Running club cancelled - need help to stay focused on exercise good intentions

Running club cancelled - need help to stay focused on exercise good intentions

For the past few weeks I've been trying to join a running club as the guys on the couch to 5k forum recommended this as a good way to keep the fun in running now that I'm able to run 5k. As a bit of background I'm quite slow, and when I originally reached 5k I found it really tiring too. I went back to 3.5k and built up again slowly and can now run 5k again relatively comfortably in approx 45 mins, a fair amount slower than the 30mins many people manage it in, but a mega achievement for me. I've been putting off doing a 'parkrun' partly because there isn't one all that near me and partly because of not being confident enough to do 5k until very recently. But the running club sounds good because it would be more than just running - looking at technique and endurance too. It would also be one of my 3 planned runs this week, along with 3 bike rides and 3 trips to the fruit n veg shop - all things that help me stay focused on my new healthy lifestyle. So - I was due to go to the running club for my first session tonight - but just had an email that it's been cancelled - what should I do instead?

1. Stay at home (tempting as I feel like I'm fighting off another cold again!)

2. Go running all the same but on my own (I did this last time running club was cancelled)

3. Do something else 'new' in the same spirit of joining the running club being a 'new' thing.

If I do 1 then I think I should at least do a strength session of some sort at home - some circuit training exercises that I remember from the past using a training timer on my phone (do situps for 2 mins, then pressups for 2 mins, then squats for 2 mins etc). If I do 2 then I think I might choose a new route (I was going to take my bike to the running club meeting point, so maybe I could cycle to a different park to do my run). For 3, I've had a google around and found a £1 yoga session near where I live that starts at 6pm. Would yoga be a good 'new' thing to do perhaps? Future sessions would clash with the running group if that ever gets up and running but maybe it would be good to see if I like it at least....

As I was writing this I had an email from the running club organiser that they'll do a 'casual run' on Sunday instead so it looks like I'll still get to make inroads with that this week. So that's Sunday planned - def a run with other folks lined up. But what shall I do today?

Further update... I've added a pic above of the 'free gym' I went to. It was very disappointing! But I had a go on everything. The cycle was obviously quite easy for me, being an experienced cyclist. The sort of cross trainer thing (front centre) was prob the best, but the whole time it was crying out 'oil me' which made me feel very self-conscious! The 'treadmill' (right) was downright dangerous, as some of the rollers were stuck and others spun round madly so it made you feel out of control. The weird spinning circles (at the back) were a mystery - I sort of held the bars and span from side to side, but it didn't feel like it did anything. Lastly I went up the big spiral slide in the middle, maybe you can see in the pic for the first stage, to get up, you pull yourself up a rope up a steep wooden board, which was surprisingly challenging. But I felt I deserved a go on the big slide after the disappointment of the 'gym' machines. I also really went for it on my run there and back, totalling 3km in 21 mins, my best pace for months, albeit with a break in the middle :)

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26 Replies

  • You should aim for 5 cardio and 2 strength training sessions a week. If you are feeling under the weather you may feel worse later in the week and a strength session is easier than a cardio when you feel bad so I would go for something cardio.

    What about just a cycle? If you are feeling under the weather you don't want to exert your body too much it might be a good option.

  • having said that anything is better than nothing!!

  • I've got cycling planned tomorrow as I've got a job in South London and plan to cycle there and back. It's quite a physical job too, so I don't necessarily need to overdo it tonight. I thought about perhaps cycling to one of those free gyms in a nearby park and going through all the different machines following the instructions, then cycling home again. Or perhaps running there and back doing the machines in the middle...

  • That's a really good idea. Often the ideas we have ourselves are the most appealing. Why don't you just give it a go... you might even enjoy it :-)

  • This does sound a great idea. The park near us has all those, so you've given me an idea next time I do my run. :)

  • I have just started doing yoga again after 10 years and am absolutely loving it. Have joined doyouyoga online and do it at home on a camping mat every morning. A class would be great though especially for a pound! They are more like £8-£10 a session here which I can't justify as I am not working at the moment. Yoga would be great for strength and toning. I have changed shape just in the 2-3 weeks that I have been doing it again. It really helps to focus me and put me in a good frame of mind for being good. Good luck and enjoy :)

  • I was amazed to find yoga for £1, which is one of the reasons I'm tempted to try it. It's at a local community centre rather than a gym/yoga place, so not sure how it would compare to £10 sessions run more commercially elsewhere. My income's also very low at the moment hence not looking for anything that'll cost too much! Thanks for the tip about doyouyoga - I'll definitely look it up.

  • I would go for the run anyway put some good music on your headphones to motivate and away you go. Think how much better you'll feel than if you'd stayed indoors.

    Well done though for managing 5k in 45 mins that's brilliant. I'm only on week two of C25K but really enjoying it and am hoping to get to where you are.

    Enjoy the evening whatever exercise you decide to do.

