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Couch to 5K
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I'm due to do w5r2 at the weekend but I've looked it (and w5r3!) up and I just don't see how I'm going to make it! I did w5r1 yesterday and found that when Laura tells me I'm halfway I start thinking 'oh I feel tired already, how am I possibly going to manage this?!'. It turned out that I could manage it and did all three 5 minute runs in full (and felt amazing afterwards!) but I'm really worried about the next lot. I've never run for 8 solid minutes in my life! How do you get over the mindset that you can't do it, and how do you carry on running even when you think you're too tired?!

8 Replies

It is a bit scary... especially when you peek at w5r3! I felt like you beforehand, but I managed it (and cried afterwards) and I'm now in week 8. Personally, I still feel that the first 5 minutes of a run are the hardest - I go at a real snail's pace. But then my body seems to wake up and get the idea, and that makes the next 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 minutes do-able. Good luck with it and let us know how it goes!


I break it into smaller sections, so use visual cues to run to within my bigger time frame - aim for the postbox, the once I get there I aim for a bridge, then onto a street corner, then a sign post - I try to stay focused on those and not think of the bigger picture and have always found it very helpful.

The other thing I found at week 5 was that I had been running too fast! The speed I had been going at was fine for the shorter bursts, but was not something I could sustain for the 20 minute run and really had to cut back on my pace for this.


All of the above! Especially the 'first 5 minutes is the worst' and 'run slower'.

But this whole programme is a mind game, as you're working out! Trust Laura though, if you've done one run ok-ish, you CAN do the next one. :)


Every previous run has prepared you for this one! My first 10 minutes of every run stinks and it made me feel better to realize most people have a bad first 5-12 minutes. For me, the second half of a run goes so much better then the first half. Remember back to your earlier runs when the 5 minutes seemed no worse then the 3 minutes etc. You can do this! Gayle


I did the w5 r3 today, before I went I really could not see myself doing it, once you are there and going it is not as bad as you think I found the first and last 3 mins hardest bu once you are on the last 3 you just need to focus on how great you will feel afterwards!

The most important thing i think is pace, just stay comfortable and keep running/jogging. Also remember it is more difficult mentally than physically just insist to yourself that you can do it. You have come this far you can do it.

Good luck


Thanks so much for your answers!

I've just been out and guess what?! I only went and blimmin' well did it! You're right, the first few minutes sucked but I carried on and, although I'm sure I was slower than a sloth on Sunday, I did it! Bring on w5r3!!!

Thanks again :)


Well done! And I love 'slower than a sloth on Sunday'! Great phrase and I'm sure it describes loads of us...


I've also just done w5r2 today - 2x8 mins which seemed impossible a few weeks ago!! Absolutely thrilled. I'm slower than slow, but so determined not to stop. Going to repeat the run next time out before trying the big dreaded 20 min one!! I too cried after I completed the running - the music is so emotional - gets me every time!!! Have lost over eight stone over the last three years ... no spring chicken .... never run in my life before ...... can't believe I'm actually running. Bring on the better weather .... yay!


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