Couch to 5K

Swedish endurance training and first time "Speed" on the same day (and a question concerning the speed podcast)

Hello dear fellow runners,

today was a training day in several aspects and now I'm absolutely knackered but happily sitting on the couch :)

Here are my "workouts" from today:

1) I woke up at 4 a.m. after only 4 hours of sleep and simply couldn't sleep any longer. I was absolutely fine with this until 10 a.m, but then my challenge for today was to stay awake until I had time for a short siesta in the afternoon.

Workout 1: Keep those eyes open!

2) Swedish endurance training: We went to IKEA this morning to have breakfast and to shop some smaller stuff. Great idea on a Saturday morning. Really a great idea. Especially at the end of a month which means people are moving houses and need new furniture. A lot of kids were there with their parents and even more slightly aggressive pregnant women shopping the last things they needed for their new family member. Everytime we go to IKEA it's so full of moms-to-be so my BF and I made up a game: We count all the "time bombs" as we call them in jest. In the end, I survived our visit at IKEA and didn't freak out or scream at anyone. I had to return a broken frying pan, get a new quite heavy one and another ligther one for my parents... so I ran around the shop with some powerful weapons ;) I'm proud of me because I felt sometimes to do so ;) By the way, this shopping trip only took us four hours. Note to myself: Go never again to IKEA on the first or last Saturday of a month.

Workout 2: Keep calm and don't hurt anyone!

3) I tried the Speed podcast for the first time tonight and it went really well. The hardest part for me was the 5 minute run at 155 bpm. The recovery runs at 150 bpm were hard as I struggled not to start walking but the intervalls were surprisingly easy. I couldn't have run at that speed for much longer than the 60 seconds but was fine during the 60 seconds.

Workout 3: Go, go, go!

A question to those of you who use the speed podcast on a regular basis:

Does it substitute one of your three runs a week?

I'm asking this as Laura says in week 9 that one should run three times a week for 30 minutes to maintain the fitness we worked for so hard. So: Is it ok to run two times 30 minutes or longer and one time the shorter speed podcast or do you not recommend to fit in such a short run every week. I absolutely don't want to lose any fitness...

Thanks for reading!

Happy running to everyone!

6 Replies

Speed is hard work, so yes feel free to use it in place of a 30 minute run. Once it starts feeling easy though you may want to do speed plus half speed, once that's easy then 2x speed (not faster but repeats). To keep your fitness you need to put in the same amount of effort, to improve it more add more effort. I have found that doing an interval session on the treadmill once a week has improved my speed outside, so now in 30 minutes I can go further than when I graduated.

And you've just put me off my intended trip to ikea, I will do it some other day, not tomorrow!


Thank you, Beads! I like the idea to simply do parts/all of the podcast again. At the moment I'm fine with the normal length of the podcast but I can imagine that I will feel as if I was cheating as soon as it gets easier. I will try it your way :)

I just checked via google.... I didn't know that Ikea was also open on Sundays in the UK. Here on the continent (or at least where I live) everything is closed on Sundays and this means everyone has to go on Saturday. Perhaps it's not that full in the UK as there are two possible days to go... I also saw that the new catalogue isn't launched yet for you, I have mine right next to me ;)


As of a few years ago they changed the Sunday trading laws and just about all shops open on a Sunday now, but ikea still seems to be packed whenever I go. I had to go a while back for something, I made sure it was in stock, went to the little screen thing by the entrance and checked where it was, rushed round to find it and got through the checkout all within about 10 minutes of the shop opening, I think this is the best way to do it, then go and have meatballs and gravy!

Enjoy your running!


I've combined Speed with two Stamina runs in the same week and as these are 35 minutes, technically you are still running an average of 30 minutes each time.

However like any interval training the Speed podcast works differently and is aimed at helping you run faster, so I'm not sure it matters that it is less than 30 minutes. Check the link for more information


Thank you a lot for your answer and for the link! It answers all my questions :) At the moment, I'm doing one "Stepping stones" and two runs with my spoken podcasts (both 5k) but I will substitute one of these runs by speed as it really seems to help improve the time. I will also have to find a regular basis for a longer run every week so perhaps I'll skip stepping stones after a few weeks time and do only one run a week with a C25k+ podcast (either speed or stamina), one longer run and one 5k... Sometimes it would be easier to do four runs a week but I'll stick to my rest days.


Yeh, I do one speed, one 30 mins and one 5k a week. Speed no where near easy so very little guilt at the time it takes


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