Couch to 5K
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Please be nice to me.... Week 8 run 3 FAILED

Hi everyone,

Well, I'm back from (even) colder climes and successfully did Week 8 runs 1 and 2 on a treadmill. I was so proud of myself I even turned the speed UP a little for run 2 and thought I could have kept going another couple of minutes- not that I did though, being basically slothful at heart :-) So now I'm back home and thought I'd do run 3 this morning as it wasn't raining.... big mistake. There are any number of reasons/excuses: not enough rest (more than 24 hours but way less than 48), new Aldi jacket too hot, leaves on the pavement - but ultimately I think it was the new route I'd planned out that got me. Just *too* hilly!

Ironically I got to the very top (which was exactly when Laura said 14 minutes/halfway done) but then I just STOPPED. I couldn't say if it was legs or lungs or both but my body was not willing to run any more. I did manage to walk home (all downhill along the planned route) reasonably briskly but I'm well fed up (other words are available) about failing this one- it's the first one I've totally messed up apart from my initial attempt at week1 run1!

So what now? Thoughts of "shall I do stamina or stepping stones next" have been replaced by "why did I ever think I could do this running thing in the first place" - but now, a coffee and a shower later I'm thinking that I'll give it another try, probably Saturday or Sunday. Does anyone know if failing one run means I have to repeat the whole week or can I go onto week 9 if I nail W8r3 on a second attempt? I'm hoping that if the next one goes OK I'll try week9 next.

I know everyone has bumps in the road - just got to get over this one and find my way back onto the program.

24 Replies


I'm only in week 2 so I can't give you any help on what you should be repeating. But I can tell you don't beat yourself up. You haven't failed! One run that you didn't complete can't be that serious. I expect loads of people have had the same.

I'll be interested in the replies you get as to which run you should do next as I expect I'll be in the same position sooner or later.

Meanwhile enjoy the rest.

We will all be nice to you - be nice to yourself. :-)


HI GoldenOldy,

Yes, you are right. Other people have been so nice and encouraging - I'm sure you'll find the same on your journey to 5K. It looks like I'm going to try and make up the run I didn't complete today and then go onto week9 if that goes well. I'll look out for your blogs and I'm sure you'll be up at week 8 or so in a few weeks - it's amazing how fast it's possible to progress on this program :-)


Oh gosh poor you. I'm on Week 8 too and after the sucess of run 1 i found run 3 very hard infact i'm almost dreading run 3 tomorrow. I'm sure everyone has had runs that haven't worked for lots of different reasons but look how far you've come?

So far as progressions concerned i'm sure that once you have a completed run three from week behind you it's OK to move to week 9.

I'm also having abit of a wobble as I'm going on hliday to devon tomorrow (after my run) and i'm scared of running somewhere i don't know on country roads dark. I'm opting for doing justone run whilts i'm away mid week and sticking to 28 minutes then increasing to 30 minutes when i get home. Not sure if it'll work or not though.

Hope your next run is better. I'm sure it will be, Allie


Sorry bad typing in the first sentance i ment that i found run2 very hard, run 3 yet to go


Hi Allie - good luck with run 3 tomorrow and have a great holiday! Can you manage one run during day light while you're away? Don't like to think of people doing dangerous things!

See you in week 9 when you get back xxx


You have NOT failed, plus the "F" word isnt allowed here Thinerandfitter!!! It was just a blip....

You have already run for 28mins twice so you can do it, you just didnt manage it this time; even the best runners hit that wall at times so how much more so are we as novice runners. The reasons you describe may very well have been why it just didnt work for you this time but whether physical or mental we have all been there, believe me and you should know that too from reading the blogs here!

Instead of stressing about it and getting into a negative vibe you need to relax, think about why you started this, what you have achieved so far, the progress you have made (you are entering the final week, just think about that!!) and the effort it has taken. Go out there at the weekend and aim to run for 30 mins (W9R1) and you might be pleasantly surprised, but if you do 28mins thats fine too and depending on which one you achieve you can then decide what to count it as - week 8 or 9.

