Couch to 5K

Planless 10K: W2R1!

Good morning, my dearest fellow C25Kers. :-)

Goodness, I have some catching up to do from yesterday; seems everyone had a Productive Running Weekend. (PRW) Bear with me, I'll get caught up, eventually.....!

Today was an odd run, because even when I embarked on it, I hadn't a single clue where I was going or how long the run was going to be. Even on the warm-up walk I didn't know. Which is troubling. Could be because I was tired; didn't sleep great last night. Yes, I could blame that, but that'd be easy and I know deep down that lack of sleep isn't the issue. You see, my dear reader, I had a bit of a Running Plan Crisis (RPC) yesterday. Okay, it was more than a bit of one; more akin to a full-scale meltdown.

I decided to abandon B210K as it does seem somewhat aggressive in its progression, although any alternative I came up with was equally aggressive. I was going to go on a thirty-minuter this morning but it turned out being the 41 minute 8K spectacular which I got to on B210K. Without a set plan to follow it's easy to just plod on, but the good news is I did the same most of last week and haven't increased it this week, which is good, but I might add a few minutes onto the run on Long Run Friday. (LRF)

And the problem I have with plans is that I can't find one to properly suit. I had a good, long hard think about this yesterday. All yesterday. And got nowhere. Here's my dilemma: though I do have a 10K race in September, (the end of September) it seems logical that a 10K plan would suit and be the most obvious choice. But is it? Looking beyond that (a 10K at the end of October and November too) I have the Brighton HM in February. Now, in my mind, I don't see the logic in focusing on a 10K plan up to September and then spending the next few months increasing the distance to HM length, so while not immediately jumping to thirteen-mile runs (!) I think it an idea to look beyond the 10K and gradually, slowly work up to the HM, so that when that gets here, there's no big shock to the system as all this time I've been working towards it anyway, as opposed to 10K 10K 10K 10K September HM HM HM panic panic panic.

I'm not suggesting immediately heading towards it as there's months away, but merely slowly working towards it and using 10K races (and 5Ks too) to help with that. But how to go about it? That's the baffling question. Here are some options so far:

A: The BUPA 10K plan. Do this until September, then look ahead to the HM.

B: The BUPA HM programme sort of combine the two, perhaps, to last over a much longer time.

I'm actually happy to undergo a 20 week or even more plan, as there's plenty of time yet for a gradual build-up. Maybe in winter to do training runs of longer than 13 miles to fully prepare me for it. Gah, choices, choices. I've found one 20 weeker...


So what do you all think? Because I genuinely have no bloody idea at all what I'm doing. Which isn't good. :-|

Anyway: this morning:

I got up at the usual time of 0331, my normal RDT (Running Day Time) but was quite tired. I ponder what I'm going to do for today's run: I really haven't a clue. I'll have a think over the usual PBRC and three-fig breakfast. That done, I still haven't the slightest clue.

Running gear on. Still in running meltdown mode; this isn't good at all; I've not had this before. Me no like. Anyway, no time to worry about that, just concentrate on the running now. Well, the warm-up walk. I decide on a seven-minute walk today, see how that goes and do the same run as last week as I know, roughly, the distance I should cover and in what time. Off we go, a-walking.

It's a nice morning. A bit warm, but quiet and quite damp from the rainfall last night. Lots of very deep breaths to prepare. More deep breaths. Seven minutes up, Miss Garmin ready, throttles forward for take-off and we're up, gear up and settling nicely into it. I'm running to my own music. Fighting Trousers by Professor Elemental comes on. I grin; it's going to be a good run! I sing along. (!) On a hill. (!!) Getting quite emphatic as I sing "PUT ON MY FIGHTING TROUSERS!" pedestrian. Odd look. Meh, it's early. Onward.

