Moving on from Couch25K

I know that this subject has been discussed elsewhere - but here is what I am intending to do after I have finished this programme.

This website has a number of training plans (all free) for varying distances 10K to full Marathon - each one has a plan for Beginner (walk, walk/run, run/walk or full run), Intermediate and Advanced runners. I will manually programme the weekly intervals into RUNKEEPER in my Android phone and use my own music. Haven't selected exactly what programme I will use yet - but I have signed up for the Sydney City2Surf 14 klm run in early August, so I might do the half-marathon training plan. HOWEVER - got to finish this one first.

I think that my biggest problem is really trying to figure out what is important for me- I would like to be able to say that I can run for 30 minutes non-stop. It is not something that I have ever thought about really - probably have never ever even thought that maybe I could do that. But do I NEED to do it or even WANT to do it?? I have been following a man on Youtube who used Galloway's run/walk programme (not going any further than 30second/30second run/walk intervals) who, over a year has run two marathons with it -- and frankly, I hardly get into a puff when running 30secs/30secs -- but could I do it over 26 miles (42 klms)???? :)


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36 Replies

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  • Or why not join the C25K team for 5x50?

  • Hmmm -- I am an older person, so I am not too sure that doing 5K or 30 minutes EVERY day is such a good idea. We need our recovery time !! :)

  • Depends what you mean by older. A lot of us aren't on the first flush of youth! All you commit to is 30 min exercise a day which could be 3 x 10 min brisk walks.

  • Well, that is true -- but right now I am in "running" mode :) - and I couldn't/wouldn't want to do that every day!! :) BTW 67

  • You can do other things like cycling or a gym class or swimming for half an hour.

  • Run / walk is really interesting, particularly as distances get longer, although 30s/30s seems a bit extreme. I suspect I will use a run / walk strategy on my 1st parkrun in a few weeks when I am determined to beat 25 minutes. I can do intervals of 5 minutes or so @ 4:40 per km without too much trouble but I seriously doubt I could run for 25 minutes at 5:00 per km (although I have never tried as I am still on W5). Since my fast walk is less than 9:00 per km I calculate I should be able to do 5k in 25 mins by doing 4 intervals of 5:30 @ 4:40 pace interspersed with 3 recuperation intervals of 1:00 at 9:00 pace. Job done.

  • Interesting and useful information here. I'm going to look up the walk/jog/run website and see if there is anything there that suits me. Thank you for the information and I reckon you should do what you think is best for you after the C25K. It's your choice and you know your own body and mind better than anyone can. Good luck with the rest of the programme and whatever you decide to progress to - you got loads of time anyway. Best wishes.

  • Interesting to read someone else thinking on the run/walk/run thing. I definitely plan to adopt it for more off-roady and longer trail runs, but I'm been swithering on whether to keep doing "short 5Ks" without walking. Got a 10K coming up, and a HM in October - so still time to decide.

    Let us know how you get on.

    PS <25mins on your *1st* parkrun??! Go for it! Just don't injure yourself... have you done the course yet? Don't get thrown off by unexpected hills/mud/etc...

  • Good thinking there Weighty80 - thanks. I may go one better & see if I can find a parkrun that is on the flat!

    BTW thats the 1st time I have seen/heard the word 'swithering'...

  • Maybe it's just me but I find it quite irritating at the Parkrun when the the walk/run set go sprinting past only for me to run past them a few seconds later when they slow to a walk. Rinse/repeat for 5K-aarrgghh. Fortunately, I seem to have left most of them behind now that I'm running faster. But still, what's the point of walking during a timed event or race? Surely, if you can't run for 5K (or your distance of choice) without stopping then you need to build up to it with a training programme. Or am I missing something?

  • You may be missing something. In my mind the object is to do the distance in the lowest possible time. The correct run/walk strategy can actually be faster than running 100% of the time. I have read that virtually all amateur marathon runners would improve their time using run/walk from the start rather than relapsing into a foot-dragging stagger for the last few miles out of exhaustion. I am not sure at what distance the run/walk advantage kicks in - probably different for different people.

