Couch to 5K
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Week 9: but 3k

So...I'm running 3k in 28mins.

Pretty pleased with that to be honest - but what's the next step?

Once I can run for 30 mins, which I know I can, should I (a) try to run faster for 30 mins for a week or so; or (b) try to run for more minutes? And if (b), should I run an extra, say 5 mins a week (as well as trying to speed up a bit too?

Do share your thoughts with me - thanks!

5 Replies


First - congratulations in getting all the way to week 9 - I'm sure you're feeling very pleased with your progress - I remember that from last year when I did C25K (the first time).

Having graduated, several people wonder what to do next. Personally, I started with the C25K+ podcasts - you start with one called Stepping Stones, which is a consolidation to the 30 minutes, then there's one called Speed - which is great for a short workout (it's only 20 or 25 mins if I remember correctly) and a tougher (for me) one called Stamina. All of those can be run as many times as you like and will combine gradually getting a little quicker and running for more minutes. Then when you're done with those there are any number of podcasts available - some concentrate on speed, others on stamina. So you can do whatever you prefer. Once you get up to 5K then Parkrun is also a great motivator.

After that - well, some folks increase distance (10K, HM etc) while others (like me) stick to 5K, not that I've managed to improve my time much. I'm just still pleased to be out there running - which I couldn't have done this time last year.

Hope that helps and let us know what you decide to do!


1 like

Well done on getting this far. Huge pat on the back.

I asked myself the same question when I graduated quite a few weeks ago (couldn't manage the 5k!) and did some research on which is best - increasing time or distance. The general consensus seems to be increasing distance is best (time will increase automatically at first if you maintain the same speed) and no more than 10% each week to avoid injury. Speed will follow.

For my own experience, I'm increasing my distance 10% each week and then will try the speed podcast to increase my speed with the aim to achieve that elusive 5k in 30 mins. I am doing it slowly but feel great and no injuries and know I will get there.

Isn't this running addictive??!

Good luck.


Thanks thinnerandfitter & irishprincess. That's great advice. Hmmm, so I think I'll start the Stepping Stones runs and see how I get on to start with. And because I have just started using RunKeeper, I'll use that at the same time and see what distances I'm doing. Then I can use that to help me increase distance by 10% each time. It's the first time I've run since I was about 14, so at 55 I'm feeling damned proud of myself! I've bought the gear and it's the main thing I'm planning (and looking forward to) each week now. Unbelievable.


Hi SRSS I'm planning on using the speed ones from C25K+ on week days and Stepping Stones or similar for the days I have more time. Do Parkrun anyway: you can walk it if you like no-one minds. You can start with your 5 min warm up then run 30 mins, if you need to walk the rest or see if you can manage a few more minutes. That way you get a recorded PB time and then you'll get to see your improvements as the continued runs improve your speed and/or endurance.


Thanks SRSS for the post I'm in a similar place. I am running 3:75k - 4k in 30 mins. But on my 1st 5k race 3wks ago i did my 1st 5k in 46mins. Interesting useful advice on speed and distance. I'm doing the speed podcast this week but now will try the stamina next week. Honestly I took Laura smoothing words you may be feeling tired to heart and always slowed down. I needed this wk to pick my feet up and just feel the sensation and effects of a faster pace. But thinking running a little longer will get the results too. And Well Done.


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