Is failure inevitable? (C25k)

(20 Posts)
Igggi Sat 26-Jul-14 20:16:46

Hello,
Have just completed week two of couch to 5k - moving at a very slow pace, almost stopping, but got it done! Actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, am very overweight and have had lower back pain when exercising in the past (had physio for this). Although bits of me feel uncomfortable/ sore when running, it goes away after and I've no discomfort between sessions.

Anyway, have started googling stuff about running and feeling really discouraged - lots of people seem to drop out of c25k after week 4, running can lead to all sorts of injuries, there is lots of (contradictory) talk about which part of the foot to land with, running on pavements (what I do) seems guaranteed to cause injury, and I'm just generally getting very worried that this is doomed to fail...

Can anyone tell me if the picture is really as bleak as this? I don't want to enter marathons, I'd just love a quick way to exercise that makes me feel good and gets me out in the open air - small dcs and very little time to myself so running straight from my front door seemed perfect.

Sorry for the essay thanks advice greatly appreciated

ThursdayLast Sat 26-Jul-14 20:21:35

No no no no no no!

Step away from the google!

C25K is the PERFECT way to prevent running injuries as you build up slowly and carefully.
I didn't do that exact programme, but something similar over two years ago now. My knee, which I had damaged as a young teen, is so much stronger now. The muscles around it and stronger and more stable, and my weight is inevitably less.

Of course everyone gets niggles and some injuries- that's just part and parcel of exercising. Bit don't let something that hasn't happened yet bring you down.
You're doing so well! In this heat!

JennyOnTheBlocks Sat 26-Jul-14 20:27:13

What all the blurb about c25k forgets to tell you is how important properly fitted running shoes are.

It's well worth going to a specialist running shop and having a gait analysis done. They will video your footfall, strike and ankle movements and offer you shoes to support and help you run more efficiently and advise you on how to minimise the risk of injury.

Asleeponasunbeam Sat 26-Jul-14 20:28:34

I feel exactly the same as Thursday. I used c25k last year and am now training for a HM in October. I used to be plagued by injury in other sports and had a recurring knee problem from an injury as a teenager - my knee used to collapse without provocation. I haven't had a niggle while running really. A bit of tendonitis once, and some hip pain that was just muscles working hard. I am so much stronger than ever before.

thenightsky Sat 26-Jul-14 20:36:01

Running cured my dodgy knees. However, everyone who runs get injuries from time to time. I'm a member of a respectable running club and we have 10 to 20% of people off with some niggle or injury on any given club night. Don't give up, it sounds like you are doing great so far smile

museumum Sat 26-Jul-14 20:43:47

I've done c25k a few times.
First when I'd never run before in 1999 then I ran a 5k event then stopped running. Then again a few years later I did the same, then in about 2005 I did it and then ran consistently including a load if 10k races and half marathons till I got pregnant in 2013. I then did c25k again starting about six weeks after my son was born. It's great.

Have you got a park run near you? www.parkrun.org.uk/events/events/

If you do then take part the week you finish c25k and then try to commit to at least one a month to keep you going.

Igggi Sat 26-Jul-14 20:58:35

Oh thank you I feel more positive already!
Jenny I have so far bought some off-the-peg running shoes with the promise that if I continue with the running I'll go for something better. My gait at the moment isn't natural, as I keep thinking about whether I'm landing on heel etc.
Museumum I had never heard of park runs - and I see there is a weekly one four miles from where I live! (Was kind if hoping I could say there weren't any near me!)

Right will keep going, keep taking my time and not predict injuries that haven't happened yet.
Will try not to read about people running barefoot and only on grass etc. I've actually been enjoying exploring the neighbourhood

Igggi Sat 26-Jul-14 20:59:16

Sorry, exploring neighbourhood on my runs and seeing streets I would normally just drive past.
Thanks again

Dirtymistress Sat 26-Jul-14 21:03:13

I have been a runner for 5 years, through two pregnancies and raising two non-sleeping little boys. I run at least four times a week without fail. No serious injury issues. It is the only thing that keeps me sanegrin

JennyOnTheBlocks Sat 26-Jul-14 21:10:57

you don't need to adjust your gait unless you take up barefoot running or start running as a profession, relax and you will find your natural balance and gait.

it's just quite dangerous to ignore minor niggles that could (note could) be corrected with some expertly fitted shoes.

EauRouge Sun 27-Jul-14 08:04:10

Running doesn't cause injuries, being a twat and overdoing it causes injuries (exhibit A: me). Build up slowly and you'll be fine.

C25k is totally doable. Maybe people drop out because they find they just don't like running. Some people find it boring or just prefer to do something else. If you love it then there's no reason why you can't finish it and maybe sign up for some 5k or 10k races.

