Hit a wall!

Hi, I'm hoping someone here can give me some tips.... I have been training for about 6 weeks now for a 5k run, I've been using the couch to 5k app. For the past week I can't seem to get past a certain level, and not only that I now feel unable to break through and keep stopping sooner than I have in the past! It seems my confidence has been knocked and the frustration of it all is just making me quit earlier. I have two weeks left before I do this run and I'm so upset that I am so far off track, I've been sponsored a lot of money and if I had to walk it would feel like I've let everyone down.


  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭


    Where exactly have you got to?   I'm not sure which app you have, but in my plan, in week 5, there is a maximum continuous run of 5mins, then 8 mins.

    But in week 6, there's the really big jump up to 20 mins continuous run?  I'm guessing that it is this big step that has got you!  But whatever the situation, think if any of these might help, if you haven't tried already.

    • If possible, do the run with a friend - or better, with more than one friend - but you certainly can still achieve this running alone.
    • Choose a flat area. Try to avoid the heat of the day (perhaps you can forgive yourself from losing a bit of confidence if some of the recent hot/humid weather affected you)
    • Run slower than when you were running 5-8 minute stints. At this stage, it is the time running that counts, not the speed/distance.
    • If you've done 8 minutes successfully in the past, then before you set off, set the alarm on your phone to audibly ring after 8 minutes and again at 16 minutes.
    • Set off - with the target of completing 8 minutes. When the alarm rings, then mentally treat it as a new 8 minute run (which you know you can run)..  and keep going.  When the alarm rings again, you know you only have 4 minutes to go
    • Adjust the timings of alarms in a sensible way when you want to go further than 20 minutes

    The couch to 5K is divided into 9 weeks, but what people often don't notice is the instruction that 9 weeks is the "minimum" that the programme should take, and that you should repeat weeks if/when you have a struggle.

    I don't say this to be discouraging. Quite the reverse.  You should not be disheartened by being unable to follow the "ideal" progression.  It's common.

    But your 5k race isn't going to wait...  so try to get up to a continuous 25 minutes run - then for a few days before race day, don't do more than a 12 minute run, so you're fresh.

    You'll have to find something inside you to drive yourself on - but unless you have an injury, I'm sure you can find a way to do this - .  Good luck.

  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    That is very helpful advice Nose Nowt - the jump on week 5 scared me so I found another beginners programme to use from womens running and then joined couch to 5k when I had done the 20 minutes continuing running on the other programme - the sudden jump scared the pants off you.

    Good luck Hayley


  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    Katt.... I've worked with scores of people going through C25K - and everyone is scared to death by that week... but not one person has failed to achieve it. Not one.

    It is my favourite week, because the smiles, the surprise and sense of achievement that people have at the end, is an absolute picture.

  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    It's a fantastic programme but that week just scared me to death so I found a plan which was a little bit more gentle image so I could get my confidence and lungs working.   But I'm back on c25k now as I can run now for 20 minutes finally and signed up to health unlocked forum too.

    Looking back I should have just gone for it but I'd been seriously ill and the illness damaged my lungs so wanted something much more easier.  I must add I shed a tear when I hit the 20 minute mark of running and jumped up in the air!!! 

    I'm just about to start week 7 of C25K and cannot wait to get my graduation badge.  I got to the 20 minutes by just listening to some songs and ticking off the song by 4 minutes and it soon went past.  Cannot wait to complete week 7 bring it on.

    It's a great plan and walking and running is a fab method and a wonder.

    Go go go Hayley you can do it xxx and it feels fantastic x



  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Also don't be afraid to just repeat a week, once or twice if you need to.  You have the initial burst and then it does get harder, for some it comes earlier or later than others... Just keep plodding along, some weeks no matter how much you've been running are harder than others, it just happens, the fun of the c25k is that it doesn't really matter how you do it as long as you do it, so repeat a week and don't worry in the slightest.

  • Thank you. It's more psychological now I think, I used to run over 20 mins in the gym a few years ago. I can complete the 8 min run / 5 min walk / 8 min run, but it's increased to 10 min run / 5 min walk / 10 min run. This is where I'm stuck as it's not a huge jump!! I find I run the first ten minutes but after the walk can only manage a few minutes of running again. Each time I try it I'm worse because it's knocked my confidence.

    I'm hoping for good weather this weekend so I can do a few runs with my friend who is taking part in the color run with me. However, she's one of those annoying people who can run easily without training image
  • I did the same app and struggled at the same point. I think the hardest part is getting going again after the walk as I believe 5mins is too long to get started again. My advice is just skip straight to the daunting 20min run and keep going at a steady pace as long as you can. You dont have to run all of the 20mins just like you dont have to run all of the 5k.

    If you need to walk a bit just walk for a small distance say a couple of 100 yards at most and start running again.  You will find it easier to keep going this way and run for as much of the 20 mins as you can. This will improve each time I promise. I thought I would never get to 5k but you will if you keep persisting. 

    Dont be too hard on yourself - every minute run is a minute mor than you used too.

  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    I think you are right Newbie4 - I'm now struggling to get started with the long walks inbetween the C25k. 

    Currently, I cannot seem to get pass the 22 minute mark non stop running at the moment.   I'm have a quick walk then try and get going but any longer than a minute and my legs are turning to jelly and stiffing up.  My run on Sunday was suppose to be 25 minutes non stop running but had to stop at 20 minutes and have a quick walk and then do another 10 minutes as a walk/run section.

    How did you get on Hayley at the weekend?

  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    I managed to complete 25 minutes non stop running today - took your advice Nose Nowt and I set off just with my newly purchased garmin lol and my ipod and no fitness app telling me how far I was into my run.  I decided to do a new route so my brain wouldn't say ahhh this is the place you get tired/stitch. 

    Concentrated on the music and counted down the songs until I got to 25 minutes, it was a struggle as I was tired and my pace was 12.37 average a mile.  But who cares I completed it - wohoooo so chuffed.

    Hayley how you getting on?



  • Have you tried an out and back route from home to help?

    although not strictly C25K, if you measure a route online to say 2.5km or less out from home you can set yourself the goal of running most of the way. Walk to the turn around point and maybe some more of the return trip up to your allowed interval.

    if you know home is at the finish you will probably push on to the end of the next ten minute section. You will always know you're just a few minutes to go and it becomes easier to keep going

  • Hello,

    After my last post on Friday, I went out and completed the level I was stuck on, so that was great as I finally got over that bump in the road.

    On Saturday my friend took me on a route which was approx 2.5 miles but I started walking at around 1.5 ????

    Yesterday (tues) I managed to continuously run 2 miles in 20 mins. I ran home from where I was instead of just doing a loop. I think it helped and it didn't seem like such a drag.

    I am planning to do the same tomorrow, twice. Then I really need to increase my distance!

    Not sure I have much time left, but the 16th will be arrive whether I'm ready or not!!
  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    Well done Hayley that sounds fab xxx  the colour run should be great fun.  I'm pleased your over the bump.  Although I am not sure that I will be completing 5k in the 30 minutes they say in C25K image

  • when I first started I was over 40m I remember being happy getting sub 40 then sub 35 etc... Last time I did a fast 5k was a year ago, 26:34 but haven't tried a fast one at all this year but done a few 28m runs in training. 

  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    Thanks Booktrunk and that is good to know - still only running for 25 minutes but hopefully to try and go for week 7 28 minutes this week.  My problem is pacing - I worry that if I go off a little faster I might run out of steam.


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