Don't be a fool like me.

It was around this time last year that I started the C25K program, and like the majority of people who use the program, I loved it. At the end of the program I was running 5k in around 27 minutes. 12 weeks after starting the program I was running 10k in under an hour. Happy days!

At the time I would read a lot of people asking about the progression from 5k to 10k. How long does it take, etc.

I posted on here saying I believed that if you were running 5k two of three times a week - you could run 10k already. Some agreed with me, some didn't. One or two actually tried it on the back of my post and succeeded!

BUT - the question should have been - just because you can, does it mean that you should?

July/August/September last year I was in fitness heaven! A typical week would be:

Mon: Run 5k

Tues: Cycle 15k

Wed: Run 10k

Thur: Cycle 15k

Fri: Rest

Sat: Run 10k

Sun: Cycle 15k

Weight was falling off, I was feeling great.

In October I was out for a run and out of the blue I felt a pain in my right calf which felt like a sniper had just pinged me in the back of the leg.

Three physio's later and I'm still not running!


The C25K plan takes 9 weeks to get you up to some where around the 5k mark - don't be a fool like me and assume you're ready to jump from 5k to 10k in three or four weeks.

Fast approaching 5 months (and considerable expense) since my last run and counting .............

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14 Replies

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  • Bad news, ashton, but thanks for posting this as it is so important for us to learn from one another's experiences. I too exceeded the 10% per week rule to push up to 16k, five months after starting C25k. I realised that the lower back pain that I was experiencing was the result of my body not being prepared for the strains that I was putting on it. I have eased back to only running up to 12k while my body catches up and also made the decision that 16k (10 miles) is probably as far as I want to run anyway.

    A salutary warning. I wish you a full recovery in time. Good luck.

  • Ashton I'm so sorry to read that, I popped my calf last year (sounds very similar to yours) and can only agree with you about too much too soon. The mistake I made (although I stuck to the 10% rule) was to push to simultaneously run my distances as fast as I could - not advisable. Some people (many on here) can and do get away with pushing the envelope regarding the 10% rule, but it's a risk and not one worth taking IMO. I hope you get this sorted, must be very frustrating to be out so long.

  • Yes I did this too. Luckily I posted on here within 2 weeks & received sage advice on here & although my knees are still a bit achy nothing too drastic but I am careful now. Thanks for the timely reminder - It's so easy to get ahead of ourselves.

  • Yes! It's so true. I think several of us on here have done the same thing and got carried away by the enthusiasm of our new sport. It's so easy to overdo things. As new runners we need to take our time and build up GRADUALLY

  • Thank you so much for this post. I'm only on Wk6 of C25K but I know I'm the personality type to do what you did, - I started out running consecutive days until posts on this forum made me mend my ways.

    I hope you're back running soon.

  • Thanks for the reminder. Very timely. I am only on W4 but am already having to fight the desire to run further or more frequently. Hope you are fit to run again soon.

  • wise words Ashton, but sorry you now have an injury, hope you are able to get back out there soon. Take it nice and easy when you get the green light. :)

  • Very good advice . Sorry to hear about your injury Ashton & I also know how easy it is to get carried away with this new & exciting running lark . I've been out of action 9wks now & it's been horrible , god knows how you must be feeling ! I'm starting back again this week some time but I've learned my lesson & it will be slow & steady . Good luck in your recovery & take care .

  • Thanks for that Ashton. A very wise and good piece of advice.

  • Thankyou...and thankyou for sharing...your exercise regime sounded really punishing!! I hope you are soon on the is so tough...take care

  • Sound advice and a real shame you had to learn the hard way. Hope you get back to running soon x

  • Thank you so much for sharing this and saddened to hear you are still unable to run - I am to do my last run of the programme today and I will take heed of you advice and experiences. Hope you are back out there very soon :)

  • Morning folks,

    Thank you for the messages of support. Before I started running I had no idea how much I would enjoy it, and now I can't I miss it terribly.

    On those cool sunny evenings I drive home from work thinking how perfect the weather is to go out for a run. Constantly seeing people out running and feeling envious.

    But if nothing else it has confirmed that the C25K wasn't a fad.

    I will get back running!

  • Too much too soon and that equals misery.Hard lessons for us all.

    I like your post it reminds me how much we all try to do too much too quickly and our bodies tell us NO!

    it took me a year after C25k to get up to 10k runs which I do 3 times a week ( weather permitting ) but I tried, and as yet can't push beyond 12k, so it will take time to extend the runs and I hope one day to reach about 16k. Hope your injury mends

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