  • My headphones are broken at the moment! I need to get them fixed as that will give me more options - doing Zombies Run or the C25K+ podcasts... I think I've decided now I'm going to run to the free gym and try some chest presses or whatever they have there. I really needed to just state this here - I was so close to not doing anything this evening just because the running club was cancelled. Now I have a plan for this eve and a run planned for Sunday. All looking good! Good luck with your week 2 - the weeks will pass quickly. Don't push yourself too hard - it's about just going out there and running really (not staying home and doing zilch) :)

  • Thanks I am feeling so much fitter in two weeks not just from the running but the brisk walking it entails as well.

    Enjoy your workout and well done for staying motivated and still doing something, it isn't easy!!

  • I find it's also the fresh air, the scenery etc, as I don't see much green apart from when I'm on my runs. Not to mention the endorphins afterwards. Let me know if you try out the free gym too. I'll try to post a photo to prove I went - just to prove to myself even!

  • Yes I'll let you know. Haha I look forward to seeing the photo!! :)

  • Hi Ruth,

    If feeling a bit under the weather why not give yoga a go, I did try it when first in stroke rehab but struggled with moving limbs in opp directions at same time !!! Still do lol

    At least it is a group and a bit of stretching/toning/relaxation.

    Enjoy whatever decide.


  • I think I might try things out from the 'doyouyoga' site that abi5 recommended, as I have a yoga mat that an old flatmate left behind a couple of years ago and just enough space in my flat. But today I've made my mind up to do a run / strength exercises combination - it feels like something new to try and appeals somehow - especially as I just don't do enough (read that as 'any'!) strength/core exercises. Also, I'm feeling better now which is amazing! It really felt like another cold was coming this morning, but been taking decongestants all day and drinking loads of water and feeling better now. So a shorter run should be okay.

  • That's great that yoga helped you recover from a stroke, even if it's still a struggle! I think that's the challenge of it though. A friend showed me some moves once and my body wouldn't stretch enough to do the same moves - it would def be an interesting challenge!

  • Ugo for yoga....always good to try new things....I'm trying new stuff to see wot I enjoy.... So far cycling and swimming....walking wasn't for me... Try ITU may enjoy it enough to start regularly xxx

  • If anyone is based in East London, I'm finding this spreadsheet (see link below) an absolute resource. Having toyed with the idea of yoga I'm now also finding things like women's high intensity training (would that be a shock to the system or what?) - everything's £1 or less. Maybe there are things like this everywhere - worth looking on your local council pages for this stuff! My eyes have definitely been opened to lots of possibilities.

  • Is there a more up to date spreadsheet Ruth? This one is only up to March this year as I am interested :-)

  • You know what I hadn't even noticed that. Thanks for pointing it out! Maybe the sessions are at the same times still even though its out of date? That was the only spreadsheet on the tower hamlets site.

  • Hi Ruth I do love your name there is something dreamy about the idea of a canal runner. Sorry the running club cancelled. It's too late to weigh in with advice but what did you end up doing? I hope you enjoyed it. £1 yoga is a bargain. Have a good evening

  • Hi Gonti. See above - I've updated what I did and have added a picture. I ran along the canal for part of it too. Canals are definitely dreamy, it's like being in another time :)

  • Sounds like there might be a need for a run organiser at the running club. All they need os a willing person to turn up and work out a route. (Well thats how my cycle club works!) Why not offer to lead a 5K run for improving runners for them? I like the social aspect of my CC and it might work for you and other sin you situation! I'm also going t pass the link you posted to a member of my family! :-)

  • I'm not quite there yet to be able to lead a group! But I think this is just a hiccup and hopefully the running club will be running smoothly soon. The guy who runs it has been on holiday, but he seems keen to make sure I do join somehow, hence advising me about the Sunday run :)

  • Holidays!!! The Attitude of some people! You won't be far off leading a run for runners like you - they don't need a super athlete they need someone with a plan and a i bit of initiative. ;-)

  • I am sure by now you certainly worked that one out but I'm interested.

    How long did it take you from starting the C25K programme to get to a 45 minute 5K? I know its an 8 week programme but how long did YOU take to get there?

    I'm not even close to starting quite yet but am just trying to a feel for how others have done it :)

  • It took me about 10-11 weeks to get through the 9 weeks due to having a cold part way through. I found it quite straightforward and manageable and thrived on the encouragement I got on the c25k forum on here. By week 9 I could run 4k in 30mins. Then about a week after graduating I pushed myself to get to 5k but overdid it, overtired myself and my pace got really slow. This was in around April I think, having originally started the programme in Feb. Then I reduced back to 3.5k and rebuilt up really gradually, approx 0.3k increase every 1-2 weeks. Then this Monday, 6 months or so after starting, I ran 5k in 45mins, and continue to improve. I think everyone's journey is different. Some people find it much easier once they get into the long distances. I have mild asthma that made things difficult breathing-wise. Others have had injuries, which luckily I haven't had. It's a journey, that's for sure!

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