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Hiya, I'm on week 4 of couch to 5k and am really struggling (though I have on each week but did each week twice until I find it bearable). I really need something to focus on or concentrate on other than wishing my i-phone tells me to walk, as that's all I seem to be focusing on!! Unfortunately I stopped before I should several times then beat myself up about it all day!
Any advice greatly recieved!!
Depending on your goals, I would either change the following:
- Change your music or begin listen to music to help you through the run
- Set mini goals - From here to the light, or to the end of the street
- slow down - you may be running too fast for your duration/distance. By slowing down you'll find that you'll have the energy to finish
- run with a partner or a group
- Use mapmyrun - and map out a new running route - a change of scenery can do wonders for your run.
These are my tricks that I use to get through my runs and I'm sure others will have thier own.
Do you listen to music while running? That sooo helps me get through my run. If I'm not listening to my mp3, I usually focus on my plans for the day or the week. This is helpful because it takes your mind off running.
"To handle yourself use your head-To handle others use your heart"
If it's raining, I run on my treadmill inside and watch a movie or Korean drama online (so addicting!). I particularly like tear-jerkers, so I'll often be running with tears streaming down my face. LOL.
Otherwise, it'm my "running" playlist that I shuffle so I don't get bored. Here's what I have now. Still adding to it.
Free Bird -Lynyrd Skynerd
Viva La Vida - Coldplay
Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix
Game of Love - Santana/Michelle Branch
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi
The Scientist - Coldplay
Good Times Edie Brickell
Four Sticks - Led Zeppelin
Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin
When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
Life in Technicolor - Coldplay
Who Knows - Jimi Hendrix
Funk #49 - James Gang
Layla - Eric Clapton
While You See a Chance - Steve Winwood
Funk #48 - James Gang
I'm a Man - Chicago
. . . as surely as spring follows winter, nothing ever ends; after achieving your objective, you must start again, always using everything you have learned on the way. - Paulo Coelho, The Way of the Bow
Started C25K Jan. 19, 2010 - Graduated April 14, 2010
If I didn't have so far to go, the journey would end too soon.
First of all congratulations - You are doing it - you are reaching out when you need to and looking for more options........competitiveness is my main motivator! I have never listened to music while running and I love music however I love the rush of the outdoors around me and the rythym of my own feet is addicting personally! I find myself looking ahead and finding goals helpful like the previous reply and I also do really hard math problems in my head (I hate math but I love a good challenge to keep me mentally occupied) Try it.......maybe it'll be just enough to get you over that voice in your head that says, "just stop for a second please" - Good Luck and keep up the good work!!
Addicted to Fresh Air & Adrenaline - Angela K.
I agree that you're probably struggling because you're going too fast. Becoming a runner is not about running as hard as you can. That's why every thought is focused on how much it hurts. But don't feel bad; lots of us made the same mistake as beginners; it's kind of a natural thing to do.
Try this: Give yourself permission to run only about 2/3 as fast as you've been trying to run. Or even half as fast, if you want. It doesn't mean you're not working hard enough. You can't build endurance at maximum effort level. Once you realize, Hey, this isn't so hard!, then your thoughts won't be constantly focused on how many more seconds you have to run before you can stop. Your mind will be free to notice your surroundings or to appreciate how great it is to be working toward a goal. When it feels too easy, then you know you're ready to pick up the pace a little. Gradual progress is key!
Great job, and don't beat yourself up! You'll be just fine.
Thank you so much guys for taking the time to reply, I did the run this morning, slower with my running partner with no snow or rain and didn't give in , feel soooo proud of myself and am determined to do it, so thanks for all your advice!!!
Honestly, I kind of zone out. I pick a place to stare and kind of veg-out. Also, when things are getting hard, I keep saying to myself "mind of matter, mind over matter...". Good luck!
When I started the C25K program I felt the same way. It felt like such a huge chore! I had tried to complete a 5K program before and failed twice. Last year I succeeded and the difference for me was having a running buddy I felt accountable to and who helped keep me going. Many a day I whined "I can't run 5 minutes" or "I can't possibly run 8 minutes!!", but each time I did what the schedule told me to do that day. Getting past the point of running an entire mile was such a psychological boost! I did so much better mentally once I wasn't timing myself anymore - when I was running a distance, not for a certain number of minutes - something about watching the clock made me focus on when I could quit running. It won't always feel like it does now - why would so many people run if it did? You can do this!!! When I started the program I was just eight weeks away from my 52nd birthday - that first 5K was the best birthday present!!
C25K completion - July 2009
2/12/11 - 10K - 1:09:34
4/30/11 - 5K - 33:22
5/7/11 - 5K - 35:24
7/30/11 - 5K - 31:43
10/22/11 - 8K - 51:55 (very hilly!)
10/29/11 - 5K - 25:20
6/2/2012 - half marathon - 2:20:15
First of all, don't beat yourself up because you stopped to walk before you were "supposed" to. You need to do this at your own pace and if you need to walk, you need to walk.
I have never done C25K myself, but from what I know about it my opinion is that it is impossible for any program to be One Size Fits All. The premise of the program - walking with running intervals that gradually increase until you are running 30 minutes - is a great way to begin running. But that doesn't mean that every single person who does it is going to progress at the same rate. When they say "Couch" to 5K, that really covers a lot of different abilities. "Couch" to one person might mean they have been completely sedentary and smoking a pack a day for 30 years. For someone else "Couch" may mean they are generally healthy and active but just don't have a regular exercise program. You need to allow for your own personal fitness level without beating yourself up because you ran a few minutes less than the program calls for on a particular day.
From your post it sounds like you aren't finding the workouts enjoyable. That won't do!
Keep in mind that this is (hopefully) the beginning of a whole new lifestyle. C25K isn't an end in itself but a starting off point for a lifetime of running. If you don't like it right now, where you're at, it is time to regroup. Beating yourself up at this early stage in the game is just setting yourself up for discouragement and will almost guarantee that you won't stick with running. You start to see running as "hard" and just count the minutes until you can stop. Why don't you think of the running intervals as your moments of being a super hero - you are RUNNING! Wow! If its only 5 minutes then run 5 minutes and enjoy every minute of it. Forget listening to the Ipod telling you when to walk. If you have made it to Week 4 - repeating weeks along the way - then you know the general idea of how this works. Now you can listen to your body and trust yourself. I am not dissing C25K, but I am suggesting that you can give yourself "permission" to do it your way and find your bliss.
As far as focus - focus on what makes you feel good when you're running (whether its 5 minutes or 50 minutes). Your legs are pumping, you're breathing deeply, you feel strong and free! You are going to run to that tree down the block and it is getting closer and closer! That boyfriend who dumped you high school should see you now! (Whatever works for you) Then when you do stop and walk, take a deep breath and revel in your accomplishment - no beating yourself up. Gradually you will run longer and walk less if you just do it in your own good time and OWN your workout. Make it work FOR you, not AGAINST you.
Sorry for such a long post, but I really wanted to give you some encouragement so you will go out next time with a fresh attitude and learn to love where you're at.
I love this post (Marykb) and it's right on. No one will want to go out and do something they don't enjoy doing. If you find the work to be torture, then you will dread doing the work. Much like 'work'. If you can find an activity that gets you moving and enjoy, then you are more likely to do that exercise than you are to do something that you can't get through.