Encouragement Required, post graduation is nose diving

Since hurting my calf after graduating I have managed only 1 reasonable run out of 5 or so and that was the short speed run. I seem to have completely lost the ability to run for more than about 16 minutes in 1 go. I am worried that I am going backwards.

I am loath to go backwards but think I may have to go back to C25k Week 6 and build up again. After finishing c25k I was looking at doing my first park run and as I was managing almost 5k in 30 minutes was looking forward to hitting that goal. Now I am struggling and really down. I am also worried I will go back to week 6 and still struggle. If anyone else has experience with poor performance after graduation or an injury I would love to hear some advice.

8 Replies

  • Can you identify any reason why this might be? Have you been injured or unwell at all? Maybe you are trying to run too fast too, often. I would suggest haveing a 2 day rest and then aiming to do a very slow 30 min run and see how you get along. if you could do it in week 9 there's no reason why you can't now, but perhaps you have talked yourself out of it? Running is as much mental ability as physical I think.

  • I think training the brain to believe we can do it is sometime harder than training our bodies! Definitely a lot of mental challenge

  • Hi! I had a really big blip after graduation last year and struggled for quite some time to be able to run continuously. It wasn't through injury just that horrible gremlin on my shoulder. You will get over it just give yourself time and remember everyone has bad runs from time. Unfortunately it may be a spell of them but when you have a good one it will remind you why you keep going out. My top tip would be to slow down and just concentrate on running for a set period of time rather than worry about the elusive 5k in 30 mins. Trust me you will get back there!

    Hope your next run is better...we are all cheering for you

  • Definitely agree that running to a time works much better for me than a distance because then I can tell myself 'it doesnt amtter how slow you go you're getting closer to finishing!' (even though it sometimes feels like I'm jogging on the spot!

  • I find that sometimes it helps just to plan a fun run - choose a scenic route and just aim to enjoy it, no time or distance pressure. Concentrate on running comfortably and trying to relax. You'll probably surprise yourself.

    Good luck !

  • I've just been off for 3 weeks due to injury and physio said to get back very slowly and just short runs. First run was very slow and I only covered 2.5K took about 20 minutes, but I was back running. I built up from there just adding 1K at a time. Any injury should be taken seriously and treated with care when first getting back to running. Try going out for a gentle run of about 20 minutes, split it into 2 x 10 minutes with a walk break if you need to. Then do another one adding perhaps 5 minutes and so on. It will pay off in the long run (no pun intended) and a successful run will be far better for your psychological point of view. You will be able to shove those gremlins away. Wish you all the best you'll soon be back to form I'm sure.

  • I think postgrad dips are very common even without injury. I'm currently struggling with running continuously having been able to do it for months after graduation and I'm not injured.

    I agree with the others - running for a set time is much easier than distance. To build my confidence I sometimes use W6R3 (25 minute run) as I like that podcast. I like Laura's encouraging comments. As the others say, relax, forget about speed and run for a time you feel comfortable with and build from there.

    Oldgirl's advice about building up gradually post injury is spot on, so dont push yourself too much. You've many years of running ahead, why risk getting a serious injury for the sake of taking three or four weeks to build up gradually again. Also choose a flat route at first to make it easier on yourself mentally and physically. Good luck!

  • Thanks for the encouragement and ideas. I am off to the doctors about my leg this week and am hoping a couple of gentle runs will get me back on track. I will see how 3 runs go and come back

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