My tips:

Take it slow. This is where a lot of people cock up, especially if they're dropping out at week 4, before the 20 min week 5 run. If you can just about keep up a conversation then you're going the right speed.

Work on your core strength. It's not just for serious runners!

Don't overthink your running style. There are endless articles about the 'right' way to do it. If it's comfy and not injuring you then it's fine. There's a guy at my local parkrun that's got the weirdest running style, he always looks like he's about to fall over but he always finishes in the top 5.

Get decent shoes that suit your feet. You'll be covering a lot of miles even if you only do 5k a few times a week. So you need decent shoes to prevent knackered feet and knees.

Good luck and enjoy the rest of it!

karatekimmi Sun 27-Jul-14 08:10:24

Also you don't need to do the c25k program in 8 weeks, you can always repeat a week, if you feel it was hard, just don't give up!! Come over to the running chat thread, we are very friendly grin

LingDiLong Sun 27-Jul-14 08:14:07

Agree with everyone who has posted so far! My husband started running 2 years ago at the age of 44 and at 3 stone over weight. He completed his first marathon this year in under 4 hours. He hasn't suffered any injuries either! Definitely build up slowly and wear decent trainers. Also find out if there's a running club near you, my local ones offer complete beginner sessions. You'll get lots of great advice and encouragement there. I started c25k at the beginning of the year and am aiming to do a 10k in September. No injuries so far <crosses fingers>

Purplewithred Sun 27-Jul-14 08:16:43

Get your gait analysed and invest in some decent shoes and keep going. If you want to read stuff read running like a girl. Also maybe download map my run. Both good amusement value without any of putting bits.

LingDiLong Sun 27-Jul-14 08:22:33

Oh and if you think failure is inevitable it will be!

Jumblebee Sun 27-Jul-14 08:26:22

Absolutely not! It doesn't matter if it takes you 6 weeks or 6 months, you are doing it and you are progressing!

I'm a big believer in C25K, I went from not being able to run a minute without being so out of breathe to being able to run 45 minutes no problem. The difference in my fitness levels was amazing. And it took me a lot longer than 6 weeks to get to the 30 minute stage.

It doesn't matter if you have to repeat each week 2 or 3 times, you WILL do it!

Igggi Sun 27-Jul-14 16:31:09

Thank you all so much, I did wonder if anyone would reply so very pleased to see all these messages - and realising now some of the stuff I've seen on the internet must be worst case scenario stuff smile
Several posters mention repeating some of the weeks - should I do that if I think I'm not fast enough, or just if I literally can't complete the runs? I'm quite liking ticking off the sessions on my app so would rather keep going through the weeks if possible. Today is a non-run day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow already! (Glutton for punishment!)

EauRouge Sun 27-Jul-14 16:51:29

Don't worry about speed! There's no minimum speed you need to do. I know it says couch to 5k and the final session is 30 mins but barely anyone manages 5k in 30 mins the first time. It took me a good few months to do a sub-30 min 5k.

If you need to stop and walk then you can repeat weeks if you want. Or if you just want to make sure you can really do it before you move on to the next week.

DramaAlpaca Sun 27-Jul-14 17:08:29

Agree with others you shouldn't worry about speed. The important thing is to go at a speed that allows you to complete all the running sections in that day's run. It doesn't matter if it is not much more than a slow jog. Your aim at this stage is to build up stamina. Speed can come later when you've completed the programme. You graduate C25K when you can run for 30 minutes without stopping, not when you can do 5K in 30 minutes.

If you feel you need to repeat a week, do so - but the programme is designed so that you build up gradually and you tend to find you can do more than you think you can. If you can't complete a particular run, just do it again next time, more slowly this time. I found that sometimes I needed to leave an extra day between runs. I just listened to what my body was telling me. The important thing for me was stretching well after each run.

I made it through C25K without any injuries and felt an amazing sense of achievement because I started from such a low base - unfit & overweight. To be able to run for 30 minutes, albeit slowly, is wonderful. I have lost weight, toned up, my sore knees have improved and it lifts my mood. Win-win all round, really smile

Also agree with others to get your gait checked. In my case I went to a physio who has a special interest in foot problems. He advised me to get a basic pair of neutral running shoes and prescribed custom made orthotic insoles for me. I'm sure this has helped prevent injury.

It sounds like you are really enjoying it, which is great.

One more thing - sorry about the essay! If you haven't already come across it, take a look at the Health Unlocked C25K forum. It's a great support group for runners working their way through C25K. I found it a really good source of help & support when I was doing it last year.

museumum Sun 27-Jul-14 18:56:32

You might need to repeat a week if you get a cold and miss a run or two. Otherwise just keep going. It's a very well designed and achievable programme.

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