Couch to 5K
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Week 7 and struggling

After amazing myself by running for 20 minutes last week, I'm really struggling to manage 25 minutes and, in fact, have stopped short (by 5 minutes or so) on 3 attempts now. I just seem to run out of steam, which sounds rather pathetic! I'm wondering if food/drink has anything to do with it and wonder how many of you take water with you and how you handle eating before runs. I get home from work about for so can run before an evening meal, but lunch feels a long way behind me. Any thoughts?

4 Replies

I don't take water - but I do drink some if I've not had anything for a while and I am about to set out. I don't run for a couple of hours after a meal, but yes if it is quite a bit more than that I can feel very empty and don't have the same stamina, so sometimes I've had a small snack before heading out. Late afternoon is often a tricky time for me - had an (almost) pointless run at that time last week, followed by one of my most enjoyable.

It might be worth having a look at your lunch so that it lasts you longer, that and building in a mid-afternoon healthy snack.

I think you are doing really well though - you've done your three runs, and even though it must be a bit demoralising not to complete them in full, you've kept the routine. It might be worth looking at location and route now so that you don't get any psychological hurdles popping up.


I had a really rubbish run the first time I did wk 7 - I stopped at about 18 minutes, so sooner than you, but when I read some of the comments on here I realised this happens to lots of people, and you just have to get back out there. I am sure that since we have reached this stage most of the battle is in our minds not in our legs. The next time I did a Wk 7 run I told myself that I was going to run a little further than I did the first time and that meant I got the marvellous Laura telling me I only had 5 minutes to go and suddenly that felt manageable. Keep at it - you can do this, just think of how far you have come and that nice graduate badge waiting for you in a couple of weeks!


When I started I used to go out just after breakfast (yes, really!). Then I started having a banana before I went out. Now I tend to have a cup of coffee (which is actually mainly milk) before I go. I run first thing in the morning.

It may be worth setting off a little bit slower, perhaps. If you can keep going for the full 25 minutes at a slower speed you can work at increasing the speed later. Good luck and well done for keeping on perservering. :-)


Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. Don't think I could get much slower though :) ! I agree that much of the battle is mental and doing it without the podcasts, as I am, leaves me without Laura telling me to keep going! I might just have to invest in some hearing-aid compatible gadget so I can run with music, if not Laura. I'll try adjusting my meals too.


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