Up the hill now, feeling okay. I plod along for a bit, trying to watch my pace, listening happily to the music. Eminem's on with The Real Slim Shady, which somehow ends abruptly and goes into Choices by The Hoosiers. "Stop giving me choiceeeeeessssss....." oh how very apt that really is; to admit it, I was getting quite frustrated and fed up by yesterday's plan meltdown. Anyway, on I go. 13 minutes in. For some reason, completely spur of the moment, I decide this is a good time to introduce a bit of speedwork and decide on a minute at almost full throttle; arms pumping away, throttles forward and we're well and truly off. A huge amount of effort required but on 14 minutes I slow back to my normal pace. I enjoyed that but slow down further to recover. I plod on.

There's a squirrel friend. A small part of me wants to pick him up and cradle him in my arms for the rest of the run, tickling his little squirrel chin, but I decide against it. I didn't fancy having to tell people that my week off running was caused by being injured by a squirrel bite after taking one running with me. People think I'm strange enough as it is.

OH BLOODY HELL! What absolute idiot didn't remove the C25K W9 podcast from the MP3 player? Me! :'( It starts playing. As much as I like Laura, I can't be having this. Warning lights come on and buzzers sound; for some reason, emergency is declared. Well, it is, isn't it? After some faffing, I get the track skipped and normality ensues.

There is a rule on today's run: it's perfectly acceptable to stop after 33 minutes. It is Monday after all; longer runs are on Fridays. I feel okay; a little tired but I would be after a restless night. Onward. Around the corner, to my right, emerges a running friend! Hello, dear running friend! We greet one another with a cheery good morning; that made me smile and made the whole run worthwhile. I ponder why he's wearing a jumper: does he know how warm it is? It's not for me to judge. If he wants to run in a jumper, I'm down with that.

8K is my limit for today; I reach that at 41.30; I slow down to a brisk warm-down walk, which I make seven minutes long. Probably overdid it a bit today but 8K, for some reason, has become my 'normal' run, but I might do only a thirty-minuter on Wednesday.

God that Chocolate Recovery Milk tasted gooooood.

Any tips and advice on running plans will be very gratefully received. Thanks for reading my Tired Morning Ramble. (TMR) Happy running, everyone, always. Happy resting too. :-)

38 Replies

Many of these plans seem to have a almost identical starting point - unless they are specifically labelled for Intermediate or Advanced runners. If you were to find a plan for (say) a HM that takes you to a suitable point whereby you can run the 10K race when it comes around - and then move forward again after that, I think that is what I would be looking at.

I have a similar problem in that I am going to run a 14K race in 2 months time -- however it will be run/walk and that is what I am training for now. Gradually increasing the length of my run/walks until I reach 14-15K. However after the race, I think I will revert back to some kind of 10K plan with the view to possibly running the 10K non-stop. It feels almost impossible at the moment as , although I can run 5K non-stop now with relative ease - it feels about my "limit" for the moment. I think I would simply take the 5K out to 10K real slowly - with a long run once per week and a couple of 30 minute maintenance runs


I agree, Bazza, that seems to be the most obvious solution. Plan C looks the best bet as it will encompass both, covering the 10K in time and then beyond, using it as a solid base from which to work. Thank you for your advice. :-) It'll need a bit of tinkering but it looks the best bet out of several baffling options.

Your plan for your race sounds good; it's hard to know what to do for the best though. By the time you complete your 14K in a good time (I'm sure you will!) you may find yourself concentrating on 10K but pushing to 14K and beyond quite regularly. :-)


I hear you M_Y - I have no idea how to get to a decent 10K in 7 weeks... B210K seems soul (and leg) destroying and the BUPA plan seems relatively mild (ie. perhaps not enough of a push). I'm throwing some ideas around on a different thread, but you have the HM to contend with (hats off for that one!)...

What I will say is 41:30 for 8K?? WOW! That is quick! Really, really quick... that's a 51:15 time for a 10K and seriously fast (for this old boy anyway)... well done!

Julie showing up halfway through your run must have been frightening!

