Couch to 5K
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Can't stand the Pace :(

So I followed the plan. Third time out I managed W1R1 for the first time and I needed a second attempt to get W4 off the ground but not concerned about that.

The infamous W5R3 I managed but it was really hard, still, onwards we go...... until W6R2 when I was doing my best to go with Laura's encouragement but finished up prostrate on a grass verge about 3 minutes from the end of the second run.

Two days later I went out on a 'free' run and managed 11 minutes which when plotted turned out to be at a pace of 11.34 a mile so seems like my natural pace is too fast to sustain.

Been out again today and managed 13 minutes at a pace a minute a mile slower followed by a 5 minute walk and an attempt at another 5 minutes run which turned out to be 4 minutes but when plotted was a pace of 10. 50 a mile!!

I find it hard to go slower so may well be taking my own possibly long route to 30 minutes which from here seems some way off.

Trying not to measure myself against others but am a bit frustrated that I seem to be preventing myself from keeping pace with the programme which while others are coping with it.

7 Replies

Don't measure yourself against anyone else. Just keep going with the programme at your own pace. You can do this. You can. Don't listen to the negative thoughts - it's just redundant conditioning. You've got this far, keep going - you're stronger than you think. Much stronger.


That's what I thought but the reality is that the 20 minutes was a one off and I'm going to have to build more slowly from what I can do.

I don't think that pushing to the point of collapse is either a good idea or the intent of the programme. I'm stopping short of feeling that ill. Doctor organising 7 day blood pressure monitor to see if that could be a factor.


Good luck with the monitoring and hopefully it won't uncover anything that will stop you. It's true that you shouldn't keep going to the point of collapse, but it should be challenging otherwise there'd be no point, would there? Take it easy if you need, but keep going.


Lots of us found Wk 6 really difficult after the W5R3. I think it's a week for recovering and jogging along slowly. Try an extra days rest, then try again as slowly as you can manage - you can always speed up right at the end if you have enough energy. Don't overdo it but you will get better at pacing yourself.


Update is that I'm going to carry on in my own way for now but have booked gym induction for tomorrow. They plan a personal programme for you which is monitored and adapted every few weeks as necessary. Had a nice chat to the young man there about what I'd been doing and they'll tailor a programme around that.

The treadmills even have a key that is programmed with your own speed settings!


As someone who NEVER had trouble going "too fast" during the programme I may not be the right person to give advice :-P

BUT a few things occur.

I did weeks 1 to 7 on a treadmill so i knew what a pace that was challenging but sustainable for me looked like. When I moved outdoors I was very lucky, my sis lent me an old Garmin watch so I could check my pace was the same or thereabouts (bit of headwork converting from the kph on the treadmill to the x minute mile display on her Garmin but I got there!).

If you cant beg, borrow, buy or steal (?) a running watch, how about you run at "your" pace for a minute (if you can't time yourself then count one to sixty). then force yourself to slow down to little more than a jog (recovery pace) for a minute, then another minute at your pace and so on (for the alloted interval depending on where you are for your programme). Sorry if that sounds obvious!

Could you find someone (reasonably fit so it isnt a struggle for them) to run with someone else and see if you can keep up a conversation then that tells you you aren't running "too fast"? (Again I am a fine one suggesting this as I know I couldnt have run and talked during the run intervals!).

Good luck with the check up.

And remember, if you are going out and running regularly then you are doing brilliantly just please remember to stop and walk/jog before you feel you have to lie down :-P


Don't be discouraged sbhoa! You are not competing against anyone and it really doesn't matter how long it takes for you to finish the programme. It's really just the start of being fit for a lifetime. I took over 4 months to get to week 9 but I got there in the end and am still running having started in February.

My suggestions would be - take it easy, do the programme at your own pace. It's not a sin to repeat a run or a whole week as many times as you need to. I did week 1 for about 4 weeks before I felt able to move on! Make sure you are not running on empty - have half a banana, a handful of nuts and raisins or similar before you set out. Think of the speed as a slow jog rather than a 'run' if it helps to start off at a better pace. If you feel tired slow right down even if this feels like barely moving. My run speed was barely faster than a walk at first and I kept it slow until I finished week 9 so as to be sure of finishing the runs. I'm working on speeding up now with the C25k+ podcasts. I sing to pace myself - you might get a few odd looks but if you are too out of breath to sing then maybe you are going too fast. I still find pacing hard and have not yet worked up the courage to run without music.

Week 6 can be surprisingly difficult. Most people think returning to intervals should be easy - it's not! The C25K+ speed podcast is intervals and it's a killer!

Hope the monitoring does not throw up any nasties. Maybe get your blood checked for anaemia if you haven't already - just in case.

Good luck :-)


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