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Couch to 5K
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11.2km (7 miles) - Steady Pace - 1:14:48

Hi all!

I am at the end of week 2 of my 12 week half marathon training programme. This is a programme from Runners World and it has 4 runs a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday.

Today was a 7 mile steady run and I plotted my course last night so I could include a 5 minute warm up and warm down and finish at my front door. The furthest I had run before today was 10km so I ran a similar route but extended the backend of the run to add the extra km.

It is really nice running early, I left home at 6.30am and the roads are very quiet. I ran past a few runners and nodded to all of them and got a reply from half.

I am using a heart rate monitor and an running within heart rate zones, my Garmin beeps when my heart rate is not within the correct zone. I ran almost 1 km before my heart rate got within the zone and it alerted me a few times in the first few kms that my heart rate was too slow, so each time I increased the pace a little. Later on I was able to run at a slower pace and still be within the zone, I guess this is due to getting tired and by exerting the same effort was was getting less results, but I am only at the start of this training so I don't mind.

The first 5km took me 31:47, the second 5km took me 33:52 and the last km was 7:15.

Also I have signed up to a 10km race in Greenwich park at the beginning of October, the race is also park of the programme. I hope to manage the 10km in about 55 mins by then, but current PB is 59 mins.

Here is a link to the run:


Also I have now clocked up 250km this year! This includes a few walks I did in Feb & Mar, the C25K runs from Apr to June and all my post graduation runs! The training programme will have me run 100km per month from now to the end of October, so I should increase that quickly now.

21 Replies

Hey Aftabs, Mo Farah had better look over his shoulder!!

I have just graduated and am wanting to move up to 10k. Hearing about your longer runs is inspiring me, but I am not sure how to get there. Runkeeper (yes I am a geek too) can create training plans for a 10k race, but it casually jumps from a 4.8k run to a 6.4k in the next workout. This seems like a big step. How did you get to 10k?


When I graduated I kept running three times a week. Two were 5km runs and the other was for distance. In the distance run I increased it by 1km per week, and the first run was 7km, so I reached 10km within a month.

But I think you need to do what is best for you, there is another programme called bridge to 10km, which I checked out when I graduated. I didn't follow it because I thought I could get to 10km sooner than the programme recommended, but if you think 1km increase per week is too much you could try this programme.


I just increased gradually by roughly 10% a week, I didn't follow a particular programme, other than stick to these rules:

Don't increase by more than 10%...when I did I sufferred

Run every other day and take 2 days off in the week if tired

One long run a week...going slowly- distance not speed is key

Above all= enjoy!!!

Good luck



Hey! I followed a similar idea to juicyju when I went from 5 to 10k. I would up my weekend runs by about 10% each week so if Week 1 was 5k, week 2 would be 5.5k, then 6.1k, 6.7k, 7.5k, 8.3k, 9.1k and then 10k... that was the plan anyway. On the run where I was aiming for 7.5k, I got there and still felt like I had a bit more energy... and for another 2.5k, that's only another 15 minutes running on top of the 50 I had already done... That spurred me on and I hit that 10k.

You'll be surprised at how much your body can take... it's your brain telling you you can't hit 10k tomorrow, not your body...


Thanks mrqwest this looks achievable and after being beaten by a hill yesterday, which is locally known as Breakheart, I have to remember that I am not a superhuman just cos I graduated. Realistic targets were what I most appreciated about C25k. More success is always just a bit further along the road. Great. I have a cunning plan!


Breakheart eh? Give it a few more attempts - each time you hit that hill running, you'll get a bit further up and before you know it, it'll be nothing more than a breeze... or something like that ;)

I have a hill local to me that I can now just about make it to the top. I call it the 'Hill of Doom' and it rises 30m/100ft in little more than 0.25km. It's a steep bugger and it's beaten me so many times but now, I can make it to the top... I feel like punching the air like Rocky when I get to the top haha!


I just looked at your Garmin link. Was that a fag break at 15.35?