  • *citation needed ;)

    I think I've read the same stuff you have - I'm yet to be totally convinced but it sounds plausible - particularly for those who are *not* already accomplished athletes. I like the idea of less fatigue, faster recovery, coupled with comparable times, etc... Certainly worth giving it a go - it costs nothing! But...

    I'm just toying with this idea just now and although I've not actually done a solid run/walk/run session yet, I'm finding it difficult on my "I'm not going to stop running until the end" days, wrangling with my mind when I *want* a walking break but don't *need* one.

    My conclusion is that run/walk/run is dangerous!!! ;)

  • Jeff Galloway is the source of that statement re Run/walk shortening races. He is talking about distance races though - half to full Marathon. His PRIMARY focus however is not speed -- but health and non-injury. At 68 years old and completed 156 marathons, I do listen closely to what he has to say.

    BTW - running is a "freestyle" activity -- like freestyle swimming. The object of a freestyle race is to cross the line in the shortest possible time -- you could crawl on your hands and knees to do that if you could crawl fast enough :)

    Fast runners at Parkrun are a bit like fast drivers that zoom past you on the roads - it appears at the time that they can do this without consequence or cost -- but we never actually see them further down the road AFTER they have their inevitable accident. :)

  • That's the guy. I went and bought his book. I was totally drawn in to what he was saying but without having actually tried it myself, I remain on the fence. Regarding longer distances, it might well be the key to new runners increasing distance while avoiding injury.

    Any comment about it being "dangerous" was tounge in cheek. All I meant was that the mere thought of walking breaks being OK seems to have prevented me from running *without* breaks. Perhaps I'm just weak. ;)

  • I decided to put run/walk to the test. Instead of my planned W5R2 run I decided to try the run/walk intervals I had calculated ie 4 intervals of 5:30 @ 4:40 pace interspersed with 3 recuperation intervals of 1:00 at 9:00 (brisk walking pace).

    Result = new 5k PB of 24:08. Yahoooooo!

    Admittedly it did not go absolutely to plan; my 4 intervals were actually run at 4:25, 4:30, 4:45 and 4:48 but that means I averaged 4:37 across the 4 of them which I am very happy with.

    I really do not think I could improve on that time by running all the way round - not at my current state of fitness anyway.

    On the basis of this run I really do recommend anyone who is close to doing the elusive 5k in 30m but cannot quite get there to try a run/walk strategy.

  • Result!!

    Right... I was going to start Bridge 2 10K tomorrow, but I'm going to try run/walk/run instead!

  • Go for it Weighty80 ! Push yourself for the running intervals and remember to keep your walking pace up as high as you can too. Please let me know how you get on.

  • Will do - quads + ITBs are aching from running, buggy-running and fridge-freezer-lifting yesterday... I'd better go get jiggy with the foam roller... ;)

  • I didn't push myself too hard, nor did I walk too fast - chatted half the way round. A total of 8 running intervals of 5 minutes each, 7 walking breaks of 1 minute (except one of them was a 2mins walk, 4mins run - because I'm weak!). One minute comes round awf'y quick, though!!

    Managed an average 6:00min/km pace overall, and the first 5K was 29:17. According to Garmin.

    Certainly got round ~8km more comfortably doing run/walk/run than I think I would have if I'd been running continuously.

    Conclusion, it's a good way to build distance. Also breaks it up nicely allowing you to concentrate for a few minutes on elements of posture, form and technique, without getting overloaded/overtired.

  • Excellent. Thanks for sharing. How does 29:17 compare to the 1st 5k of your normal 8k run? And to your PB?

  • "Normal 8k run"???! No such thing. I've only done that distance 3 times now - one was laregly hill running, the other was with a hangover!

