Couch to 5K
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I'm getting worse run by run!

Feeling very demotivated for the first time since starting this. Even though it's taken me 4 months to gte to week 6 I've always been motivated to continue BUT week 6 run 3 has beaten me.

I've tried it 7 times and seem to be worse each time. Got to 21 minutes once but the last few times 10 minutes has been my limit. And now I seem to have pulled the muscles in my upper back between my shoulder blades. Running caused it and makes it worse and I'm fed up.

Well glad I got that off my chest but still fed up. Really dont think I'll ever get to 25 mins :(

9 Replies

Skandia you will make it. Why don't you take yourself back to week 5 and go from there. You know you can do week 5 so it won't be a surprise when you do it. You can then work on self confidence before attempting week 6 again. Lots of people find week 6 really hard. Maybe your body is saying it needs a bit of a rest or time to adjust. Don't loss heart just look at how far you've come. A few weeks ago you couldn't run for 60secs now you can run for 21mins. how cool is that?


Skandia, you have came so far...try not to get frustrated. Week 6 was a horrible week for me. I felt like I was making no progress at all. Week 7 seems to be a better week for me, I just completed run 1 last night. Are you trying to go to fast? There is no such thing as to slow, I go at a snails pace but I also know there is no way I could complete a run if i went faster. Are you doing a few warm-up exercises before the start of the run? I learned I have to, otherwise I end up with some sore muscles. I really don't know what to write other then to say, please don't are so far. Maybe give your back a day or two to recup, and then try it again. I will be with you in spirit, i know you can do it!


I'm very impressed with how you haven't give up so far and you just keep trying. You must really want to do this which means you are at least half way there. I wonder if perhaps you are going out too fast, perhaps wearing yourself out too soon. Try going really really slowly at first. It doesn't matter how slow you are going, just completing the run will give you such an enormous sense of achievement. I know you can do it. All you have to do is believe that yourself. Good luck.


Firstly I'd take a day or two - or more- to rest the sore muscles in your back. Then look at what you can do. You've completed all the runs up to Week 6 Run 2, so you know you can 'run 10, walk 3; run 10, run 3'.

If I was you, I'd make up a plan with Week 6 Run 2a, Week 6 Run 2b and Week 6 Run 2c

Week 6 Run 2a. --- walk 5; run 12, walk 3; run 12

Week 6 Run 2b --- walk 5; run 15, walk 3; run 10

Week 6 Run 2c --- walk 5; run 18, walk 2; run 5

Actually write out a training plan with times and you can tick off the runs

If you know you have permission to stop running after 12 minutes or 15 minutes, maybe you'll feel better with the pressure off your shoulders.

And remember - slow down and relax. Try not to tense up any muscles.


Really good suggestion thanks! I'll give this a go


Firstly, like Pelephant, I'm very impressed with your tenacity. Sticking power like that is what we all need to see this through and you've got it in spades!!

I'd say take a few days break from running to sort your upper back out and allow it to heal, rather than literally trying to tie yourself in knots getting this R3 done. It's almost definitely these aches and pains which are stopping you from running as far as you want. Maybe a revisit to week 5 as mentioned might be a good idea if you want to, but I would also suggest using a different music selection when you retry W6R3 if you haven't already. I can imagine that listening to the sometimes dubious music on the podcasts over and over again could be wearing; plus you'd get used to where certain 'mileposts' are. Try selecting music that you like, that you find motivating or inspiring and see if that makes a difference. Also you could change your route if that's a possibility? A change is as good as a rest as they say!!

Either way, I hope your back feels better and you can get back out there soon. You've come so far and worked so hard for this. Stay positive and you'll make it!!! All the very best of luck :)


Hey, don't give up, it sounds like you, like me really want to graduate no matter how long it takes.... I take more rest days these days, I aim to do 2 runs a week. There have been a couple of times where I have had over a week between runs but I have been surprised that this hasn't had a negative effect on my fitness.

My nemesis was week 4 but eventually I got past it and I know you will too, if you really need to walk for a little while, as long as you continue running within a minute I wouldnt class that as a fail..... Just think where you came from!

I think that once I've graduated I will continue to run the route I am doing now twice a week, but I won't be too hung up about having a short walking break in the middle, I think interval running may suit some of us better in the long run!

Can't wait to read your next blog when you tell us that you've got over this hurdle!


I'm impressed by anyone further ahead in this process than me so please don't give up! Every time I go out there's a little voice in my head saying "you can't do this" - that's half the battle. So maybe give yourself a break for a week - really rest that back. Have a massage or lots of hot baths. Then do the week you've already conquered and have another go.

I got through last week by doing the runs with a friend - who went slowly at my pace. I felt I had to keep going for her sake. So maybe see if there is anyone who can do it with you?


Thanks, the massage sounds a great idea! Good for the back and a reward for hard work so far. I wont give up but needed to get my frustration of my chest! Finding the whole programme really tough. Good luck to you too


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