60 minutes. There is one 30 minute run, one short run where you can incorporate speed intervals (which increase slightly) and one longer run which you increase about 5 minutes each week. If you are doing 3 longish runs a week it is probably why you are feeling it!

Campervan62 profile image
Campervan62Graduate in reply to Rennur

Thank you Rennur. I am starting to think I've put myself under too much pressure!

GoogleMe profile image

Can you get off the roads onto less unforgiving surfaces?

Campervan62 profile image
Campervan62Graduate in reply to GoogleMe

Not at the moment GoogleMe. It's all that's available where I live until the gym opens again ☹️ Treadmill running on a flat surface was so much more manageable than the cambers and inclines down my lanes!

Consider having a rest for a week to let your legs repair for longer.

Campervan62 profile image
Campervan62Graduate in reply to

Thank you Jimtom. I'm going to this week. I haven't before as I was worried it would be hard to get back into it.

in reply to Campervan62

You might feel stronger and refreshed, it help you run better.

A week off every so often isn't a bad thing.

Campervan62 profile image
Campervan62Graduate in reply to

Thank you Jimtom and to everyone else who has commented. Your support is much appreciated. I feel suitably reassured and have some great tips to try 😄

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