Couch to 5K
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So very slow

Feeling quite insecure about my speed as am woefully slow! Although I'm delighted to be able to jog for quite a while, I had hoped to be able to enter a Parkrun this month but have just checked my local run's times and the person who was LAST did it in just over 43mins. I ran 40mins the other day and only covered 3.27k, so it's going to take me over an hour to do 5k. I regularly have people strolling past me on runs. So no Parkrun for me until I can get faster.

I'm aiming to reach 5k within the week (even if it does take an hour), so at least I have a solid time to 'beat' going forward. How can I speed up? Is it maybe psychological, am I holding back too much to be sure that I can keep going? Would the c25k+ podcasts help? I've not tried them yet as wanted to take a little 'break' from Laura after graduating!

4 Replies

You and I both! I think the best way forward is to make sure we complete the 5k, no matter what time it takes. Then we can aim to shave off the minutes gradually in subsequent runs. I recently joined the beginners section of my local running club. I try to get out once a week with them and I do find it helpful. I am currently using the Stamina and Speed pod casts. I am going to try my own music next time out (that's if I can set my phone up correctly!)


I did not get on with the C25k+ podcasts, mainly because of the music, but I created my own interval sessions using Runkeeper, starting with a twenty second sprint every five minutes. This gets you used to pushing yourself just a bit harder and you learn how your body responds to the different pace. I tend to only use it on one run per week, but I do feel that it has contributed to an overall improvement in my pace. When you can cope easily with the sprint and your recovery time improves, adjust the duration or frequency of the sprint to test you just a bit more. It helps maintain the progressive nature of the C25k and may help you.

Good luck


I'm also a very slow runner, but as I'm about to start week 9, I keep telling myself I found week one difficult and I'm now running for half an hour! Once I finish the program I'll then work on speed/style etc. For me, just being able to jog at all was my first target, so one thing at a time. I plan to increase my speed very gradually. I run on a treadmill due to arthritic knees, so it's easy for me to regulate this as opposed to outdoors running. I'm currently jogging at 7.5 kph and will increase it initially by .5 per week. I'm going by the mantra of any run is a good run, no matter how slow, or how long it takes me to build up speed. I guess just increase slowly, at a rate you're happy with, and don't feel bad about being slow!!!!!


Wow fantastic you are near the 5km mark. I am struggling getting out of the 3's. I am such a plodder speed and distance are way off for me at the moment but I am consoling myself with the fact I run for 30 min three times a week. I have gained so much from this. Weight is finally moving, confidence is growing and happy buzzyness (I know it's not a word but it's how running makes me feel. ). I will get there but in my own time. It will be even sweeter when I do. Rejoice in your achievements you are doing so well.


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