I'm letting things slip!: As the title says I am... - Couch to 5K

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I'm letting things slip!

Running_at50 profile image
46 Replies

As the title says I am not doing great with the running right now ☹️ My motivation is zero and I'm totally struggling to give my head a good talking to! I can't even pinpoint exactly why except that there is less daylight hours now and my days are pretty busy. When it was light I would get up early and run but I'm not so keen now.

Can anyone suggest any tips to help me get out there again, I need my lovely people right now ☹️

46 Replies
Leotigris profile image

my suggestion (for what it's worth) is that if you go out in the morning when it's still dark you might get to see a beautiful sunrise. Maybe that might tempt you enough?

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Leotigris

Sounds great, thanks 🙂

Cmoi profile image

Hi  Running_at50 , my first suggestion is to stop beating yourself up! My second is to remember that you absolutely don't have to run for 30 minutes or more every time you go out. Just 15 minutes, or even 10, would be absolutely fine too. It keeps you ticking over and you'll have achieved something.

Without knowing what sort of running you enjoy, it's hard to know what might work for you. For example, I'm absolutely not a morning person, and hate rigid running schedules, so telling me to get up early and run on the same days every week just irritates me and leaves me feeling inadequate!

Here are some suggestions, many deliberately contradictory. Some would work for me personally, whereas I'd absolutely hate others:

While running, listen to something you really enjoy - music, audio book, podcast, whatever

Don't listen to anything while running - take in your surroundings instead

Run to an audio-coached run, e.g. Nike Run Club

Start a training plan

Find new routes

Don't record anything about your run (no Garmin, Strava, Runkeeper or anything else)

Run to (and/or from) somewhere you'd usually walk or drive (shops, post office, etc)

Ensure you have a fixed schedule for run days and times and stick to it

Run when you feel like it

Find others to run with (friends, family, work colleagues, parkrun, running club)

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Cmoi

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Some really good ideas! I'm normally a get up early and go kind of girl then I know it's done 😂 I do normally listen to upbeat music that keeps me motivated. I also feel that there are limited places to run in my village and don't really want to drive somewhere but I suppose I'm limiting myself 🤷

Will have a little think about it, thank you

Cmoi profile image
CmoiAmbassador in reply to Running_at50

That's an interesting point about limited places to run. Are you maybe thinking that as well as time, you need the right place, weather, physical fitness and mood to get out? It's great when it all comes together like that, but if it's a requirement for every run, there won't be many runs! 😉 Other than to get to the start of the only two events I've done, I've never driven anywhere to run. Why would I, when I have single track roads, forest paths, hills and fields on my doorstep?

I've just got back from a run with my dog. It was a shambles, including unexpected phone calls and having to double back because bulldozers were working on the track ahead. So it wasn't the run I'd hoped or planned, and it took way longer than it should've done. However I got out there on a beautiful day, which has to be better than nothing.

Be kind to yourself. Just try putting on your running shoes, get out there, and see what happens. You might just surprise yourself! 😊

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Cmoi

Thank you, your suggestions have been a great help 😁

MissUnderstanding profile image

Perhaps challenge your thinking a little. Your motivation can’t be zero-you still want to run or you wouldn’t be posting here! I find the more I build up going for a run to be a big thing, the harder it is. Pick a time to go and just go! Put your kit on, maybe start walking a favourite route and just jog for a little bit. It doesn’t have to be thirty minutes. It doesn’t have to be 5k! The Nike run club app has a good “comeback run” which is 15 minutes long but you could go shorter (they’ve got guided runs for 5minutes for example), or even load up an early week of couch to 5k that you enjoyed. I’ve occasionally got into the mindset that if a run isn’t a “proper” length, it isn’t worth doing but that’s rubbish.

Once you’ve got started it’s much, much easier to keep going. When you’re a runner who ran today rather than a week ago, the next one is psychologically miles better to do. Winter is tricky and lots of us have found it harder so you’re absolutely not alone!

