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Couch to 5K
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The Xmas Quest Week 2

Hi all and welcome to the second week of our quest

There has been an even greater response now, so everyone involved is named below. It's not too late if any one wants to be added. We are all about being inclusive.

If you come to this site by a computer (rather than a phone or tablet) you can now search for this post a lot easier. There is a search button on the top right and all you have to put in is quest. And these posts will come up.

It is great to see all the pledges and commitment that everybody is putting into their running. Very inspirational. Also fantastic to see those that have achieved their goals early on and have moved the goal posts well done to them.

Please bear with me if I make any mistakes as I am not used to doing this sort of thing.










































Oh and me realfoodieclub.

Good luck everybody and happy running.

33 Replies

Thanks Rfc! My goal is to do as many parkruns as I can to keep my motivation going - it was so cold this Saturday (1c) I think I may have ducked out if it wasn't for this quest. But I had promised myself in print on this site that I would and so I did, it was a bit nippy (the temperature not my speed ;-) ) but as ever I was glad I made the effort. When I know I'm parkrunning at the weekend I've got more incentive to train during the week so this hopefully will keep me going over the tricky winter period. Good luck everyone with your goals! :-)


Got myself into a nice post graduation routine of 3 runs a week. 2 x 30 mins and 1 x 5k.

Managed to shave off 2 mins on my 5k this week. Down to 36 mins from 38 so well pleased with that!

Alas I can't do any parkruns cos we're not allowed Saturdays off at work (the joys of retail) so will just continue alone and try to keep pushing myself.

Am starting to wonder if a 30 min 5k may actually be doable by target time now.... :)


I graduated last year and have been sticking to my 5 K runs three times a week and I enjoy them but I need a new challenge which I set myself a few weeks back. So I would now like to add my new challenge to the Xmas Quest. I want to extend my distance to 10K by Christmas. I am running two 5 K runs and one extended run each week so that I can hit my target, I managed to run 8.3 K on my last extended run so hopefully I am on target but I know with the set backs I had when starting on C25K the old proverb is true "you must not count you chickens before they are hatched".

PS I gave up on trying to run 5 K in 30 minutes my best time being 31 m 26 s but I am hoping by extending my distance the elusive 30 min 5 K may happen one day if it does its a bonus but distance and a steady pace is my goal.

PPS I will be 63 years old 2 days after Christmas

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Hi there and welcome onboard your name has been added above


Is that 42 then?


I've got it to 41 but I keep having to recount. Hehe. I hope I haven't missed anyone.


Have you counted yourself?


Nope 41!


I have had an inactive week due to discovering that my 10k last Friday night was possibly a bit too much too soon. My knees have been bothering me all week so I've been resting up. Got out for a 5.5k run on Saturday night though and despite pledging to go slow I made 5k in 30:12. I will be building up to 10k more slowly over the next wee while in order to build the strength into my knees and possibly getting my gait analysed to see if I can sort my knee out once and for all.


My target is a sub 22 min 5K. Going into the weekend my PB was 23:03 and I managed to run 22:28 at Parkrun! So I am half way to my goal already. I am beginning dedictated speedwork sessions from this week and will begin to go to the gym twice a week to work on core and upper body strength. Hopefully these two will help me reach my goal in the next 6 weeks!


My target is to increase my running time to 1 hour/distance to 10km. I'm following a bridge to 10k plan and have done W2R1 (there are 6 weeks). So at the moment I'm on target.

I'm finding the mountain I live on a bit of a challenge, so my pace has dropped (also probably pacing myself to keep going for longer) so I'm hoping to get down to sea level for a nice flat run on Saturday. Hopefully that will get my pace somewhere back to "normal".


My target is to be able to run for 20 consecutive minutes (I'm coming back from illness after regularly running 5ks - slow ones, but I could do it) and so I am increasing my runs. The first week I did 5 mins of running with 2 mins of walking in between, and it nearly killed me! My lungs were struggling, and my legs nearly went on strike! I did that three times, though, and on my off days I went to the gym or swam. Last week I upped it to 7 mins of running and 3 mins of walking, so 21 minutes in total. Yesterday I did the 7 minutes of running but decreased the recovery walk to 2 minutes.

Incidentally, I think I'm speeding up. I do my 5 mins warm-up and cool-down walks of course :D and I'm out for around 45 - 50 minutes, covering between 4.7 - 4.9k. My previous 5ks were around 42 minutes, and that was all running, so if I'm doing nearly 5k with the walking, I might be a tad faster when I finally get back up to 5k. But that will be a bonus - I just want to get back to being able to run.

