How fast should I be running?: Hiya everyone - I... - Couch to 5K

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How fast should I be running?

LouShooz profile image
18 Replies

Hiya everyone - I have literally just finished Week 6 Run 2 and was feeling really pleased I got through it. I checked my speed on my watch and I was at about 5 to 5.8 miles an hour for the running bit which I thought was OK but I have read other C25K-ers comments on the forum and they seem to be running an awful a lot faster than me.

I know we have to pace ourselves to what we can achieve and not to compare but am I pacing this correctly?. I really want to complete this programme so I think its probably very important to get the pace right at the right time :-)

Should I be trying to run faster or keep my personal pace and at least finish each podcast successfully? Bit confused? Does any one have any guidance? Thank you xxx

18 Replies
helcl profile image

If you feel the pace is easy you could push a little more, but if you are just able to complete the weeks, stay as you are. The running bit gets longer and you want to be able to finish them. At the moment time running is more important than speed, and you can improve your speed after you finish the programme

LouShooz profile image
LouShoozGraduate in reply to helcl

thanks helcl. I think I will press on as I am as I'd rather finish each section still running than get tored and have to stop. Thanks so much for your advice!

Miles_Yonder profile image

Don't worry about pace! Just run at a pace that feels comfortable for you; don't push yourself or anything. Push yourself too much and you may well tire yourself and might not be able to finish the run, and disheartened yourself. As long as you complete the runs, you're fine. Everyone is different and there's no right or wrong pace, just what you find comfortable. :-)

Well done on your progress so far! :-) x

LouShooz profile image
LouShoozGraduate in reply to Miles_Yonder

Thanks for your advice - I will definitely take note as I am really enjoying this programme and am desperately trying to follow things exactly. I haven't enjoyed running ever so am feeling amazing that I have kept up so far but was worried I was a slow coach. I will follow your advice and just take it at my own pace. Bye for now x

ChrisChappel profile image

5-5.8 miles an hour is nearly 5k in 30 mins

Don;t get hung up on speed and pace. Concentrate on getting through. You can concentrate on this later when you are more established. If you push too hard you will hurt yourself as your body is slowly adjusting to the immense stress you are probably placing it in. If you are like many of us here, you have probably not been too active lately before starting :-)

Keep running


LouShooz profile image
LouShoozGraduate in reply to ChrisChappel

Hi Chris I'll try not to get hung up on it :-) I didn't even think of it until I read that one of the guys on here was running at 8.9 per hour and I was a bit shaken that I may be too slow! It does hurt at times (in fact it hurts alot at times!) but I really enjoy this programme so am going to stick to it. I was so inactive before I started even though I used to be quite a gym bunny years ago life just got busy and my exercise slipped and before I know it 5 years had passed and I was 49 and completely unfit and out of shape :-(. Still the positive thing is I have started this plan and thanks to all the lovely feed back to help me through this one I will get fit again by the time i am 50. Thanks for your advice and I will take it all on board. Bye for now Lou x

ChrisChappel profile image
ChrisChappelGraduate in reply to LouShooz

Be happy with you and your progress. This is a super and supportive forum, but some will look in and compare themselves to others and feel deflated. In some respects it's great to post progress and milestones, but if you are not doing this for just you, it will always be an uphill struggle (pardon the pun) as someone will always be faster etc. Someone on here once said to me, a run is a run and any run is better than no run. You could be sat on the sofa eating or doing nothing but you have already made a hugely courageous change by getting out there, so take heart and run/jog/crawl happy.

As an aside, my nipples were really sore after going out this morning, so looking for my own advice on that one!


GettingFitter profile image
GettingFitterGraduate in reply to ChrisChappel

vaseline or plasters?

ChrisChappel profile image
ChrisChappelGraduate in reply to GettingFitter

I have an old roll of duck tape somewhere.. Thanks. You guys are awesome

frannyfran profile image
frannyfranGraduate in reply to LouShooz

Hi Lou,

Is the other guy running 8.9 kilometers per hour? That's about 5.5/5.6 miles per hour, same as you....

But as everybody says, the most important is that you run at your own pace and concentrate on finishing the program.

Good luck with your runs and enjoy your running.

runningnearbeirut profile image

Stick with what you're doing - the idea is to build up your ability to run for longer. As the others have said, speed can be worked on later, although this shouldn't be the be all and end all.

Be proud of what you've achieved so far, and enjoy your running :)

Really, don't think about speed. You can speed up if you want when you have finished the programme. This is about getting you running and you won't complete the course if you are pushing yourself too hard.

LouShooz profile image
LouShoozGraduate in reply to

Thanks so much for your reply. I will definitely take all the advice everyone has kindly posted and just jog on as I am. Even though at times it feels a bit slow I do love it and I really really want to finish this properly so I'll press on. Hope to graduate like you guys eventually :-) Thanks again!

GettingFitter profile image

Just keep getting the runs in and trust the programme. It really does work and in the not too distant future you will be running for 30 minutes. I did a lot of dog walking before I started the programme and had a medical to check I was in fairly good shape. Now I feel a lot fitter but nearly failed a run today because I missed a rest day and tried to speed up due to new found confidence. Good Luck!

LouShooz profile image
LouShoozGraduate in reply to GettingFitter

Thanks so much. I find it so fab this programme and the support and it has been an AMAZING help. There are some great people out there and we are all just trying to do something positive and get a bit fitter which is FAB. Will keep plodding on knowing there are so many other great people out there with me somewhere! xx

GoogleMe profile image

You must be reading selectively!

You have the answer there in your post "finish each podcast successfully" This is C25K and there is no point running as fast as Usain Bolt if you cannot sustain the pace...

I'm pleased when my pace is under 10m/k. By some standards that's not even jogging but my view is that if I adopted that kind of thinking I wouldn't be out there being active so my way of thinking is better! People here are all shapes and sizes and levels of fitness. Some of us were simply inactive or only used to other forms of exercise... others of us have significant health conditions which mean we should not be pushing ourselves hard.

Gwyrdd profile image
GwyrddGraduate in reply to GoogleMe

Thank you, I'll try to remember that. Yes, we are all different and I am just Old! I ought to be pleased with what I can do. I think I will stop using strava as it just makes me go faster than is comfortable and I become tired. I will just follow the programme and perhaps - in many weeks time- I will try Strava again to see if there has been any progress. Also, I have a couple of friends who are following me on Strava - they thought it would motivate me to start with, but it is not a good idea really.

You should be running fast enough to be able to finish each podcast without collapsing... nothing more than that! You have loads of time to work on pace later... right now, it's about building fitness and stamina. Go as fast or as slow as you're comfortable with...

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