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Couch to 5K
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W7R3: legs stopped working :(

Up until today, I've been quietly proud of the fact that I'd completed every single damn run of the C25K programme - that's 20 separate running sessions, Blimey! I made hard work of W7R2 on Friday (screwing up the podcast and running an extra few minutes on top of my 25) but was keen to do the 3rd run of the week, and the sun was shining, and the kids were tucking into their Easter eggs, so off I went.

It was absolute torture. The first 5 minutes were horrid; everything hurt and I was clearly still quite tired and stiff from Friday's run. I persevered, hoping I'd settle down and find my rhythm. But I didn't, it just got worse (why? I've now run 25 minutes 3 times already!) and so I STOPPED. For the first time ever, I did not complete a run.

I stopped because I just couldn't carry on, everything hurt, I was out of breath and out of energy. It was unpleasant and painful and everything that the C25K programme has NOT been up to that moment. It's not meant to be like that, every other run has had its moments, but ultimately has been rewarding and achievable.

Any words of advice gratefully received, particularly from anyone who's struggled with this stage of the programme and has any tactics for pushing through to the end!

6 Replies

So sorry to hear about this. You must have been gutted. :-(

Try not to dwell too much on it though... no mountains out of molehills and all that. Just put it down to a bad day and move on.

I'll leave it to those with more experience to offer more valuable advice. ;-)


Have a little look at my w8,terrible time I had with that, who knows why this happens but It just does, then you go out on your next run and, bingo your back on track, you'd be a super super cool runner if you didn't have a least one bad run :-) have a nice days rest then give it another go x


I had 2 bad runs in a row during week 8. Definitely not much fun when that happens, BUT, you can still be proud that you got out there and gave it your best!! Allow yourself at least a day of rest (more if you feel you need it) and give it another try. Don't forget, you're not alone. I'll be on the sideline cheering you on. :)


I found weeks 7 and 8 (and 9 - but less so) really tough too! I think maybe it comes down to this: "I've now run 25 minutes 3 times already!" Think what that is asking of your legs, compared with what they could do a few weeks ago.

Maybe the programme just goes a bit fast for some of us, or maybe we just need more than 1 day of rest between some runs - I have definitely found that my best runs since graduation have been after 2 or more days rest.

Then again, it might just be 'a bad run' - everyone gets them sooner or later, and the reasons for them are often not obvious. Often it's an accumulation of little things - perhaps not enough sleep, eating at a different time, technology playing up, running at a different times, the weather, hills (do not underestimate slight slopes!), something in our heads that has no connection with running, but feeds the gremlines...

Bottom line - doesn't matter too much what it was, you still did a run, even if it was only a bit of one. I stopped in a run recently, and it was a bit of a shock, as I'd only been going just over ten minutes, and I was used to doing 30... I'm still not sure exactly what it was, but I can't really find out. Since then, I'm back to running ok again - this morning did my best run ever.

So maybe have an extra day's rest, but put it behind you and move on. Sometimes it helps to run somewhere different, so you don't have a particular place where you're reminded of the bad run.

Maybe it's unlucky to have got this far without a bad run before, as it makes it seem more drastic! Everyone gets them - now you're a proper runner! :D

Well, that went on a bit!

Your next run will very likely be fine again - maybe ease off the pace a bit, make sure you're well rested, and off you go again. :)


I had stuck absolutely to the programme too but had a couple of awful runs and did stop and walk for a few strides in one run. I was v disappointed too, but it is interesting to have 'bad runs' because they do sometimes seem to be for absolutely no conceivable reason. The next one could be fine. I have found since graduating and listening to own music its a bit easier. With weeks 6-8 in c25k I really felt I was 'pushing' myself and that's hard to maintain for every run, rather than having a weekly 'easy run' too.


Wow! Thanks so much for all the responses, I'm really touched you all took the time to pen some words of encouragement :). As suggested, I've had a good read of some other blogs from people who've struggled with the latter weeks of the programme, and the similarities are striking - everything's going well and then there's a bad run, for either no particular reason, or the cumulative effects of lots of little things. I definitely agree with Greenlegs, it's easy to forget how much we're asking of our legs, and brand new muscles, in such a short time. I've taken an extra day's rest and am going to go out and do W7R3 again tomorrow... Thanks again for reading and commenting :)


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