GO FOR IT - but just once per month

Ice cream is Good!! -- but too much Ice cream is bad!!

C25K is good ! -- BUT it also has some bad. One weakness that I see with C25K is that it tends to cause people to think that they should and can constantly strive for "improvement" -- especially in regards to times/paces. This can lead to not only injury but disappointment and disillusionment. Actually, disillusion is commonly thought of as being a bad thing - but it is actually a good thing -- because to become disillusioned means that you were suffering from an illusion all along - which is not good.

I AM striving to increase my distances and to be able to run 5Ks more easily . BUT - in regards to pace, and PB's for the 5K distance, I have decided to continue to run 5k regularly however I feel like at the time, sometimes non-stop, sometimes using intervals, sometimes slowly - and ONCE PER MONTH ONLY, I will give an attempt at a PB a good go. My local Parkrun has, once per month , a "pacers day" - the fastest pacer starts at 20 mins and then they range out to 35 minutes in 2.5 minute increments. I have already "broken" the 35 minute mark with 34 minutes and 12 seconds - so at the next one ( in a fortnight) I will try to follow the 32.5 minute pacer. Regardless of what results, I will then forget about 5K times until the next month comes around.


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11 Replies

  • You know what, I don't think it is C25K causing it... it is just what 'people' are like... and perhaps especially after finding through C25K that they *are* capable of more than they thought they were.

    At any rate the only message I got from the podcasts (maybe the forum is different) was that this was to enable me to run continuously for 30 minutes on a regular basis. I am working up to 10k now but that is because I would like to run longer routes to get more views (and it is more exercise for the dog).

    And most people do like something to aim for - look at how many complain they just don't go if they don't have a 'project' - and variety.

  • I run once a week and that is enough for me

  • Yep, I agree with GoogleMe, it's just how a lot of us are. It's good to ask ourselves "Why am I doing this?" every now and again.

  • Haha, I ask myself this every time I step out the front door before a run!! My answer to myself - to say goodbye to being Obese and no more mental health issues. :-)

  • That's fab lizzy, and the best thing about that is neither require PBs, good for you :-)

  • But your post has made me think Bazza. I find it tempting to consult Strava after every run to see if I have broken a PB somewhere in the stretch. And it can take away from the actual enjoyment of a run. From now on I resolve to run twice during the week just for the pleasure of it and reserve my Sunday run for the effort. Or maybe a once a month 'effort' run would be better still. After all, racehorses don't gallop at race pace when they're training for a race. So, perhaps a once a month park run where I go all out to improve my PB would satisfy my need for 'improvement'. Thanks Bazza!

  • This is exactly why I don't use garmains/run keeper etc. yes, I have goals, eg wanting to run 10k, but since the only person I am competing against is myself, I don't need the minutiae to tell me I've improved. 6 months ago I couldn't run at all, now I run 5k at least 3 times a week. Who knows where I will be in 6 months, I will have hopefully cracked 10k. I do think it is possible to be too obsessed by statistics. After all, the saying does go lies, damn lies and statistics for a reason :-)

  • Whether or not you strive to improve AFTER graduation is down to individuals. People, as a species, are naturally competitive so the desire to go faster/further or whatever is almost a primal urge, as is the desire to beat others. Just look at he old playground classic 'King of the Castle'.

    We must strive to do greater distances and run for longer times in order to complete the C25K, but why SHOULD we stop there. It is only the programme that says we should stop, but why not continue, IF that is what you truly want. It may be fine for some to stop at 5K, and I have HUGE respect for all runners. Others may wish to go onto 10K, half marathons, full marathons, ultras etc. It is down to individuals, and we should support them whatever they do.

    I am happy with 5K for now (partly because I am no a natural distance runner ~ partly because I am helping my wife complete the C25K). but I will go on to greater distances. If I crack a 10K I will be happy, and a half marathon would be nice. I have no burning desire to run a full marathon, but who knows if I ever will. If I do, I hope I will not be seen as doling something wrong, but as someone who has applied themselves and has committed to the training.

    Whatever people do in going faster or further I am very pleased that they are out there doing it and not sat in some metaphoric smoke-filled pub.

  • I think those who are content to get their runs done each week and be glad, without a lot of data tracking and PB seeking, are simply quieter here on the fourums. There is a lot less to report and discuss if your current goal is to just keep on doing what you are doing.

    Some folks are data and goal driven, others arent. I am at a poibt when i avoid a lot of data regarding weightloss and fitness, as i have bern depressingly scale obsessed in the past and it was less than helpful, just caused panic and stress.

  • I can see where you are coming from, bazza and respect your opinion. However, I fully agree with sallycycle.

    The c25k is different things to different people and the way people choose to use it to achieve their individual goals should be encouraged and applauded at all times. There isn't a right or wrong way or a good or bad way.

    As humans, we strive to go further, go quicker, push the boundaries etc and that has to be a good thing otherwise human kind would stand still and not reach amazing goals such as landing a man on the moon ;)

    As regards to disappointment and disillusionment, again, I don't see an issue with that. After all, it's all part of life and I don't think for one minute there is anyone who hasn't experience either or both. I like to see it as character building and believe we come back stronger from the experience.

    Enjoy the c24k whichever way you choose to use it :)

  • I think another point is that for a lot of people, achieving C25k, even seeing the progress after a few weeks, find it a revelation that they can achieve improvement if they strive for it. It is a wakeup call to what is possible in life if you are determined, regardless of whether that be losing weight, gaining confidence, becoming fit, running a distance or a speed or whatever.

    For many people, certainly for me, just doing C25k represents a personal best. I am running 2.5 miles now in week 7, and that is the furthest I have ever run in my life. I hadn't run a mile or even half a mile since I was at school thirty years ago. I had long since resigned myself to the fact that I would never be able to run any distance.

    And now I can. And if I can run 2.5 or 3 miles after 9 weeks then I can run further if I carry on, and I jolly well intend to take every advantage of this thrilling new opportunity that has opened up for me.

    And to be honest the confidence that it ha given me extends into the rest of my life too. I can do this because I decided to and stuck with a structured plan of how to achieve it. I am pretty sure that principle applies to lots of other things too, and am looking at all sorts of things with a different eye now. I am going to strive for improvement in everything.

    I have no doubt that I will have some disappointments, but they won't be for want of me trying or lacking the confidence to try.

    I don't think everyone who does C25k should feel they need to strive for constant improvement in running or anywhere else, but if it does motivate them to do so, then that's brilliant.

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