10k training - finding it really hard!

Hi everyone!

I'm new here and could do with some advice. I've been running for about seven months, starting out with the Couch to 5k programme and I'm now training for a 10k. I enjoyed the Couch to 5k and progressed pretty well with it. However, now that I'm doing the Bridge to 10k I've been finding it increasingly difficult.

The race is in 5 weeks and I'm getting a bit worried because I can't see myself being able to finish it. At the moment I'm doing 20 minute runs with three minutes walking in between. My legs get really tired and I feel absolutely exhausted afterwards. I think maybe my leg muscles are too weak as that seems to be the problem rather than the cardio.

Any advice would be appreciated!



  • Hi Mrs Seychelles

    Don't get too despondent, especially if you have been working on continuously improving for seven months - your body needs time to catch up every now and then.  If you are struggling to keep up the pace I'd suggest you slow down a little, even if that sounds counter-intuitive.  Run to a pace that does NOT leave you feeling shattered afterwards for 80-90% of your training time, and you'll start enjoying the process again. 

    It is a good idea to do so some general strengthening work, especially if you are coming off a low base of fitness, but ultimately the best exercise to develop your legs for running is - running.  Are you running with a group?  If not you should consider joining your local running club; it's easier to stay motivated when there are other people around for company and encouragement.  Most clubs are very welcoming of newcomers and have a range of abilities so don't be self-conscious about your speed etc.

    One other thing - 'the race is in 5 weeks' - there are lots of 10k races - if for any reason you really can't complete this one, look for another a few weeks later.  But for now why not just relax and treat your scheduled race as an  opportunity to try out the distance along with lots of company and support?





  • Just RunJust Run ✭✭✭

    Don't panic Mrs Seychelles, LouiseG is spot on. You should be able to hold a conversation while you're running, if not, slow down!

    As far as your training goes, are you following a proper plan? If you're finding it tough, just repeat a week, don't be a slave to the schedule. Sometimes life gets in the way. If you're really struggling have a day off, it won't stop you finishing the race!

    How about joining one of the threads on here? There are plenty of people who will offer helpful advice. Most of us on here know exactly what you're going through so any questions you have, fire away.

    Good luck

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    It's your first 10k you might not finish in the worlds fastest time, but I'm sure you will be able to do it, as everyone else has said slow down, speed just comes over ttime and with practise don't worry about the time, just relax more go slower and see if it also helps make it enjoyable.

    good luck i'm sure you can do it. 

  • Thanks for the encouragement everyone - much appreciated!

    I would love to join a running club but my local club stipulates that you must be able to run for at least 45 mins and I can't quite manage that at the moment. I'm going to join as soon as I can though. I managed to persuade my other half to come running with me today and it made so much difference having some company. I was focusing less on how tired I was and I started to really enjoy the run - and I was able to hold a conversation so I guess I'm not going too fast!

    I will have a look at some of the other threads on here. It's great to get a bit of support and advice!

  • Hi 

    I have a couple of tips that work for me. I downloaded to my smart phone the map my run app. I found that I got obsessed with tracking my performance and using it to think I can run further next time or I,'ll try and do a run quicker. With the app you can create groups with friends and be able to track each other's runs.

    I also found listening to music helps to take your mind of the hurting legs.


    Remember this ..... never ever ever give up.


    Good luck.

  • I was in the same boat as you, and the step up to 10k does seem hard work. But if you can just do the 20 mins x 3, then do that the 3 times then you are ready to move on. As above slow down, listen to some music and what really helps for me is to look about 10-15 meters ahead and not right down the road where i know i have to run. The length of the road made me feel tired, focusing in front of me helped as i simply ran and before i knew it i was at the end of the road.

    Keep it up and good luck, you will soon be rewarded with your first 10km run and believe me it is a great feeling.

  • Thanks - this is all great advice. I'm not sure I can go much slower than I am though - I really am a bit of a plodder! But it's gradually getting better. I think I had a particularly bad run the other day but the two since then have been better so I'm feeling a bit more optimistic. I can't wait till I actually make it to 10k - I'm sure it's going to feel great! 

  • Good luck...keep at itoils in the same possition as you when I started


  • You dont have to do Long runs every day. Maybe work on some speed work during the week and aim for 1 long run at the weekend, that way your body will have a chance to recovery and you wont dread going out x I find my garmin is amazing as well, everytime I want to slow it down i look at my time and pick it up or look at hte distance and say when it gets to ..... i will walk. good luck

  • I am also attempting my first 10k, not until the end of August though, so I have a couple months. It is crazy hard getting over the 5k mental hurdle. For the longest time my focus was "5k, 5k, 5k" - Now I have to run (essentially) 2 5ks back to back???

    Haha, see what I mean about mental games? Ah well, trying for a continuous 4.5 miles tomorrow, if successful I'll only have another 1.7 to go!!!

    (ps, I found this site while looking for a formal training plan - lots of good info here)

  • I'm quite a new runner too and found doing the first 5k much harder than getting up to 10k.

    Once I'd been doing 3x 5k runs a week for a few months I was then consistently around 32 minutes each time, but then wanted to build up to running further.

    So I mapped an extra 1.5k and did that 6.5k route for a couple of weeks.

    Then I mapped out another 1.5k and then did that 8k route for a couple of weeks.

    Then finally I mapped out another 2k on to the route making it a 10k distance, and ran this.

    It was only a month to get from 5k to 10k, and going up in steps like that made it feel like less of a climb to 10k.

    I then dropped back to my original 5k route and found I had knocked off a couple of minutes off my previous best time. Now I mix it up and run 3 times a week but sometimes 5k, sometimes 8k, sometimes 10k. I remember thinking that 10k sounded impossible as its a 5k twice, but as I am not pushing myself quite as hard as with my 5k I don't find it so bad. My overall pace is actually very similar for 5k and 10k, which I didn't expect to be the  case. (Around 28/29 mins 5k, around 60 mins for 10k).

  • Well I did the 10k today and I managed it in 1 hour 4 mins. Considering the fact that I was hoping to do it in 1 hour 9 mins I'm really pleased! I'm going to do another one in September now and am aiming for under an hour.

    Lots of good advice on here - thanks everyone!

  • Well played Mrs S!  Great achievement!

  • Brilliant time, well done image

  • Nice one seychelles!

  • well done mrs seychelles image i did my first 10 on saturday and did it in 1.09! my next 10k is in septemeber too!

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