Couch to 5km reinvented

The rewards from this couch to 5km just keep on coming. I graduated from this programme over a year ago now and running is now a central part of my life. Since graduating I've knocked a whopping 10 minutes of my 5km time (I was no where near doing it in 30 minutes I hasten to add) and I'm working up to a half marathon later this year. Things are going very well and I could go on and on about how marvellous and life changing this programme has been for me but I've waxed lyrical on here before so shall instead tell you all about my recent decision to re-do the programme with a twist.

Having graduated from the programme last January I really haven't had much use for it. I'd done the speed and stamina podcasts and just needed more. My aim was to improve my speed at 5km. I can now run and run for ages very slowly but the speed is a problem. Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to return to the NHS Choices couch to 5km programme and use it as interval training. I started with week one - five minute warm up speed walk, then reps of 60 second sprints flat out and then instead of 90 seconds walking I bring it back down to a light jog. Wow - that was tough but I'm now on week three and it works. It really works. I knocked another 3 minutes off my parkrun time last week (helped perhaps by the drier ground) and whilst I can't keep the pace up for the whole 5km, I am definately running faster and by the time I reach the end of this programme who knows what I'll be achieving. It's all very exciting and just one more reason why I love this programme. And the best thing is, I don't ever need to stop using it as interval training is a really important part of my weekly running schedule so even when I've finished redoing the course, I can return to it again and again. Now then - isn't that just marvellous? The running programme that keeps on giving. Love it.


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6 Replies

  • That's good to hear Zippy! I sometimes run the weeks again if they pop up on my mp3 players. It's good to catch up with Julie again!

    It's pleasing to hear that you can knock some minutes of 5 k times as I'm struggling with that at the mo but did knock a second or two off it yesterday. The thing is to just keep running isn't it and see where it takes us. Great int it!

  • That's an idea I'll certainly be trying once I've managed the other podcasts first. I'm only on stepping stones at the moment. My time is 42mins for 5K but I hope to build in time. I've still got a bit of weight to lose first. Thank you for the great tip for my training! Thanks to Laura too!. :-)

  • Thanks misswobble - yes running is fantastic. I had to lose a whole lot of weight thinlizzywish123 and what I will say to you is that you get faster as it comes off. I run with my thinlizzie sister who just flies around 5km in 20 something and I say to her - ok then, you try it carrying my 5 year old child and my cocker spaniel because that's what it's like for me. It's tough but big girls can run and the more we do the smaller we get. the stepping stones are excellent too so good luck with them.

  • That's great, you really are living up to your username. :-)

  • This is such a great idea thanks for sharing it. I have found that since graduation, even though I can now run longer distances my speed hasn't improved at all. I will certainly be giving this a go!

  • Nice post Zippyfeet, goes to show what can be done. I am going to try that I think and see if I can knock some time off my 5k. Good luck with your half marathon training. x

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