When should I 'graduate'?

This week I should be on Week 7, but feeling up to the challenge, I've done two 30 minute (5km) runs instead of the 25 minutes I should have been doing on Week 7. If and when I do another 30 minute 5km run in the next day or two, am I morally/technically a C25k graduate? Or would it be the right thing to do another couple of weeks (I'm not going to stop doing runs in any case). It's my birthday on Friday, and it'd be nice to graduate before then... but only if that's the 'proper' thing to do.

And can I say what a brilliant programme C25k has been? As I struggled to up my game six weeks ago from 60 seconds running to 90 seconds, I'd never have guessed I'd be running 30 minute sessions without too much struggle in such a short period. And many thanks to those who contribute and encourage on this forum too - it's been supportive reading for me all these weeks :-)



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  • Hi, I am no expert but i would consider your next and 3rd 30min/5k run to have graduated. I am on week 7 and did run 2 yesterday - when Laura said stop, I carried on for another 3 minutes then did a 5min brisk walk. So I'm now thinking of going straight to wk 8 run 2 to continue. Like you I struggled in wk 1 and this programme has been amazing. Good luck

  • Yep, I reckon morally/technically, physically and emotionally you can graduate for your birthday! :) Well done. I agree it's a fantastic programme.

  • I think you could say that you could graduate - after all, these aren't hard and fast rules, it's a programme to help you to be a runner and we're all different, some might take longer and some, like you, feel that they can progress a bit quicker - and who's going to tell you off? Why don't you check with Realfoodieclub or OlsBean, who give out the badges, to see what they say? Well done, anyway!!

  • Personally I wouldn't be at peace with myself unless I completed the programme as stated - 9 weeks X 3 runs per week. But that's just me.

  • I agree dan. The programme is 9 weeks and you have graduated when you complete run 3 week 9

    That's when you apply for your badge

  • and if it takes more than 9 weeks does that mean you've failed because you took a longer time?

  • The programme is also flexible and you can tailor it to your own needs. It's not really that set in stone :)

  • Many thanks for your views. I think they've made me realise that being able to run 5k in 30 minutes is more important than "wearing the t-shirt", and I'll probably mix up my running over the next few weeks, rather than doing 9 5k runs just to get the 'graduate' badge. Unless someone decides to give a cash prize for graduating! :-) I suppose, without doubt, I can (and will) tell people that C25k got me to running 5k. Right, 10k running is the next target...

  • How pedantic! Surely anyone who goes from struggling with 60 seconds to being able to run 5k in 30 minutes 'graduates' - whatever that may mean.

    Well done Jacobite - as one who's still struggling through the programme - you've certainly 'graduated' in my opinion,

  • If you are running 5k in 30 mins already you are doing very well, when I graduated I was nowhere near managing 5k but just felt happy at being able t run non stop for 30 mins x

  • The object of C25k is to get you running continuously for 3x30 minutes. We always tell people that the training plan is a guide to get there and can be adapted to suit ones ability and circumstances. Obviously that can work for those who need a bit more time and also those who manage to get there a bit quicker. If you achieve that before the nine weeks are up then I say, "Congratulations on attaining the target, fellow runner. I consider you a graduate"

    Keep running,keep smiling.

  • Agreed. I suspect it is quite a small minority that stick absolutely to the letter of the programme across all 9 weeks. Many people have to redo odd runs or whole weeks due to injury, personal circumstance or - dare I say the F word? - failure. I doubt if anyone would seriously suggest these people - probably the majority - should fail to graduate once they finally complete their 3x 30 minute runs, whether or not they manage 5k in the time. So if the programme can be flexed to 10, 11 or more weeks it would seem utterly illogical and unfair that it cannot be flexed the other way to 7 or 8 weeks for those able to progress more quickly as long as the 3x 30 mins qualifying target is met - particularly if they have managed to do 5k in the 30 mins.

  • Once you've been able to do 3 consecutive runs of 30 minutes each I'd call that graduating! If ypu can do it on less than 9 weeks I say go you!! Bring on 10k well done!!!!

  • Congratulations on running for 30 mins it is a real achievement. I did the same thing at the end of week 7 but then discovered that I wasn't actually running 5k. I just kept on with the programme and finished the 30 mins and then went a few weeks longer until I finally managed 5k which took me 44 mins. I bought a tshirt and used that as the incentive to get to 5k as I didn't feel I could wear it until I had actually run 5k. How about graduating for your birthday and then doing 5k later if you haven't quite got there in distance. It's your programme so you decide if you have met your goals. I have now run 5k a couple more times and am doing the 5k+ stepping stones speed work to try and improve my time.

  • Thanks, Hilmil - I've been running for exactly 5k, which has taken me a little longer than the 30 minutes. I'm hoping to do the 5k in 30 minutes this evening, but if I somehow manage to beat 30 minutes, I'll need to remember (for my conscience) to also keep on running until the 30 minute mark! Well done yourself, and I'm looking forwards to building beyond 5k too.

  • And finally, and with thanks for all your encouragement, I've just completed my third 30 minute run. And, as part of that, I did 5k in 28 mins 50 secs. The worst bit by far was running on for another minute after finishing the 5k. I've decided my conscience is clear in having gone from the couch to running for 3 x 30 mins (and, as a bonus, 5k three times too) and therefore 'graduating', though I'll be up front about managing to skip a couple of weeks.

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