Hello all, I've never really posted on this forum before but have been reading bits and pieces and I need some advice.


I started running in May/June (June really, I did a charity walk in May and got the bug but didn't start physically running until June) and I'm currently training to do a 5k with C25k. I made a lot changes to my diet to help with the running because up until May I've always been a coach potato, fairly lazy but as I'm a teacher I'm still on my feet all day. I don't have any need to lose weight, but I want to get fit. After several months/years putting it off and saying "I really wanna start working out", I actually did it.


I've finished the C25k plan, it took a little longer than the 8 weeks because I hit a few hurdles and redid some sessions, and while I'm pleased with my progress (I nearly died in week 1 doing those 60 second intervals!) I'm finding myself getting increasingly frustrated with myself. I can't manage a full 5k without having to walk for part of it (4 minutes in my last run) and it's taking me 42minutes. I know I'm still strictly a beginner and I should give it time, but I am getting SO frustrated with how slow I am! I think in my head I should be getting better with every session, and when I see other people who seem to be at the time stage as me who are running faster I can't help but feel very deflated.


Does anyone have any advice? It's probably a stupid question, but is the right thing to keep plugging away at a steady pace? I am mixing things up a bit by swimming and cycling because my mind is starting to wander, and although I won't give up on running I am finding myself less and less motivated to go out for a run. Is there anything else  I can do? What did everyone else do when they were starting out?


Thanks image


  • stu jstu j ✭✭✭

    there were two big problems when I started back into running earlier this year:

    1 - running too fast.

    2 - running alone.

    Once I realised that for the first few months I can totally forget about pace - and just relax and run at a conversational pace then it became so much easier.

    By that point I had already managed to rope someone else from work into running with me - and whilst sometimes you may go a whole run without holding too much of a conversation just having someone to run alongside helped me a tremendous amount.

    What pace do you currently run at?

  • You sound like you're doing eveything right.

    Jut hang in there and be patient. It will get better. You'll probably find it easier once the weather gets a bit cooler too. 

  • You do sound like you're doing it right.   Just remember the years you were a couch potato... and think how far you've come in 12 weeks.

    If you can't run 5K without walking for a few minutes, and if it's frustrating you, then how about changing the target. Don't try to run 5K - where you know you're likely to fail.

    Try to run 2 or 2.5 or 3K without stopping (whichever you know you can achieve).... then have a little walking break and consider the main part of the session to be over.  You can continue with a mix of walk/run for another 15-20 minutes if you like, but don't consider it to be manditory.  Do that 3 times in a week... then step up the distance by, 500m.... and follow the same protocol.

    Whichever way you do it, I'd be surprised if you couldn't step it up to 5K within 4-6 weeks...  but this way, you will probably successfully hit your goal on most sessions, and see your runs as successess rather than failures. So less frustrating.

  • Thanks all, I'll try doing shortened runs with gradual increases in distance, I think I might find that more rewarding.


    Today's pace was 12:51 but that was with a lot of walking, I did try too hard and suffered for it. Generally I'm running at around 7:30 (btw I hope you lot can understand that pace, I just took the data off Endmondo!)

  • kajstring, do you mean that when you are running (rather than walking) your pace is 7:30, but that the total average pace is 12:51 because of the combination of walking and running?

    If so, that's why you can't run 5k without walking, because 7:30 is really quite fast. Try just setting off at a gentle jog and I bet you'd be able to keep going for the whole distance and finish it in about half an hour.

  • Oh sorry, that was my average pace over the full run, my max speed was 3:56.

  • I got that for the 12:51, but what is the 7:30? The time of day you do it?

  • per mile or per km?


    And never trust the 'max speed' readings.   According too that, I'm sometimes faster than Mo Farrah.

  • Ok, here's the data from my last couple of runs


    Distance: 2.10 km

    Duration: 27m:00s

    Avg. Speed: 12:51 min/km


    A couple of days ago:

    Distance: 5.61 km

    Duration: 42m:22s

    Avg. Speed: 7:33 min/km

    Max. Speed: 5:13 min/km

  • Okay, got it! Sorry, I was being really thick because I think in mins per mile rather than mins per km. I still think maybe you are starting off slightly faster than you can sustain, and that is making you need to stop after a few minutes. Try doing the 3k Runny Knows suggests above, but starting off a bit slower, then walk for a bit if you need to, then jog a bit more if you feel like it. You might find you don't actually feel the need to walk if you are running at a slower pace, and that'll bring your average pace down.

  • I'm new to running too and started May/June as well. I'm currently still slow - it takes me an hour to run (a hilly/trail route) 4 miles and I did my first 10k (again, trail with hills and horrible steps!) a couple of weeks ago which took me 1: 30 mins to complete. In hindsight, this was too much to soon and I am now hauled up with a mild case of runner's knees. I would just recommend that you keep at it and don't push yourself too much too soon or you WILL get injured like me. Good luck!

  • As a coach the main thing is to run at a pace that is comfortable for you 30 minutes would be a good start, then increase pace slowly.

     I know people say cut down distance, but distance should not come into the equation  until such time you have a basic fitness.  Then do 5k and then do these while increasing distance slowly.

    I ran for 20 years and competed in so many marathons, 10k and road races this comes from experience, which started from 30 minutes  

  • Can you say hello if you pass someone whilst running, no, then slow down a bit, if yes, then just keep going steady.
    There is nothing wrong with going slow and steady as a novice runner.

  • there are quite a few experienced runners who go slow and steady too. image

  • Forget about time/pace and focus on just running the 5k. Once you can run it then its the time to look at your speed.  Check out your local parkrun, running in a group will help you no end. If you are apprehensive about doing that then check out the previous parkrun results on the website and you can see that others take some time to complete it. 


  • I think you should just forget about the pace andjust run comfortably for as long as you can, when you stop, see how far youve gone. next time you run try to run for a few minutes longer and slowly you'll see the distance increase and the times get quicker. Almost race yourself. when comfortable try to find a running buddy that can pull you along a bit. 

    Have you tried running at different times of day, you may be faster in the morning or try an energy snack before you run or warm up with a light jog walk before you actually do your run.

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