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Hey Aussie. :-) Yes, I've just seen your thread; I'll have a proper look in a bit. :-) You could pick the bits that suit you best from the BUPA plan (Though I see you've done that already!) or have a look at the other plans to see if there's any there that suit you. I'd say you're doing well though and are on your way nicely; you still have a good bit of time yet to prepare. :-) And thanks; I realise the HM so soon may be a bit mental. In Brighton. In February. Brrrrrr. But there's months yet to panic, erm, I mean prepare!

I think my pace could be a curse as much as a blessing - I need to slow it down a bit so I don't tire myself out too much too soon. I don't intend to go at that speed and I do try to hold back a bit. Thanks, Aussie! :-)

It was a shock Laura emerging like that, but thanks to your fine self, I've downloaded Julie and will add her to my playlist soonest! :D


Plan C! That 20 week plan looks good, just increasing the distance gently. As Bazza says, you could do with a HM plan which would cover you for the 10k, then allow you to carry on for the HM. Plan C would do that comfortably, even if you add in extra weeks to consolidate things it would get you there. If you started on week 1 you'd be at about 9 miles (that's roughly 14.5k) by the end of September (enough in surplus to pick up some speed during your 10k race), but if you're currently doing 8k in a little over 40 minutes (a fair clip, that) then you could probably start on week 3.

Happy running!


Finally I'm able to reply! Thank you, Beads. :-)

I only found Plan C (The official name for it now!) this morning and didn't get chance to properly study it but I have spent time looking at it now. I was lucky to find it really (though I did search "20 week Half Marathon"!) as I hadn't found anything like it in all my searching yesterday. It's excellent; a nice, gradual build-up. That's the one I'm doing, starting on Wednesday, starting from W3R2. I'm happy to do the four days' of running but will rejig the running days to suit my Monday, Wednesday, Friday that I'm happy with, and do a Parkrun on a Saturday as that fits in with the final run of the week being three miles long.

I'll have a rewrite of it to suit me and will post details of it on Wednesday when I do the Run Report of the day.

Thanks once more; happy running, always! :-)


41:30 for 8K? I love Professor Elemental and if he's speeding you up that much then he needs to get on my playlist STAT.

Otherwise, I'm really glad to see this post in a way, I'm starting week 9 tonight and I must must find the "right" programme to get me to 10k, starting next week. Very worried about having a melt and packing it in toddler tantrum stylee.

I'm agreeing with Baz, if you get decent HM programme underway that dovetails into 10k around September time you're laughing.

Bonne chance and bonne courage - now go get yourself a cup of brown joy ;)


Yes, I realise it's a bit of a ridiculously quick pace and I really don't know how I manage it; that's my normal pace! Or we could blame the Good Professor! He's ace, isn't he? I saw him live in Leeds last year and he was brilliant. He's got a new song out that I only found the other day:

I was listening along to him in the lorry at work today; it's definitely running music! :D

LOL, that's what I was like yesterday; having a meltdown, no end of tabs open in the browser with various plans on the go. I found Plan C this morning and the more I look at it, the more I love it. I couldn't find any other programme that really clicked with me. It made sense to do the HM one as it encompasses both the 10K in time for September, and the HM in February. I hope week nine started okay for you?

Keep looking at 10K plans and rejig them if none really grab you in their current form. It really is a trial and error endeavour, this.

Happy running! Or, well, resting, now. Put away your ukulele or I'll tell you where to stick it! :D


I'm on a plan-less HM training non plan. Like you I didn't like the whole 3 runs a week intervals many do, instead I've been upping my distance slowly once a week and using the other two runs freestyle, sometimes a 30min easy one, sometimes a bit of interval etc, I guess I've found it easier being plan-less as I don't want to improve time etc. I just want to go further for my HM in September. I've managed to get up to 8.2miles since end February, I'm doing a 5.7mile first competitive race today so know I can cover it, then it'll be continue towards that HM goal (apparently a lot of people only train to 10). Whatever you pick, I'd do what's right for you and I think working towards a HM goal is better than 10k followed by panic :) happy running!


