I'm divorcing Laura

On Monday , I start Week 5 - and it is obvious that this is where it starts to get "hard". I've had no real problems up until now -- although the latter part of Week 4 was a bit of a struggle. One thing that I have been finding very off-putting is the music on the Laura podcasts. To me their beat and rhythm is not at all sympathetic to the beat required when running - and even if it was, every person would need a different beat (BPM) to sync their running into.

So - to tackle these coming weeks, I have decided that I will programme the relevant intervals into my Android phone using Runkeeper and eliminate this point of distraction.

44 Replies

  • Oh dear, sorry to hear it's not working out for you both. Why not try a trial reconciliation, there is an app that allows you to listen to Laura's motivational words (which you may find you need now it's becoming "hard") with your own music (or not) I graduated just before this became available but I'm sure one of the other C25Kers will be able to point you at how to find it in the Play store.

  • No- I'm afraid reconciliation is out of the question. I have already found someone else who gives me directions when to run and walk, also tells me how fast I am running, the total time of my run and maps the run out on a Google Map. AND doesn't play me any music. I think though that she may be a bit more "high maintenance" than Laura -- but hopefully it all works out in the long run?

  • My point was that you would get Laura's motivation and advice combined with no music. I think she's probably better off without you ;-)

  • Only bLaura, no music and no fiddling about to recreate. I use the app and the podcasts. You can play your own tracks while the app runs, Laura will interrupt when she needs to. Though i just like the silence. I run by a river, sounds beautiful, lucky me.

  • I hear what you're saying Bazza, I'm a musician and I haven't found anything that fits with my running beat, but I was also a teacher of music so I can ignore beats that are out of sync with me (years of conducting students of different standards). I would be scared of losing Laura, I've kinda felt like she's helping me through it, no matter how stupid that sounds. I just competed week 5 after an emotionally and phyiscally draining week. Never thought I would do it.

    Do let us know how the other method works, I will change after I graduate (how's that for confidence? ;) )

  • I divorced poor Laura too, at about the same time and for the same reason. I pre-programme my runs into the iSmoothRun app now, for some reason Runkeeper was really inaccurate for me. I now listen to my own playlists and it's much better. I do miss her encouragement sometimes though.

  • I think colleyflower is referring to the Couch25K app (as opposed to the podcast) I have seen some posts that say it's a bit unreliable but I haven't tried it myself.

  • I've searched the apple store, and can find plenty of C25K apps, but none that sounds like they've got anything to do with the lovely Laura. Does anyone have a link to the one YJB1 mentioned?

  • I think you find it through the Change For Life website rather than the NHS one Tomas.

  • Thanks YJB1. Managed to find it (only to be told it requires IOS 7, so am now upgrading). Thanks for the help.

  • Hi bazza1234 if you download the the NHS choice change for life podcast you can use your own music and still listen to the lovely Laura

  • I "think" that is for Iphones only??

  • Hi Bazza I use it on my Galaxy S3 Android. I also use RockMyRunwhich is a great app. Pat

  • You can get it for Android too but my app started constantly crashing by the end of Week 1 so I've had to ditch Laura :-(

  • Same here. I don't know about the iOS version, but the Android version is full of bugs. I just set up my garmin to beep when my time is up, although I do skip through the podcasts to check for the 'extras' like Laura telling you to try to speed up for the last minute or whatever :)

  • I have run without Laura throughout the programme and seem to have survived. I use runkeeper and on earlier runs gymboss to tell me my splits. Now on w7 so don't need this any more. All my early outings were in the dark up forestry with my dogs and I needed to be able to hear what was going on around me. I'm a bit deaf in one ear and just found this simpler. Good luck.

  • You are not alone. I think I ditched Laura at around week 3 because the music was so awful. I found running with my own choice of music allowed me to sing along (quietl) which helped to regulate my breathing.

  • I have tried to incorporate Laura with my own music because i dont like Rapping in W4 . I dont know how to do this ....

  • Bazza if your divorce ends up in court feel free to call me as a character witness. I will tell them what Laura is really like;

    - Plays appalling music throughout your date with her

    - Is completely inflexible as to what you do on dates

    - Makes no attempt to remember your previous dates with her

    - Doesn't whisper in your ear the important things you want to hear from her like distance, cadence etc

    - Doesn't encourage you to speed up or slow down throughout your exertions with her but just gives a somewhat patronising generalisation as to your performance at the end

    You can do better...

  • I've always been a bit wary of playing my own music as I am not sure that I have anything that would be of the "right" speed either. I'd have to spend a bit of time going though my tracks to try and find suitable ones which just seems like a headache. I have stuck to Laura and her choices of music so far (I've just reached W9). I have to admit I did not enjoy the music on W7 and it added to the joy of getting onto W8.

    I did download the three 5K+ podcasts in anticipation of completely C25K, and had a sneaky listen to a couple of them and the music on those seems hysterical, its so quick!! I shall have to see how I fare in the next couple of weeks.

    I think I might need to "google" good running tracks. Any suggestions?

  • Have a look at this Blog "Step to the beat" steptothebeat.blogspot.com.au/ Not sure about the "quality" of the music -- but at least it is labelled by the BPM of each track and it is rhythmic & suitable for running. Just depends on what cadence you use while running.

  • Thanks Bazza, I'll check this out. :)

  • Bazza, be warned , I have reported on here several times about the cruel humour of Gwendolen P Runkeeper, (do a search for Gwendolen) the American run commentator and her English counterpart Annabel Runkeeper-Smythe. They will record your overall times and report your intervals but taunt you with current pace times that are either unachievable by an Olympic runner, or somewhere in the region of a snails pace. Don't be deceived by the supportive dulcet tones of Annabel, she is as untrustworthy as the brusque and cold Gwendolen.

