Couch to 5K

Feel Like Im failing at every run

So I started a few weeks ago and all things were going great...every run getting better and better, becoming more of mind over body, Achieved week 5 run 3 never thought I would get that far ... then had a break as so hot I couldnt run, started week 6 and only managed first 5 mins of run, couldnt get my breath, ankle still hurt from injury in week 2 and all came over me. Took about another week for me to finally get to a point where I managed to complete week 6 run 1 then hurrah week 6 run 2 ... but still no week 6 run 3 for me .. went out today after a break of about 4 days and thought that I would start week 6 again ... didnt even manage to finish the first 5 minutes, knee pain, struggling to get my breath and couldnt get breath back after 3 minutes walking ... Im really at a point of giving up .. I dont know how far back I should go to get back on track :( ... meant to be running race for life 5k on Saturday too ...

6 Replies

Hi Champers,

So sorry you're finding it a bit tough right now. I know what you mean about the heat, I hate running in that too, also coming back from injury is tough. Don't be too hard on yourself!

I'm wondering if, now that you have passed your twenty mins run, and more, that you are going out too fast/trying to maintain too fast a pace? You are still in the early stages of your running career (cos you're NOT going to give up yet are you??) and pace is still all.

How about you go back to Wk5R3, do the twenty minutes nice and slow - you really have to build up your running confidence again, don't let a few bad runs knock you back. If this, even slowly, is too much, then simply take it back a little more. Only your body can tell you what you can manage. Pace yourself (have I said that enough yet??).

Do not panic about the RFL on Saturday, if you have to walk some of it, then you have to. It is not the end of the world, and as I said, you are still a newbie to this game...your day (and other events) will come!



If you're struggling after the first five minutes, and having problemd getting your breath back during the walks, I suspect you might be running too fast. Slow down, especially in the first 5 minutes. Start very gently, and stay there!

Also, can your warm up walk be a little brisker? It might help the initial 5 minutes.


My first thoughts would be get the injury checked out by a doctor who can tell you wether you need to rest it. I graduated 2 weeks ago and have my race for life on Sunday but I am still struggling a lot.

I also have aches and pains but I think running is 50% physical an 50% mental strength - I just try my best to shut it out. I had to take a week off too as I caught a tummy bug and I really feel like this knocked my confidence so much as this week I have struggled to run for more than 10 minutes at a time and have been panicking about the Race as I have told everyone I will run the whole thing wthout stopping for a walk.

However - I think its important that we think back to were we started when just running for 60 seconds felt almost impossible and the fact that you managed the dreaded w5r3 means you have come so far. Also remember the Race for life is a fun charity event so there is NO pressure on you to run the whole thing - just enjoy the experience as its for a good cause!

Are you doing any cross training on your days off or is running it for you? I ask this because when I first started I was doing strength training, cycling and really long walks with my dogs on my 'rest' days and the past couple of weeks I have stopped due to being ill and working extra shifts and I also think this has had a negative effect on my running.

So I would say get an appointment with your doctor or at the very least research your injury on line and see if its advisable for you to run at all. For the race for life - go with the mindset that you will do your best and if that's running some and walking some then its still all good exercise and you are doing a good thing for charity. Also try to fit in other exercise as running is very hard physically because of the impact and strain it puts on your body so its good to mix it up.

As for where to go back to - I stopped following the podcasts a few weeks ago because the music was too dull for me and just used a runkeeper app on my phone instead so I knew how long I had to run for - but like I said - after having to take a week off it has really been a struggle to get back to where I was before - so if I was you I would just go out and run for as long as you can, walk and get your breath back and then try running again and don't beat yourself up about it as you have got this far!


I think you are being too tough on yourself. You achieved a 20 minute run "every run getting better and better" and achieved week6 run 2. This is brilliant stuff! :)

It is really normal to find week 6 tricky to say the least...and after a break in routine it has simply tripped you up abit. An awful lot of people either re-do week 6 or re-do week 5: it is not a crime! It is simply sensible and a way to build your stamina and strength before moving on.

Race for life: take it slow, mix up walking and running and enjoy! Good luck and let us know how you get on.


id agree with the above comments you know that you can do this, you have done the 20 minute run so we have the evidence! as others have said start off really slowly, ridicuklously slowly, so slow snails are flashing and honking their horns at you as they overtake. ive doen that for the start of all the big runs, because i tell myself that i AM going to finish whatever speed. try to stay relaxed too; if you feel you are about to fail your breathing goes alkl over the place and you run out of steam.



Wowzer I wish I had posted earlier .. you guys are great, THANK YOU all so much for your tips, words of encouragement and advice! I have been doing an hour of Zumba a week and also an hour of Pilates ( which I love as it stretches all my sore running bits !!) and try to get out and cycle at the weekend.. trust me that is all a hell of a change to the me of say 7 weeks ago !!! Today I feel good and in a good place, I have planned to use the tactics described above on Saturdays run, as I know I can do THAT and I run further in shorter time when I run in intervals ! Then I will take Sunday as rest and celebration ,... Zumba Monday and Restart week 5 on Tuesday ... I WILL get to graduation !! xx


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