Really good luck to you. 🏃‍♀️ 🏃‍♀️ 🏃‍♀️

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to MissUnderstanding

Thank you so much, some really great advice there. Yes I probably do think about it too much and feel like I should run for a longer time. Might have a go at one week in the c25k. I think I'm pretty harsh on myself

MissUnderstanding profile image
MissUnderstandingAdministrator in reply to Running_at50

We are usually our own harshest critics! I’d never tell a friend who was running that they were too slow, or they didn’t run far enough, or they were wasting their time going out for a little run but my mind says this to me all the time. Some of the NRC podcasts have been brilliant for challenging this sort of gremlin. I’ve become much less reliant on feeling enthusiastic about going out for a run. Now I’m trying to just go regularly regardless of what mood I’m in knowing that the mojo will come back. Whether my head is feeling it or not, my body is still running and that’s good for me! Obviously there are times when I’m physically tired or it’s really too much and I don’t go. Usually once I’ve actually got going I have a lovely time, and if not there’s still the satisfaction of having run anyway.

Sorry that’s such a ramble. I always used to think that I needed to feel super “motivated” and enthusiastic about going out for a run or I shouldn’t go, but in times when that’s lacking a bit, the discipline of running because I’m a runner keeps me out there.

Really good luck to you. ❤️

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to MissUnderstanding

Thank you, I'm OK with a ramble 😊 it's good to hear how other people's minds work too and that it isn't easy for everyone. Love your input x

Pugwash profile image

I think we've all been there! What works for me is to give myself permission to run slowly and not very far, because (and I'm certain you know this already) getting out of the front door is the hardest part of ANY run in these dark, cold and short days. I guarantee that, regardless of any stats, you'll feel great for breaking the spell that has been cast upon you🧙.

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Pugwash

Thank you, I need to be kinder to myself and 'just do it'! I know it makes me feel so much better after.

Melissimo profile image

I needed to hear all these comments too and I'm feeling exactly like you. I used to get out, whatever the weather, nothing really stopped me and I'm looking back at me, then, comparing myself. I've a new job now, it's taking up a lot more of my time but I've also a puppy who LOVES to run (and stop abruptly to sniff ha, not so funny). Like you, I maybe stopped making the time, for my run. And that's what it is, ultimately. It's OUR run. Let's do it again. 😀

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Melissimo

It's difficult sometimes but yes we need to do it. Good luck in getting out there!

GoGo_JoJo profile image

Great advice there. Motivation is fickle. It's great on a sunny day to get you to go get changed and get out. At 4:45am on a grim Thurs with rain beating down, you need more than motivation. For me it's "habituation" it's what I do. There's no question of "do I want to" ? "will I" ? It's just what I do.

Once you get into a fixed habit you won't even think about it. You'll still enjoy the benefits though, I still never regret a run however hard it can be to get myself over the doorsill and out there! 👍🏻💪🏻😁

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Thank you for your reply x

MrBassmanjazz profile image

Sounds like me a few weeks ago."Bad cold", kept me off for two weeks and the three after weren't great either.

Started with just 2k and building from there

The good news is when you get out, rain hail, sleet or snow - you'll be so glad you did!

As Coach Bennet says, " If you can't do the run you want - do the run you can".

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to MrBassmanjazz

Thank you, very good advice

Deverdad profile image

Hi, Winter is not easy for runners and a lot of good advice has been provided but I would add just one thing... don't over think this ... step out and walk, jog, skip and smile for as long as it makes you happy. Be spontaneous and you will be surprised how good you feel about yourself afterwards. Good luck, Col.

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Deverdad

Thank you so much, I overthink it far too much!

Andy6659 profile image

Well I know that feeling bout being busy as work and not enough hrs in day too run nd do other things as ,well. so I try and motivation myself on the weekend early in morning

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Andy6659

Thanks for the advice 😊

Andy6659 profile image
Andy6659Graduate in reply to Running_at50

Well I hope u get back on track as I find It helps me x

Oldfloss profile image

We're here... the Catch Up Corner is here every week for you to relax, chat and share and be inspired!

I really empathise. busy lives and shorter days... eeek! BUT, ( there is always a but), Leotigris is right... choose a time... whichever time suits... but yes for me early morning would be the choice... and plan.

Route chosen. distance... no set plan. Set all your gear out the night before...( be seen, gear, if it is very dark).. and then...you just go.

This time of the year is wonderful. I graduated December 17th ,2015... and it was incredible. Not always easy, but amazing and that last week of runs, when I ran through the darkened lanes and sometimes the darkened roads, where folk had switched their Christmas lights on, or forgot to turn them off, from the night before, it was magical.

