Couch to 5K
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2 x 10 minutes was more difficult than 20 minutes. Why?

I surprised myself earlier this week by completing week 5 day 3 - the 20 minute run - without too much difficulty. However, two runs later - week 6 day 2 consisting of two 10 minute runs separated by 3 minutes of walking? I found that much more difficult. Why?????

Now I'm all worried about the next run, which is 22 minutes straight. :). In the meantime I signed up for a 5K in mid July at a local airport. You can't get much flatter than an airport runway!!!

Are you all from the UK? I live in the US, in New Jersey.

11 Replies

Hmm I am wondering whether you are experiencing something called 'toxic ten' where the first 8-10 minutes of any run are particularly hard as your body tries to work out whether you are in 'flight or fight' mode. This is something that I am struggling with as well and didn't know anything about until I asked a question on this forum.

Did you find the second 10 mins to be much easier than the first.

I live in Germany by the way but am originally from the UK.


No, the second ten was even harder! Just not my easiest run. Off to google toxic ten!


If you managed the 20 minute run last week, you'll manage the 22 minute run next time. W6 often takes people by surprise because they think it'll be easier than it is. Just take it slow and steady next time and you'll be fine.

I'm from the UK but live in Lebanon (hence the name).


Ds/sdsdss /2:-2-w-


I know what you mean,, to be honest I find any runs with interruptions are more difficult than running straight through. It might be different for different people but these short walking breaks are great when you training for your stamina and endurance


Hi, my guess is that the body start to slow down during the interval and the next running bout takes it by surprise. Incidently your next run is 25 minutes straight running, but don't worry. If you finished the 20 minutes straight running without much difficulties, you'll nail that one too... and the next 3 of week 7!

And I am not from the UK, although I lived there for over 30 years. I am french and now live in Sweden.

Best of luck with your running.


Merci Frannyfran. For some reason, my week 6 run 3 is showing up as 22 minutes, while week 7 is 25 minutes. Maybe there's a difference between the US version if the program and the European version? En tout cas, thanks for your encouragement! I am amazed at what my nearly 56 year old body is capable of!


Did not realise there could be different versions of the program.

Maybe it is because I run without the much loved Laura, I just get to see the times to run. I actually think 22 minutes make more sense as a halfway between week 5 big run and week 7.

And 56 is still young... I'll soon be 62 and certainly don't feel old!

Happy running. Me, I'm hoping to graduate on Saturday.


I feel the exact way. I thought the two ten minutes was more difficult than the 20 minute straight. I did listen to all the warnings and took it very slow too. My next run is 22 minutes also so we must be using the same version. I am not using the podcasts because I had the app on my phone before I found out about Laura and I really like listening to my own music.

Btw I am also in the US in upstate New York


I struggled with this run too so you're not on your own!

I still find the first the first ten or so minutes of any run a struggle and really don't get into my rhythm until nearly halfway through my runs.


Even now, a year later, I find the first ten minutes of a run the hardest. It's when my body and brain just fights and tells me to give up and go and sit down and have a kitkat. It takes me ten minutes to get into a rhythm and get my breathing right and then I'm okay. Try to distract yourself with some uplifting music. For a while I downloaded podcasts - I found listening to someone chatting distracted me more than music. A running friend listens to audio books.

It will get better though, the more you run, the more your body adjusts.


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