Couch to 5K
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Hello Mr Mojo!!!! Great to have you back :D

My progress through C25K hit a bit of a bump last week when I had a really unsatisfactory W5R3 and W6R1. I found them very tough, very unrewarding and was utterly deflated.

After some excellent and much needed support and advice from the community here, I decided to take an extra rest day and come out fighting for W6R2.

Well, it worked! I set off just before 8pm (when it was warm, damp and getting dark) in my BRIGHT new t-shirt. It's flourescent orange and I actually squinted when I saw it in the shop! Anyway, as it became darker, I felt very safe in it - there was no way a car was running me over, unless from driver distraction!

I did an extra long warm up - I walked for a good 5 minutes to my own music before I switched the podcast on. I took the fab advice from Legion to try another route. As it was late and dark, I stuck to the streets, but ran on roads I'd never run before. Much more interesting with shops, cafes and generally a lot more to hold my attention than the boring residential streets I've seen what feels like a million times.

The first 10 minutes were just brilliant :) I set off quicker than I have before and thought "oh, bit fast here, I should slow down and pace myself"; but then I thought "well, I feel great, I feel lighter on my feet and it feels easier on my legs so maybe I'll keep going until I feel a bit tired and then I'll slow a bit". Well - the tiredness never came! Yes, I was breathing hard, I was red faced, sweating and running hard, I felt I was really using my leg muscles but I experienced NONE of that slumped over, body-like-lead, worn out feeling I had on the last 2 runs at a slower pace. For the 3 minute walk, I was grinning from ear to ear :)

The next 10 minutes were.................................................................................just brilliant! Apart from when Laura said "maybe take a drink of water". I could have slapped her! "From WHERE? A PUDDLE?!" my inner voice shouted at her.

I was still running pretty fast in the second run and I honestly found it much easier to go at a quicker pace. Maybe the rest days helped, but I think I really doubted my abilities before and was playing it safe.

I completed the warm down walk and was still a good bit from home so I chose some songs on shuffle and did wee mini runs and jogs for the next 8 minutes home. I added a few air punches as I reached my driveway :) Rudimentary calculations suggest including the 3 minute walk, my average time to complete 1km is 6minutes 22 seconds. Better than I ever thought it would be.

I honestly just had the best time out there tonight and I still can't stop smiling. I really hope my new found running groove stays with me. Thanks you so much to all you in the community for being fab and showing us doubters that we can do this!

Watching some Coldplay at Paralympic closing ceremony then off to get my gait analysed tomorrow. I'll be back on it with shiny new trainers for W6R3 on Tuesday.

PS - :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

11 Replies

That's fantastic! What a result.

Hmmm, perhaps running a bit faster is the holy grail!

Very inspiring, NewbieRunner. Not so newbie now, eh?


Thank you! It's amazing what a good run does to change your mindset! I think I'll be a newbie until graduaiton anyway but I don't feel as "green" as when I was starting out :)


What a fantastic blog! Really hope to experience this at some point in my C25k journey!

More power to our legs!


Thanks oona, I think it just shows how up and down progress can seem to be at times, but it's worth it to stick with it. Good luck for future runs!


That's fabulous NR! :) So glad you had a good run and enjoyed it. :D Do you think you changed your stride to run faster? A week or two ago I started consciously lengthening my stride as I realised I was taking quite small steps, and it made it feel so much easier. I still have to remind myself at the moment when I start running, but hopefully it will become a habit before long.


I was encouraged by you saying this Legion. I think my steps are quite small too and have been thinking about trying to tell my head I can lengthen them but a bit hesistant because I need to do the distance and and just wonder if trying to speed up would affect the stamina. Running the 5K at the Newcastle GNR this Saturday but have two more sessions before that (Tue and Thu) so I think tomorrow morning I will see if my legs will stretch out a bit. Thanks for the tip.


Yes Legion, now that you mention it, I was definitely taking larger strides. I think I was confusing "pacing" with "smaller steps", as on the horrible runs, I was barely putting one foot in front of the other and had a very shuffly, juttery stride. This time it felt like I was gliding! Judging by my gait analysis yesterday, I definitely don't look like I'm gliding, but it feels much smoother and easier. I'll consciously try it again tonight on W6R3 and see how I go.

Thank you for all your encouragement!


What a fabulous blog. Well done you and a feather in your bonnet for getting out there when you felt your mojo was in hiding. Obviously it just needed a little holiday and has now returned full of vim and vigour.


Thank you Jean-Jeannie, I hope my mojo is back for the time being anyway! I've my next run tonight and am just going to try to have the confidence to go out there and do it without over-thinking.

Hope the stride lengthening works for you too!


Wow smashing blog, smashing result, smashing all round, well done you. Its makes all the differnece in the world to how you run on the day when you feel good because you relax into your comfortable stride, then its bingo your a winner.

After having bad sciatica in January this year I had to start running all over again and found my stride had shortened to protect my hip joint. I've worked hard to lengthen it again and find the best time is on the flat or downhill, I then revert back to a shorter stride going uphill, seems to work for me. Good luck for the rest of the programme. Nice blog great motivation for others.


Thanks for your support Oldgirl, it's lovely to get encouragement from those who have been there, done that and now literally got the t-shirt!

Yes, I think it's all about tuning into your body every so often on runs and adjusting strides etc according to what you need as an individual. I've W6R3 ahead of me tonight so I am hoping to give it my best shot. I think now that I've had a really good run anfter 2 not so good ones, I won't worry about my next bad run, as I now know it's not the end of the world.


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