Running 5K X 3 times a week, shall I progress?

Running 5K X 3 times a week, shall I progress?

Graduated from C25K 6 weeks ago and went straight on to Zenlabs 10K programme but within a week, I knew my legs just we're not ready, so went back to 3 X 30 minute runs per week, now doing 3 X 5K including parkrun. Still find the distance reasonably challenging and only run at between 7-8 min per Km. how will I know when I could add some distance safely and do u recommend a programme or just an increase in run time and distance?

14 Replies

  • JoolieB1 I feel your conflicted on this issue. I read your post last week. I know how it feels just after graduation. It's always your own personal journey. One of the best things to learn about running is how to listen to the inner most runner in you. I wish I had learnt that earlier on it would of saved me a lot of time beating myself up and feeling bad that this way or that way of going forward wasn't working for me. If I was to do it again knowing what I know about me now I would add in 0.5km and stay at that distance until I felt comfortable then increase again as the increases in the training plans where a bit too much for me to to start off with and I was always more comfortable giving myself double the time to get up used to the distance. I now wait until I feel relaxed after the run and then I know that's the time to move up. Like you said it's very easy to feel pressurised to increase distance before your ready but it's your body and only you will know when it's right. Running is at its best when your having fun so if it's turning the other way any time shake it up and go for a fun run, structure is good if you need it but some of us like to be a rebel and that's ok too. Happy running whichever you decide.

  • Thank you for your thoughts. I want to do parkrun on Saturdays, so maybe on Monday do 5K and try on Wednesday to add 5 Km and see how that goes. I still find 5K challenging to do, not painful but a slog. I breathe well, have a steady pace too so I will try a small increase once a week, choosing a soft and flat surface - the playing field is ideal for that. Seems to be sensible to try as I recover very quickly from running (feel like I could go again now, just talking about it)!

  • This sounds like really good advice Rfc. I am looking at plans to bridge to 10k but know I am a huge believer in listening to your body. Think I will be adding 0.5k at a time, on to one run a week with increments when I feel ready to extend.

  • Good idea, I wouldn't have thought about going slower on the longer run but that is something that will help a lot. Thanks. Julie

  • I would agree - just increase the distance slowly. It can be hard to get a balance between waiting to be comfortable and not pushing yourself - that's where the 10% rule comes in I suppose.

  • I totally agree, it is hard to know because I guess 5K is never going to feel easy. The 10% rule is a good one to remember. I went from 30 mins X 3 on C25K to 40 mins X 3 at week 9 on the C210K so no wonder it didn't work. Might even repeat the C25K in the New Year, might be ready for it then. Julie

  • I was doing 3*5k a week but mixing it up with faster/slower runs etc, but I really wanted to extend to 10k. When I was on holiday I got the forrest gump moment when everything comes together and you feel like you can run forever. I took advantage of it and ran 8k, then a few days later completed 10k. The key is to find a pace, mine is around 7min/km, that you can keep up for a long time. When you can do a 5k and chat all the way round for instance.

    Don't do it in two runs though, that was asking for trouble.

  • I am nice and slow between 7 and 8 minutes per kilometre, so I could chat all the way round! However, my brain sometimes suggests I could stop or asks why am I doing this? My legs are good most of the time, just odd aches or stiffness in the knees. I think I will try a small increase at a slow pace.

  • A mistake that I made was assuming that, once I could run 5km, then all my runs needed to longer than this, and that all my longer runs needed to be at 5km pace. I got myself on the injury couch pretty quickly.

    If you are running 3 times per week, you could have this sort of schedule:

    1 x 5km run at a comfortable pace

    1 x longer run - increase by 0.5km per week until you're running 10km (OK, we all cheat at some point and go from 8km to 10km but you'll know when you are ready). The pace of this run can be as slow as you like.

    1 x shorter, recovery run. 3km, at a slowish pace. If you get bored, re-run C25k W1 alternating jogging and running instead of walking and running to do some intervals.

    Running a longer distance, slowly, will help you improve your 5km time.

  • Thank you, I think that is an excellent idea

  • Also -- please please forget about needing to run non-stop all the time. To be able to run for 10klms, you will need to be on your feet for sometime up to 1hour 30 minutes. At first, it doesn't matter at all HOW you spend that time - for example can you walk for 90 minutes?? if so, can you run/walk for 90 minutes? If so, can you run non-stop for 90 minutes. So - your "job" now is to somehow or other (depending on your level of fitness, which involves leg muscles/tendons strength as much or maybe more than cardiavascular) slowly get yourself able to traverse across 10 Klms. You can start to do this the hardest way - by going straight into an attempt to do it running non-stop - or more easily by doing it by walking or run/walking first.

    There is no hurry.:)

  • I feel walking is a fail since doing c25k but that's very interesting, will give it some thought, thank u! 😊

  • I was at the point where 5k was my default run, so started to add a bit of distance once a week. I'd got up to 8k and was finding that okay. I suddenly decided one day that I was going to have a go at a 10k. There's a trail near me that very conveniently has a bus up to a point 10k away and ends up 5 minutes' walk from my house, and the 5k near home is my standard so it was very familiar territory. I reasoned that I could walk bits if I wanted to. As it happened, I ran the first 5k and then I knew I could do the second 5k anyway and knew every landmark so it felt easy, I took it gently and I managed it in 1hr and 11 mins. Sorry - a ramble, but my point is, build up a bit, then have a go but take it slower and be prepared to walk a bit if your legs are tired. Once you've done it for the satisfaction and the confidence, you can then go back a bit and build up again to a regular schedule, using intervals and longer slower runs. Have fun!

  • I hate running round and round a track so I will start to think about some bigger spaces where I could extend myself a little

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