Week 2 struggle: Depressingly, I am finding week... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Week 2 struggle

Bingles profile image

Depressingly, I am finding week 2 quite hard and am thinking of giving it another couple of runs before I progress to work 3. Is that a stupid idea?

24 Replies

The wonderful thing about this programme is it’s adaptable, you can repeat runs and you can take extra rest days if needed, hydration and go slower are the words you need to keep in mind, read the pinned post Guide to C25k for hints tips and you will progress. It’s your journey enjoy it

John_W profile image

In what way are you finding it hard?

Tell us what's going on... physically and mentally ...

Bingles profile image
Bingles in reply to John_W

No, that's not right, that week 2 has been a struggle. I guess I just worry that any more would be beyond me- I'm so unfit. I'm going to do week 2 twice more and then on to week 3. Decided.

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Bingles

Sorry, what's not right?

Is this a mental issue mainly? How are you feeling physically when you finish? What's your breathing like?

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Bingles

Here's thing. The program is called COUCH to 5k... ie for those on the couch... with NO fitness.

Try and adopt a positive mindset - C25K is not a physical test, but a mental one ... Why do I say that?

Because it's been designed to be PHYSICALLY do-able for people like YOU (and me, like i was at the beginning). It's designed for people who are coming off the proverbial couch, i.e. UNFIT.

Many people repeat weeks and that's perfectly fine, if it gives you greater confidence.

Remember this too: you have gained fitness from your 3 Week 1 outings and now even more fitness from your 3 Week 2 outings.

Look at what you've done so far:

W1R1 - 8x 1 minute of running (jogging! i hope) - 8 minutes in TOTAL of running

W1R2 - another 8 minutes of running in TOTAL

W1R3 - and again - that's 24 minutes in total, of running in Week 1

W2R1 - 9 minutes in total

W2R2 - 9 minutes in total

W2R3 - 9 minutes in total - that's 27 minutes in TOTAL for W2

... that's 51 minutes of running you've done in 2 weeks.

Your fitness improves and *accumulates* with EVERY run.

Put a little faith in the program and you'll be pleasantly surprised :-)

BUT ... keep your pace nice and slow!

Mantra #1: every run you've done prepares you for the next one . (Yes you are always physically ready for the next run.

Mantra #2: the body is ready but the mind less so .

Bingles profile image
Bingles in reply to John_W

Thank you very much, John. The only problem is the breathing, not the legs. I am definitely going to carry on.

JetsNanna profile image
JetsNannaGraduate in reply to Bingles

You’ll hear this time and time again on this forum - slow down. You will find it less worrisome if you adopt a really slow jog. No ‘slow’ is ‘too slow’.

I think John’s right when he says it’s a mental thing because I know that some of us tend to talk ourselves out of trying - rather than thinking ‘So what if I try and it’s too difficult now?’ try thinking ‘Maybe I’ll try and it’ll be too hard but at least I tried!’ and then you could even end up saying ‘I tried and I flipping well did it!’

You know yourself best but I can’t emphasise enough that thinking positive can be very impactful and so can slowing right down.

Keep us posted 😊

doggytail profile image

No it's not stupid I am on w3 I found it a struggle just go at your own pace and you can do it x

Irish-John profile image

Don't quit :)The very unexpected dimension to running that I found is how much of a mental game it is :)

I was prepared gor the "protests" from my body - but thank goodness for the great advice, support and examples on this Forum which got me through all the doubts and trepidation I had :)

Believe it or not - I still "feel" the negative crap but difference now is I "know" it's just a weird kind of phenomenon and doesn't reflect "reality".

EVERY TIME when I start my run and for anything from a few to more than five minutes it really "feels" like NO WAY can I continue running for miles and miles.

I don't understand it, it's powerful, it seems "true"...but its literally just a thought in my head, I have enough "proof" that yes, I can run for miles and miles :)

Continue running - it does get increasingly "managable", it does get "better". As for when does it get "easy" - well, I never find it easy because of past and present physical conditions, but I thoroughly enjoy it :)

Wishing you many happy miles in your future :)

Bingles profile image
Bingles in reply to Irish-John

Thanks Irish John!!

drun profile image

Welcome to the forum Bingles this is an essential read for anyone starting C25K and returning after a break. It includes hydration, stretching after a run and knee stretching exercises all of which will help.


Enjoy your journey

Bingles profile image
Bingles in reply to drun

Thank you! I am new to this site and feel inspired by all the helpful advice available.

IannodaTruffe profile image

Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

Slow down and perhaps read this post about mental approach healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

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.

Thank you, I am going too fast- feels slow to me, but I am out of breath. All very useful advice.

John_W profile image

This might help:


Over60sRunner profile image
Over60sRunnerGraduate in reply to John_W

I'm still slow jogging on week 6, run 2 & I expect I will continue at this pace until I graduate. My plan is to get running 30 minutes in relative comfort, then start working on speed once I get there.

John_W profile image

Just looked at your profile. If you were doing 15k previously then maybe you're expecting too much of yourself and maybe... maybe... going too quickly.

Bingles profile image
Bingles in reply to John_W

Yes. I've been looking at other articles on this site and have realised that that is the problem.

Mrsrun profile image

Remember this is your journey ! I visualise every run , I choose where I am going to run and even walk it to see if I like it ! When I visualise a run, I always complete it successfully , I probably do this because I have been very good at giving in when running in my distant past.. I listened to the devil on my shoulder, saying stop! This time I have kept to it. It might seem a silly way of tackling my running but it works for me, with being hydrated and running very slowly.

Bingles profile image
Bingles in reply to Mrsrun

Thank you, good advice 😉

Hi Bingles you are doing so well ! When I started I had the same doubts. My breathing was awful but what helps me is music in my ear buds ! I’m still very slow but I’ve completed two 5k and one 10K race and am still going !!

You can do it 👍

This forum is amazing and has spurred me on reading everyone’s stories.

There is no pressure and such wonderful support and encouragement from everyone. I’ve achieved so much and I enjoy it and yes ‘I’m a runner’ and so are you and us all! ❤️

Rain_runner profile image

It will get easier, I was psychologically telling myself “ I can’t do this “ because I was going too fast. Once I slowed my pace down everything just clicked, I graduated just over a month a go and am still doing my 3 x30 mins every week. Keep going you got this 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Bracken2018 profile image

Hi Bingles,

That the perfect idea :)

Listen to your body and legs !

Repeat until you and your legs and feet of course :) are ready to take on the next week. It’s not a race , it’s training.

On W 9 - no matter when your reach this marker - You will look back and on W9R3 and shout out “YES” I have made it :) ⭐️

No matter your time , your pace , or your distance . That all comes later with progression , it’s like magic.

As a 70 year old , I’m still the tortoise 🐢 :) Have fun , your heart and lungs will be thankful.

Katger profile image

I think its a great idea!! I did the same thing too and in fact one week I repeated about 6 times just so I could get myself comfortable with it and then moved on. It really helped me mentally as I felt like I could do that run before I then moved to something more challenging.

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