Good luck and that green badge is well and truely in sight now!!

Sue x


Hi Sue - Ok I consider myself told - I didn't fail, just didn't quite go as far as I planned. I WILL get out there again now I've got so many people watching (that's you guys by the way) and I'll be aiming at 28 minutes. I'll try and report back on Sunday.

And yes - week 1 was a total killer for me - probably the worst week of all, yet I've got this far. I would never have thought this possible 2 months ago so it's a brilliant result anmd just goes to show how much my expectations of myself have changed (isn't that the same for so many of us).

Oh well, while thinking about that I have somewhere else to be now (see below)....

Thank you for replying and telling me off :-)



Sorry didn't mean for it to sound like a telling off; just don't want you to think of yourself as a failure.....x


I don't think it means you have to repeat a week unless you want to.

I didn't manage to complete W6R3. I set out having eaten too near the time, on one of the hottest days of the year, having rushed back from somewhere and managed about 15 mins before my body did the same, it just stopped. I managed to start again but stopped again after 4-5 mins. In total I managed 23 mins with three stops.

I decided if there was a run to fail that was it as W7 was the same run three times, and if I managed to complete W7 three times then I wasn't going to worry which is what happened. I've realised it just doesn't work sometimes but as long as you take a rest and then give it another go you will be fine.

Good luck for the remaining weeks ;-)


I think you need more time to recover between these longer runs (ie week 7 onwards) rather than less, I'd only ever repeat 1 failed run though not a whole week.

I'm currently on my second week of trying to get through my week 9 runs and I have been very grumpy about this so I understand your frustration.


> Does anyone know if failing one run means I have to repeat the whole

> week or can I go onto week 9 if I nail W8r3 on a second attempt?

No, no need to repeat the whole week. You've managed to run for 28 minutes twice already (well done!) and this one wee blip is just that - a wee blip. Give it another go and you'll nail it this time. Stay positive; you'll be running for 30 mins and beyond very soon.


Thank you everyone for your kind words. I knew I could come in here and people would be understanding - it's the encouragement we all need to keep going and it's what makes this such a great group. Mrs42 - yes I think that extra rest between runs may be needed. I think I was overconfident having done the two runs in the comfort (if that's the right word) of the treadmill. I wouldn't want to be inside all the time but it was much easier given the ice outside and the unfamiliar city in which I found myself.

I'm going to see if I can get out there again on Saturday or (more likely) Sunday and go back to my old, much flatter route (even if Laura says we should mix it around a bit). Then I'll hopefully still be on track to do week 9 and even graduate around next weekend!!!!! I did look at the MapMyRun stats for what I did this morning and the route climbed 20m in 2km - not much a gradient overall perhaps but of course those hills came in bursts with very brief downward bits in between. I'll pay even more attention to that when I plan my next route.

Now for today's next challenge - Slimming World meeting to see how much I've put on after a few days away....

Thanks again everyone and good luck with all your next challenges!


Good luck at SW! I did it online, lost a stone to get to goal and have managed to keep it off all through the summer and hopefully forever especially with this running too! I still use the principles of it and am a convert from WW ...


Hi - I have come to think of it as the R3 curse! I had less successful runs (I was told not to think of them as failures too) on R3 in both weeks 7 & 8 so you're certainly not alone :o)

It is really frustrating though - I mean you think to yourself 'I have already run this twice so why am I struggling?' For me, I think it is when my routine gets disrupted. For the first 6 weeks (well actually 7 'cos I had to repeat W1) I ran every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday but then things got a bit hectic and it seems that if I don't keep to my schedule then I struggle.

Keep going, it might take you a couple of attempts but as long as you complete that 3rd run you should be good to move on so good luck.

