Couch to 5K
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Stuck on week 6

I can't decide if I feel bad about this or not, but I am well and truly stuck on week 6. I keep getting out there and trying to master runs 1 and 2 but there is no consistency. I might manage it one time and then fail miserably the next. I got to week 7 a month ago but the snow and a niggling ankle injury stopped me for a couple of weeks and now I just can't seem to get the fitness back. I'm struggling to breathe and just find myself giving up. Although I managed 25 minutes I really think this was a fluke and I decided to consolidate to build up fitness,but this is so disheartening. I don't think I'm going too fast and I'm varying the routes but week 6 is feeling like a huge mountain I just can't get over.

6 Replies

I think it's quite normal for runs and results to be inconsistent when progressing through the programme. I know mine were (are). One run I'd complete with ease and then the next (not necessarily harder) run would be a total struggle.

Much of it is in the head, of course - so personally I wouldn't redo runs more than a couple of times. Either move on if you feel you have done enough, or drop back to a run which you know you can do and rebuild confidence from there.

Managing 25 minutes once is no fluke, so if you did that once I'd press on if I were you. :)


I know you've said that you don't think that you are going to fast but have you tried slowing it down some to see if that helps. I'm now running slightly slower than I was in my earlier weeks of the plan, which I found helped with my breathing an awful lot.


:-) Great advice already given! I suggest slowing down as well. Nothing as too slow when your working the program and building endurance. Difficult to do, but try to relax. You will find once you relax your arms and shoulders and move slower, this will help your breathing. Once you have the breathing controlled, you may also notice you find a natural rhythm/pace. :-) Best wishes! Gayle


Another maybe-helpful tip. How do you hold your arms? A lot of people hold them across their chest and so move them diagonally up and down as they run.

If you do that, try holding them down by your waist and move them backwards and forwards, with your hands relaxed - don't clench your fists.

I've found that it can make a huge difference to the effort I'm making and can really push me forward when I'm struggling.


The longer runs can be as much if not more a mental challenge than physical. You have to believe you can do it, you have done all the prep work, you are able, you need to tell yourself this and believe it. Chose a time of day when you know you run at your best.Take it nice and slow to start with, get into a comfortable stride and above all relax. Don't try any big hills, make sure you enjoy the route you have chosen. You really can do this so knock that demon monkey off your shoulder and enjoy your run and look forward to the others which will follow. :)


Thanks for all the advice, really helpful and motivating. I think it is all in my head, have to believe I can do it! Good advice about relaxing and arm movement. I'm really not a fast runner, but I'll try to slow down! I have certain markers on the run so I know what five minutes, ten minutes is etc, I always seem to be at the same place each time so I think I'm pretty steady on pace.


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