Getting more discouraged and demotivated as the program goes on :(

I began C25K on 15th of August, and so far have finished Week 2. I found it extremely difficult in the beginning, but kept going and found myself improving. This was a great encouragement. I was scared to begin week 2, but I did and managed to do all the runs on W2R1. This was so encouraging, but it all fell apart from W2R2! I assumed that since I did W2R1, I would be able to complete and improve on W2R2, but unfortunately, I did only half and came walking back home because I was too exhausted, and my knees hurt too much to finish! Bought knee supports and went back after 2 days rest and managed to do the runs, but with great difficulty (mind you my knees are absolutely fine now, and no knee pain). This morning, I went for W2R3 all pumped up thinking I would be finishing Week 2 today, but I found I was exhausted after just the warm up walk!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say I couldn't do all the runs (I missed 1 1/2 runs)! I am so discouraged. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't I get better and make progress, and not take steps backward each time I go out to run? When am I going to make some progress? It really scares me to think how I will cope with the longer runs in the weeks to come. Will I ever make it?


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27 Replies

  • Please do not be discouraged Epld. Your body and mind will need some time to adjust to this whole new running routine :) All you need is some time to get used to it plus your determination and effort which you obviously have put into it. Take your time, listen to your body and keep going, you will get there. What you eat and drink especially prior to your run plays an important role so may be worth checking on that. I am on week 8 and I had good runs and bad ones and at the moment having a wee bit of a struggle with W8-R2 but I WILL nail it :D Good luck!

  • Thank you for the encouragement Miso_14. I will keep at it! I run first thing in the morning, and I only have a glass of water before I leave!

    All the best with W8R2!

  • Epid, what about having a banana 1/2 to 1 hr before you go? My gp suggested this to me because I have type1 diabetes and my blood sugar levels have been all over the place. He runs and says your body uses the banana rather than robbing your stores! (well, I'm paraphrasing but that's what he meant!) I've got 1 run left on W9 and I still feel exhausted when I start but it does ease after about 10 mins. Are you going too fast to start with and are you doing hills-flatter routes should be easier! Do keep with it though, running this programme is such an achievement and you can see yourself improving. Remember to be patient with yourself, any running's better than none!

  • Thanks for your advice stayinbed, I will try that tomorrow- eat half a banana a little while before I go. Lets see if that helps! And yes I am always running short of patience as well! Well I guess this program might teach me more than just running ;)

  • epld try slowing down. I think sometimes we head out thinking 'I can do this, I feel great' and then use up all the energy in the warm up or the 1st run. I'm beginning to realise the interval running is all about teaching us to pace ourselves. Those 1st 2-3 weeks it's more important to finish even at a snail pace than to get a good speed. I still run slower than I walk and I'm on week 6 now. you can do it!! Just take your time.

  • Thanks AnnaDJ! I will keep that in mind.... I will try and pace myself and see if that helps!

  • Hang in there epld! The runs are designed to push you at every stage. It's hard but not TOO hard! I'm afraid it does not start to get easier really until after graduation because every week builds on the one before or at least it didn't for me. That said many people find the first few weeks the hardest. (have a look at JR12s poll ) If you are very unfit to start with you might need to repeat some runs or even a whole week. There is no shame in this! Very few people breeze through the programme without a setback. It took me about 4 months to complete 9 weeks! :-) The advice above from Miso and Anna is good. Slow right down especially if you are struggling. Speed can come later - this is the start of lifelong fitness after all! Make sure you are hydrated and have something light to eat - half a banana is good if you can't face much before running. Have a look at some of the profiles of the graduates and their blogs - lots of the stories are truly inspirational. Have confidence in the programme. Check back in now and then and let us know how you are getting on. Happy running! :-)

  • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement pingle! I wont give up :)

  • Keep going!

    I don't know about you, but I generally feel I get more breathless in the morning as opposed to in the evening. Maybe you should wait at least an hour after waking up- have some warm water, and some fruit (good sugars) then go out.

    Perhaps keep a playlist, as I find running to music always helps me 1. keep pace, 2. helps time pass.

    You can do it! Just take it nice and slow. The whole point of c25k is not about speed- you should go as slow as you can both when walking and running. Build up your stamina- then eventually work on speed.


  • Thanks uhuru! I do use my own playlist, but will try and pace myself!

  • Not much I can add to the excellent advice above except echo - take it easy, pace yourself. There have been many moments in the Programme (I'm on W9) when I have felt as though I have taken a backward step and it can be demoralising but if you keep at it you will see the results. :-)

  • Thanks notbad!! Its soo good to know that others have faced similar situations but have made it! Thank you.

  • Its not easy epid I don't think there is anyone on here that would say it is easy. Its designed to test us, to make us dig deep. We are all here for you so keep posting and don't give up. Some of us found the earlier runs very hard I was one of them but I found the more I could relax into the running sections the easier it got. Wishing you all the best, you can do this and remember its not a race to finish in a certain time, you do it at your pace.

  • Thanks Oldgirl! I will go out there and give it my best shot :) Thanks for the encouragement. This forum has been a blessing!

