Couch to 5K
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Struggling - please help motivate me!

I finished the C25K programme last week and did 4.8K in 30 minutes. Since then, I haven't been for a run. Monday, I just couldn't be bothered. Wednesday, I was too tired after only having 2 hours sleep, and Friday we were out having tea at a friend's house. So I am meant to go today, and I just can't motivate myself. I feel like I have exhausted all the places to run round here and I prefer the challenge of a new run. It doesn't help that my post-natal depression seems to have taken a huge turn for the worse, and I feel like I am back at square one again, after previously feeling almost better. I wonder if stopping running this week had had this effect? Whatever the reason, I really need to get back into it. Can't let all that hard work go to waste, and I still have lots of baby weight to lose. :-(

11 Replies

could it be that without the programme you don't feel "obligated" to run in the way you did when you had the aim of completing the programme.

Perhaps you could start over from week 1 using the increased pace method as a motivator to get back out there.

The fresh air, exercise and sense of achievement certainly weren't doing you any harm and if things feel bleaker without it I think a run might be what you need?

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Hi Jenbie, I am only doing 4k in 30 mins so you are ahead of me, I thought I would get this problem as all through the c25k we have the next week as a target and then suddenly after week 9 there is nothing.

So I have made myself another 9 week program,

one 30 min run - use week 9 podcast,

one 30 min run using week 1 podcast for intervals, jogging the 5 min warm up and warm down, running the 1 min fast and jogging the 90 secs recoveries,

On Sunday a longer run to do a full 5k to see how long it takes me.

I am trying to lose weight as well so blog in here once a week on weigh in day (mondays) to see how I am doing. Use my own music for this one.

I am into the second week now and so far have completed all the scheduled runs, I like the 9 week framework it seems to suit me, so after this lot I will hopefully have made it to 5k instead of just 4. When I get to that point I think I will just set another target and design another 9 weeks to suit whatever I want to do next

Not sure if this would suit you but I think having the next target in mind makes it more likely we get up and head off out the front door


exercise is proven to make us happy and I personally believe this. Without running I am one miserable human (I don't do any other exercise apart from a quick spin on the exercise bike or walking).

Could you join a local running club? My local is sweatshop running community and its free so I've no excuse not to go. I've met some lovely people who share their tips and experiences which not only pushes me but motivates me to keep going. I've also now increased people to run with on other days.

I need a routine so I also do my local parkrun and have the bridge to 10k app which I train for twice a week.

The main thing is to find something that suits you and hopefully help with the post natal depression. I wish you the best of luck with it. :)


It is easy to feel a bit lost after the 9 weeks is up- it can be hard to make yourself get up and go out there.

When you really can't be bothered why not set out just to do 20 mins. That's not too horrible a thought or too much time out your day when you're busy and you know you can do that with no problem.

Bet you find once you're out there that you're enjoying it and will want to keep going. Good luck and you said it yourself- don't let all that hard work go to waste



You are sleep deprived, tired, feeling a bit blue and have a small baby and toddler to look after. Please be a little gentler on yourself! You're a bit of a superstar doing the programme at this time at all. Lack of motivation - rubbish you have a shed load but may be you just need a little more rest. Most mums would still be on the couch.


I agree with RhonaL. Dont beat yourself up. I feel very guilty if i dont go for my run, so i do it knowing I'll feel better in myself if i do go. I have a nearly 3 yr old, tried different exercise classes to help lose the extra weight (about 1 & half stones heavier than before I had my son) but this is definitely the best, with the fresh air, time to yourself to think and get the stresses of the day out. All of a sudden the run is finished and I'm so pleased I've done it for myself.

I hope you feel better about it all soon. You arent alone. x


Totally agree with Rhonal. You have done brilliantly. You know if you keep running 3 times a week gradually building up the time you can run for you will feel so much better. I started drifting a few weeks after graduating and my solution was to sign up for a charity 10k and then download a training programme from the runners world website which I havent missed a session of since!

I am usually useless if I lack sleep so I feel for you x


D'you know what? I've had weeks like that - and especially after a major achievement like finishing C25K or hitting a new distance (and that's without the demands of a new baby - although a 17 year old boy comes close!). Don't be disheartened as you won't have lost any fitness in such a short time - in fact I and much more experienced runners have found we sometimes do our best time/distance after a break like that, so there's no need to feel you've thrown it all away.

As others have advised, be gentle on yourself, but maybe you could try to see getting out for another run as part of being gentle and 'pampering' yourself, rather than something you 'must' do.

And once you're back into it, do have a look at the 10k programmes out there (and the C25K 'Plus' podcasts will soon be out too) to get those running juices flowing again.

Sending you a big hug (((((Jenbie)))) :-)


I drifted a bit late last year after I did my first 5k - I ended up leaving it for so long I pretty much had to start from scratch. I've realised that I am more motivated if I have a goal, so I've signed up for another 5k and that gives me something to work towards. Running certainly helps my mood - gets me out in the fresh air, and because I go so slowly I have plenty of time to admire the view!

Don't be so hard on yourself - sleep deprivation is horrible. They say that the hardest step a runner takes is the first one out the door, so just go for it without thinking too much about it - if I do that I'll find a million reasons not to!


I suffered from post natal depression many years ago and can sympathise with you. You have done really well finishing the programme and I would imagine that working towards a goal has given you a sense of purpose and something to achieve for you.

I have a few uggestions:

Try a 'free' run. Just go out on your own and walk, run, jog wherever you fancy for as long as you want to. No pressure. Even walking in the fresh air will do you good mentally and physically.

The new Laura podcasts are due out very shortly. Keep a look out for them.

Go along and watch a park run - take baby with you. You might feel tempted to join in with the next one. I think I have seen photos of people running with their prams?

Don't be hard on just need a new challenge and sense of purpose.

Good luck....keep us posted.


Hello, thank you for all your advice and sympathy. I should perhaps point out that my baby is 11 months and nearly walking, so not *that* new, and both the baby and toddler (aged 2.5) sleep through. The two hour's sleep was due to staying up to sort out a job application I had only found out about a few days before the deadline!

I DID go for a run yesterday following all the encouragement, but did week 1 and sprinted the run bits, as someone suggested early in this thread. My intention was to jog the walk bits, but I really wasn't able to! I did really push myself during the runs though, and went way faster that I would normally run (I have always been good at short distance sprints). I felt loads better after running and nowhere near as stressed with the kids. I think i definitely need to keep up with the running for the benefit of my own mental health! But I think I perhaps need more variety in my runs. My husband and I had decided to do the One Hour Runner bridge to 10K programme, but I am getting a bit bored with consistently doing long runs, so I think I need to possibly design my own programme, with each session being a bit different. Some great ideas on here that have got me thinking. I am off to start a new thread for some more ideas! :-)

x Jen x


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