Couch to 5K
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Just measured 5k and it seems soooo far!

Went for a bike ride with hubby today along my running route (using it as an excuse to show off about how far I'm managing to run now!) Pride came before a fall though as we cycled to the point I've identified as the 2.5k point and I realized how much further it is than I am going so far. :(

I'm on wk7 and am doing about 3k in 25 mins. I'm thrilled at being able to run for that length of time, but with only a month to go before the Race for Life, have other people found that they increase in speed enough to get near to 5k in 30 mins?

6 Replies

I think the fact you're running for 25 mins is pretty amazing! Well done. I can't offer any sage advice as I'm behind you (and luckily only training for a 3k presently) my unqualified guess would be you can totally increase your speed in that time. Although, do you have to do it in 30 mins? Unless there's a rule at race for life that you do, I'd just concentrate on distance and work on speed later. From what I've heard, many many people are not running 5k in 30 mins at the end of the programme.

Best of luck either way.


Thats about what i am doing too, am just going into week 8 today, same advice really it will come in time, just remember the progress, could you imagine a few weeks ago to be saying, im only running 3k!!


I thought the pitch for the programme was to be able to run 5km OR for 30 minutes by the end of nine weeks. So you are on track for the latter - well done! Compare that with where you were a few weeks ago and that's marvellous.

Once you've proven to yourself that you can run for 30 minutes continuously, then you can increase the pace to cover the 5km as well. That might take a little longer but that's what other programmes are for. You will have learnt so much more in these nine weeks - how to pace, how to recover, what to wear and what not to wear, how to avoid stitches, how to load your MP3 with podcasts, heck - even how to clean your running shoes! And, of course, you've discovered a supportive community and a hobby to last a lifetime. That's not bad for nine weeks.....

One thing that works for me is to continue to walk for the rest of the 5km each day... so I run with Laura until she finishes and tells me what a good person I have been, and then I walk fairly briskly for the rest of the 5km.

Onward and upwards



It's certainly possible to carry on training and increase your pace - but I'd have thought that you'd be risking injury if you try to increase it by over 30% in a month. That seems a lot to me - although I freely admit I'm no expert!

For the Race for Life, rather than setting yourself such a tough target, why not aim to either run the whole 5k, regardless of time, or run what you can and walk the rest. No point in doing yourself some damage, even if it is for a good cause! ;)


While I know it's 5k OR 30mins, I was still secretly peeved at being nowhere near 5k IN 30mins when I graduated. And I'm still not there (33 mins on a good day & with a strong wind behind me!) But do you know what? I - that's me, still overweight and 50 - can run 5km without stopping, without pain and knowing I'll get my breath back in just a minute or so at the end. Just six months ago I would have put on a very large bet that I would NEVER be able to do that. I know from experience it's hard not to get hung up on distance but concentrate on enjoying graduating and then work on getting faster if that's important to you - just keep running!


I only ran just over 3k in week 9 (mid Feb) but went on to run 5k not long after (probably not terribly sensible but others were doing parkruns and I wanted to do one too!) - took me about 50 minutes. It would have been sensible to build up to that over 5 or 6 weeks probably. And then a couple of days ago I ran 10k (still seems unbelieveable) - still very slowly (100 minutes), though I can now run shorter distances a bit faster.

I'm doing a Race for Life in ten weeks - I hope I'll run it all, though if it's hot I might walk some of it. As I've done it twice before, walking it all pretty much, and coming nowhere near last, I won't be too bothered if I don't run all of it - but it would be good to keep going if I can.

I didn't significantly speed up from week 6 to week 9 really - it needed just as much effort to go further, without going faster as well!

Feel proud of what you have achieved, and don't belittle it - not very many people can run 5k by week 9. Being able to run continuously for 30 minutes is really quite an achievement, and you can go on and extend it later on. Enjoy your running! :)


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