Slow and steady: I Graduated c25k a few weeks... - Bridge to 10K

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Slow and steady


I Graduated c25k a few weeks ago and am now working on The One Hour Runner program. The first 3 weeks of this plan are "consolidation:" running 30 minutes, 3 times/ week. Well, I'm on Week2 and you'd think that 30 minutes would be a piece of cake by now, or that my distance would be inching up. But, no. My distance remains 3.5km in 30 minutes, and I have yet to find any of these runs, "easy." I'm not complaining; I know my body grows healthier and stronger with each run, and I am grateful for a body that is able to move. I am just noting the space between my expectations ("this will become comfortable and easy, quickly!") and my reality ("my middle aged flesh is grumping every step of this journey!").

Maybe by admitting how tough I find it, I am helping some others here who wonder if they're the only ones who don't yet feel like natural runners. Sometimes it feels as tho' everyone else posting here takes to running like ducks to water...

17 Replies

Hi Henriette... Having graduated C25k in April last year I sympathize. I have been trying to keep up with my running. 5K in half an hour still eludes me though I am managing 5k parkruns in about 35mins.... but bit of a killer! I'm doing the Sami Murphy 10k program and finding it quite hard... whats the The One Hour Runner??

I THINK my times are coming down and my distances going up... I am sort of starting to say to people that I run rather than making a joke of my efforts. I think the key is to look back sometimes at how far we have come... I know I am a lot fitter as I approach 52 than I was at 42!

Happy running

Yes, it's been eye-opening for me to see how difficult it is to switch from mocking myself for "trying to run" to forcing myself to acknowledge that I am, now, a runner. Self-deprecation comes too easy...


This is probably the biggest reason I like to use a heart rate monitor. My body doesn't know anything about distance or pace. It only knows how hard my heart is working and how long it has been working for. So today for example - I had a 30 minute treadmill run planned , not exceeding 140 beats of my heart per minute. So I worked up to that number over the first 5-10 minutes by adjusting the speed dial and elevation dial on the machine ( ignoring what speed it says as it is probably not that accurate anyway) and then attempt to keep it at that HR number while completing the full 30 minutes. It is hot and humid here and my body's sweat production department was working overtime to try to cool me down so I had to dial back the pace and the inclination to stay at that 140 BPM mark. Gives me a sense of personal achievement and is completely non-relatable to anybody else. :)

That's a great insight; thanks for sharing. I just bought myself a schmancy sports watch (Fenix5s - for someone of my abilities and interests, it's a bit like buying a concord jet for getting to and from the corner grocery store) and it has an apparently-unreliable heart rate monitor attached to the wrist. If I want an accurate reading, i'm told I need to buy an additional chest strap. *sigh* Something to consider though, now I've read your comment.

Bazza1234Graduate10 in reply to Henriette2013

It depends on what you mean by "inaccurate" . If you really mean "unreliable" insofar as spasmodic extreme readings? , then provided you understand it has had a breakdown , you can work around it and still use it as a guide when it is behaving itself. If you mean that it always give inaccurate readings , you can still use it as a guide to your effort levels ( if it is consistently "inaccurate" ) - or you could buy a Garmin chest strap. I find that mostly they behave themselves - although even then sometimes it will misbehave especially at the very start of a run. If it does I just ignore it until it settles down

Thank you! I know everyone is proud (and rightly so) of their achievements but when they're so far removed from what you're managing it can be a tough read!

I run at the same pace as you by the sounds of it, 5k in 30 mins is a dream. Just need to focus on the fact that we've started this journey and running 3 times a week is something to shout about 😀

You're totally right. And speed, truly, is the least of my concerns. It is just a matter of keeping my blinders on - not looking at all the other fast runners and contrasting myself negatively to them - and focusing on my own journey. We're doing great, Nictwit! Yay, us! xox


I have come to accept that I will never run 5k in 30 minutes! I would also like to reassure you that this duck needed swimming lessons! It will be easier in time, I promise.

Don't compare yourself with anyone else. Take your time and make sure you praise yourself for what you can do, rather than being self critical about what you can't. You are running 30 minutes 3 times a week? WOW!

Thank you for the reassurance, @helenwheels. You're a Graduate of the 10K program? WOW. *standing ovation* It took me a very long time to get this far as a runner, and luckily I kept notes on the last 2 months of this journey so I am able to see how far I've come even in the last 8 weeks. This helps remind me that I might be progressing slower than many on this site, but I am ~ indeed ~ progressing.

Reading about others' journeys can inspire me, but it's tempting to compare myself negatively with the other athletes on HealthUnlocked. Keep trying to gently bring my focus back to my own running practice... xox


Sometimes I feel as if I have taken to running like a duck to water. Other times, like a duck to gardening.

I don't think any of the runs feel anything approaching "effortless". There are those lovely moments of having robolegs but they are few and far between, really. I do enjoy it but I don't think it's easy - there is always effort involved.

But then without effort or sacrifice, there is no pride or fulfulment (she says, in her best kung fu master voice).

Couldn't agree more... I aspire to 5k in 30... one day maybe... looking back I have come down from 50 mins... is there hope... maybe.

"Effortless" running... does that exist... I'm not too sure if I exactly enjoy running but I have got to the stage where I need to run. I will now do my Kungfu voice... Ah yes Grasshopper but when life seems to conspire against you, run it off"... maybe that's less Kung Fu and more Forrest Gump!!!

Heheheh - Forrest Gump! If i recall correctly, he was a bit of an Idiot Savant when it came to athletics. I think some people do have effortless running. But not me, at least, not yet. I just wish it weren't quite so physically uncomfortable! My back aches, lungs hurt, throat chaps, feet sting... getting old is a drag :) xo

My aim tomorrow is to drop " Idiot Savant" into casual conversation!!!! LOL

I see some people running and think, they look so peaceful and full of bliss! Meanwhile, I'm puffing and grimacing and hobbling along, thinking ouch, how many more minutes left? However, at the end of every single run, I feel a pride in myself that I rarely experience. Thanks for the lesson, oh sensei! :) xo

HeleneCorsaGraduate10 in reply to Henriette2013



I don’t think I will ever run 5k in 30. When I purposefully try to run fast I really really don’t enjoy it, I’m shattered, totally out of breath and as a result ..... completely demoralised.

So instead I run 3 times per week. One intervals but not too far, one regular pace but a little longer. And finally one long slow run that I aim to enjoy and finish and nothing else.

This stops me feeling crappy and like a snail 🐌 and is working so far. I figure I’d rather enjoy and keep going than push to go quicker and hate it. Hope this helps a smidge

Yes. I have had to be very clear with myself about my goals... and reminding myself of them when I start to compare myself with others. I wanted to become A Runner (I never thought I needed to become A FAST Runner), I want to develop a running habit that I can sustain over time, I want to avoid injuries, I want to feel proud of myself and model for my tiny child that it's great to exercise and it's never too late in life (I'm in my late 40s) to make healthy life changes. I am accomplishing all of these!!!!! Worrying about speed, at this point, is merely an unhelpful distraction. Thanks for the support T2r. xo

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