Couch to 5K
52,701 members84,815 posts

Respect your rest days and listen to your body

Gorgeous sunny day, blue sky, a nip in the air but not too cold.

Perfect weather for a run. Or so I thought.

But 10 minutes later, on a very short but steep hill my legs gave up.

I’ve recently realised that from 5 to 15 minutes into the run is the time that I find hardest– when I get past that I can go on happily for 40 minutes or more. And usually that thought alone is all it takes to keep me going.

But not today.

At the top of slope I collapsed panting on to a bench (this being Kenwood, you can’t walk more than a couple of yards without coming across a bench dedicated to someone or other’s dear departed.) I sat there pretending to stretch. I felt like my cats when they are caught dong something really uncool - like missing their landing when they jump onto a bookshelf. Adopting what I hoped looked like a ‘I meant to stop right here – it’s all part of the interval training’ attitude, I sat panting as duvet-clad couples with dogs went by, feeling furious with myself for giving up. After a while I got up and started running again, but after another 10 minutes or so, I felt my calves stiffening up again and slowed to a walk.

I managed to run the last 10 minutes or so, mainly down hill.

In the changing room at the pond, a lifelong runner who regularly runs a 5-mile round trip for a swim, was philosophical.

‘Some runs are just rubbish. Your body is trying to tell you something.’

Hmm. Well yesterday was a rest day and I did go for a fairly brisk 5-mile walk mainly on tarmac, followed by energetic dancing at a kletzmer celidh.

Maybe that was it.

I do hope so. Having got this far, the thought of not being able to continue to enjoy running is terrifying.

7 Replies

Wise words! I did laugh at the cat comparison though, I've got two and I know exactly what you mean ;) Listening to your body is important and although sometimes I wish I could run every day I make sure I rest and do some other type of exercise. You went for a walk and did dancing so it's not like you were just sitting around eating biscuits :)

Here's hoping your next run is much better.


Thank you. I'm planning to brave the rain a and get out there. Having failed to run again this week because I was away, I did eat a very large bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk the other day, which must count as some form of exercise, surely?


Dorothy my Dear, I think we need to listen to our bodies. Like you my first 10 minutes are hard, but then it gets easy - well, easiER :-P

I today did a Speed after a distance run yesterday. At my age and time of life I suppose a day's rest between runs is not an option. I did it. And well. But boy am I knackered!

You run, swim in icy waters and goodness knows what else you do... you are a star and inspiration to us all. Delia. A Londongirl fan.


Thank you for your kind words Delia. I haven't been running this week, as I 've been away (and it is pouring). I will try again today. I know you are right. And there really is no much thing as a bad run, is there.

(Just heard on the news that Belusconi plans to return - couldn't they put a stake through his heart or something?)


I know...the man is obvioulsy one of those extra-terrestrials that Putin has been on about recently ....


Never mind the running, I want to hear more about the kletzmer ceilidh, a whole new take on fusion dance.


It’s like a Yiddish barn dance. I’m not Scottish or Jewish, though some of my best friends… I love dancing but I’ve struggled to find a recognised form I can enjoy ( as opposed to embarrassing hippiesque moves on the dance floor). I tried salsa – great music but I have no sense of rythmn and resented being pushed around by a man. Then tango, ditto, only even worse with the humiliation of having no one wanting to dance with me. (Luckily, in the second week I injured my knee far more badly than in nine weeks of running and have a cast iron excuse never to return.) So then then I started going to country dancing, which is great fun, and someone told me about the kletzner celidhs at the local synagogue. There was a very patient caller – the handsome Guy Schalom – teaching traditional Yiddish circle, square and chain dance, and three lovely young women on fiddle, clarinet and squeeze box playing gorgeous mournful music that gets faster and faster. Not as sexy as tango or salsa, but great fun, do try it if you ever get the chance.


You may also like...