Couch to 5k - what do you think about?

I'm starting this couch to 5k on monday. Im not too keen on running outside on my own so will be making the most of my expensive gym membership which hasnt been touched!

When i tried this before all i do is look down at the time and think how long have i got left and "i cant do it, i need to stop". And thinking like this seems to make time go even slower.

So what do you think about when your jogging/running to get your mind out of it? I dont enjoy exercise - so how do i make it enjoyable!? I do like the 'feeling' afterwards but i beat myself up if the workout wasnt a good quality workout. How do i ensure i have a good quality workout every time? Rather than just going for the sake of needing to do it.

Hope that makes sense!!

Thanks in advance. :)

12 Replies

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  • There isn't a chance I'd ever be persuaded to run inside but I have huge admiration for those who can and read their comments and blogs.

    From that, the most practical tip I've read is to cover up the display.

  • Definitely concentrate on something else! Make a shopping list / plan what's for dinner / sing along with the music / imagine you're on a beach somewhere / try and think of animals beginning with A-Z!

  • If you are listening to the podcasts you don't need to worry about how much further or when to stop because Laura tells you. And if you aren't listening to them I would recommend them. If you are just listening to music then try and get into the music just let it take you. When you feel yourself flagging tell you yourself you can do this. And as I have been told and read on many occasion don't go to fast, and I do realise that isn't always easy because I find it hard going slowly myself, but once you find your own rhythm you'll be fine. Why won't you run outside? Today is such a lovely day to go out. :-)

  • i dont feel very safe running outside. makes me feel uneasy.

    lots of great advice ! thanks !! :) :) :)

  • I have to say I do run in the middle of the day and and for the most part there are alway quite a few people around. I don't think I could do it on a treadmill unless I had a tv to watch while I was doing it to take my mind off it.

  • One question about running on treadmills, how do you guys find your rhythm? It's just occurred to me that I find mine naturally but using one of them, despite it being you who physically changes the speed, it seems to me the 'mill sets the agenda. Is it a problem that it has to be so conscious a decision?

  • I don't run naturally on a dreadmill (hence the name change) I can only put it down to being less confident. My stride is shorter so it takes much longer to do the distance. I have struggled for months now to get passed 4K on the dreadmill, outside I have run 10K!!! Much prefer to be outside even in rain.

    If you really can't get out make sure you have some good music to distract you once you have done the programme. Until then you will have the lovely Laura to keep you company.

  • Firstly, I'll be honest - I don't think there's any way of guaranteeing that every run will be a good one. If there is, I wish I knew it! ;)

    In the early stages, I spent each of the running intervals counting my breaths as a way to get through. Fortunately, when I got past running 3 minute intervals, I managed to break that habit, as I didn't fancy the idea of going through the whole plan like that! When I'm running outside, I don't have too much problem with keeping going (usually), but on the treadmill the whole session is often mental maths - what percentage have I run, how long til the next 'nice' number (in 2 1/2 minutes I'll be a third of the way through, then only another x minutes to go' etc.), how many minutes remaining. I often count breaths as a way of passing time still - 5 mins is usually a count of around 130 for me now I think. Sometimes I visualise parts of my outdoor route, and work out where I might be up to on that.

    My best advice though would be to stick with it even when it's not enjoyable. It took me 9 weeks of going running three times a week to start liking running. I had enjoyable moments before then, for sure, but that was my turning point. I still have good runs and bad ones, but the good ones make it so worthwhile. :)

  • I try and let my mind wonder. What shall I cook for a meal on Sat night and dream up menus. Or how shall I re design our garden - anything to stop looking at the time.

  • I try to let my mind wander aimlessly or even go quiet and go with the music (though some of it on the podcasts is a bit suspect) as I find it really hard to quiet my mind and switch off the mental dialogue... been told off for this when swimming. As apparently I overthink everything... definitely cover up the display because knowing how much longer you have to go is horrible. I'm on W2 at the moment but have been encouraged by a PT I grilled and inspired by the guys on this awesome forum to try to get outside into the real world...

  • Maybe you can focus on your technique and body position while on the treadmill listening to Laura. When running, I often tell myself continually that it is just one more step and then I try to make that the best step possible. In the beginning, I made sure not to go too fast, so that the process was more enjoyable.

    Running on the treadmill for most people is quite different than running outside- especially for beginners who tend to use different muscles and different mechanics. It was explained to me like this- on the ground, the propulsion (active) phase occurs while bringing the foot down across the ground during the down/backstroke and recovery (passive relaxation) occurs when allowing the knee to come up and forward. On a treadmill, for many people, it is just the opposite: the leg is passive on the down/backstroke as they just ride the treadmill back with the weight-bearing leg, and activate their muscles when bringing the knee up and forward (using quads/hip flexors primarily) to catch the belt. When executed properly, running on ground requires activation primarily of the glutes, hamstrings, calves, etc, ie, the backside muscle chain. "Treadmilling" may leave us with a quad (frontside chain) dominance and leaves the backside chain (glutes, etc) deactivated. Quad dominance is associated with muscle imbalances and injury to the knees and back. Additionally, if landing with the foot too far in front or slapping the treadmill with the foot, shin splints and worse can result.

    Here's a pretty good article with tips for using the treadmill safely:

    posetech.com/training/archi...

    Enjoy your new endeavor. You will be running 30 minutes before you know it! Good luck!

  • Thanks everyone :)

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