Week 4 Runs 1 and 2 Done, Future Looks Bleak - Couch to 5K

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Week 4 Runs 1 and 2 Done, Future Looks Bleak

TexasDad profile image

OK, I successfully completed the second run of week 4 tonight. It was brutal, but not as bad as the first run of week 4. During the first run, the first 5 minute run segment seemed like it took forever and when Laura said that I was half-way through, I literally said out loud that "you have got to be kidding me." The second 5 minutes of the first run of week 4 was more of a fast walk than a light jog, but I finished. I was not looking forward to W4R2, but I ran it tonight. I felt like I still had a little gas in the tank both times that Laura told me that I was half-way through both 5 minute runs. I finished both but, again, it wasn't pretty. This has been the most difficult week so far for me. I guess that's to be expected since the weeks keep getting harder and involve more running than walking. In the end, though, I've begun wondering if I've hit the wall and maxed-out on my running ability. It is now very hard for me to see how I can run for much longer than the 3 and 5 minute runs for this week. I've read a lot about the difficulty of week 5 and wonder if I'll get through that week, let alone make it through week 9.

17 Replies
suki_007 profile image

Try to take it as it comes rather than looking forward too much if you're feeling it's a lot to take on, it's easier to face just one run than have the whole lot staring back at you. And as well as taking your rest days you might think about sticking at a week for another day or more until you feel comfortable to move on. Everyone has their own pace and Laura won't come after you with a stick, haha, well, you never know... You are capable of doing it. There were points where I thought similarly to you and I slowly slugged away at it and now 30mins is a shortish run. Honest, if I can do it you can. It doesn't have to be pretty - you'll be prettier later! ;-)

Jonny1 profile image

I know how you feel. I wasn't a runner at all and there were times that I felt as you do but, you just have to keep at it. I promise you that you will find that it gets easier. In a few weeks, you will look back and wonder what you were worried about. As Suki_007 said, I also now look on a 30 minute run as relatively short - you wil too. As your fitness increases, you will find that your breathing gets easier and you are able to carry on running - and enjoying it for longer. You've done really well so far, it would be a shame to waste that effort. If I can do it, you can too.

Mitts profile image

Don't worry too much, TexasDad - I found week 4 by FAR the most difficult so far and I'm on week 8 now. I don't know why, it was just dire, all the walking and running changes. Personally I think the difficulty in W5 is more mental than physical. When you get to the longer runs, your body just sort of settles into them without you thinking much at all. If you do the first 2 runs of W5 you'll manage the third even if it takes you a couple of goes. And you could try leaving Laura behind on W5R3 - your own music makes ALL the difference.

Onwards and upwards! :-)

Fraz73 profile image

You're doing so well TexasDad, don't be discouraged. My first two runs of week 4 were awful. They just felt like hard work and I didn't really enjoy them, but my pace was all over the place. The third run I just went slower from the start and my pace was more even and the last 5 much easier than it had been. Stay positive - you can do this!!!

Feeling your pain, I'm at exactly the same point and it's been a case of reality hitting home. I'm just focussing on the one more Week4 run and then hopefully whatever I'm finding so difficult about it will be gone or overcome in week 5.

Jean-Jeannie profile image

With a name like TEXASDAD you can beat this wild-frontier. Honestly, just carry on and you will do it. Just think back to what you thought Week 1 and where you are now and if you just work your way through it you will achieve the goal and get that graduate badge up in lights. Crikey - all my life I have always said "I can't run" but hey - I can and so can you. Laura will see you through. It isn't easy but if it was would it be worth doing?? It's a challenge but there's always that sense of achievement when you get to the "now your 5 minute cool-down" so have faith in yourself, determination and ride-em cowboy !!

Soozz profile image

I found week 4 a real battle, and can understand how disheartened you feel. BUT THERE IS HOPE! Week 5 is much better and is a point at which you feel you're really starting to achieve. You have done brilliantly to get this far, please keep going. As Fraz says take it nice and steady, you can always pick up speed for a final burst if you really want to. Know what you mean about grumping to Laura, "What, only half way?" ..."You have got to be joking" etc, I muttered at her all the time! If I can graduate any one can, truly! Have faith in the programme - - at the beginning you're not a runner, at the end you are a runner, and in between it gets you there. Trust Laura! and good luck.

I have run 1 and 2 of week 5 behind me and the next is the hardest to date.... the 20 min run. I am actually looking forward to it! If at first I don't manage it, I will keep trying until I do. There is no rule that says you have to move on if you don't feel happy at a certain stage. I have repeated a couple of runs to get to this point, and feel that I am now better prepared. Keep goingTexasdad, YOU CAN DO IT!

