Couch to 5K
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Mid-programme slump

After a technically successful but very unsatisfactory W5R3, I embarked on week 6 today. I had a busy, stressful day in work and I am usually itching to get out for a run in this situation, whereas today I felt knackered. I should have listened to the voice telling me to have a rest tonight, and enjoyed an evening of paralympics and book reading instead.

However, I felt I owed it to myself to get back on the proverbial horse after my mini strop on Tuesday.

First 5 minutes were horrible, the 3 minute walk was definitely enough to get my breath back but not enough to ease my calf muscles. The next 8 minutes were painful and long. I just lacked energy from start to finish. I wasn't so much running / jogging as shuffling; teeth were gritted and frown was etched on my face for most of it. I absolutely refused to stop though, and was so glad for another 3 minutes of walking. After a good talking to, I geared up for the final 5 minutes and they went better. I distracted myself by trying to name the makes and models of cars before they reached me, and managed to break into an actual run for the final minute.

I'm absolutely exhausted and devoid of positivity so I'm going to listen to my body and something Legion wrote in a recent blog about taking extra rest days when needed. I've decided not to run until Sunday at the earliest, giving myself at least 60-72 hours of rest. Sometimes you just have to admit that something somewhere isn't clicking into place and that it's a marathon, not a sprint to complete this programme.

Happy running everyone and hopefully there will be a bright, shiny new me writing the next blog :)

9 Replies

You did well to complete your run NewbieRunner a lesser person would have given in, so well done you. It doesn't matter how good you become at this running there will always be days when things don't feel quite right and things don't gel as you would want them to. An extra day of rest will do you more good and give you time to relax and get ready for your next run. You've done well to get this far so don't be too hard on yourself either.


Thank you Oldgirl, this is just what I needed to hear tonight. I was about to launch into an "investigation" of why it hasn't felt right for me for the past 2 runs, and then thought there's no point in over-analysing it; just have a few good rest days and get back on it when I feel well rested.

Thank you again for your kind support and advice - another example of how lovely everyone in this community is!


Well done for completing. I completed W6R2 this morning so I'm virtually at the same place in the programme as you.

I found R1 sooooo hard, I don't know if it was that I went in to it thinking it would be easy after running for 20 mins continuously or whether I didn't gear up for it properly but the first 5 mins were ok, the 8 mins was pure torture and although I recovered ok, the last 5 mins were horrid. It was probably the slowest I had run and I was really fed up.

Today's run was much better. I set off slower than Tuesday and felt fine after the first 10mins. I set off at a slightly faster pace and then tried to pre-empt when it was 60 secs to go by speeding up, only to find that it didn't come for at least 30 more secs but I didn't slow down which was good.

Feel much better about the next run now although I have found the last two runs which included a walking part harder than the 20 mins continuously - perhaps I am getting better !!

Don't feel too despondant - like you say, listen to your body and if you need another day then take it ;-)


Thanks ca66ie99, it's really nice to hear from other runners who are on the same week as me!

I'm hoping after my extra rest days that the next time I go out, it'll be more successful. I think I was more let down by not enjoying the run than I was about speed/distance/times.

Good luck for your 3rd run of week 6 and hopefully see you in week 7!


I reckon most folk find W6R1 the hardest of all the runs in C25K. So, congratulate yourself on managing it. The runs will start getting easier from here on in.


Thank you seanzo. It's good to know I'm not alone. I really want to get my groove back, so hopefully taking my time and not worrying about future runs will help. Thanks again for your words of wisdom!


Hey NR. I went through exactly the same thing at this point in the programme. I completed W5,R3 but just didn't feel the usual buzz afterwards, and the first couple of Week 6 runs were so hard. I began to doubt if running was for me. In hindsight, I realise I was just very tired (mentally and physically) after W5,R3. Although you've done the prep work, it is still a huge ask from a 'new runner' body.

It was after W6,R2 (on the advice of fellow c25kers) that I decided to take an extra day or two off for the first time. Giving myself permission to rest for longer made me feel a bit happier straight away, and I actually started wanting to run again. When I did W6,R3 I did a totally new route and loved it. Didn't quite manage the continuous run due to h*lls, but I enjoyed the run and that was more important.

So, definitely give yourself the rest your body needs. It's done a good job for you so far and will be ready to go again when you are. :)


PS. This is the blog I wrote after W6,R3: I'd definitely recommend a new route for your next run, even if it's a bit out of the way you'd normally go. I still can't run the h*lls (yet!) but I love running in the woods. :)


This is brilliant Legion, thank you so much! I can't believe how something as simple as reading your blogs and seeing how you had the mid-programme slump too has helped my attitude!

I will definitely try a new route to shake things up a bit, and I think for W6R3 (if I manage to complete R2!) I'll take a wee break from Laura and try my own music to give me an extra boost. I know a lot of people comment on how rubbish the music is, and I haven't really minded as I realise it needs to appeal to as many people as possible. But I have noticed that it does not hold my attention AT ALL, which makes it much more difficult to zone out from any leg pain etc.

I'm enjoying my rest days for now and will blog again to let you all know how I get on.

Thanks for your support!



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