I started treadmill running a couple of years ago using a Couch to 5K app on my phone. As a beginning runner, I found the app very useful and motivating. Although I'm not really sure how I did it, I plowed through the eight weeks and somehow made it to the "5K" level. Unfortunately, life happened and I could not maintain that level of running for very long. I think I pushed myself too quickly to achieve the 5K goal without truly improving my level of fitness.
Since then, I've started back at the beginning of the C25K program a few times, trying to work my way back to that level. But I've continued to struggle for one reason or another: I hurt my eye, I hurt my foot, my side aches, I'm too tired...excuse of the week, I guess.
I finally decided that before moving on to a new level, I needed to spend enough time at the current level to truly master it. If that meant repeating a day multiple times, that's what I've been doing. I might repeat Week 6, Day 3 for several days until it becomes easy and I don't think about the time elapsed or the time remaining on that particular run. When I get to the end of a run and am still feeling great, then I know it's time to move on to the next level.
So I've plodded through the C25K program at what must surely be the slowest pace ever (good thing this is not a race...ha!) but this time when I reach the 5K level, I want to be able to maintain it. I want to be able to go to the gym, hop on the treadmill and run 3 miles comfortably (well, maybe "comfortably" is not the right word). At this very slow rate, I should be there in a couple of years! Actually, I hope to be there for good in a couple of weeks. Slow and steady wins this "race"!