Couch to 5K
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Am I supposed to be finding it THIS hard??

I've just done W6R2 and found it terrible. I assumed that once I had cracked the 20 min run in W5 I would feel like the worst was over and thought I would feel like a 'runner'. However I've found the following 2 runs really difficult and now need to motivate myself for the 25 min run coming up........I'm also reading on here that people are finding W7 tough - how do you all keep going and are you absolutely exhausted at the end of each run or is that just me??

16 Replies

I think that when the running becomes longer without any walking breaks it is bound to present new challenges, both physically but also mentally. It might well be that you get through week 6 with a struggle and then find week 7 is not too bad!

That exhausted feeling at the end of the run; it's not just you, believe me!!


I remember feeling exhausted - but totally exhilarated! You can do this!


Hi MamaG,

Some of this depends on how much you were a TCP (true couch potato) when you started. some people are "lapsed fitties" which means they used to do exercise but have at some time stopped but the TCP's used to do "stopped" and are now trying to exercise.

For those of use who are TCPs these later weeks of longer run are harder but think back to week 1 when you could barely exercise, and back to week 1 minus 1 when you were Stopped and think about just how far you have come.

Lots of people get a lull in week 6 after the high of Wk5r3 where you felt on top of the world.

Keep slogging on, run more slowly but steadily and you will get through the 25 minutes - speed can come later.

Best of luck with your next run!


I found week 6 surprisingly tough - I think you are probably still recovering from the longer than usual run inW5R3. I think you have to build determination as well as physical fitness - you've come a long way since W1 and it is worth persevering. Yes, there are ups and downs - just remember that the good times make the tougher bits worthwhile :-) When it is tough, remind yourself that you are building stamina.

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Interesting you say about being exhausted at the end of the run. I feel that at 10-15mins into my run, and then it just passes. Its not easy and week 7 is tough but week 8 will hopefully feel better. Keep up the good work your doing great.


Hi everyone.

Thanks for the feedback :) I'm wouldn't say I'm a TCP but it's a while since I've done any serious exercise and I was shocked at how bad my fitness was when I attempted week 1. This is my 3rd attempt at C25K - the first 2 times I hurt my knees as I was running outdoors but this time I have done it on the treadmill and I'm getting there. Hoping that I can build up my muscles and then hit the road at a later date!

I don't think I've experienced exhilaration at the end of a run yet but I think I've hit 'the zone' a couple of times whilst running where all of a sudden I've tuned out and just kept going. If only that happened all the time....LOL

Still nervous about the next run and trying to decide whether to listen to the podcast or just my own music as it's a straight 25 mins? What does everyone else do?


for the 25 min run personally I needed laura in my ear egging me on. but thats just me :)

with regard to the first 2 week 6 runs. I found these ones horrible. I expected that they would be easy having run 20mins straight but they were far from it. I find going back to intervals hard & when I did the bridge to 10k program could not complete all of the runs in week 1 (4x10min with a min walk between). it takes me 5-10mins to settle into a run so that is probably why.

dont fret too much. get your head in that "I can do anything" zone & take the 25mins slowly & Im sure it will be fine.

good luck. let us know how you got on :)


So glad I'm not the only one who's found week 6 the toughest to date! Run 1 wasn't too bad, but run 2 was sheer torture and I had to muster all my willpower to finish it. I was dreading today's 25 minute run, but after the first 10 minutes, I got into my stride and jogged along to the end. I'm not 100% confident that I'm ready for week 7, so am planning to start week 6 again on Monday. It will be very interesting to see if I find run 2 as bad the second time around!


So many people find week 6 tough, and I was one of them, but it is important to trust the program and all the hard work you've done so far.

I've only recently graduated and remember it well.

Even Paula Radcliffe finds it tough, but she just does it further and faster!!!!!


My advice would be "run slower" but then I am queen of the slow coaches... however if you're looking at building up your stamina slow is good!


Is anyone else running on a treadmill? I run at 8km/h but am scared of going slower as obviously the target is 10km/h.......


I run outdoors. Don't worry about pace yet, concentrate on running for 30mins at whatever speed is comfortable. When I graduated a 5k would have taken 41mins if I could keep going, but four or five weeks later I can run it in 34:45.


Hi MamaG

Yes I use a treadmill and have just done Week 7 Run 1 and found it hard. I run at 7 to 7.5 kph (my husband walks faster than this!) but tell myself slow is OK. My one trip 'outside' was not a success - I ran too fast I think and had no energy or stamina and failed to complete the run (Week 4 I think) so it was back to the treadmill for me. My problem is definitely mental - I really struggle to believe I can run without a break, even though I've done it in previous weeks. Maybe if I can just get through to the end I'll risk outside again - however I live in NZ and it's a very hilly country!


I run at 7kph also, starting week 7 tomorrow, three sets of twenty five min runs. I am thinking of upping to 7.5 kph or 8kph.

I started week one walking at 4kph and running at 5.5kph.. I now do the walking at 5kph and running at 7kph.

What i have noticed though, when i did my week 5 day three run i dropped the speed at about fifteen minutes in to 6kph, it actually felt harder on my body running at the slower pace and twenty seconds later i put it back up again.

I am going to try my 25 min tomorrow at 7.5kph and see what happens, if i can hold it to twenty mins i'll pump it up to 8 kph.


Thank you SO much everyone! I've just done my 25min run!!! :-)

Listened to everyone's advice and ended up lowering my speed a little and listening to my own music (I figured that even if I didn't complete the run at least i'd hear some good tunes!)

Onwards and upwards....!

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Well done you!!


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