Couch to 5K

First run since graduation - stepping stone

Hi all. Graduated on Friday and wanted to get stuck straight into one of the C25K+ podcasts. I started with the Stepping Stone podcast and found it REALLY slow. I was after some advice on what to do. I found it incredibly difficult (in fact, I couldn't do it at all) to pace myself slow enough to be running at 150bpm. When it increased to 155bpm, this was still feeling really slow for me. I was feeling okay - legs a little tired, but breathing perfectly manageable and I was far more comfortable in the last section of the podcast where it's up to 160bpm (although this was still a conscious effort to lengthen my stride and slow my pace down and I kept speeding up and having to slow down again). I'm leaning towards thinking that my 'comfortable' running speed is between 160-165bpm. I'm feeling as though I'm not sure this podcast is going to help me, as it's slowing me down and reducing the distance I cover in 30 minutes. Does anyone have a similar experience or some advice to offer? Thank you :-)

11 Replies

Run the three of them and see how you go. Speed seems too slow but it's deceiving! They are to move you on from Couch towards running longer distances, which require more stamina to last the course. I find myself going back to them time and again in between practice for 10 k


Okay, I'll try another couple of times this week. At the end of the day, I'm just happy to be out there running and doing something. If I'm not quite running on the beat, it's not the end of the world! What are you using to train for 10k? One of the Bridge to 10k podcasts?


I found the same!

I did stepping stones for the first time on friday, and found i was doing all sorts of skipetty jumps to keep in time with the music. The warm up walk pace was ace by comparison. By the time it got to 160 i felt much more comfortable - although I dont know if I could sustain it for the whole half hour yet - which is kind of the point!

I then did speed yesterday and had the same problem, but think i'lll stick with it for a few weeks until I'm doing the 165s more comfortably - and I've still to try stamina which i'm looking forward to.

Its been a bit of an eye opener though, as I've always run to songs that I've felt had a good beat and are motivational. But I then ran the two songs I find most runnable-to through jog-fm - and they are 167 and 164 bpm (sabotage by beastie boys and river deep mountain high by tina turner) I guess thats just my pace at the moment (for a minute or two anyway!.) I always just thought its because they are songs i love - but now i think there is more to it! At that speed I'll do 5k in 25 mins - hahaha!!!

I'm trying to add a few more songs at this pace to a playlist for a run in the near future - but as always - I don't want to overdo it.

But equally, i like the idea of building up pace through a run - not starting too fast... food for thought I guess.


Sounds like you're doing really well. So when you find the pace too slow on the podcasts, do you just find a pace that is comfortable? I don't know what more I can do to slow down ...


Don't know that I'm doing that well - but thank you!

I try to stick with the slower runs but its really hard! I feel like if the runs were backwards (from 165 down) then that would be easier to maintain, as I'd be knackered enough at the end to run at that pace -although I know thats not the point! Automatically my feet seem to readjust to the pace - i dont really know how to describe it but its like a half-pause or a bit of a skip??! What do you do?

I tried lengthening my stride too - but felt like I was landing very heavily..

When I'm playing my own music I just go for a comfortable pace - I did that all through the c25k without thinking about it... I thought I was running to the beat but I really wasn't! Now that Laura has taught me I hear the beat much more.

Just goes to show how much more there is to learn...


I've just had a sneaky listen to stepping stone as I like to know what's ahead of me and it sounded super fast!

Can I ask gnimia and ra220 how you are managing with the podcast and your own music. As my graduation gift I plan on buying a smart phone but not necessarily an i-phone. I love a bit of Laura but not the tunes and think I've done well to preserver to week 9. Is it quite straightforward to set up the apps and play lists on any brand of phone?

Enjoy your runs and keep the beat. :-)


Hi RubySlippers. I've only used the podcasts so far (which is just the same as downloading to music Couch 2 5k plan onto an mp3 player) so I've only listened to the C25K music so far. I've not ventured into the technical world of combining Laura's voice with my own music (though would welcome any advice telling me that this is easy peesy and I should just get on with it ... ;-) ) So any technical questions, I'm definitely not the right person to ask! Maybe someone will come on and advise us both! Good luck and keep up the good work of running!!


Thanks ra220, you made me laugh. You sound as much of a gizmo geek as me, haha. At least we're trying. :-)


I can't really remember the stepping stones podcast, so I don't think I liked it very much and didn't do it very often.

The topic of running to the beat has come up more than once since I graduated in the summer, and I don't think anyone has a perfect answer. I find it really hard because (a) I think that despite being musical I am actually quite uncoordinated and (b) the beat seams too slow in some bits of the podcasts. Running to a beat that's too slow is really tricky and, as I can't pause midair, I usually end up ignoring the beat, but hopefully getting a bit faster when told to. I've got the hang of the speed podcast now (although I usually find the first 5 minute run "slow" and don't stick to the prescribed beat) and stamina is a favourite fall back I turn to now and then.


Hi, like you I tried Stepping Stones straight after graduating, really up for it, prepared to push myself you know the feeling I bet. And it was a nightmare! Super slow, I was clomping along, landing really heavily, my hip started to hurt so I had to do a few squats and stretches. It was probably my worst run ever!

I like Stamina a lot though, I've found it great for making me go steady and generally I use it on longer runs to get me through the first half hour at a sensible pace.

But PS I've been ill for 2 weeks and unable to run - I started 2 days ago with the dreaded Stepping Stones and I tell you what it was lovely!


Just shows how different we all are, doesn't it. I did my first "post-grad" run last night using Stepping Stiones and found it really great. I seemed to tune in to the pace each time and almost didn't notice the 5bpm upspeed each time but was pretty much in time with Laura - did my most comfortable run and best 30min distance, so suited me just fime. Now to see what SPEED and STAMINA are like :)


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