Mom to 5K #5: How to Not Quit

Couch to 5K week 5

Mom to 5K: Week 5

With week four done we are halfway there! Can you believe it?  And we’re running somewhere between 2.5 and 3k at the moment. Not bad, eh?  Apparently week 5 is where people start to flag and the sweat really starts to hit the fan. Things are about to get tougher. The final run of week 5 is a run of twenty straight minutes! To be honest, I can’t even envisage it. For a brief, hopeful minute I thought there may have been some sort of glitch in the app but alas,  no.  It sounds a bit ambitious but imagine how we’re going to feel when we’ve done it!

So, because this is where things get properly tough, I thought it was the perfect time to draft in some expert advice to help us avoid the common pitfalls and prevent us from throwing in the sweaty towel. Running coach and marathon queen, Laura Fountain from lazygirlrunning.com will help us to keep going with advice on how to not quit! 

Week 4 in Review 

  1. Yup, definitely harder than week 3. Sh*t’s getting real!
  2. After Monday’s run, I felt like face-planting on the wet footpath the instant I was told to begin my cool-down but I didn’t have the same dramatic response on the subsequent two runs which is saying something.
  3. Weirdly, the first stint of five minutes was harder than the second.
  4. I’m finding that I’m way less out of puff now than I was in the first couple of weeks and it’s more likely that my legs will let me down than anything else. Am feeling the burn – that bona fide fitness types talk about so much – at the back of my lower legs from about halfway through each run until the end. Better stretching required, perhaps?
  5. I know that I can’t give up now and undo what I’ve done so onward I’ll go!

THE WEEK AHEAD

Read it but don’t weep. Get psyched! Twenty minutes? No problem!

Couch to 5K Week 5


COUCH to 5K – HOW TO KEEP GOING…    

       with Laura Fountain – lazygirlrunning.com

Couch to 5K Week 5

This week’s guest poster is Laura Fountain, a UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness and a Personal Trainer. She’s also a freelance journalist specialising in women’s health. She writes a column for Men’s Running magazine and her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, Glamour and In Style, among others.

Laura has also published two books; The Lazy Runner and Tricurious. She has been helping beginner runners to take their first steps and go on to great things for years. She helps people of all levels achieve their goals through online coaching, running groups and bespoke training plans via her coaching website, Lazy Girl Running.  She also has a popular running blog and a podcast – both well worth checking out!

The crux of the thing for Laura is the importance of enjoying what you’re doing. We need to embrace the positives and the benefits.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to run – whether it’s to lose weight, get fitter or de-stress – learning to enjoy running is key. If you enjoy something you’re more likely to keep doing it. And we all need more things in our lives that we enjoy and that make us feel good.  

Former couch potato and self-confessed lazy girl, Laura is well aware of the temptation to give in and turn on your sore, burning heels in the direction of home. She’s sharing some words of wisdom and experience that will help us over the midway hump and keep us on the roads until we’ve completed this thing.

Couch to 5K Week 5

 1. Don’t Underestimate what you’ve achieved so far. 

Running is hard, particularly in those first weeks of going from 0 to 5k. I’ve run 16 marathons and two ultra marathons and I honestly don’t think any of it has been as challenging as getting off the couch and training to run those first few miles. If you’re finding it hard, don’t be put off by thinking it’s just you that finds running difficult. It will get easier – it will take time, but it will happen. The worst is behind you!

 2. Don’t be afraid to Walk.

If you’re following a 0-5k plan, your walking breaks will already be built in. But some runners still see walking as quitting. This isn’t true. Having a one or two minute walk break will allow you to run further in total during your session than if you ran as far as you can and then went home. You’re working to build up the total distance you’re covering and those walking breaks are important. And in a few weeks’ time you’ll be running further than you think.

 3. Don’t Worry about your Speed. 

My runners train towards a 5k parkrun, and all of them worry that they’re going to come last. Nobody wants to come last – I get that. But I’ve been last in swim and bike races and, actually, it’s not as bad as you think. If you start to worry about your speed, whether you’re too slow or going to be the last person in a race, you’re going to run too fast. And if you run too fast, you’re not going to enjoy it. So until you’ve got that first 5k under your belt, don’t worry about speed and give yourself permission to go as slowly as you need to.

4Don’t Overthink it! 

A lot of my runners as me how they should breathe and how they should run – is forefoot or midfoot or heel striking best? Try not to overthink things like this in the first few months. Your body is really quite intelligent and knows what it’s doing. If you’re finding it difficult to breathe then this is more than likely a sign that you need to slow down rather than that you’re doing it wrong. And the best way to run right now is whichever feels most natural to you.

