Couch to 5K
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Horrible run...please help...! :o(

Went out for a run last night, did 4.3 miles (ish) in 40 distance and time were fine, but from pretty much the first step I just wanted to stop. I didn't stop, I kept going, but it hurt, LOTS. My shin hurt, I felt totally awkward/out of sync, my side hurt after about 3 miles, it was horrid. Just wanted to stop, give it up, stand there and cry.

Any suggestions...? Anyone else been through similar?

Until that point I've truly enjoyed my running and been very proud of my efforts. I'm going out again tonight and I'm trying a different route to change the scenery a bit...maybe that'll work, who knows.

11 Replies

its so hard when you have a horrible run. well done you on keeping going though. are you sure you want to get back out there again tonight? perhaps another days rest in case you are coming down with something?

were you tired? was anything different or was it just wrong from the start?

we all get runs like this occasionally. you just have to pick yourself up unfortunately. no magic cure, well not for me anyways. (I avoided running today & went on cross trainer at the gym after falling over whilst out running at the weekend).

another thought. if you are upping your long runs & increasing your runs those in the know do recommend having an easier week on every 4th week.

good luck. & very jealous. 4.3miles in 40mins on a rotten run!! :)


I've sometimes had ones like that, where right from the start it just doesn't feel easy. The important thing, though, is that you managed to run on through it (and as you say, it doesn't always show in the stats!). The only thing I'd say is that if things are actually hurting, not just feeling a bit off, then do be careful - you really don't want to cause an injury by running past the point at which your body's telling you to stop...

Good luck for the next one - I'm sure it'll be better :)


Well done Jazz you finished your horrible run, I gave up on my last bad one. Yep the first time I've ever done that, I just stopped, I was suffering from heavy legs, breathing was all to pot, I didn't like the weather that day!!!!!!! I walked home and my husband was so surprised to see me home so soon, he was concerned there was something really wrong with me, but NO it was just not going well and I gave up. Do you know I took 2 days rest, got back out there and ran one of the best and longest runs ever 10K just like that, time 1:06:32 still my PB today.

So put that bad run behind you and look forward to perhaps your best one, it could be the next run! :)


This experience can be difficult as it knocks your confidence. I agree with the comments above and most certainly take an extra day of rest from running. You just have to be prepared to try different things sometimes. I have had problems with my breathing while running the last few weeks and soldiered on suffering with the enjoyment level decreasing. However, it turns out that my blood pressure had soared once again but with a change of medication it is improving as is my breathing. So, listen to your body cause it knows best!!! Good luck with your next run.


It happens, just pick yourself up and make the next one better, it almost certainly will be. I would caution against running through pain though, if it's just a twinge or two, then fine, but if the pain continues your body is trying to tell you something. Stop and listen to it before continuing. The rest days are an important part of training, the recovery days allow your body to build muscle ready for the next training session. Is it possible you've been overtraining recently?

Put it into context, in all the runs you've done, how many 'bad' runs have there been? Probably not that many, so don't dwell on it for long. Make the next one an 'easy' pace and I bet you'll really enjoy it.

Good luck.


Thanks everyone, such a helpful lot on here :o)

I'm going out again tonight, gonna take it proper steady and IF I feel bad or any pain then I will certainly stop. I'm quite nervous about it to be honest, it really rocked me, but a change of route and music playlist might change things up a tad. Gonna try for roughly the same distance tonight, and if I achieve that in more positive all-round experience then that'll do me.

I'm then having a rest day on Friday, so hopefully the run tonight will be a positive experience to take into the weekend.

Thanks again :o) Fingers crossed, I shall report back...


I had my first really horrible run this morning - my legs felt like lead and I even had to stop and walk for a minute towards the end. I only did 25 minutes instead of my usual 30. But I was amazed when I looked at my stats that, although it was a lot slower than my last few runs, it was actually quicker than the runs I did a month ago. So much seems to be in the perception.

I've read so many threads about bad runs and it does seem to be something that happens now and again for no particular reason. I'll see how the next one goes on Saturday. Hope your run goes well tonight, jazz15c. :)


Maybe your body's telling you you've upped the distance a bit fast? in a blog only about three weeks ago you said:

"I now have 4 months to first get back to the levels/distance I was running at before Christmas (4.5 miles x 3 per week, which might take until the end of January but that's fine), then gradually creep my distance up to near the 6.21 miles that make a 10km race. "

And then you did 10k last week! Take care. You don't want to be injured and unable to run at all. Recovery days (better name than rest days?) are important too! :)


I was about to suggest the same about pushing yourself too hard, too fast. It was something I did & had to reign it in for quite some time. Take care, if your body hurts it's for a reason.


Thanks again to you all.

I took the night off last night. Got home and thought 'I'm not at all up for this tonight'. Sensible decision on reflection. My next run will be Saturday evening (prefer evenings), giving myself 3 whole days to get myself somewhere near 100% again.

I'm only now (after 3 months) starting to see the importance of rest days, and instead of feeling guilty about not getting out there, learning to love them as they are repairing and replenishing my body.

I will be taking it steady for a while I think, nothing over 5 miles for a while, and certainly no 10k's for a month...!

Thanks again everyone. Have a great day :o)


First run last night since Wednesday, had a proper rest after Wednesday's shenanigans. Felt good to have a good rest, but must confess to feeling a twitchy and moody a few times in that period...and also guilty for not doing any exercise (does anyone else get that???)

Ran in the dark (which I prefer), completely new playlist on the iPhone, and out I went...

It went well. :o)

Managed to do 4.2 miles in about 35 mins, felt slightly out of breath a few times, but NO PAIN AT ALL...ANYWHERE.

I've learnt my lesson, won't be pushing that hard again, and like others on here have suggested, I will now start listening to my body...for a change!

Have a good week everyone :o)


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