Couch to 5K
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Race for Life

Oh lordy i've only gone and agreed to do my first Race for Life in June . I know it's still some time off but i still have'nt hit the 5k in 30mins.

I really do want to do this in a decent time and I'm now worried as I struggle to run in hot weather too.

Has anyone got any tips on how to prepare for this or any supportive words because I really need them right now.

5 Replies

I've took part in last years one and the atmosphere is truly amazing and carries you along. I would recommend a hat and water to run with just because it can be a scorcher purely because they generally start at 11am. Do you take part in your local parkrun? I have found it has really boosted my confidence when running with others and may be ideal as a prep for the race for life.


you're a graduate right? & you know you can run for 30 mins - so - less worry about the time it takes right now.

How about getting up to a level where you are able to run for 5k - (can you already and is it just the time that's your worry?)

Then, once you know you can do 5k, and do 5k comfortably, that is one milestone you can tick off - you KNOW you can do it.

Then it's time to start working on your speed. A good way is to try interval training - you could use the speed podcast for that, or simply sprint to one lamp post and jog to the next and so on - then you could gradually increase - sprint to 2 jog to 2 etc

over time you will see that your 5k time is improving.

Do you already do parkrun? have a look and see if there is one near you.

above all else though - just enjoy your running.


don't panic, you have ages, and it will be fine, just keep running and enjoying yourself!!


Registration opens tomorrow Luvleeju and I'm doing it too! It was my goal after C25K and I've roped in two colleagues! Maybe you could try that? I think its such a fun event you will get swept along. I only run in the evening so like you will need to get used to sunlight! I've just booked into the Brighton Sport Relief 5k run too with a friend who will just have completed week 9 when we do it. Little milestones. I would say don't get hung up on a time. Enjoy the atmosphere! Good luck and well done :-)


Well done for signing up! It’s a brilliant event – its what motivated me to start C25K – and its good to have something to aim for. You say you want to get a decent time. Just a word of caution, before you set yourself any kind of target for your speed: when I took part in a ‘Race for Life’ last summer, I found I wasn’t able to run at the kind of speed I’d wanted to because of the sheer numbers of people taking part – around 6,000 I think, at my venue. At the time, I was taking around 32 min to run 5K, but at the Race for Life, I took almost 45 minutes! This was because much of the time the course was bottlenecked and everything slowed down to the pace of the slowest (ie walking pace). And even in the wider bits when things speeded up slightly, there were so many people who’d started off running and then slowed down to a walk that getting past them slowed things down too. If you are desperate to get a good time, you’ll need to try and push your way to the front when you all start to line up - not easy with several thousand people there!

But having said that, ‘Race for Life’ had a great atmosphere, and I was so glad I took part. I didn’t really mind about my time (not that it gets recorded at all), it just seemed far more important to simply take part and have plenty of photos taken to show to the friend with cancer that we were running this for.

If you’re worried about running in the heat, you can always take a bottle of water with you, or arrange to have a friend standing somewhere halfway along with some water for you to drink and a watergun to spray at you!

Good luck anyway!


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