Does it matter if 30 mins is nothing like 5k? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Does it matter if 30 mins is nothing like 5k?


It'll be a few weeks yet before I can do a 30 min run, but I know I am slow. I do a slow jog and take very small strides. I am not even sure how to take big strides. I just pootle along really.

My goal is more the time than the distance but I am quite concerned that this means I'll never be a runner. I'm not particularly competitive so won't be going in for any competitions. But is it ok to be a slow jogger?

10 Replies

Yes it is! Slow is fine, as are small steps. Laura will tell you in the podcasts that small steps are good. You shouldn't stride out. Keep everything under your hips I think is the phrase she uses. Apparently the slow jogs allow us to build stamina. As you go through the podcasts you might find you've got enough energy left at the end to do a bit of a sprint for the last minute or so. Laura announces (don't know what week it is) that "you're now a runner!" That's a proud moment.


Don't worry about the distance. Just keep going. I'm not going to be. at 5km in 30mins and it will be a long time until I am. Just make sure you enjoy it


I echo the replies. We started in Easter. Even now, on our fastest run (when staying with my mum in the Lincolnshire flats at Xmas) we couldn't do 5k in half an hour. But we run either 5k or 30 mins three times a week, when before did nothing. To me that change is more than enough. We have seen gradual improvements in speed but that seems to have plateaued now.


Well I have been running now for 4 months and completed the programme in the 9 weeks. My last run I did 35 mins but managed the 5k. Im still doing 5k but in 32.5 mins now. Keep going you'll soon get there. Good luck x


It's perfectly fine to be a slow jogger - you're out there doing it and that's fantastic! I did the Race for Life in the summer in 40 minutes but it was one of the hottest days of the year (seems hard to believe now that it was hot!) and people kept slowing to a walk in front of me, but I normally run for around 35 minutes to do 5K. Pootle away with the rest of us!


I agree with the other posts on here the aim of the plan after 9 weeks is to run for 30 minutes or 5K not necessarily to run 5K in 30 minutes. I graduated over a year ago and my best time is 5K in 31 mins 18 secs. I just enjoy the fact that i am now running 3 times a week instead of sitting on the does not matter what time you do just enjoy the fact you will be fitter than before.

I have to agree with everybody as well. The program is about getting you to run 30 min. So many of us graduated at less than 5km. And are still working towards it. I personally feel its a great incentive to keep going after graduation. That's my way of looking at it. You are a runner already because you are out there every week working towards running (not sitting on the couch) your 30 min goal.


5k is not the be-all and end-all of running with this scheme. Getting out and running is THE most important part, and you are doing that, and everyone on here is very proud of you.

You may get faster, or go further in time, but even if you don't it doesn't matter. Being out there and being a real runner is what counts ~ and you are a real runner.

Good luck and happy running.


It took me ages to get to a sub 30 minute 5k and the main thing is to get out there, and run whichever speed you are comfortable with and enjoy it! Good luck.

Many thanks for your support. It is good to know that slow jogging is fine. I intend to keep going and once I graduate, find a way to keep motivated as that was my downfall previously

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