So I'm getting there - I can see progress. I think I will continue with the 7/2 this week, plus the gym and swim, and plan to go for - eeek - two ten minute runs next week. I will be back running properly, I will!


That is progress and as for getting back to running properly. You will, without doubt!


Thanks for organising this, Realfoodieclub, as it's already helped to force me out of the house and keep me going. Anniemurph, that sounds like amazing progress.


My goals are to get to 5 k in 34 minutes. Plus get to be able to run for 40 minutes plus do a park run. Well tried the stepping stone podcast cos I thought that would help increase my speed... In fact it slowed it down. However I have now run for 38.5 minutes so am on my way to the 40 minute run. I think I will be sticking to two longer runs(aiming for that 40 minutes plus) just noticed a plus snuck in there. Also one 30 minute run where I will so a bit of speed intervals. Am thinking I will try out speeding up for one minute then going back to my usual pace for the next 3 or 4 to start with. See how it goes. If anyone has any suggestions on how to speed up a bit let me know.


I thought I posted an update earlier... Fat fingers. Second parkrun on Saturday and I knocked 1 min 5 sec off my PB! 30 min 17 secs! I am now obsessed with 17 seconds, or is it 18 seconds? Less than 30 min is my target.

And having a challenge has encouraged me to get out on a pavement run at least one dark evening a week - and it has HILLS! That will do something for me training regime!

Thanks for organising this RFC! X


Hey Deb54! Have you any tips on speeding up? My PB so far is 35.38 and my goal is to get to 34. Is it just happening naturally or are you following a speed plan.? I am so impressed :)


Lizziebeth57! I am tickled pink you are asking me for running tips! What a giggle! I am surprised myself that I seem to have become a 'runner'...

Parkrun helps as someone else does the measuring, so no fiddling with apps and phones and I think I got faster this week because I had done it once. So tactics (picking someone to stick with - then overtake! ha!) helped cut down the time. This Saturday I shall try and start closer to the front.

Otherwise, I did do speed once a week for 4 weeks. Running flat out for a minute 6 times was good fun: always felt sick after number 2 and then dead for another 2 and then it was all nearly over and suddenly a big wave of endorphins! 55 and running like billy-oh!

And now it is running a couple of times in the dark - which means hills! So speed has been replaced with hills - and that has been a mental challenge mainly to keep going and keep breathing.

The other things that have made a diff is that I have managed to run 3 times a week since the beginning of August and I have a very steady pace now and Steppingstones made me think about technique. So I am steady and economical in my running. I also do rolling on the carpet (!) to strengthen my core on non-running days. I think I have a six pack under my tummies now!

Sorry! you did ask! x


Thanks for all of that!!! I am particularly taken with the 'rolling on the carpet' exercise - think that is something I will have to experience for myself. Went out with my husband this morning, who is just getting back into running after achilles tendon trouble, so we did 6mins run then 2 mins walk...the end result was we did 5k in a time that wasn't much slower than when I am running all the way. So, I am thinking it might be a mental thing and/or running with someone else might encourage me to be speedier. Think Park Run might be the answer but I have been sorting out my commitments between now and xmas and won't manage the 14th, which is the date other folk are aiming for. Might go for the week after though...


My carpet rolling is an attempt to make up for no yoga or Pilates - so no core!

Just a thought - the parkrun route will be signed/marked in the park so people can do it at other times.....


Hi rfc and fellow questors (sure that's not really a word!) my challenge is to run 5k. Since graduating 3 weeks ago I'm running 3 times a week doing a bit of the 5k+ speed and stamina sessions and a couple without Laura. Sometimes it really feels a tough 30 minutes with only a good 5-10 minutes in the middle. My last run felt better but I'm not increasing my distance, I know I'm making excuses of working long days and the dark evenings don't help so probably not pushing myself.

So my quest for the next week is to increase my distance. Another 5 min on my usual route should take my within grasp of the 5k by our target date.

Sorry for rambling. How's your quest RFC? With all this coordination are you getting time for your challenge ? :)


I added my ramblings today thanks for asking. Sounds like your doing well with your target.


Hi all, this is such a good idea, reading about everyone's progress is inspiring.

My aim was to jog for an hour/jog 10k, whichever comes soonest. I'm doing r1w3 of a 5k-10k plan on Thurs. I managed 4.5 miles in 51 mins the other day, 4 mins of it walking intervals but it's tough!

I also plan to do my first Park Run this Saturday (both nervous and excited about this)!


