Need motivation : Completed c25k in April and... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Need motivation

Golf2106 profile image

Completed c25k in April and was doing ok but never really got to 5k in 30 mins. Lost my way completely getting different advice- some friends saying run for 30 then increase time some saying keep pushing for 5k every time. Then the heat - couldn’t do any distance or time so now it’s been 3 weeks since I went. Sitting here in trainers but seriously want to just forget it as don’t know what my goal should be today - run til I can’t do more? Go back to week 6? Help!!

27 Replies
IannodaTruffe profile image

5K in 30 minutes is a wholly arbitrary distance/time combination and is not going to be achieved by all runners. It depends far more on your baseline fitness at the beginning of C25k than any magic that the amazing plan confers on don't concentrate on what you can't do, just celebrate what you can do. You are still a new runner and you can run for 30 minutes..........more than most of the population can do.

Why did you start C25k in the first place? Have those reasons changed?

Have you read the guide to post C25k running? in which I suggest having some targets for short (weekly) mid term and long term, which will give you a sense of progress, even if other metrics don't bear it out. The weekly targets need to be achievable, not pie in the sky.

We recommend that immediately after graduation that you consolidate at 30mins/5k (whichever you achieved during the plan) BEFORE starting to work on greater distance or speed. The monthly Consolidation Club is there for new graduates who are struggling without a plan, so pop in and have a chat.

Have you thought about parkrun? It is the greatest example of people power celebrating running in an inclusive and welcoming manner, regardless of ability and is the pathway to success for many runners. This FAQ post explains all you need to know.

As stated in the guide to the plan, you lose no significant condition in the first two weeks of non running. After that loss of condition is gradual.

All any of us can do after a lay off is to go out for a gentle run and see what we can comfortably manage, then use C25k or something similar to rebuild stamina and resistance to injury.

Relax and enjoy it.

Over60sRunner profile image
Over60sRunnerGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Such a positive response and certainly helpful for me. I did the dreaded 20 minute run this morning and was OK (although not great) but I couldn't focus on anything apart from the lack of speed but your post has turned that on it's head. Thank you so much 🙏🏃‍♀️💪🙏

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Over60sRunner

The way to build your stamina and endurance is at an easy conversational pace........faster is not be proud of that "slow" pace, it will serve you well.

Over60sRunner profile image
Over60sRunnerGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Indeed. It was a lesson I learned hard in the first few weeks. I was listening too much to peer pressure, but now I run for me and don't care about the overtakers or the negativity 😁

Mrsrun profile image

I have not completed the plan yet but I run not only for fitness and health but for the enjoyment.. Just run and see where your run takes you... Explore , run through the woods , run up a towpath, run through a city.. Remember that feeling after a run!

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to Mrsrun

Thank you that’s really good reply. I just went out and repeated week 6 - 25 minutes but I did need to walk halfway But I do feel glad I went and got some head space so yes you are right - thank you

nowster profile image

Go out there and do a relaxed jog just for you, not for anyone else. Run without pressure. Take walking breaks if you feel you need them. Explore a bit. Don't have a set time or distance.

In the long term, if you're wanting to extend your range, I'd suggest increasing the duration of runs gradually. Forget about trying to hit a particular speed (eg. 5km in 30 minutes).

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to nowster

Thank you for the reply. I’m always so confused if I’m aiming for time or distance. I went out did week 6 but couldn’t do full 25 mins. Shocked myself that I’d lost momentum in just few weeks. Need to get into it!!

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to Golf2106

How long did you run for? How about splitting the run with short walks?

Maybe 10 minutes run, 2 minutes walk, 10 minutes run, 2 minutes walk and 10 minutes run? Keep the runs slow and the walks brisk.

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to nowster

Today I got to 12 mins walked for a bit then carried on to 25 but mainly die to getting hot. Before my 3 week break I could easily do 30 mins and struggled but could do 5 k in 40 ish

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to Golf2106

It's not just you. Before the hot weather I ran for ten miles (just under two hours) and felt good after it.

Then it got hot and I was struggling to run for more than ten minutes in the coolest part of the day.

Don't worry about it. You'll build back again.

Have you got a GPS watch? How about running a km then walking a bit. See how you feel and just do it for enjoyment - walking if you need to.

I’m in Scotland and recently started attending a JogScotland running group. It’s a social run once a week and has really helped to keep me motivated.

