The Magical 5k in 30 Minutes

As a recent graduate I wanted to provide some advice to those of you worried about pace and/or distance.


The goal of the programme is to have you running for 30 minutes... the 5K is a "stretch target" and is something that an average person can do within 30 minutes. Defining "average" is impossible - everyone on here is different. We are different ages, we have different builds and we have different running styles. Some of us push hard, some can hold a conversation with their friends while running, some of us just like to enjoy the scenery...

Your pace is "your pace" - period.

If you're out and running 30 minutes by the end of week 9 and you can do that 3 times a week, it matters nought how far you go. You're pushing yourself, your heart and lungs are working to their optimum capacity and you're doing your health, body and waist line untold good...

Post graduation you work on pace (if you want to) and distance (if you want to)...

With all these gadgets strapped to us it's easy to get competitive and compare... I'm guilty of it too...

Every single runner (including the Olympians) were novice runners once! Each one of your is on a personal journey to a healthier lifestyle... enjoy it and try not to compete (yet!)... :)

Happy running!


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28 Replies

  • WELL SAID aussiegtc!

  • Well said Aussiegtc. I read several posts per day where people worry about the time and/or distance they are doing. It's far better if they would just focus on building the stamina to be able to run for that 30 minutes during week 9 and just enjoy their own personal journey as I did. Pushing to do more than that sets them up for injury and burnout.

    This is a brilliant post and I sincerely hope that the excellent advice contained therein will be read, and taken on board,

    by anyone embarking on or already doing this programme.

    Good luck with your own post graduate running and my best wishes to you.

  • HEAR HEAR!! Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Honourable Gentleman for his comments on the subject of 5K in 30 minutes. He like me realises that competition is a natural state of the human mind and we all of us wish to better ourselves, for the good of our health. However, putting untold pressure on ourselves to achieve goals which may at the outset be unattainable, should be put to one side, as our bodies get used to the extra aerobic effort we put in. As a wise old bird once said "slowly slowly catchy monkey"! (cue honourable members shouting "hear hear" and slurring phrases like "quite right"...."he's a good egg" etc etc etc)

  • I may be "slowly slowly" catching you at Richmond Park soon sir... :)

  • Thanks - I do like statistics... and here's one to consider...

    Runner A does 5K in 15 minutes

    Runner B does 5K in 45 minutes

    Average time? 30 minutes... :)

    Runner A might well be a 19 year old sprinter who has been running since they could walk.

    Runner B might be you or me only running 9 weeks..

    Both are great times... the average is simply a mathematical model... :)

  • Absobloominlutely. I'm 64 and I'm out there running for 30 minutes - which is more than can be said for the majority my age!

  • And looking good for all that hard work! :)

  • Thank you kind sir. :)

  • YOU'RE 64???? You look amazing. Just goes to show how a bit of exercise and healthy eating can make you look fabulous.

  • I second that you look fantastic !

  • I lost three stone on the 5:2 Diet going from a size 16 to a 10 in six months. I felt so wonderful that I started c25k and still run three times a week. I've been the same weight now since April last year and now just fast once a week for the health benefits. I certainly don't feel my age!

  • Well done - any kind of fasting seems to work really well. I never eat breakfast nowadays so only eat between midday and 6pm. :)

  • I totally agree , I'm redoing this programme again after injury , I'm on wk 9 now , first time round I was guilty of thinking well so& so is doing this etc etc & pushing my self , result injuries but now I listen to my body & run at my own ability & I really enjoy it more . Yes I have a garmin , but just for interest for calories , & distance not to beat my self up about my time . Happy running everyone. & enjoy .

  • well said

  • Agree totally aussiegtc, it's so easy for us to get hung up on the statistics. It's all the positive benefits and enjoyment of running that we should be hooked on. x

  • Well siad. Im very gulity of this - still takes 34 mins for 5k, which is so much more than i could do a year ago, but i still get cross im not faster. Keep thinking i should ditch the measuring, at least once a week, but hteres still a part of me needs the "evidence" that i ran!

  • Great post, makes complete sense.

  • Another interesting statistic (see, told you I like them)...

    At my local Parkrun last week the fastest time was 16:42 and the slowest was 40:40... the average is 28:41. Now, considering there were 330 runners, how many do you think finished in over 30 minutes? 85 of them - that's over a QUARTER of all the runners taking more than 30 minutes (and these are people in clubs, graduates and fun runners).

    MANY of those over 30 minutes were still in the top 50% for their age grade....

    My point? STOP WORRYING... (and keep running!)...

  • Very well said! I'm only on week 3. My aim is to be able to run the Race for Life in 8 weeks time. Then go on to do Hull Park Run's after that! It may take me a while to run but what an achievement it will be to able to complete a 5k after not running since school!

  • You'll surprise yourself with what you can do in 6 weeks time... I bet you're already surprised at Week 3... Good luck!

  • Thank you! Yes very surprised! A whole 3 minutes - who'd have thought I could do that! My son is a 17 yr old competitive middle distance runner. He started at ParkRun when 13. He is so proud of what I have achieved in this last 17 months (I have also lost just over 5 stone). I feel so much happier being fitter! :-)

  • Thank you kitty :-) I'm so excited about being able to run!

  • Your graduate badge looks GREAT on you BTW... and I love the avatar!

  • So true It's good to be reminded cos lots of us are just too too hard on ourselves And after all we are all fantastic whether we be fast or just plodding along the main thing is we are not on the couch -- well not till after run when we lying there with G+T and bar of chocolate !

  • Spot on. We'll said.

  • An excellent post, and very well put indeed!

  • Great post. I did c25k last year and got disillusioned when I couldn't run 5k in 30 minutes even after a few months. I cut down on my running for a bit, but now I've started running again 3 times a week and just don't really bother. Half the time I don't check my distance, I run for as long as I feel able - sometimes its just 20 minutes, sometimes its over 30 minutes. The main thing is I'm running/jogging.

  • Absolutely! I'm applying that to my 10k in under 1 hour goal too. :-)

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