Thank you! How did your race go today? Well, I trust?

That sounds like a good plan and very nearly what I went with. I've decided, after a lot of deliberation, to go with Plan C, as I'm officially calling it. You'll be fine for your HM in September if you're covering 8.2 miles now. Are you going to run to ten miles, or beyond?

Thanks again; definitely the HM, taking in the 10K, is the best option, rather than doing a 10K plan then starting a HM one - just makes more sense! Happy running, always! :-)

EDIT: this page is interesting:


I've just posted my run synopsis and a picture, it went very well thanks, don't know what I was panicking about for the last week :) I was going to keep running up to HM as time permits, I'd rather do more than 10 since I have time, I'm think after last weeks 8.2 and this weeks race I'll dial back next week for a recovery week (nicely coincides with my camping hol ;)) then I'll see how it goes - for someone who is normally so organised I should be panicking more about being on a non-plan plan ;)

Glad you're going for a HM taking in the 10k, I think it's definitely the right way to go, good luck with it!


Oh and thanks for the link, it's in a tab ready for some good reading tomorrow.


Yay I just knew you'd like professor elemental :D

I've been wondering what a bit of chap hop in my play list would be like.

Sorry no advice on the training plan other than I would have thought a HM one would prepare you for the 10k and you'd already be on your way for your HM target.

P.s squirrels like chocolate (or at least the ones in Oxford do, I assume it's universal), you know if you were wanting to entice one to run with you! I once has a rabbit run along side me when I was cycling (many moons ago).


Get some! Get some chap-hop! I have both The Good Professor and Mr B in my playlist. As I've just been saying above, the Good Professor does have a new song out!

He's ace, Professor Elemental. Very nice chap too; I met him after his show in Leeds last year. He even signed a copy of his album for me. I have a photo of me with him, actually! :D

Yes, you're right, Spoonie; Plan C is the way I'm going, taking it up from W3R2, on Wednesday. Panic over!

Hmmmm, chocolate. I'll have to bring some wildlife chocolate with me next time, see if I can get a procession of squirrel friends following me, much like your rabbit friend who was bobbing alongside you as you cycled! :-)


I am in the same boat want to get to 10 K but have also given up on Sam Murphy, Saturday did a 30 mins run today got out at 6.30am it was already over 20°C out there, didn't know what I was going to do walked to the park put miss garmin on and set off, ran for 40 mins and went home. My local park has homes for stray cats which are fed by an elderly lady, so quite tame so during my warm down I stopped to give one of them a tickle behind the ears, she seemed very happy about that. Also saw squirrels but had no intention of picking one up as they are very wild here so squirrel bite would be a real possiblity. Got home got shouted at by my two cats probably for getting up early and waking them up :)


Oh no, B210K claims another victim eh? I think it was a hard ask to keep that long run 3 times a week up for more than a few weeks... I've got a cheeky plan sorted out now (I think) with some shorter runs during the week and some "race pace" longer runs on the weekend... going to save the "actual" 10K for the race day... stamina first!

Let me know how you get on... and steer clear of squirrels - they are nuts... :)


I might go back to it I did 2 20 mins runs with one min between this morning. :)


Your run sounds almost identical to mine! :-) Except I didn't get to interact with any cats, except mine when I got home. Any idea what you're going to do for a replacement programme, Shiva?


I'll pay in miles... don't worry! Seriously though, I feel much better now with a more realistic plan and I think I just need to remember that to "get to 10K" I don't need to necessarily be doing 10K regularly - but I do need to have my body "ready and rested" to do the distance...

Yet another reason to love this forum!

