Need some help/motivation :(

Hi all.


I've been trying to do the Couch to 5k running course, but i'm having trouble with it.  I'm on week one at the mo, and i get half way through the 30 mins and i feel like i'm going to collapse.  This has pretty much demotivated me from continuing, since if i cant manage to do a 30 min run/walk, how am i ever going to do more?


Some background on me.  I'm 31, 5ft 10, 238 lbs, and i've recently started on a diet. (lost 4lbs in just over a week).

I have decent upper body strength as years ago, i used to play rugby, and also had a full time manual labour job, which kept my upper body pretty fit.


Should i stick to the Couch to 5k plan, or should i lower it to 15 mins instead of 30 for a week or two and do some biking on my off days? I'm also thinking about signing up with my local council run gym to help lose weight and improve my fitness.

I'm getting to the point where i'm about to give up on it all, as i really want to start running and get fit, but my body just seems to be saying no.


  • Cara HCara H ✭✭✭

    Stick at it! I started with C25k last year and felt like you did. I didn't even have the excuse of being overweight. I was also hillwalking fairly regularly, and climbing, so thought "run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds" would be patronisingly easy. Then I tried it and got SO out of breath and really struggled.

    Thing is, C25k isn't meant to be easy. It doesn't allow you to get comfortable at one level before pushing you to the next, and that's the whole idea. You don't think you can manage it, then suddenly you have. If you're finding it really hard, then continue at week 1 until you've actually managed to do it (simply getting out and trying is better than being a couch potato), then progress to week 2. If you're on week 1 for 3 weeks, who cares?

  • Haven't done C25K, but I can assure you that after a year of fairly regualar training and now running over fifteen miles off road for the fun of it, he first fifteen minutes always leave me feeling like £"$% and wanting to give up.

    I think it's where your body is shifting from anaerobic to aerobic. If you run 100m, you'll be breathing heavily afterwards, you're doing that and still running. After a while the short term energy stores in your muscles start getting replaced using other phases of the metabolic cycle and you'll find you can continue. You still have to get through the less pleasant bit to get to the nice bit that everybody raves about.

    Your body does keep saying 'No' for the first mile or so because it hopes that you will quit and go and sit on the sofa with a packet of crisps and a can of lager. See if you can get your mind to point out to your body that it looks like a sack of spuds and damned well needs some exercise so it can just stop going 'Are we there yet?' like a whiney brat and do as it's told.

    Having said that, I think I started with twenty minutes and just added five minutes a fortnight.

  • I agree with all the above:

    Stick at it
    Repeat weeks as necessary (i did when i started, i had to repeat each week at least once!)
    Don't listen to the little whiny voice that says "it would be so much easier to give up, why are you doing this anyway?"
    DO NOT punish your self if you have a bad day (i am guilty of that so know how difficult it is to stop doing, but staying positive will help you perform better)
    Also when doing 30 mins run/walk, make sure that you are not trying to run too much at the start. if you become breathless, then walk, then run again when you feel better. the important thing with a run/walk program is being out for the 30 mins, not how much of it is running and how much is walking

    See if you have a parkrun near you

    there will be lots of people at all sorts of abilites - our local one has a right mix from 5 years to 80 years, people running with pushchairs and dogs, athletes to people doing couch to 5k like you.
    If you mix with other runners of all abilities you can see that other people are at the same level as you, or slower. and you can compare notes.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Keep going.  I did my first 10 miler yesterday.  First started running on 1st of May.  Just keep plodding along and it will come.  I still find the 3rd km the hardest so about the point you are talking about.  Just stick with it you do have a minute where you feel crap, but just keep plodding along slow down a bit but not a walk and just break through that barrier and you will then be able to go for another 10 minutes or so and i be that you will feel great when you do that.

    It's not easy, but being stubborn and when you feel awful and want to give up is when you get the most reward. It's something we all encounter.  Just keep going and it will come image

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