Time is irrelevant!: Since completing the Couch... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Time is irrelevant!


Since completing the Couch to 5K plan, I have run 5K on four occasions. I've attempted it five times, but only completed four. But I'll come to that!

The first time I ran 5K, my time was 29:45.

The second was 29:27

My third was 28:24.

At this stage I was loving it. Getting faster each time, knocking over a minute off my fastest time on my third run. Easy this! Or so I thought!

It's safe to say I was getting a bit over confident.

On my fourth run, I set out to beat my fastest time of 28:24. That's what I needed to do I thought, get faster every time I ran. But my body was about to kick itself up the backside!

I'd set off way too fast, despite knowing I shouldn't (I've even blogged on here about "slow and steady wins the race"!) and ran the first kilometer in a silly 5:11. Silly for me anyway.

At 4.5k I just could not go on. I had to stop, I was exhausted. I gone out that fast that I couldn't recover.

It was the first time I had set out to complete a run, be it the 30 seconds of running in week one of the challenge or a 5k, and not completed it. I was gutted. I walked home a very dejected individual.

My wife tried to pick me up by saying "what do you mean ONLY 4.5k? Could you imagine running 4.5k a few weeks ago?!". She was right I suppose, but to me it was a big set back, my biggest yet.

I ran again yesterday afternoon and ran 5k in 29:52. My slowest 5k time yet but easily my most satisfying.

So, for the time being, my time is irrelevant. I'm still a beginner and I have to remember that!

4 Replies

Don't worry - it will all sort itself out. I really don't think too much about timings yet, so far at least, almost every Parkrun has brought a new PB. Your wife was right - 4.5km is a darned long way and most people would never even attempt such a distance.

If you're hitting the 28 minute mark for 5k, you're doing exceptionally well. Relax, enjoy your running and everything else will fall into place.


Oh, I so know how you feel. My best 5k time is 29:34 - and that after having deliberately set out to try for a PB last week. It felt so good that I went out again the next day and was disappointed when, in a normal run, I took just over 30 minutes for the first 5k. How quickly we forget! Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! :D


I understand how you feel, but it took me quite a while, a little reading and advice from fellow bloggers to realise that always running at max was the quickest route to injury.

I recommend that you vary your outings and run at max speed no more than once per week, when you vary your training with intervals and easy slow paced runs you will get quicker also (bazaar I know).

Enjoy your running :-)


The ups and downs of running, eh? Remember Laura's words about there being no such thing as a bad run. You can always learn something from your 'worst' run. And time will get you there eventually. As Phil says above you need to vary your runs and give yourself some nice, long easy runs to build up your endurance or mileage. Good luck.

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