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That sounds like an alternative to swearing, doesn't it? ohhhhh, FOAM ROLLERS! :D


Thanks for the link, Kitty. There are some very interesting comments on there. I found a link with an interesting piece on that. I'd probably keep to ten miles as a 'standard' long run but would do a scheduled longer one too, when I'm more comfortable with the distance and the programme. Not too much longer, mind! It would really solve the 10K/HM debate as this would cover both very nicely indeed and it's the best HM plan I've seen yet. The 12 week plan is insane!

No, I'm not overly concerned about time/speed. If anything I need to cool it down a little. I like the odd bit of speedwork and increased pace like I did today at minute thirteen, but that will be good for finish line sprints. :D I really don't want a prolonged spell on the injury couch, so must take it easy! :-)


Given up Sam Murphy! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! She's great! I still run to those podcasts, they're now me faves

Ok Miles. Plans. Plans are good in theory but they seem to me to think that we are Mo Farrah's. Young and fit! Which to be fair most of us aint! I downloaded a plan from Bupa. I checked out the beginners 10 mile one and the intermediate one. The beginners one looked on paper to be too easy as I had already run those distances, so my eyes focussed on the intermediate plan. Pity my brain didn't. It's what your body decides you are!!!! My body decided I was a beginner after all. It slapped me down til I learned I was just a minnow in running terms and that I had to go back to the drawing board. After a painful ankle I am now running the beginners one and am happy to be doing that rather than not at all. If I don't make it by race day then that's tough but you can only do what your body allows you to do. Getting fitter with strengthening exercises to make the old bod stronger, to be able to follow any running programme, is key. I found I was just not strong enough. So don't neglect that part of the plan! I know you're probably stronger and younger but you are a new runner!


Great post... like you I thought (and still think) the beginner plan looked too easy. I'll check in next week on that as I suspect with only 12-13 weeks of running under my belt I am VERY much a beginner still... :)


I can't run to her music Britney isn't my style. Prefer much more hard rock. So I was just putting the runs into my garmin, and used my music.


Well said, Miss W. I agree, I am a beginner still; it's easy to forget that fact after completing C25K but I'm still very much new to it and in the early stages of learning. I've rejoined a gym again for cross training and also resistance equipment, to help build core strength. I do have some weights at home too and do core exercises, but I do need to do more strengthening as it will help massively with running, I know, and will help cut injuries down. I suppose injuries are the natural way our body has of slowing us down! I hope your ankle is behaving now. :-)


Have you tried Les Mills Body Pump for Austraila I love it. I have the videos at home and the equipement so I combine that with running and swimming


Something like that is a good idea, yes. I do a bit of core stuff at home but probably not enough. Thanks, I'll look more into something like that. Can't wait to learn to swim! :-)


Sorry miles. No advice from me. You seem to be motoring along quite nicely. I'm going to stick to my R56210K plan which involves 1 x short fast run (3-4k), 1 x 30 minute run, and 1 x longer run (currently around the 7k mark but gradually increasing in length).

I am hopeful this will see me hit 10k around the mid/late July time.

Enjoy whatever you decide


You'll get there, Runner; you're doing brilliantly and will get to 10k soon enough. You're going about it in the right way and will get there. Hope you're enjoying your runs! :-)

I've opted for Plan C, which is what I'll officially call it. Next run on Wednesday. Good luck for your next run! :-)


Oh dear this isn't the normal cheery M_Y post I'm used to. You sound very angst- ridden my speedy cyber buddy. :(

I can't offer any advice at all about the merits of various HM/ 10k plans but, if you're really unsure what's the best course of action for you personally, have you considered approaching a local running club or even trying to find a personal trainer who specialises in running. Just a thought, but as you seem to have a mighty talent there just waiting to be developed, don't you think a little bit of professional advice may be useful? Like I say, just a thought.


As for your run- how could it not be a good run when you're wearing fighting trousers? :) What a great selection of music!! AND what a fab time. 8k in 41:30! That burst of speed at 13 minutes must have been quite a sight to see, even for a squirrel! :)

Now take it easy m'dear. Hope you reach some decisions soon about how you want to continue your training. Sleep well x :)


Thank you, GM! The burst of speed was great; I enjoyed going faster but it's not something I can sustain for long. About a minute was all I could do if I wanted to carry on at any pace at all afterwards! I'll try and include a burst like that into every run. Less than a minute though if it's hilly.