Funny...No I had to cross the road and I didn't fancy my chances against a bus so I gave it way!


Also, the cadence info is actually more accurate in this case. You can see my steps reduced at this time, but only slightly, however near the end of the run I had to wait about 20-30 seconds to cross a road and the cadence dropped a lot.


Thanks for the post Aftabs and well done with running that distance and at such a good pace. A couple of questions - did you find a single recovery day is still fine when running longer distances and is that because you've gradually built up to 10k+ ? Made the jump from around 7k to 10k in one run which wasn't planned but want to ensure I can maintain it healthily so I'm wondering about run duration from here and recovery times.


The general rule is that you should have a recovery day before each run. However the programme I'm following recommends I run on both Saturday and Sunday, with Sunday being the longer run. I have done this for the last two weeks and have been able to do it without any ill effects. I have also had a month off recently because I was fasting in the month of Ramadan. However before that I had gradually built myself up to 10km and haven't found the longer runs difficult. I think what helped me a lot was the training I did before I begun C25K in April. I was going to a gym twice a week for light strength exercises and cycling/cross training. At the same time I was exercising at home using a game on the Xbox which had a HIIT (high intensity interval training) programme. That really improved my fitness and meant I was able to begin C25K with a good fitness base.

I would recommend a days rest in general and also to listen to your body, if you push yourself too hard you are more likely to pick up an injury due to muscle fatigue. This is advice I need to follow too because I have been advised by other users to be careful with this training plan and if I feel any strains I will delay a run by a day if need be.


Sounds good advice and I will be keeping to the days rest. I had a similar background before C25k with occasional cycling , swimming and weights plus tried the NHS Strength and Flex initially.

Good luck with the half marathon.


well done, you are doing fab...I am a bit worried i am not following a spreadsheet/ training plan etc but I know my body and I will just keep upping my runs and keeping swimming before my HM in October.....Oh and a berocca a day....you are doing so well Mr Bionic man!!!


Thanks! There are so many different HM training plans out there so I wouldn't worry. Your plan will probably have already been recommended my someone else! As long as you get to running about 10-12 miles by the HM you'll be fine. The consistent rule in each programme is to easy down in the few weeks before the HM. My programme still has 4 runs but they are shorter in the final weeks.


Your starting position was somewhat different to mine. You were pretty fit, I haven't run for forty years. I think juicju's approach is probably better for me, although 10k will do me I think 13 miles is beyond my comprehension at the moment.


I was in reasonable shape when I started C25K in April, but my fitness journey began in the previous October. I was 94kg then and did absolutely no exercise.

Here is a blog I wrote about it a month ago:



I'd not done any running since primary school (now in my 50s). I went from running 40 minutes for my graduation run (4.1k) to 5.6k in 54 minutes 4 days later, because I wanted to do a parkrun the same day as some other graduates (somehow I managed to avoid getting injured - probably because I was going so slowly - but not really recommended).

I stuck to 5k max for a few weeks, and then began to make some of the runs longer. But then when I got to a 7.5, like mrqwest, I couldn't resist trying for 10, and just kept plodding on. Mind you, it took ages - 100 minutes. That was in May, and then it got hot, and I haven't felt like repeating it yet. :)

It is surprising just what we can do if we don't stop though. But yes, 13 miles... Beyond my comprehension too.


Well done for your achievement. I am also managing longer distance runs easier now since I have lost 17lbs in weight.

Last Friday I did 11.6km in in 1 hour 26mins. Not bad for an over 50.

I am thinking about signing up for 10km race too in October. Just not plucked up the courage!


Thanks! Definitely go for the race, you have already run the distance. It will give you a target to go for.


Thanks for all the inspiring ideals, can't wait to test the trial theories.


What a fantastic time and distance. You are doing so well I have no doubt you will reach your goal and knowing you probably a bit extra too. It is so good to read such inspirational stories here. I have my triathlon booked now for august so I go into the new year ready for training. But it's like a few here have said, I plan to enjoy it as well. Well done.


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