    5K times so far - at the end of C25K, I was coming in under 30 minutes, and have done so consistently, since. PB to date is 27:37, so today's time compares reasonably well. Knowing I was going 8km total and suffering in the legs a bit already, perhaps I held back a bit this morning.

  • Interesting. I suspect you would beat your PB with a run/walk then if you were only out to do 5k and you kept to your planned intervals.

  • > and you kept to your planned intervals.

    Cheeky! That was *after* my 5K! ;)

  • Yes, I know Weighty80. I am just saying that were you to do a proper 5k PB test of run/walk then in the name of science we would need the planned intervals to be respected wouldn't we?

    I actually have no idea what the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th 5 minute interval must feel like, being only on week 5 myself....!

  • Whatever it does for me over 5K, I can fairly safely say that run/walk/run will be getting me my first 10K PB before the end of the month.

  • Good for you. You will get to 10k at about the time I finish C25K. I am not sure what I will do then - go on to 10k or try to get more competitive at 5k. Either way I guess it means doing longer runs which I fear I shall just find very tedious.

  • I am planning to use the WalkJogRun run/walk schedules for a 10k in June and HM in October weighty80, so it sounds as though we will be at similar stages in our training. I start the 10k schedule at the end of March, it's 10 weeks long. BTW, I have used the run/walk method before and don't worry, walk breaks are not 'dangerous' when they are strictly planned and timed, in fact the hard part can be remembering to take them!

  • I am planning to use a modified version of the WalkJogRun 10K schedule this Spring. I will use the Run/Walk version and run/walk the 'long' runs. Two reasons for this, firstly I have used this method before for my first half marathon (I am a 'returning' runner) although I ran for 9 mins and walked for 1 min. It's true that overall you tend to be faster and finish stronger than many people who insist on running every step. I agree with ChrisL and don't have a problem at all with walk breaks on very long runs if it means your overall time is faster and you can remain injury free. The other reason is that I am returning to running after a 2 year break due to muscle spasm problems in my back/bum. Interestingly this problem arose after a half marathon that I was determined to run 'no matter what', along with inadequate stretching and recovery time. Let that be a lesson... I really don't want a recurrence and intend to be a bit more sensible in future! At risk of generalising, everyone I have spoken to that has a problem with run/walk schedules has been male, women seem to be much more open to the idea.

  • I didn't realise I was showing my feminine side. I just want to get round faster dammit!

  • Plenty of info about the Run/Walk/Run method here

  • Forgot to say, I was introduced to the walk/run method by this chap

  • ChrisL - so I'm supposed to keep my walking pace as high as I can? Eek! I must say I was going rather slowly.

    Weighty80 - you're right, that 1 minute does come round awfully quickly!

    I'm trying the Bridge to 10k Blue fin. I say trying, but the other day I kept running. It sometimes feels that walking for a minute, makes it harder for me to restart the run.

  • " It sometimes feels that walking for a minute, makes it harder for me to restart the run."

    Yes -- I feel this way a little as well. I am going to experiment with this - instead of stopping running and coming to a walk - I am going to just slow the running down to a "shuffle" for what would normally be the duration of the walk. I run on my forefeet - but I walk on my heels . "Shuffling" - at a good walking pace, I also do on my forefeet. I am wondering whether this would be a better way to transition from a faster high impact pace(running) to a slower, low impact pace (walking)

  • Bazza1234 if I slowed down much more I'd stop! I've definitely got a mental block that makes me go so slowly. I just can't see how to get my brain to tell my legs to speed up I really just want to be able to run, or in my case to jog. I do think having a plan to follow does help, as does posting our efforts on here.

  • Hmm -- I wish I was you :) My natural tendency (legs wise) is to run too fast - but that way leads to disaster !! :)

  • I think running slower is easier than speeding up, as speeding up takes much more effort. Try playing slow music, as I find fast music helps me to go a little faster and to keep going.

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