Couch to 5K
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I've not been running for a week now.

This is baaaaad news. I've been feeling a lot more tired, my depression has been worse (yesterday I was lower than I've been for a couple of months).

To use a technical term, i'm in the 'contemplation' stage of the Prochaska and Diclemente circle of change (which is awesome, because it's just so darn true) [I wish that sort of argument would be acceptable in an essay...]

So... I've been thinking of running recently, I just haven't actually gone out. I'm not beating myself up... just looking for encouragement... Have been saying "maybe I'll go tomorrow" pretty much every day.

Tomorrow morning? I might just have to go for it...

18 Replies

No need to apologise, if you have depression you can no more help it than if you have the flu. Hope you feel a bit better when you get out for your run. :-)


Run yourself happy! Good luck! You deserve it, but you have to do it to reap the benefits.


Just a thought - maybe your target of a half marathon is pushing you a bit too much? Improving your 10k might be better for you at the moment than trying to keep adding extra distance, if you're finding it hard to get out to run? Perhaps pull your horns in for a bit and be kind to yourself? Depression needs feeding with enjoyment, not slog. Take care. :)


I took the advice of someone on this forum when I was in the same position, I knew that I wanted to run, (although I was worried that because I hadn't gone for a couple of weeks I might not be able to ) She advised me to set myself a date and then just go . It worked for me :-) I set the date for about 4 days later and promised myself that even if I DID walk, I would definitely get out worked. The support on this forum is absolutely brilliant . Thanks everyone, and good luck with your running and 'getting out there' , HectorsHouse . Let us know how it goes :-)


I think it is a positive thing you have written this post. Maybe you are a bit further around the circle than you think. Good luck HH. Tricia


Hi Hector, I have been exercise to help control depression for a few years. It helps me so much. But like you I have phases where I can't or don't exercise and I get very very low. I try to be gentle with myself and when I am ready (as it sounds like you are?) I set small achievable goals that will invigorate rather than tire me. Then I let the vit D and those lush exercise hormones do the rest! Sometimes a walk is enought to transition from inactive to active. Go Hector...Go Hector....

Thanks for writing this post. I agree with Tish perhaps you are closer to the Preperation phase?

Be especially kind to yourself :) Sending you lots of positive, supportive vibes.......

Jems x


I suffer from depression as well, and it is definately worth the effort to go out for a run. I have been plagued with injuries the last couple of months but even just a short run blows away the negative thoughts for a while. That small amount of effort is definately worth it. Go for it.


What a fantastically honest post. I think you are great to share what you have. I would suggest you not set yourself too hard a goal. Small acheivements I think are the way to go. Another wee thought, my son suffered from very bad depression for years. Went and did the Lightening Process and is transformed. Google it. He's never looked back. He now runs most days, does these Iron Man races and is doing the marathon this next spring. Happy days!


Thankyou so incredibly much, everyone :) all your posts pushed me over the edge... and I went out...

I was about five minutes in and feeling pretty OK when I decided to check my progress. According to my mapmyrun app I was just short of 0.5k at about 5 minutes which didn't feel right - and the red progress line tracking my route had me going through houses! It was wildly off track. So I stopped, spent about five minutes trying to fix the problem (even googlemaps was off target by a couple of streets), turned off wi-fi (which sometimes inteferes with the GPS). Nothing. By this point I was pretty fed up - I had spent about 30 minutes actually getting out the house, and all I wanted to do now was get back. The last thing I wanted to do was actually carry on running for even 3k, let alone 5 (which was my intention). In total I did 1.52k. Better than nothing. :)

Jems, Greenlegs and MaryDerry, thankyou for your help in making me think about my goals. I do need goals which push me, and goals that are outside of a work context. I still think a half-marathon is achievable... but maybe I need a break from that training for a wee while :)

I do need to re-evaluate my goals. I'm starting a new placement on Monday, so I'll have even less time than I do at the moment - it's going to be the equivalent of a full-time job plus uni work ontop of it. Until my routines settle there It's probably wise to aim for just one maybe two 20 minute runs a week.

This past week I've been feeling like I don't really have time to run, and I think that's part of the problem. In not believing I have time to run, I don't go, and then I suffer more than if I had just taken that time to go!!!