It was a wet winter, but chilly, but sometimes, a crisp frost, sparkled on hedge and twig, field or lawn. Breath coming out like a small dragon, feet echoing , and as our friend says, the most awesome sun rises.

I am slightly under par right now, and I am chafing at the bit, to get out there again... ( I listen to this old body though).

Plan, be warm and simply get into a really good seasonal habit. BUT... always remember, if it is dire weather, or life has really gone into hyper mode... the run will wait, and there is a heck of a lot of great indoor work to do on any non run day! The Strength and Flex Forum is full of them

Have a read of this... A Post from a year ago...it has a great poem in it ( I wrote it, Ha ha!!!) It will tell you how great we runners are and how we move on through tricky times... and just think , YOU are a runner...

Looking forward to your next run post :)


Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Oldfloss

Thank you for your great advice as always Oldfloss. I will definitely read the post and I'm confident that the poem is great 😁 Mornings are normally best for me, during the summer I was getting up at 5.30 sometimes to go out before the heat but in the winter I don't have that reason! In fact it's the opposite, it's bleeding cold!! Can't win (yeah I know I'm just making excuses!) Along with not feeling so good with colds etc it certainly isn't easy. I will make some time and just get out even for 10 minutes, that's hardly any time, I'm sure I can manage that! X

Chipshop profile image

Is there a parkrun near you? I find that a big motivator. In fact without it I don't know if I'd still be running! Because it's at a set time every week there's no, 'I'll do it later', or, 'Oh, I'll leave it till tomorrow.' It's a fabulous event and the high you feel at the finish can help keep you motivated through the week.

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Chipshop

Thank you for your reply. Yes there is a parkrun and I have done it a couple of times so perhaps I could try that again.

Roxdog profile image

The fact that you've posted here means you are motivated! I'm a morning runner but it isn't working well for me at the moment, so am having to break out of old habits and run at other times.I'm sure you will get out there - even a short run might kick start your appetite. Good luck

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Roxdog

Thank you for your advice. Yes I'm a morning runner too but it's so much more difficult on these cold, dark ones. Will look at different times too I think.

Jell6 profile image

I'd echo what Cmoi said. Take the pressure off. I got through that type of feeling by setting a minimum timer on my phone (25 minutes) it's still set as 25, but I don't think I ever stopped at that, I just knew I could. Also I have embraced my mantra of "Slow run, or no run" it works wonders. Feel free to use it!

I might get it on a running vest...🤔

I pretty much run the same route, but yesterday, as I was listening to 10CC of all things, I was watched by cows, pheasants, they all told me I was mad!

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Jell6

That sounds a great mantra, you should definitely have that put on a vest! Those cows and pheasants need to mind their own 🤣

Redmusician profile image

Hello. This is the first time I've posted on this. I've read your post and all the amazing replies and it has really inspired me as I've slipped too and haven't been out for weeks (initially because of a slight injury but that's all sorted now). Super helpful stuff. Thank you!

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Redmusician

It's so easy to let things slip, so glad it's inspired you too!

OldManRunning profile image

Great Post, Great Replies, Run, Smile ☺ 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to OldManRunning

Thank you 😁

nowster profile image

You're not the only one. The short days, foul weather, the other pressures of life and feeling grotty have all reduced my running activities in the last few months.

Sometimes you simply have to make that decision that you're going to carve out a half hour from your day, and stick to it, but not to beat yourself up if in spite of your determination something stops you.

For example, today's run (if I actually get myself out into the cold) will be on a short (2 mile) route that I've done hundreds of times. The run part will only be about 20 minutes.

Getting into a set routine is also a help. There's a lady I follow on Strava (who used to be very active here) who runs first thing in the morning every day. She only usually does a mile most days, but it's part of her routine and she keeps to it religiously.

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to nowster

Thank you for your reply, some great advice there.

Chinkoflight profile image

What an interesting post creating a mountain of contradictory advice to pull the best bits from! Everything from kick up the ass to I'm with you in your misery 😉😁 ! I must admit I don't like short days at all and that feeling kicks in around about now for around six weeks either side of the Winter Solstice.

I'm a morning runner by preference too but I love running since I found it at the age of 70 this Spring. It does mean I have the time to run! Running has given me so much, obviously massively improved cardiovascular system but mental health too and I'm a running bore and Parkrun evangelist!!!