Hi Everyone,

My progress has been mixed - on Thursday I set out towards my distance goal of 5 miles before Xmas - I decided to aim for 4 miles. The thing is I set out on the run and quickly realised Map My Run app was set to km not miles. Tried working out in my head roughly what was needed and decided to aim for 7ish km, then worried it wouldn't bring me to 4miles so did a bit more. In the end I ran 7.61km, which my handy converter tells me is 4.73 miles, so well on track for my distance target.

Sunday was my speed challenge and I totally blew it! I wasn't in the best of moods having argued with my husband (who is also my running partner) and I did have a slight hangover, but the warm up walk was fine and I started off ok, and as always happens for me the little voice started in my head ("this is ridiculous, what are you doing - just stop"). Normally this is followed by 10mins of "I hate this" followed by an "ok - I really can do it" and finally a euphoric "love it love it love it, when can I go again!" Anyway this time when the voice started I said "this is ridiculous what am I doing" to which husband replied "you always say that" and then suddenly, without even realising what I was doing I just stopped, turned round and walked home! I cannot tell you how disappointed, and annoyed at myself I am, and I haven't been out since either due to family / work. I always get the nagging voices but this is the first time I gave in and I am scared I'll just keep on doing it. So I'm going to have to give myself a rather large kick up the behind - and hopefully I will have better news to report next week!


It was a bad run on top of what was sounding like a bad day. That's all. You obviously love running already so you won't give in. Don't stress too much I am sure you will be fine your next time out.


Hi there everyone. My progress has been hindered a bit. Cold got me a few weeks ago and I am finding running distances very hard. I have gone back to basics and am doing 3x 30 min runs a week. The last 30 min I did I only managed 3.5 km. So defiately a plodder. I am going to continue doing 30 min runs as I would like to feel as comfortable about my 30 min runs as I do about my 20 mins now. I know I am a slow starter but I will keep going. Also on a side note I have made an appointment with my doc as I think my iron levels are out again and this maybe is hindering the progress a bit so I will see her in 2 weeks. I know it sounds like a lot of excuses but I keep telling myself I am still out there 3 times a week so that has to count.

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My goals were to do at least 4 Parkruns and to run 5k in 35 minutes. Well I missed out on a parkrun as I volunteered as a marshall instead. I did go out for a run on my own later in the day and covered 5.5k so do you think I should count that as a parkrun-don't want to cheat! I've not seen any improvemnt on my times as yet though, but on tonights run I did manage my fastest mile so I'm quite happy.


Of course I would think it counts and well done you for putting back with being a Marshall. Making sure it goes ahead for everyone else.


Well I have got back out & have done 3 15min runs last week. My next run will be 17mins. I'm doing my ankle exercises and so far so good. Thanks for the Quest Rfc. Really happy bunny. :) :)


hello, i managed my first 5k. decided to just run until i got there or could not do any more. it took 41.40 have done 2 more since and got down to 40.11. so feel i am on m target for sub 37. good luck everyone x


Sounds like everyone's made a great start to the quest. :-) I ended up running 6 times last week (3x W4 interval runs, 2x longer runs with son, 1x on my own) so I comfortably covered my target of 10 miles. Whether I'll run so often once I start work full-time again this Friday is another matter. To reach my target in future weeks I'll have to either cover 5k+ 3 times or run at least 4 times per week. I'm doing W5R2 today. Not sure how I'm going to work this once my c25k runs become long runs at the end of next week, but the whole point is that it's a challenge. ;-) Hope everyone else is enjoying the quest.


Hi realfoodieclub and fellow questers; In my earlier post I said my quest was to run 10 K as I have been running 5 K all the time, I said my longest run was 8.3 K so yesterday I went for another long run to extend the distance. As I was approaching the end of my run I knew I was going to be around the 9.5 K mark so I thought why stop, keep going to hit my target. Luckily the end of my road leads off into some woods so I kept going through the woods then looped around on some nearby roads to come back to home and I had run 10.3 K with the 10 K being timed at 68 minutes and 50 seconds. I am so pleased at achieving this distance and the time was much better than I expected. The Xmas quest definitely spurred me on. A day later and my legs are feeling the pain but they will calm down hopefully for my next 5 K run tomorrow. I will aim to repeat the 10 K a couple of times at least before Xmas to prove it was not a fluke. Good luck to all fellow questers just reading everyone’s thoughts and aim’s is just great encouragement to us all.


I've made an adjustment to my goal of running 5k in 32 mins. I've recently decided that I'm going to focus on distance instead, so yesterday I completed my first hour-long run (not sure on my speed because my app stopped halfway!). So my goal has changed to running 10k, however long it takes, by Christmas!


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