Couch to 5K
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Graduates...what do you advise after C25K?

Ok, I'm getting a little ahead of myself here! I start W8 tomorrow but want to have a plan in place for when I (hopefully!) complete the program in 2 weeks.

On current performance I'm not going to be covering 5K in the 30 minute runs of W9, so once I graduate should I be looking to improve times or increase distance? Maybe both?

Can't believe I'm at a place where I'm asking this kind of question. Just shows how well this program works!

Would love to hear from graduates what you've tried and what you recommend. Thanks!

9 Replies

I did a couple of weeks repeating week 9, both because it was a great feeling to be able to run for half an hour and to prove to myself it wasn't a fluke.

I then did some of the post C25K podcasts.

Then I went back to running for half an hour 3 times a week, but using an audiobook for company (moved back to Lebanon where I live on a mountain and the speed podcast in particular seemed very unlikely).

Then I started a bridge to 10k programme to give me some structure. I've not done the last run of that yet.

What next? I think probably I'll do a half hour run and a speed (post C25K) run during the week and hopefully a "longer" run at the weekend, and I think this is probably what I'd recommend.

If I was in the UK I'd be doing park runs regularly too.


I did a bit of stamina and speed...then did the 10% thing to 10k then the 10% thing to a half marathon... Oh and it took me ages todo 5k in 30... For me, I love the distance rather than speed... But you will find your own passions... Well done!!!!


Julia, I feel I'm interrupting here, but can you explain or point me in the right direction here about the '10% thing to 10K'? I've been struggling after graduating with a dodgy calf and now it's better it's Christmas and time is short etc....! I need to really get going again.


It's simply the rule that says dont increase your runs by more than ten percent a week.... It might help if I explain what I did... I got established on the 5k first for a couple of weeks, then I went to 6, 7, 8, then 10k, I jumped too much and ended up with an injury. So then back to 7,8 etc. so not strictly the 10% rule but it worked.then I did about 2 weeks of 10k twice in the week to get comfortable. Then upped to one long run a week to 13,15,16,17,17.5,21.

So my week should be:

1X5k ( parkrun)


1X long run

I hope that helps... And makes sense?!!!!!


Yes, it makes perfect sense! And thanks for explaining. At least I don't think that there's much danger that I will over-do it! Happy New year, by the way!


If you mean celebrating then champagne worked for me.

However, I guess you also mean continuing with running so I re-ran the week 9 podcasts a few times and then moved on to the Stamina and Speed podcasts and worked up to a 10K distance from there.

Just added my own music to extend the podcasts and hence the running time.

Good luck with graduation.


First things first. If you are starting Week 8, and asking what to do after Week 9, then there is no 'hopefully' about it! You are going to do it. Fantastic.

What to do afterwards seems to be the question we all ask. I think this very much depends on why you started this in the first place. For me, I just wanted to get fit, stay fit, and keep the 'bulge' in check. Setting a faster 5K time, and being able to run further was a spin-off. A faster 5K time was hard, very hard so I started increasing my distance using the 10% rule (no more than 10% distance increase a week). Once I got up to 7K I then had a real go at my 5K time, and smashed my PB.

What I would say is this. When you graduate, take it easy. It is all too easy to rush in to doing more, and pushing yourself harder. That is when the injuries start. Take it steady, and remember the gentle build up you have been doing throughout C25K.

Oh, and above all, when you graduate, keep running, keep loving it, and keep blogging.



I used the zombies 5k and then zombies run app and listen to the missions. I have a pattern of a 5k, short run (about 3k) and gradually increasing distance at weekend as I'm planning on a 10k in may.

I'm nowhere near a 30 min 5k, more like 50 mins but have got up to 7.5k so improving stamina wise!


Graduates, thanks for your replies - really helpful and lots of good info. I will heed the warnings to not overdo things because I could see that being a temptation! Have been finding W8 quite a step up from W7 but getting there, even if very slowly. Thanks again.


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