Couch to 5K

Bridge-to-10K: Week 6 Run 3 (Graduation!!)

Writing this entry from Haneda Airport, in Tokyo, as I wait for my connecting flight. I left England yesterday (Saturday) morning, on a 9am flight out of Heathrow. By coincidence, the timing had it that my third and final Bridge-to-10K run would be on Friday, the day before I leave.

As is so often the case, the last day before a big trip was rather busy. First there was work... then theatre in the evening... then dinner... then out for dessert with friends... then packing. With all that, it was after three o'clock in the morning before I was all ready to go. I'd have to leave at 6am to make it to Heathrow on time. So much for finishing Bridge-to-10K before leaving, right?

Well, that's what I thought, too. Then I thought again. Why _not_ go for a run anyway? Okay, it was half past three and hours later than the latest run I've ever done before... but the sky was starting to get light, so why not go into the twilight to greet the dawn with a run?

Why not, indeed! And that, my friends, is precisely what I did!

I started my final Bridge-to-10K run in the twilight and watched the dawn during the seventy minute workout. Sure, it was special circumstances and I wouldn't want to make a habit of it... but, actually, it was rather nice! Very few people (and cars) to watch out for, and a certain serenity in the air.

Turns out, this was my best run yet. During the 60 minutes of running, I covered 10.7 km (up from 10.6 km on Wednesday and 10.5 km on Monday). Looks like I'm making slow but steady improvements in my speed. This distance corresponds to 5:36 per kilometer. Were I "only" aiming at 10 km -- rather than 60 minutes of running -- this average pace would have meant crossing the finish line at precisely 56 minutes. Not too shabby!

I returned home in triumph as a Bridge-to-10K graduate, with time to shower and change before leaving to catch my coach to Heathrow. Very glad that I did this, rather than delay graduation. There is a certain satisfaction in closure, if you know what I mean.

Now I need to figure out what to do next, in terms of running. Will probably seek to share some of the collected wisdom of this group on that, by posting to the questions section later on. I'm not interested in a half marathon just yet, preferring to focus on the Olympic triathlon first. But ideas for improving speed and what has worked for others as 10K+ weekly workout schedules will definitely be welcome!

8 Replies

Congratulations IronMatt! Very impressive, running makes us do some strange stuff though...


Ha! You're not kidding! :-)

Also, thanks for the congratulations! It feels SO good to be done with Bridge-to-10K. It's about five months later than planned, due to a torn muscle injury sustained while running back in January. That was rather discouraging. Nice to finally be fully recovered and where I want to be!



Wow! Time certainly not shabby. Well done. Sounds like a really special run to graduate with. Enjoy Tokyo!


Thanks! I'm not super-fast by any means, but I seem to be doing okay. When I finished Couch-to-5K last Autumn, I was only running about 4.3 - 4.3 km. Having spent some time between "Couch" and "Bridge" focusing on the 5K+ podcasts, I did manage to bring my best 5K time up to 28:36. I was hoping that work would also benefit the Bridge-to-10K effort, and that I would graduate this time actually running the distance I was supposed to. Looks like it paid off! Hooray!


That sounds like a great graduation run! What a lovely idea, to run to meet the morning :)

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Thank you! I'd love to pretend that I was being really clever... but, honestly, the dawn run was born more of necessity (and desperation) than anything else. That said, it was definitely worth it. Added something new (and pretty) to my usual route... and brought the satisfaction of finishing the Bridge-to-10K plan, too! Yay! :-)


Welcome back Matt. Might get me blogging again too!!


Thanks! It's good to be back, Janda!

And, yes, it would be great if you started blogging more, too! (Actually, it would be great if the entire October 2012 graduating class did -- I miss youse guys!)

Seriously, I would be particularly interested in knowing more about your post-Bridge running. I'm trying to design a weekly plan now to consolidate what I've done and improve on it, without attempting to raise the distance (yet).

After Couch-to-5K, I eventually settled into a weekly routine of one "Speed" run, one "Stamina" run, and one straight 5K run. I thought that worked really well, and would like to find something equivalent for 10K. Have you found any good Audiofuel lists that serve as a longer version of "Speed"? I know there are quite a few that could do this, so if you've used any, I would be interested in hearing your feedback.

Eventually, I plan to train myself up for a half marathon. Probably start the training early next year, with an eye towards running one in the Spring. For now, though, the next challenge is an Olympic triathlon, which is why I got into running in the first place -- and always knew that 5K would have to be a stepping stone on the way to 10K (the running distance in an Olympic tri). For now, then, my running will become more like my swimming, where I keep the distance fixed and try to improve on the speed. Now that I can run 10K, the next step is to maintain running and swimming whilst focusing on improving my cycling to 40K. After that, the final step will be putting all three together -- running 10K is one thing, running 10K right after swimming and cycling will be another!

Anyway, good to see you again! I'll look forward to any advice you can give, and hope to see you blogging more soon!

Till then, happy running!


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