5Don’t be Shy! Join a Running Group.  

Joining a beginners’ group is a great way to get extra support and motivation ,especially if enthusiasm is beginning to wane.  My runners are always telling me how much easier they find it running in a group compared to when they’re running by themselves. So don’t be shy, find a group near you and see if you can join them. You’ll motivate one another easily.


Check out Lazy Girl Running and Laura’s blog and podcast for all sorts of additional helpful tips and inspiration. She’s a straight-shooter with oodles of experience under her belt and definitely a lady worth keeping up with if this running business is your thing. You’ll also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Do you feel like giving up? I get it. I really do! Share your challenges in the comments below and stop back here or visit my Facebook page during the week to let us know if you’ve battled through week five and emerged victorious! You’ll also find me either gloating or complaining on Instagram Stories.

If you’re a blogger or someone with an interest or background in fitness and you’d like to contribute to the series, get in touch via email. You’ll find me at shinnersandthebrood@gmail.com. 

Did you miss the other posts in the series? Find them here:

My Petit CanardPink Pear BearMy Random Musings3 Little ButtonsMummascribblesReflections From MeCuddle FairyMummuddlingthroughDiary of an imperfect mumDear Bear and BeanyYou Baby Me MummyethannevelynThe PramshedKeep Calm and Carry On Linking SundayPost Comment Lovez

Halfway through the Couch to 5K programme and feel like quitting? Here's how to push past the midway slump in week 5 and stick at it until the very end...

36 comments on “Mom to 5K #5: How to Not Quit

  1. What a great post! I’ve been trying to talk myself back into going for a run since I hurt my foot on my 2nd ever parkrun about 3 months ago. I think once this cold has buggered off I’m going to try a couch to 5k – hopefully that’ll be gentle enough to get me back into it! I’ll bookmark your story – I have a feeling it’s going to keep me going! #dreamteam

    1. Oh no! That’s horrid to be just starting out doing the parkrun and to get injured. No fair! Hope you find the series helpful! Let me know how you get on and good luck!

    1. Once you stop at all it’s so hard to get back into it, isn’t it? I’ve tried so many times – this time I’ll make it to the end properly! Thanks for reading.

  2. “If you enjoy something you’re more likely to keep doing it. And we all need more things in our lives that we enjoy and that make us feel good.”

    Best quote!! This can be applied to literally everything! Keep being positive and you can power through this week! good luck! #bigpinklink

  3. This is fab!! I was nodding away at all the tips!! I think not being afraid to walk, and not worrying about time, are really crucial tips to keeping going! I love the motivation and inspiration here-come on, you’ve got this! I did chuckle that you were hoping being asked to do 20 minutes straight, was a glitch in the app…! I always want to faceplant the floor at the end of my workouts too, but usually muster some kind of dignity from somewhere…!
    #bigpinklink
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…#ReclaimYourMattress

  4. I’m reading this and thinking of running for something other than the bus. This is amazing considering how much I hate exercise. Good luck!

  5. Really great going!

    Having that goal and timetable will keep you focussed I’m sure.

    Think I need to sign up for something as been doing twice weekly exercises classes since January but too easy to let that slip! Just had a week off because I felt tired!!

    1. I think we all have those weeks though! This week isn’t going well for me at all. But sure there’s always next week, eh!

  6. Ah some great tips here. I too worry about my speed as I’ve always been slow. I so want to get into running again now! I need to get some new trainers and make sure my special insoles fit in them though so I do’t get injured again. Now the weather is getting nicer I have the urge to run so I need to get on it soon! xx #TwinklyTuesday
    Susie at This is me now recently posted…What I’ve learned this week #20

  7. This is great and well done you for doing this. This was me two years ago. I can remember looking at the upcoming training sessions thinking ‘really?!’ but I did it. And you will too. When you run that 5k non stop there is no feeling like it. I can’t wait to watch your progress in the final stretch! Lots of luck, but you won’t need it 🙂 Thanks for linking up this week #TriumphantTales
    Jaki Jelley recently posted…Online Hacks That Will Change Your Life

    1. Thanks Annette. I seem to be constantly linking up my running posts with DreamTeam because I post them on a Monday. Hope I’m not a running bore! lol

  8. I really want to take up the couch to 5 k challenge but I’m pretty useless at running haha, hopefully keeping up with your updates will inspire me to put on the running shoes 🙂
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    Amie recently posted…Amelia’s 2 Year Update

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