  • Hi, epld. Sounds like everyone's got you covered as far as good advice. I would just add that you should go easier on yourself mentally. I decided to take a humorous attitude toward myself and my "running," which in the early weeks I called "trotting." There I was, just slowly plodding along on my treadmill, going at my own pace and forgiving myself for not being the best runner right off the bat. I've started Week 9 today, and it's true, it doesn't get easier. But don't let that scare you: it's not supposed to be easy! It's supposed to train you up. If you go at your own pace and just trot along, following the good advice of Laura and your fellow board members, your body will be ready for each new challenge as it comes up.

    It's almost a cliche by now, but it really is a mental challenge as much as a physical one. There have been moments when I've said, "I really can't do this," but it turned out I could. Still true here in week 9. My pace is much slower than those of many people who post here, but I work on endurance and just trust that when I can run easily for 30 minutes, I will be in a better position to work on my pace. I guess it all comes down to trust: trust the program, and trust yourself to be able to do it. You can!

  • Thanks Lu25k! Yeah I think the mental battle in the program is as difficult as the physical one! BUT I will get there! Thank you for the encouragement!

  • Hi Epid,

    this is going to sound like more of the same I'm afraid, but my experience has been pretty similar to yours.

    I have never been a particularly sporty person, and after I put on a SHED load of weight after giving up smoking I had even less inclination. I have dabbled with various gym programmes over the years but I have always felt envious of those I have seen out running.

    So here I am, about to turn 47, overweight and completely unfit but wanting to do something about it. Through a workplace health initiative I heard about C25K and immediately wanted to try it.

    Well imagine how mortified I was to not even be able to complete week 1, it took me 2 weeks to complete 3 runs and they were at a snails pace - my running speed at the moment is only 3mph so there is no way I will be doing 5k at the end of week 9, but the way I look at it is that I know I have rubbish cardiac function and no stamina so that is what I am concentrating on, as long as I can run for 30 mins at the end then I'll be happy - I can work on speed later.

    Yesterday I was really worried all day as I was due to start week 3 and while week 2 wasn't easy I did manage to do all 3 runs straight off which was such a big improvement on week 1 and week 1a but it did make me wonder about repeating week 2 as well but I decided to go for it and I DID IT - I can't tell you how thrilled I was, especially as I realised that not only had I run for 3 minutes (twice) but that I recovered quicker and didn't need to grab the sides of the treadmill for support during the walking phase!

    Please stick with it, the feeling when you succeed is AMAZING :o)

  • Hi mcc65! It sounds like you've just described me! lol Thank you for your encouragement, it's really nice to hear from people who have been through the same things!

    What you said gives me hope that I probably can do it if I stick with it and go at my own pace. Like pingle said, there is no shame in repeating a day or a week if I have to- so I wont beat myself up for doing 5 runs for Week 2! I will keep going and hopefully I will start to see some progress soon! Thanks! And all the best with week 3!

  • Yup, exactly! I repeated a couple of the early weeks--I think week 4 and maybe one other--because of pains I was having in my knees. My cardio system was coping all right, but I wanted to take extra time to strengthen my muscles and get "everyone" on board before moving ahead. No shame in that! It is your body and your program. I mean, "programme," since this is an NHS board. ;-)

  • Yeah I think I need to get "everyone" on board too ;) tomorrow will be my 6th run in Week 2!

  • Don't give up, it is meant to be challenging and many people repeat weeks before moving on so don't knock yourself, you are pushing yourself and getting there so persevere and pat yourself on the back for doing it!

    You can read my latest blog for a long term view if you get a minute! x

  • Wow I just read your blog! You are a real inspiration!! Thanks for the encouragement Deryn61, it really goes to show how much difference this program can make! I'll keep this in mind the next time I think of quitting :)

  • Thanks x

  • I find that although in an ideal world I would prefer to run in the morning, when I do I am in so much pain, my worse pain is my back and this doesn't hurt at all when I run in the early evening, maybe trying different times would help? It is tough but stick with it, I have doubted this programme every day since starting week 4 but I have now done the scary week 5 run 3 which is 20 minutes with not too much hassle, and one week 1 I honestly struggled to run for 60 seconds. I did about 5 or 6 week 4 runs as I struggled so don't worry about repeating runs if you need to x

  • Thank you nicolaclaire! Its good to know I'm not the only one who repeats runs :) I'll keep at it and hopefully I can get to where you are!

  • the only thing I can add to all the great advice above is that every single time I go out, for the 1st 5 minutes I have a gremlin on my shoulder telling me I can't do it, that today I'm too tired, that I can feel my knee hurting and various other excuses it comes up with. I find the hardest part is getting rid of said gremlin and just getting on with it, trusting in the programme, not some bad thoughts in my head. I'm on w9 and even tho I know perfectly well I can run for 30 minutes, still the gremlin comes out the door with me. I've just learnt to accept it and push thru it. And you can too! Good luck!

  • Thanks for the encouragement Diamondwitch! Yes it is the gremlin on my shoulder that is most difficult to get rid of! BUT I will get there someday :) All the best to you too!

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