couch to 5k plateau

I had my second run of Week 4 today. Contrary to what should be happening, things are getting harder, not easier. I find myself just barely getting through each workout, sheer exhaustion afterwards, with only an even more difficult workout the next time to look forward to.

I think the terminology “couch to 5k” is a little bit misleading. The first couple of weeks were pretty easy, I felt like the program was easing me into a more active lifestyle, but then all of a sudden, things jumped up big time. I went from running 1.5 minute and 3 minute intervals with lots of walking to running 3 and 5 minute intervals with virtually no recovery walking time. Next week, I’ll have to run 20 minutes straight. Whoa, slow down there. I think I need more time!

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider quitting around the halfway mark of each workout. And I don’t mean quitting that workout on that particular day…I mean quitting the program entirely. I get tired, physically exhausted, cranky, and the voice in my head starts preparing for failure–even encouraging it! I keep telling myself I’m just not a runner. I’m just not cut out for this.

It’s not unlike a Nic Cage movie.

Most of the time, things are okay. But some of the time, things are so awful, you can’t freakin’ believe it.

I think I’ve gone from the “everything’s fine” stage to the “when things really, really bad” stage. The second half of the program, weeks 5-9, are a threat level so severe that you should hope and pray you never in your lifetime have to experience it.

I’m talking, of course, of the Nic Cage terror alert system!

In all honesty, the one good thing is that I am committed to finishing this program just because that’s the kind of person I am. As much as I may want to quit, I won’t. I never quit anything I set my mind to, which is one of the pieces of my personality that I actually like about myself. So here’s to you, couch to 5k, you wretched, soul-sucking wench. I will conquer you. But I may never run again after I do.

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3 thoughts on “couch to 5k plateau

  1. kateb77 says:

    I just wanted to add something here.. I started following the ‘Run your butt off’ book and it had the same kind if increase in running v intervals each week. I started beating myself up about not being able to keep going at those intervals.. until I decided that it was more important to just do what I could. I started just running until I wanted to take a recovery walk and then run when I felt ready again. Once I started watching the clock and counting each minute, it actually became easier and I found I was running further that I was supposed to during each interval. I was just pleased that I kept at it and that I could complete 5K that way.. so don’t let yourself feel angry about it while you’re out there. Just do what you can, and be proud of yourself that you are indeed out there! 🙂

    • kateb77 says:

      So many typos in that last post.. haha.. once I STOPPED watching the clock and counting each minute, it became easier.

      • Ahh, I know you’re right. It’s really hard to not stare at the clock though when I’ve done all my running so far on the treadmill. If I were outside, I could probably let my mind wander and lose track of the distance and time…but when it’s right there in front of me in red, I can’t help it. And obviously, obsessing over it doesn’t help the time go by…life is rough! 🙂

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