AnnaDJ profile image

You can do it!! I hated week4 as all I could think about was how was I going to cope with week5. I thought the same as you and wondered if I'd hit the wall. I start week9 tomorrow and can honestly say it gets better. Trust in the programme. Laura will get you through.

stayinbed profile image

Like everyone else has said, you can do it. Just do it at your own pace. The whole thing is about running for 5K OR 30 minutes. I found it sort of easier when it became just running without the walks. Having said that, it's still hard, but what a sense of achievement you get, seeing how far you've come! Keep on using this site for encouragement, everyone's who's past your difficult week has been there & done that!! Best of luck to you!

JetSetWilly profile image

Ok, So everyone is in agreement that you can do this (based in the fact that they have done it!) Its great for them .............right!!!! This is not a race (But one day it might if you get my drift!!) If you need to repeat a week or even start again it does not matter. Lets just say 5 years from now you are still running maybe 30,40 or 60 minutes 3 times a week because that is achieveable. If it takes you a year to get up to 30 minutes of running 3 times a week the effort will still be worth it and guess what 5 years down the line it wont matter, except when one day you will think "Gosh I could barly run to that lampost or house or post box with out feeling shattered and now Im there and I am hardly out of breath."

Dot stop running....getting out the door can be the hardest thing but once you have tied your shoelaces your off. Its nice to know so many people are on your side with this, your doing great (HONEST!) its always to soon to quit (Thats a bit heavy I know) if you feel like giving up DONT.... slow right down and breath easy. Believe me if this lot can do it so can you!

Keep on keeping on and best of luck

notbad profile image

Texasdad you've done really well getting this far, give yourself credit for the progress you have made and tackle this 'wall' knowing that many of us have felt and done the same thing before. The number of times my inner voice muttered to myself about this 'wall', honestly I don't think there was a week in the programme when that wall didn't pop up cartoon style at some point... :-)

What worked for me after a toughie was to take the next run slow and easy, I found (& still do) that I hit problems when I push myself too fast, I still periodically remind myself it's not a race. Take it slow and steady, believe in the programme and yourself, it might not feel it but you're building fitness all the time (& it's around Wk 4 I think that Laura says it's when we push ourselves through a tough run that we really gain fitness). Best of luck to you - do keep running & blogging!

What JetSetWilly said !

This running lark starts to become more of a mind game and less of a physical challenge.

Which would suit you better

1) To carry on to week 5

PRO: Getting w5r3 under your belt is a Real BUZZ. Pride in doing it "on schedule".

CON: Possibility of not making it through a run and feeling a "failure". How good are you at getting back on the horse?

2) To repeat Week 4

PRO: Build up fitness a bit more before the challenges of week 5 to improve your chances of not making it through a run. Its a planned tactical regroup rather than a "fail"

CON: More time to psyche yourself out of week 5 and get stuck on week 4.

Its not a "fail" if you're out there trying .. only if you return to the couch

You're doing great TD but I'm with you about how hard it is, I'm finding W4 just a killer. I failed R2 of this week so you're already ahead of me and tomorrow I'm setting out to do R2 again. It's a set back but if I have to do that run three, five, ten times more I don't care.

As everyone has said, it's your own personal journey as long as you're not standing still then you're moving towards your goal.

Anniemurph profile image

Hi TexasDad, everyone here has given you great advice. I'll just add that it took me 50 runs to graduate, not 27. I took my time and repeated runs and entire weeks, and yesterday I ran 5k for the first time. You can do this.

ceefin profile image

Hi TexasDad,

the best advice I was given at the stage you're at now is that if you cannot comfortably sing Happy Birthday out loud while you're running - then you're running too fast - so Slow Down!! As soon as you're breathing becomes laboured or your legs feel fatigued, take the pace down even if it feels like you're running slower than you walk. I found weeks 4 and 5 extremely difficult because I'm a power walker and couldn't get my head around the fact that I can walk the routes faster. But it works. Stick it out and you'll get there. And remember.... it was the tortoise that beat the hare :)

TexasDad profile image

Thank you all for your kind comments, suggestions, and words of encouragement. I usually like to respond to each with a personal note, but life has been hectic for me lately. I successfully completed W4R3 this past Saturday. Like runs 1 and 2 of W4, the 5 minute runs were difficult, but I stuck with it and completed W4R3. Now, I'm off to do W5R1 tonight after an extra day of rest. Thank you all for everything. I feel like I'm not alone, even though most of you are half a world away. God bless you all.

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