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to Candyfloss103

That’s a good idea. I’ll see if we have any local to me thank you x

I'm only just starting week 6 on Tuesday so I'm way behind you, but we have a running club starting in my local town in a few weeks so I've registered my interest as I think it will be just what I need (unless they're mega competitive, which I'm not!). I agree with Candyfloss 103 - see if you can find a running group.

Good luck - you've got this 💪💪

Couchpotato2 profile image

A lot of people will tell you a lot of things. What do you think? Go out there and enjoy it. If you find that doing c25k from week 5, 6, 7, or 8 helps do that. Vary the routes, go slow and enjoy!

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to Couchpotato2

Yes maybe a new route …. Thanks alot

Hi Golf2016. Well done for completing C25K. A huge achievement. What a shame times and figures sometimes become so vital in motivating us.

How about a goal of a slow run while enjoying being that bit better at the end.

Why don’t you try NRC guided runs?

I don’t want to demotivate but I’ve run 5k and I’ve run for 30 mins. Just not 5K in 30 mins 😂 But, who cares? I enjoy being able to run. That’s good enough for me. As for 5k in 30 mins? Maybe one day.

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to Comfortnotspeed

You are so right I don’t know why I worry about speed distance or time. I think I just need to run til I need to stop. Trouble is I’m not very high in stamina so I think I’d give up if I didn’t have a goal. Which I why I guess I felt lost after couch 2 5k lessons ended. Need to use them again it just felt like a step back today like hard work been undone in just couple weeks. !

What motivates me mightnt motivate you... for me, is running for longer. I'm slow and always will be (although I'm hoping more time on my legs might speed me up a bit), but I remember that I was amazed that I could run for 5 mins during c25k but I comfortably managed 45 mins yesterday. My longer term aim is to be fit enough to do more trail running. I'm happiest running when in a beautiful place, at a comfortable pace, with an audiobook on. Which runs have you enjoyed the most? What has given you the feeling of achievement?

Golf2106 profile image

Thank you. I enjoy my usual route but when it’s colder or raining! Music is a must and not feeling rushed and first thing I morning. I’m definitely slow too. I’ll never be quick. I was happy with 39 mins 5 k but I’ve only achieved that couple times since April. I guess I’m just feeling lost when I set off. Am I doing full run or walk run etc.

Gememms profile image

Don't stop - you just can't after putting the work in. Mix things up or set little goals. Eg. on Strava there are segments and if you set best times a trophy pops up. That is maybe a good starting point to keep you motivated and you are then challenging yourself. Alternatively, set your sights on a race or PB at Parkrun. I do 5K in a time that is not near 30mins and it hasn't stopped me from chipping away at it. I clocked 42mins after finishing with Michael Jonson nearly two and a half years ago and this chubby 54 year old now has a PB of 34.45 for 5K. Marginal gains!

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to Gememms

Thank you for your time replying to me. I will look at strava and nrc as someone Else suggested I think the consensus here is that time spent out running is better than worrying over distance? I’ve got the rock and roll 5k Liverpool booked ….. October!

Nin65 profile image

I graduated a year ago. When I started the C25K I ran in the evenings, and I found it hard after working all day. Once I graduated for some reason , I started running in the morning, which for me was so much better. Maybe changing the time of day you’re jogging might help. Just keep going

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to Nin65

In addition, one can do shorter runs. 20 minutes is good for keeping things ticking over during the working week, assuming you can do a longer run on one of the days you're not working.

Golf2106 profile image
Golf2106Graduate in reply to Nin65

Yes I prefer a morning Else I’m too tired and sluggish. But I might try going even earlier least it would be cooler !

Golf2106 profile image

That’s good advice why do I beat myself up if it’s not a full 5k or a long run.

Golf2106 profile image

It’s me again So I tried again this weekend No excuses about weather being too hot. ..after all the great advice and support I decided to rewind to the week where it’s a 20 min run. . I literally made it to 8 minutes and was totally done. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? it’s actually putting me off as I feel so down now that I’m nowhere near what I was able to do 3 weeks ago ( and even that wasn’t amazing)

Tried again next day - same again. I did walk then run again but in total only managed 3 k with only a third of that jogging. So so hard. I felt hot and breathless.

Really ready to hang up my sports bra 😩

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