There is a personal trainer near me that specialises in running and I'm very seriously considering having a consultation with him. He also specialises in running nutrition too, which is fantastic. I'm still considering it. I think he's at this week's Parkrun at my local park so I'll go along. And thank you; still no idea how I manage the times!

I've decided on Plan C and will be starting it from W3R2 on Wednesday. Four runs a week but I'll stick in a Parkrun as run four. I've joined a gym too to help with core strength. I'll make a post about the first visit to a gym in over two years, when I go along, which will most likely be at the weekend.

Thanks again, GM! :-)

EDIT: normal cheerful, unanguished posting will resume on Wednesday! x


after I finished C25K I had a major RPC....however after much researching of plans ( all a load of b*******) I took up with Silky Steve and increased him each week till I got to one hour...and then 2 hours....Even now we still have the odd fling and he sorts me out. I fully recommend him ( Audiofuel 'run free' the first 2 hours from Itunes at £8.99 each)....The trick is to think about things in a simple way.. never ever over complicate :)


JuJu! :-) Yes, I've seen you mention Silky Steve before! I've decided to opt for Plan C though: the 20 week HM plan. It will nicely take in September's 10K and I can steadily work up to February's HM that way, all in one plan. It'll need a little reworking but I'll have the details sorted ready for Wednesday's run, I'm sure.

Reminds me of a quote on the BBC dramatisation of The Great Train Robbery at Christmas: "anyone can be complicated. Simplicity, that's hard." True, it is!

Happy panthering, always. :-)


Squirrels!!! I love squirrels! Well done MY and so glad to see that normal business has been resumed! I know exactly how you feel, and suddenly, to have so much freedom is a tad daunting. I would go with option C, take it easy and if you feel that you can comfortably do a bit more, then do it, providing you rest/slow down after.

I'm feeling a little despondent that I'm stuck indoors on the injury bench, but I'm in good company as AM (GM) KK, MissW, PP, Spoonie et al, have been keeping me cheerful. Hopefully I'll be back and at it Wednesday, and lose any extra pounds that that the chocolate muffin and no running will have caused. I think I will adapt Hal Higdon's 8 week plan by knocking off the first 2 weeks, (but I probably won't bother with the other stuff, just the running) I am doing this because some people thought that the Treemouse plan was still too strenuous. I will try this, calf permitting, as this is my first of six weeks left until 10K race for life!

Have a splendid week my dear MY and keep us posted with your plans. I might go and make myself a CRM now to help make my calf better!


Awwww, my dearest Mousey. :-( I do hope your calf is so much better by Wednesday, but if not, take a little extra rest, just to be safe. Try not to be despondent, about the lack of running, or the chocolate muffin! That plan does look good and not too aggressive. The TM plan was good too, I thought; in fact, it was open in a tab along with a load of other plans I was looking at yesterday! :-) Take it nice and steady whatever you decide to do. You'll be fine for your upcoming 10Ker - remember, we want a full report! :-)

I'm definitely doing Plan C; (precisely what it's official name will be!) I'll write a report after Wednesday's run. Unsure how the extra run per week will go, but I shall use that as a Parkrun, I think.

Have a wonderful week too, Mousey, and get well soonest! :-)


I had a look at that Juicy Ju and found "This one Rocks" Eeek, it's horrid. I remember that well enough from Couch. He actually sings " this one RACKS" which does my head in. LOL

I shall check that download out for sure. Every little helps, and if it helps you then it should help the rest of us.

Off out running in a bit, ankle or not! I am so stressed today I could explode


I had a look at silky steve and I reckon I might buy one of those to help me

Ta for the advice Ju!


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