    Laura may have lousy musical taste, but I can vouch for her honesty.

  • I got "Now that's what i call running" In the same vein as "Now 1- ... is it on at least NOW 99 !

    There are some good tracks on there but i dont know how to incorporate this with Laura- her music is starting to irritate me and Im only W4

  • Have a look here. There's lots of other playlists too as well as the one on this link ...


  • Problem with all these is the low BPM for the tracks -- Walking pace is at least 120BPM ( Military marching music) and I usually walk at 130 BPM -- so these would be great for walking

  • That will depend on the length of your stride. a 1m stride length will give you 7.8 km/hr (or 5k in 38mins which a lot of people would be happy with). A stride length of 1.25m would give you 9.75k /hr which will give you a 5k time of around 30 minutes. Which I guess most of us would be happy with.

  • I stopped using Laura in week 5 as her words actually demotivated me. Phrases such as 'you're probably feeling quite tired by now' were not what I wanted to hear - they just put negative thoughts in my head. On my first attempt at W5R3 I stopped dead when she announced the half way point and I just couldn't carry on. So next time I put together a playlist of 'my' music that lasted 20 minutes and ran to that. I knew how many songs were on there so I could subconsciously gauge how far I'd gone. It worked a treat and so I stuck with that method for the rest of the programme. I did listen to the podcasts to make sure I'd not miss any important tips though.

  • good plan, I agree the music is awful, but I found the beat did help me to find a rhythm....good luck!!

  • Lol, I am know that we are a huggy squeezy forum but I was a little surprised that we are comfortable enough to discuss divorce...I hope that there has been no overlap between laura and the new flashier replacement :-P Laura and I parted ways after the end of the programme but sometimes we reunite.

  • I think if you are happy using runkeeper, and have programmed the run/walk interval, and keep on running then that's the main thing! Enjoy your running however you do it!!

  • On playstore the app is called 'change4life couch to 5k' and you play your own music and laura still talks to you.

  • Are you talking about He Google Play Store for Android phones?? If so, I can't find this App there - can you please provide a link? Perhaps it is Country specific as some Apps are.

  • The app is by Change4Life. The link is: play.google.com/store/apps/...

  • Ah yes!! __ looks like it is country/region specific.

  • I will stick with Laura until I graduate, if she has helped me this far (w5), then she can stay until the end. It's like everything else in this world, if you don't like it chuck it at the first opportunity ;)

  • I too really, really hate the music on the mp3s. Some of it makes me very stressed and irritable. I would love to be able to run to classical, folk or world music. Unfortunately, I can only use an mp3 player with ready-prepared resources for running as I do not know how to play music on my phone and fear the battery would become flat too soon anyway. I have looked around but have not found any running mp3s that do not use pop music. I console myself with the fact that I only have to endure 7 more sessions. However, I don't know how I'll manage after that without any mp3s at all.

  • Hi Dewines. try downloading a program from Audio fuel for the post C25k programme

  • Philholly, there's a website that will match your running pace with appropriate music jog.fm and you can search for tunes by bpm and your pace.

  • I would endorse colleyflowers's recommendations - Ididn't know about the option of combining Laura's words with your own music choice - Her encouraging words are well worth it'

    good luck

  • I loved Laura. She got me though those 9 weeks and now I can run over 5km when previously I couldn't jog for 2 minutes! Yes, the music was not always the best but for me the programme worked fantastically and I even have an occasional trip down memory lane back to week 9 for fun!

  • Oh I so agree with you hated the music and also found Laura distracting as weeks went on although at the beginning it got me motivated. I got to week 6 then had to stop for a while due to illness. Have started the programme again but I now programme the runs into run keeper. I use a programme which I found in a running guide but to be honest it is almost the same as c25k. I suppose at the end of the day it's down to personal choice how you get there but it's the getting there that's important.

  • i find i talk to Laura all the time when i run--- hurry Laura and tell me i am nearly at the end of the run, and i moan to her about the music as well, and when she says you have 60seconds left try and speed up, i reply saying ok i can do this Laura!!!! Anyone hearing me must think i am bonkers but i don't care it helps me get to the end result, i wont leave her till the end of week nine!!!!

  • Frankly, although there could be said to be a lot wrong with Laura's podcasts (poor music choices just being one of them), there is actually a lot more that is right with them than I think people are giving credit for.

    Pluses for me include:

    1) The program is free (aside from the usual things like buying proper shoes/investing in an mp3 player). AudioFuel charges for it's services, as do some of the other equivalent apps. The NHS programme is free to download via iTunes/similar, and so is the app if you want to use your own music (although I know it doesn't work perfectly)

    2) support and information on NHS website including the additional links to the Strength and Flex podcasts and the C25k+ podcasts. This includes being able to contribute to a forum like this (I refuse to use Facebook)

    The other free programs out there (Runners world, BUPA etc) are all structrued the same way as the NHS program, but you have to have your own timer to be able to work out when to start/stop the intervals and manage your own music and concentrate on technique, which can be very daunting if you are new to running. Laura takes a lot out of the hassle of trying to manage all this and the fact you almost have your own personal trainer, will help give a lot of people the confidence to get started. And that is all that Laura is meant to be there for: to help you get started and build your confidence. Some people may find they become confident more quickly - in which case, some of the other apps/training programmes may be exactly what they need. But that's the beauty of a programme like Laura's. We are all individuals and working at our own pace. For what it is, a free series of podcasts, designed to help the widest possible audience into running, I think the NHS have put together a very good, well thought out package.

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