Couch to 5K

How long does it take to increase to 10k ?

I'm a lazy bastard at heart. I have started c25k because I want to lose weight, and while I want to become a regular runner, I *know* that if there's no carrot dangling in front my head, I'll start to skip runs once I have graduated. For the time being, the graduation is the carrot, and I need to prepare another carrot to make sure I continue running.

So I've decided that after my first official 5k (coinciding with my expected graduation run) on the 27th April, I will start to train for 10k. I'm considering a 10k run on the 15th June. That's 7 weeks after the 5k. The way I see it, I should be able to increase my running time by 5 minutes per week, meaning it ought to take 6 weeks to get from 5k to 10k.

Is this likely to be realistic? What do those of you graduates who have gone on to run longer think?



13 Replies

I think you do 3 minute increases but if you're young and fit you can get away with more I suppose.

I am an old biddy and got up to 10 k after Couch and am working towards 16 k, starting just this week.

You can download the Bridge to 10 k programme with Sami Murphy from here, although week one doesn't work properly so I had to move onto week 2. That's only a five week programme! A bit of a leap mind you. I got stuck at week 4 and had to repeat runs but stuck with it and finished it.

I actually prefer the 10k as I am slow to warm up and by the time the 5k is over I'm still building up to the best bit which comes after 5 k. 5k being shorter is more intense I suppose, which is why it's so popular with serious runners training for longer distances, cos it's about speed.

You have the little matter of Couch to 5 k to complete though so don't get too far ahead of yourself.

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Hmm -- I can't really comment too much - as it has taken me 3 months to get to the end of the C25K programme . But I do think that your theory is workable.

re the weight loss - many here have been disappointed with the amount of weight loss experienced while running - including me. I think the answer lies in reducing what we put into our mouths :)


It took me about 10 weeks to get through C25K and at the end my distance after 30 minutes running was well under 5K. I had been trying to watch what I eat as well. About a month in, I started using MyFitnessPal (web site and app) to keep within a certain calorie allowance, which is increased by however much I exercise. By the time I graduated, I had lost almost a stone in total and am continuing to lose weight slowly, about 17 lbs down so far.

I'm working towards a 10K too and have entered one on May 24 which is 8 weeks after I graduated. Having proved to myself that I can run for 30 minutes, I feel no desperate need to keep extending my continuous running distance. I think that having some walk breaks factored in right from the start (Galloway method) might work better for me, so am experimenting with that. I hope eventually to get to a point where I only have a minute or so walk break every mile, but am being far more generous to myself at the moment. I've got my distance up to 4.5 miles now and am trying to increase one session each week by about 0.5 miles.


I found this story inspirational today:


Yes - really a great testament to self control and self belief. Inspired me too!

Hope she does well in the marathon!


i just added a mile or half a mile to my run s if your young you should be ok ive done 2x10 races 1hm and so it s worked for me and that carrot must be the medals you will be getting when you cross that line ps im also a lazy b good luck


Thanks for all the feedback. I'm a 46 year young bloke, so it sounds like it'll be possible but not easy. That's cool with me. Carrots look great when they're dangling in front of me, but compared to chocolate, their taste is highly over rated.


I'm a similar age to you and moved up from 5k to 10k in 6 weeks (my first - and so far only -10k run was the first run of week 6), although I'd kept running 3 times a week for about 30 minutes a time for about 3 months before I started building up from 5km.

I used a bridge to 10k programme that went back to running/walking intervals. The programme I used had 3 identical or similar runs each week, which meant that as time went on the time I had to commit to for every run got longer. In retrospect (and if I ever chose to work my way back up to 10k) I'd go for 1 x speed, 1 x stamina and 1 x increasingly longer run per week (speed and stamina are post-C25K podcasts. Those longer runs should increase by no more than 10% a week to avoid injury, but you should be able to get there by (or perhaps "on") the race day.


I'm a similar age and doing something similar. One "no-pressure" 30 minute run per week (I just set a timer, and check my runkeeper stats afterwards, rather than listening to the audio prompts), 1 speed podcast, and then on the weekend a distance oriented run where I'm trying to add 1k per month. But if you used the 10% per week rule you would obviously add distance faster. Watch out for your knees though.


Took me a 10 months to get from 5K to 10K - dunno why it took so long, but I had some injury issues to tend with, plus I'm 51 now, which may have been one of the reasons. You should increase your distance by no more than 10% per week otherwise you risk pushing your body too far and causing injury. The last thing you want is an injury putting you out of action for two months or more!

When I graduated, I set time goals for myself to keep the interest going and this worked. Then when I got bored of that, I just ran for the sake of running. Then I started to go for 10K and that took ages. It's very mental all this running lark and the knack is to prepare your body and brain for the long distances. Now I've achieved 10K in under an hour I'm happy and happier JUST to run three times per week for the sake of health and well being. Good luck to you! Let us know how you get on.

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Jeff Galloway has a programme which takes you from running 5Klm to 18Klm in 16 weeks. 3 runs a week - with one long run at very slow pace increasing by 1klm each week. His major emphasis with his training is safety (no injuries) - so I put my trust in him. It is a run/walk programme - not non-stop running. Don't know if I will be able to do it though :) -- but I am going to give it a go. (and I'm 67!! ) :)


I graduated in august and haven't quite got to the magic 10k yet (just turned 40). I had a 5k in November and have a 10k next month.

I'm at 8.5k and just increased by extending my distance on a weekly longer run (eg to railway points, bridge, old pub (sadly abandoned) and have built up that way.

Having a race to aim for did help over the winter!


It's all in your head. Really. Running about three times a week post graduation, I decided that every other week, one of those runs would be slightly longer each time (the others being 5k each). First I did 6k, then 7k and I was then going to do 8 when it occurred to me that if I stopped just 2k short of the magic 10, I'd kick myself. So I went straight from 7 to 10. Just because I told myself I could!

I've since done several more 10ks, then 2 weeks ago I did 11 and last weekend 13.5. (It was 13.5 because the route happened to be 13.5k). Can't say any of it was easy - I was very tired at the end of each one, but I've felt more tired running a 'fast' (I use the term very loosely) 5k.

Whenever you decide to step things up a bit - make sure you're mentally ready as well as physically. It is definitely a factor.


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