Completed first 5K race...mixed feelings

I took 37 minutes to complete the course but I'm pleased that I kept running (plodding!). I'm just a little gutted at how slow I am!! On the other hand this time last year I would never have expected to be running, let alone taking part in a race. I still have quite a bit of weight to lose so maybe my speed will pick up as the weight (hopefully) comes off. The biggest plus? My family are so pleased and so proud of me and to quote my youngest, "Mum, I wasn't the slightest bit embarrassed." High praise indeed!!


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

13 Replies

  • Well I've realised that 'comparison is the thief of joy' and a day later I really am quite happy with the outcome. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • I'm still chasing 5k in 40 minutes so well done to you! :)

  • Although I do it myself to a certain extent -- I think that "chasing" shorter times is a hollow and only temporarily satisfying pastime. Yes -- I know all about "goals" and "challenging yourself", etc - but satisfaction and contentment that is a bit more lasting is preferable to me. So the mere fact that I can actually run 5Ks gives me immense satisfaction -- whether I do it in 40 or 30 or 35 seconds is largely a bit irrelevant to me although I will at times try to better it just a little. But, if I don't , it won't worry me. So, for me , the search is now on for a challenge that will give me further satisfaction but coming from a different direction.

  • Here, here!

  • Have you tried putting your age & time into the 'age graded' running time calculator at ? You may find your 37 minutes is actually quite good for your age & gender...

  • Thanks, I've never heard of this. Entered my details but I don't quite understand it - will re-read and see if it's any clearer!!

  • Well done. The thing is, you completed a 5k! I repeat, you completed a 5k ;) You should be rightly proud of that achievement and the praise from your youngest confirms that :)

  • Once we improve, we all tend to be hard on ourselves forgetting the massive, personal achievements already accomplished. It was a very respectable time and got yourself out there and did it! Are you running to the speed podcasts? I say this because I use it for the start of a parkrun and when it finishes continue counting the 150 beats. I practiced this a few times before attempting a park run so I knew it was achievable. If you want to be faster give it a try but still remember its great to be just doing it! No wonder your family are proud, be proud too x

  • I've had my iPod out tonight and have the C25K+ podcasts ready to go.

  • You completed your first 5k race? Congratulations, that in itself is just brilliant.

    I can identify with you focussing on the speed because it was a race, however I think it can be helpful to work out what works for you as a motivator for your running. What are you aiming for? What gives you real satisfaction during and after a run?

    I graduated last August and was about the 37 or 38 minutes for my first few 5k's (no races - just me and my garmin), and was pretty sure I could to go a bit faster than that. So I worked on it and by running regularly 3 or 4 times a week for several months my speed improved to just over 32 minutes. I think it was my general fitness and stamina that improved and the speedier runs followed. Great so far... however, after a couple of months I was noticing I wasn't enjoying my running so much. I felt like I was clock (speed/pace/time) watching and getting to the place Bazza describes above which wasn't really inspiring or enjoyable. So decided to take my focus off speed and just do what I wanted to do each run. Much better.

    That said I have been ill for the last month or so and just went out for my first run yesterday, goals changed again, this time I just want to get back up to being able to run 5k :)

    Sorry this is a bit of a ramble, hope it makes some sense to you :)

  • Hope you're fighting fit soon!

  • My best Parkrun time has been 40 minutes 10 seconds. Yesterday was 40:23 and I was almost last in place 149. However, if I look at the WAVA score for yesterday, which you get with your results, it is 47.38%. Now, if I look up yesterday's results list to find people with a similar WAVA score, I find that my performance is classed as being better than a male participant in the 35-39 years group, who finished in 28:32 in place 102 with a WAVA score of 46.50%.

    I too get down about being so slow. I think it is natural, especially when you end up at or very near the end, with everyone else either out of sight or lapping you. So when I feel useless, I look at my WAVA and see what sort of times that would produce if I was younger and male. I also track how the score changes. I log my running at, which calculates my predicted WAVA for different distances each time. On my very first session, on January 2, my predicted 5K WAVA was 28.2% and my predicted 5K time (predicted, because I'd only managed 2.6K) was 1 hour 6:48! So I can be really proud of what I have achieved over four months, even though I am still a real snail.

  • You've done really well for a first race. I guess improving speed takes time. As a new graduate I'm just really happy that I can run 30 minutes non stop and do a 5K (including warm up/down walks) in less than 42 minutes. Good luck with your future runs. Regards.

You may also like...