I'm not enjoying this running lark

Did my first run for over a week (enforced rest due to knee pain) on Wednesday evening and really struggled with the speed podcast, had to walk the slow bits. Then did my normal 5k route yesterday and found it so hard to keep going, managed 35 mins but gave up in site of the finish. Have I really lost fitness that quickly or is just psychological? Feeling very demotivated at the moment :-(

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  • Don't feel demotivated RunnerBean. Right from the start of C25K I've seen people saying that we all sometimes have a "bad" run.

    I've just finished by 7th week after graduation and the week before last was a nightmare!

    I've been getting gradually faster and faster and was feeling rather pleased with myself. Then, the week before last, I started to get slower and slower! I finshed the week with a race that was pretty much Week 5 standard and, for a while, was wondering what happened.

    Then, realisation arrived! As it had been getting colder and colder on my morning runs (around 6am) I'd started to wear my running jacket and "man tights".

    I decided to do the following run (as an experiment) in my "normal" running gear.

    Result? A personal record time for 5K.

    I suppose what I'm trying to say is don't be put off by what is probably just a temporary setback. Maybe it's your "enforced rest", maybe just a little self-doubt at starting to run again or maybe something else but, as long as you feel physically able to run just keep going. Maybe slow down a little to let yourself get back into the running habit.

    But, don't give up! You're a runner now - you'll have bad days - but you're still a runner.

  • Thanks back_to_18, I sometimes think self-doubt is my middle name! but you're right I am still a runner.

  • Ah, RunnerBean, big hug. I do sympathise, I still feel that if I don't run for a few days I will lose my mojo permanently and might never run agin. Then when I do run I usually enjoy it, feel that sense of achievement. Last Monday I had a truly crappy run, was pole-axed after 20 minutes and did a woeful combination of walking and jogging up the hill I'd set out to conquer. It feels like what sort of run I have is in inverse proportion to how I feel when I set out. If I feel demoralised and "can't do this" I seem to surprise myself and run well. If I feel great about starting it generally goes badly.....what's that all about? As Laura says, there's really no rhyme or reason to not-so-good runs.

    I'm sure you haven't lost your fitness. Is your knee OK now? How about some gentle strengthening exercise like cycling in between run days to build your confidence again.

    Don't forget, you are a successful C25k graduate. You've done all the hard work! And - as back_to_18 says, hold your head high, YOU ARE A RUNNER!

  • Thanks Sooz, the knee is feeling a much better, no sharp pains any more, just a bit achy. I will certainly give the cycling a go.

  • Hi RunnerBean, maybe you're expecting too much of yourself. After resting your knee maybe a few slower runs will help you get back into it.

    I ran for the first time this morning after a weeks rest due to sore knee and a cold. I took it nice and slow, only ran for 20 mins, and now feel great. I was so sulky about being grounded, so just getting out today was good, Bright sunshine help too. I'll try and run a bit more on Tuesday, I'll aim for 25 min, go on to 30 if I feel up to it.

  • Hi BettyJane, you're right I think I was expecting to be zipping around super fast after the extra rest! I will try some shorter runs this week and see how it goes.

  • > Hi RunnerBean, maybe you're expecting too much of yourself. After resting your knee maybe

    > a few slower runs will help you get back into it.

    I agree with BettyJane. Try to do a few runs just for the fun of running. Choose a nice route and do what you can. without the pressure of a certain speed or a certain distance.

    The Speed podcast is hard at the best of times - I view it as a 'training session, and not a run for the joy of running.

    Can you find somewhere you can go where you'll be able to run in lovely surroundings? Even if you need to travel further afield than running from your doorstep, choose a nice path through the woods in the autumnal colours, or along a river or canal-side path?

  • Hi Swanscot, I have been doing pretty much the same route except when we were on holiday in the summer so maybe I do need to drive (or cycle?) to find a different route.

  • Hi RunnerBean. I've been off with knee pain for a few weeks, so I know how you feel. My last run before the injury was absolutely brilliant - I loved it. :D Now I'm on the mend I'm struggling to get going again. I managed 20 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, as planned, and my lungs were a bit uncomfortable, but on the whole I think that it wasn't bad considering I've done nothing (doc said to rest) in the way of exercise for three weeks. I do seem to be lacking motivation though, and I wonder how much this is down to fear of injuring myself again. I love running in the woods, but the terrain means that I'm much more likely to slip or turn my ankle, so I'm trying to ease myself back in gently on the treadmill. Problem is, I just don't want to! Maybe a change of route might be good for you at present? Less opportunity to compare yourself to before, and a bit of added interest. I hope you (and I) find that lost mojo again soo.

  • Hi Legion, on both my runs my lungs were burning, much more than during the C25k runs, maybe it's the colder weather? I definitely think a change of scenery is in order, I will try that next weekend.

  • Just to add to the other comments, don't be too hard on yourself. You ran for 35 minutes.

    Personally I am struggling to come to terms with the new podcasts and the speed one is tough. I'm hopelessly uncoordinated and can't count and run at the same time. The way it keeps driving up the pace is hard especially if you aren't on top form.

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