Couch to 5K

w4r2 FAIL!!

Aaaarrrrgh! I am so annoyed and frustrated with myself - completely failed on this run this morning.

I found week 3 hard but doable and was nervous about starting w4 on Tuesday but "had faith in the the plan" and gave week 4r1 a go. I got to the end, although did actually cry twice, real tears and everything!! Once during the last 5 minute spurt as my legs hurt so much and I was just about to stop when Laura chipped in telling me there was only one minute left, so I found the courage to push through it - good old Laura! Then when she announced at the end that I now run more than I walk during a session, I blubbed again, despite the leg pain. It was a hard old session.

But off I trotted again today. Usually go in the evening, so I was pleased to see that park was deserted, bar a dog walker and a man on a ride-on mower. Warm up walk - check. First 3 minute run - check - I actually had a big grin on my face that I hadn't had since week one when I realised "look at me, I am running!!".

Five minute run - hmmmm check, but had to really push to the end as knees started to hurt. Next three minute run......ouch ouch ouch! The outside of my knees, outside of my legs and my ankles were burning so much that I really couldn't run again after that and had to walk through the firey pain. I tried to run for the last minute of the three, and just about did it but it burned, and then the walking after it hurt - so I had to make the decision to simply walk for the remainder of the podcast when I should have been running. Absolutely gutted, annoyed and peed off with myself that my heavy body was causing this grief. Several thoughts went through my head such as "oh well, I knew I wouldn't be able to do it"....and "I guess five minutes running is my limit".......

But after a short drive home my legs feel fine. Which is making me even more annoyed! I don't want to give up here.....I want to be able to be amazed by myself when I can run for a continuous 30 minutes.

So, lovely people, advice for moving forward please?

I'm thinking continue with the w4 the first 3 and five minute runs as I seem to have got through those both times already, and then gradually increase my running during the following 3 minute burst & walk the remainder of the podcast. Once that's achieved work up to running the last five minutes as much as I can do at a time, until i can do that successfully too? Is this the best way to tackle it?

It's going to be a verrrrry long week 4 I think! ;)

11 Replies

I think you have just had a bad run and should label it as such. They happen and can be quite heartbreaking. Give yourself a couple of days' rest and go out and no doubt you will have a great run.


I agree. No shame in repeating weeks, taking a rest, doing whatever you need to do. At the end of the day, you're still a whole heap closer to your goal today than you first were a few weeks ago :)


You did the right thing to stop, so don't be cross with yourself!!

Rest for a couple of days. Treat knees with ice.

Your plan for the next few runs sounds excellent. This is no race, and every run you do will increase your strength and muscles. Go slowly, don't push it. You're doing SO well, so keep smiling :)


Absolutely agree with the guys.

Bad run, no more, no less.

We all have them.

Rest for a couple of days and get back out there. It doesn't matter if the 9 week plan takes 10, 11 or 12.

You will be running 30 minutes, promise! :)



I feel for you cause that was me last week! Had a good W4R1 but then struggled with the next run with breathing and chest pains and only did two runs that week because of life (read Bank Holiday). Decided to repeat week4 this week and slowed the pace for the initial 3 and 5 min run. Best thing I did. Actually enjoyed W4R3 today and picked up pace on the last run (I run on a treadmill). Feels so much stronger (and fitter :-0 than last week). Actually looking forward to week 5 and I'm sure I would have completely failed if I did it straight after my bad week4.

Don't be discouraged - my advise would be to repeat the week and slow down on the initial runs and if you feel ok pick up on the last run. Reading through the blocks here and other c25k sites week4 is hard.

I decided to see my running as a life long process and an extra day here or there on the 'programme' does not make a difference. Go you!

Good luck.


I failed at week 3 several times, could not breath legs really hurt etc etc. Try running slower i did and tomorrow I run week 5 run 3. Good luck keep going take it slower and you will be fine/


Sounds like just a bad run. I started week 4 two weeks ago and got shin splints right before my final run so i had to rest for a week. Yesterday i completed run 2 for the second time and it wasnt that bad! Stick to the plan and keep attempting it an just keep repeating until you do it. Ive found doing pilates on my rest days really beneficial and i found a free pilates workout channel on youtube called blogilatesTV have a go at some of the leg strengthening exercises and see if you feel a difference!


Will take a look for that, thank you :)


One 'bad' run doesn't mean you have failed! Just go again. I found slowing down (from slow to very slow) helped and I enjoyed my running more.


Thank you all for your reassurance, support and next run is tomorrow so I will just head out and have another go at w4....with no beating myself up if I have to walk for the end of the podcast for the next few attempts. I'm not concerned really how long the programme will take me - I just didn't want to feel like this is as far as I could go..... and as for slowing down my pace, I guess I'll have to go from very slow jogging to incredibly slow!! ;) Will keep you posted xx


Hey Nat, all of these guys are absolutely right with there advice 100%..... I've been graduated a few weeks now and can usually do 5K in 36-37 mins, however yesterday I did 5K in 41 mins and although I thought the run went well I was pretty mad with myself...... It just goes to show that we all have bad days and just have to forget about it and move forward. Your muscles will get used to the running distances but in the mean time just keep pushing yourself and build it it slowly. If you have to repeat a week so be it...... Make sure you stretch after your run, this is vital.... Muscle like to be stretched when they are warm so stretching out post run is really important and if you get any further leg pain that you think is just muscular, ice in the area is great and ibuprofen will help too. Good luck, you are doing soooo brilliantly!!!!! Don't give up!! Itll be worth it in the end!! You WILL become the runner you want to be.... :)


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