Running in the dark doesn't appeal, I think I might feel unsafe on the rural lanes but my son has run in the dark for a long time using a head torch and reflective gear. I have set off at dawn and it does offer a very different perspective and new milestones.

BUT WHAT MIGHT CHANGE THIS? To try and get under the skin of your question, why might I feel that running might become the focus for a bad day?

Well to be honest, it would be something else that would be bugging me that I perhaps couldn't face, face up to, or feel I could change. Then I might just start kicking out at the things I love to do to compound my misery and failure. This might be conscious or quite unconscious. It's easier to kick yourself than kick the problem.

For me of course short day lengths I reckon can do this and I'm trying not to mention the usual explanation that will feature in too many magazine articles in the new year. (SAD) But seratonin levels are an interesting subject so your 'symptoms' could be real in a physical sense, not just the mind playing games. But of course the answer to this is to get out and into daylight even more, not less. The cure to the problem is the problem!!!!

Look at it this way, as of today 6/12/22 there are only 15 days until the days get longer and summers on the way!!!!! Yay!! How many runs - 7? Tick them off, make them short if necessary or Jeff a bit (walk/run).

Finally #shortdayout is something to plan to do on the 21 st December , actually there is leeway around the date of a few days. Do something, take a photo and post it to that hashtag on Instagram or wherever if you use social media and enjoy what others are doing too.

And that other problem that might be bugging you and impacting on mood to run. Park it, don't make it the excuse to stop doing things that make you feel good.

Keep running, keep smiling.

Sunset at the end of an awful day!
Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Chinkoflight

Absolutely love your reply, thank you so much. I do manage to get outside most days, either walking my dog or taking the children I look after out. I don't really understand what the problem is. I am pretty hard on myself 😔15 days is not long, a great mindset to have!

Thank you again for your support x

Leotigris profile image
LeotigrisGraduate in reply to Chinkoflight

that photo is amazing!

Optimistic0 profile image

I have felt the same and didn’t run for a couple of weeks. Be kind to yourself firstly and allow yourself the break.

I got my mojo back by going back to WK5 & WK6 with the interval runs and thought if I run for half the amount of time, it’s better than nothing. So have got back into it that way and am back to WK8 and have mixed up my routes as well as how long I run. Also, I usually listen to upbeat music but am enjoying more relaxing songs of late and taking in my surroundings and autumn colours.

I’m sure you’ll get back into in your own time. Enjoy your rest and/or your run. Take care x

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Optimistic0

Thank you for your reply and good advice x

BubsMum profile image

Hello. I don’t usually post here but I do lurk and read the posts of others. When I saw your post, it made me thankful in a selfish way that I was not alone in feeling the way I do. I have graduated a few times and continued for decent amounts of time but each time my running fizzles out and I regret it and start again later on. I haven’t run for 3 weeks and I feel awful. I want to but make excuses and manage to talk myself out it. And then I feel bad and lazy and promise I will do it tomorrow. I am reading the responses to your post avidly and hope you manage to do what you feel is right for you. I am around the same age as you and live a busy life also. Maybe we could buddy up at some point but no pressure. If anything know you are not alone.

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to BubsMum

Thanks for your reply and it makes you feel so much better knowing you're not alone. I'm sure many of us feel this way but perhaps feel a bit inadequate so say nothing, like lots of things in life I suppose. We are our worst critics and if only we could speak to ourselves like we would a friend. We should be kinder to ourselves. Having a buddy would be great, think it would motivate me more, we can motivate each other.

Don't feel bad or lazy, it's just a blip and as others have said just go out for 10 minutes, it's not a lot and better than nothing! We can do this! X

Enfieldtownrunner profile image

Don't be so hard on yourself! So you took a break, no big deal, you can get back to it! The first run is the hardest after a hiatus. I put on my running gear in the morning when i wake up - forces me to do something about it or spend the day having my kids look at me funny. If I have an errand to run - sometimes I just run there lol. Goodluck, I'm sure you'll have your mojo back in no time.

Running_at50 profile image
Running_at50Graduate in reply to Enfieldtownrunner

Thank you for your reply and advice. That is such good idea about putting your running gear on, will have to try that! Personally I always feel good in those clothes, they hold everything in and stop the wobbles 😂 Thank you for your encouragement x

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