Couch to 5K
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Losing confidence

I'm about 3 weeks post graduation (I think) and I have to confess that I am struggling a bit.

I don't know if it is because I am missing the sense of achievement of following and completing the podcasts (I'm certainly not missing the music ;-)) or if it is because I managed the 30 minutes in week 9 and then rushed on to 40-45-50 minute runs too soon afterwards, pushing and pushing to run further and for longer.

The last few runs I've been on have ended up with me walking for part of it which is really frustrating as I feel like I have failed somehow and now I have let myself walk it seems increasingly tempting to walk again.

The other thing that is slightly knocking my confidence is going to running club. Everyone there is really lovely and the coaches are great but because I have tended to run with the regulars as my friend goes too I find myself getting a bit anxious that I won't be able to keep up or keep going as long - even though I have plenty of evidence that I can run for 30+ minutes and they're not going that fast anyway. Maybe it's just the case that I don't feel in control of the pace like I do when I'm on my own.

Sorry for a whingy post - perhaps I just need the new podcasts to come out to get me back on the right track.

17 Replies

Well done for getting as far as you have, that in itself looks pretty impressive from where I'm sat (going to do W3R1 this evening).

It sounds like maybe you're missing some of the structure. And perhaps have bitten off more than you can chew. What about doing week 9 again and seeing if you can beat your last runs on week 9? You know you are perfectly able to do week 9 so challenging yourself to do it at better pace might bring back some of your confidence?

Also I dont know if the NHS one is around yet (hopefully someone will be along shortly to let us know) but there are plenty of bridge to 10k podcasts out there - you could try one of those maybe?

Is there a more beginners groups/non regulars you could run with in the running club for a bit? Or if you think you're happier running on your own could you maybe follow their routes by yourself, at a different time for a bit to built up your confidence?

Hope this helps a bit... Chin up :)


Thank you for such a lovely message. I think you are right that I am missing the structure of the podcasts. I was thinking of going back to do week 9 again just to reassure myself that I can do it. As far as the running group is concerned, I should be with the beginners but have just accidentally joined the regulars because my friend goes. I think next week we are just doing intervals so that might be better. The other thing with going to running group is that it messes up my weekly running routine by falling on a Wednesday which isn't a day I would normally run! Now it sounds like I'm just making excuses!!! ;-)



On that link are the downloads for the B210K podcasts (not NHS) that used to be on the B210k fb page. You could always have a go at those, they start with five min warmup, 4x10 minute runs and then a cool down. Music not too bad!!



Thank you Carole - I'll look into that!


Lucy lockett, don't be down :( You've just probably tried to do too much too soon. It wasn't that long ago that you were on week one, and you've come a long way :D Now is the time to ease off a bit and enjoy the runs, building the confidence.

You don't have to go further, you don't have to go faster.

Go back to feeling in control of your runs. If this means not running with the club for a few weeks, then so be it.

Run with your own music, don't worry about distance, just 30 minutes at a gentle pace. It'll soon be good again!


Thank you - I think I was coming to the conclusion myself that going back to running 30 minutes was a good idea. I have tried to do too much too soon and I'm not coping with it! Wish me luck for tomorrow!


Glad you sound happier :)

If the running club contradicts your routine,what about an alternative club (where you won't be tempted to 'cheat' and join the regulars) that runs on one of your run days? You could always switch back in time and run with your friend. (Assuming you have a choice of running clubs)


I don't think there is a choice locally really - and more importantly I've just paid £20 for a 10 week course so I'll be sticking there for now! ;-) I just need to establish a new routine. I usually run with my 14 year old daughter but she is busy taking some of her GCSEs at the moment. I've probably felt a bit down this week as I worked extra days so missed my day off!


I'm thinking of broadly following this (free) plan:

This is to try and build up speed over the 5k distance. When I say I want to "broadly" follow it, I mean that I want to incorporate the free Women in Motion Saturday morning beginners/improvers running group (usually me and the coach) and I'm thinking of joining a local club on a Tuesday night, when they do fartlek, intervals etc which they say is suitable for all abilities.

I can sympathise with the loss of confidence -I've had similar feelings myself and haven't run since last Friday. Right now, I'm worrying about tomorrows run.

Good luck :-)



Just spotted your post and as I am having broadly the same issue have just printed the 5k 'spice' running plan, sounds just right "...move on from merely completing at 5k and improving speed over that distance". Now (strangely looking forward to starting this) and it will keep me goung until the Laura podcasts are released.




I sympathise and have had a similar problem - thou I found that as I didnt have Laura (and maybe my own music was a bit fast) I was not pacing myself, and was having to stop once or twice to catch my breath, which didn't feel as good as running for the full 5k without stopping (like you I felt that I was going backwards if I had to stop). So I decided to time how fast I was going ,as thought that I was perhaps inadvertantly speeding up. When I did I found that I had done the 5k in 23m, so to try and get back to running without stopping, I have gone back to earlier weeks and substituted the walk/run for walk/jog. That way I have had some variety while keeping the structure. Aslo had some helpful and encouraging posts,pointing in the direction of B210K. I must admit I find the idea a bit scary...but then I never in 1,000,000 years would I have ever thought I would be able to run 5k.

Despite getting v bored with the music :-( planning to go back to w9 podcast today just for a bit of reassurance :-), plus its raining again in Yorkshire and so dont feel full of the joys of spring (does anyone else find the weather an influence?) rain really puts me off - pathetic I know


Wow! 5k in 23 minutes is amazing! It takes me about 38!! But even though I'm going so slow I'm still going :-)

I went out for a run yesterday and managed to do 5k - it was quite a struggle all the way through but I just kept on going. I was aiming for 30 minutes and hoping for 5k but I wasn't putting any pressure on myself.


I think its the 3 times a week for 9 weeks structure you are missing, I've made up one for myself and am now in week 2 of my 2nd 9 wks. Also you are possibly going off a bit too far and a bit too fast, commit yourself to repeating week 9 next week on your normal days and fit in your running club night as an extra session.

See how you feel after that


That's good advice - I definitely am missing the 3 x a week structure and the sense of achievement it gives. I'll try what you suggest about doing the normal structure and having running club as an extra.


Thank you for this post, you,ve put into words what I'm going through too. Desperately missing the structure of c25k and flagging. Guiltily logged back in this morning to find all these encouraging comments. Thanks everyone. Just need to wait for Mr Ramblings to get back from his run so that me and Poppy can have a turn.


It's strange how much I miss the structure of the podcasts - and the huge sense of achievement I felt as I finished each week. Hope you and Poppy have a lovely run. :-)


I Know exactly what you mean about missing the podcasts, I felt adrift without them, I needed something to aim for. I did a few 30 minute runs to my own music but I have now started the B210k using the podcast Carolec recommends. The music is ok and although you don't get any encouragement you do get the voice telling you when to run/slow down etc.. I managed week 1 no problem and with week 2 I have decided I am going to do it as many times as it takes until i find it "easy" ish. I have given myself until 17 August (a date plucked out of the air) to achieve running 10k so I am not putting myself under lots of pressure. So I still have something to aim for at a steady pace. I still do the odd "easy" 5 k each week and to be honest running for longer on the B210k has made the 5k seem easy by comparison. Keep up the good work


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