Best way to bridge to 10k?

I graduated from Couch to 5k just before new year and have now registered for a 10k race in October, so plenty of time to prepare. My normal running cadence is still slow - averaging around 145spm so I want to increase speed before I worry about the extra distance. I completed the 5k+ Speed podcast in a run on Thursday, which definitely felt faster than normal, but manageable in the short bursts.

This morning, I did my local ParkRun and followed some of the 5k+ Stepping Stones podcast. Having already warmed up, I jogged through the 5 minute warm-up walk and managed the 10 minutes run at 150spm and the first 5 minutes or so of the running at 155spm, but then found this too hard to keep up (let alone the increase to 160+ that comes after that), so put the track back to the start again, carried on jogging through the warm up walk and again managed the 10 minutes at 150spm and finished the run part-way through the 155spm.

I'm planning to keep up my three runs a week, having got into the habit doing Couch to 5k, but I'm not sure what to do - will probably make one of my runs the 5k+ Speed podcast, but don't know about the others as I don't feel ready for the Stepping Stones podcast yet, but don't want to keep plodding round at my current speed either.

Any thoughts?

6 Replies

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  • First of all, congratulations on graduating! I have not used any of the stepping stone podcasts myself, but lots on here speak highly of them. After I had graduated, I worked on consolidating 3x 5k runs a week before gradually extending one of them in to my weekly long run. I used the 10% rule, which suggests not increasing your long run by more than 10% of your previous weekly total. I found I had weeks where I didn't increase distance but repeated the previous weeks run. As for pace, you will find this increases naturally as you get stronger. I also found that including hills in my running really built up my strength and made me faster on the flat. Whatever route you choose, you have plenty of time to try different things and find what works for you. Good luck with the next stage of your running journey!☺

  • That's really helpful, thank you.

  • The stepping stones podcasts are highly spoken of by those who have used them, so that's definitely worth a go.

    Alternatively, just make your weekend run a bit longer every week.

    While you don't need to aim for 3 equally long runs like in c25k, you should be careful about making the longest run disproportionally longer than the other runs. It should be no more than max 50% of your weekly distance, and ideally less than that (so don't go running 3 + 3 + 10 km).

  • Thank you. Helpful advice.

  • Potdigger, the advice given is sound and will make sure you are keeping injury risk to a minimum. Mixing up your running is a great idea and just gradually increasing your long run will get you up to 10k in just a few weeks.

    I do have a query about Tomas' assertion that your long run should not exceed 50% of your weekly total. While I can see this helps you to be cautious, like the 10% Rule, I think it would be very restricting for most runners, and once your body is generally accustomed to running you should be able to take it in your stride. Following that logic, if you were going to run a marathon, then you would have have to run two half marathons the same week to keep to the formula.......not in any training plan I have seen.

    The main thing is to increase gently and enjoy it. Do not become a slave to a plan or target (unless you are that sort of personality) and you will soon be enjoying is my favourite distance, since it does not require any special attention to nutrition or hydration, beyond the normal.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • That's great, thanks!

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