As for me - I'm hoping to break the curse this week as I have just finished W9R2 so I will be attempting my Graduation run on Sunday :o)


There's no rhyme or reason to how your body works sometimes... it is a mystery to me how sometimes it takes on a mind of its own and does what it wants with NO consultation! Legs just refusing to run is a very strange sensation. And how sometimes, you have a brilliant run followed by one that makes you feel rubbish and useless. I had one of those on Wednesday where my legs refused to do more than 10 mins on the treadmill. I just gave up and had a long stretch and steam.

I would put your one down to not enough rest(if you want to 'blame' anything) and have a nice gentle familiar run where you know you can achieve it 'easily' at the weekend.

But congratulations for doing as much as you have done - graduation is soooo close now.

Happy running


Agree with Sue-you did NOT fail-you just bit of more than you could chew! My, oh, my, there is no way I would have attempted it it!! Well done for succeeding to the mark where you had to stop. Accept-too much too soon, and jet-lagged into the bargain!.

'F' word not allowed-sorry :-). I think you did remarkably well-flags out for you. I think also the treadmill should be abandoned altogether now if you can run outside, and rest day established between each run, as Laura advocates. You are doing really well thinnerandfitter, so just keep on running and before you know it you will be a Graduate :-)

Well done Mcc65-you've only one more run to Graduation :-)

Colette x


Well, i failed W7 run 3 which felt stupid after doing the same run okay three times previously and i felt really discouraged. But people on this forum advised going for W8 R1 but being prepared to stop after 25 minutes if need be - and it was fine, I did the full 28 and carried on and have just completed W8 R3 today. I think sometimes you just get more tired than you realise, maybe building up over the three runs of the week, and it gets to you.

So i say make sure you have a good rest, maybe two days off instead of one, and then go for W9 R1 while allowing yourself to stop at 28 if you feel you need to. Good luck whatever you do, and have fun!


If you are on a diet and have the odd Mars bar or giving up smoking and have the odd fag (that's a cigarette here in England, all you surprised US runners) it doesn't mean you've failed. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it. Keep on running and don't even think of repeating the week. Since week 6 I've planned a route that goes very gently downhill and it's made an enormous difference to the ease of running ( and I still have to walk uphill to get home.) Good luck for next week. I'm off to do Week 8 Run 1 in a minute and hoping Bruce will get me through. How annoying about the new Aldi jacket.


Thank you all (mcc, ginthestring, cejk and londongirl) for your support. I am beginning to feel more optimistic. A pity the weather looks so great today even though I'm still on my enforced extra day of rest. Watch it rain tomorrow (maybe that will be when the Aldi jacket is really needed) - I'll be back on my downhill/flat course to see if I can crack 28 minutes outside - if that goes OK I'll definitely move onto week 9 on Tuesday.

Am now debating whether to add a Garmin watch to my wish list for the "big" birthday I have coming up beginning of December. I'm hoping to get a smartphone for myself as a graduation present so probably don't need both.... or do I?


Just completed week seven and found it really hard. Be proud of whatr youve acheived so far and DONT GIVE UP, ive tried tred mill and other music due to thinking that it maybe tht im a bit fed ups with Laura ( sorry ) its helped so maybe you need a change


Poor you, I really do sympathise.The first run that I didn't complete was W8R3. I stopped after 22 minutes, just felt ill and awful. But I got going again (it wasn't easy, my confidence took a knock) and finished the programme. Don't beat yourself up, it's just a blip. You've already proved you can run for 28 minutes so that's not in doubt! You can do it! I'm sure when you do the run again over the weekend it'll be fine and you'll be graduating very soon. Best of luck!


Hi Soozz - thanks for the sympathy - this forum is wonderful that so many people have been in similar situations before and made it out the other side - you clearly graduated and have kept going so that's what I hope for myself in the coming weeks. I wonder if we get over-confident around week 8 and start going too fast or being too ambitious with the route?

I'm hoping to be "back on the horse" as it were tomorrow - I really don't want to start out if it's raining but hopefully there will be a 38 minute break at some point! Have a nice Sunday!


your doing great!! keep up the good work,R


Thanks Linda - still going somehow - it's so cold though - don't know if I prefer cold or wet!


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