Of course you can achieve your half marathon! That is not in question. I guess right now is just about re-assessing your goals to fit in with your energy and work levels. It sounds as though things are about to get busier for you so it's important to have a plan to take care of yourself physically and mentally.

I train 6 days a week, three of those days are running and one of the days has two one hour sessions. So there is now way - even if i wanted to that i could run for 60mins+ 3 days per week (i am verynoverweight too somhave to be careful around that). For my runs I use intervals (22mins + whatever other work I feel like, usually circuits) and a tempo session 30-40mins then a long slow run on the wkend (60-70mins this week). I'm not for one minute saying I know what you should be doing but I do wonder wether the duration of your runs are too long for your busy upcoming schedule? There are soooo many different ways of getting your run - use half of your lunch hour? Do a short run (20mins each day) do some intervals and tempo (the intervals are short but sharp and make me super hyper lol)

I know you truly are the best person to figure it out but all I'm saying is be open to new patterns of working. Also perhaps ditch time and distance sometimes in favour of pure pleasure.....surely pleasure can be a goal too :)

I have read lots of your posts hector and really respect your knowledge so I hope none of my thoughts come across as patronising.

Wishing you all the best and taking the opportunity to try out a new saying that I learnt......"you broke your duck" (gosh I hope that's right!) even though it did not go to plan you ran so you are now back running. Use that to build on ;)

Bloody hell I do go on sometimes.......:)



Sry about all the typos.....flipping iPad - did not read through as am ina rush


Just like to second Jem's point about pleasure being a goal too, I found I enjoyed running much more when I ditched Endomondo - I found I was getting hung up on the numbers & getting cross with myself. Garmins, Endomondo etc are brilliant devices but none of them measure pleasure and there has to be a place for that IMO.


Pleasure is a very good thing to aim for!! :)

Yesterday's run showed me how reliant on technology I can be! Quite scary 'cause I only got my phone just before Christmas!!


Hi Hector I have two very dear friends who suffer from Bi-Polar and have seen how they suffer its not fine. Hang on in there you hve already taken two very positve steps, one posting on here and two you got back out there although not running for as long as you would have liked.

Don't be so hard on yourself, wise words already written above when we start to take too much notice of the times and distances, just forget both and run because you can, forget the numbers and just let go and enjoy yourself.

If you are near a ParkRun why not register with them and run with some very friendly people, that may help. The distance is always 5K so no problem there for you.

I hope things look brighter and better very soon, take care.


Thankyou :)

Something that's been a slow lesson for me is to not beat myself up. As notbad said earlier, "you can no more help it than if you have the flu."

We do indeed have a parkrun in Dundee. I always thought it was the first or last saturday in the month, but I've just looked it up again and it's every week. Question - it says it starts at 9.30 - does that include registration or do you start running at 9.30? I would love to go but my other half and I are now learning to dance on Saturday mornings so I don't want to be late for that. If I start running actually at half 9 I could make it in time for the lessons (to help raise money for community children's work, about 6 couples in the church are doing a Strictly Come Dancing thing, with an actual competition!!!)


Ugh, how frustrating and unfair to have the technology let you down when you've achieved that key 'getting out there' thing which must have felt like a mountain. There's a lot to be said sometimes for just bashing out the 30 minutes.

I've found Audiofuel's Pyramid 180 really helpful for stressed, down, don't want to run or haven't got time to run times, and I know I'm not the only one. It's short, it's intervals, it's music, it's running to the beat, so it is easier to get detached from unhelpful thoughts for a while.

And 1.5K+ is definitely better than nothing! (It had better be 'cos that's what I did this morning)


Just wanted to say keep at it HH, technology can be great when it works but oh so frustrating when it doesn't. I believe you have everyone's support and well wishes flooding toward you. Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself and do what you can to work towards your goals. Sometimes it takes many small steps rather than a leap but I also think that that can make it even more rewarding when you get there.

Viki :-)


Hi well done on going b out and getting running again. Just to say my Parkrun starts at 9 virtually on the dot, so if it says 9:30 would think that means starting running at 9:30, if that helps. Good luck with your future runs :-)


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