Couch to 5K
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This is so hard...but rewarding - plus a question!

I've now managed to get run 1 of week 8 under my belt. I tried to do it on Saturday but failed and had to stop within only 5 minutes to go and can't understand why this week's runs feel so very difficult when I've already been running 25 minutes at a stretch. I can only conclude that it's my approach mentally but I'm really struggling with this at the moment.

On the plus side, I did it, and felt really proud of myself when I got home and in addition, I weighed myself this morning and my weight is the lowest it's been in over a year. Granted by just one pound but it's going in the right direction.

Over the last 2-3 weeks I've also been keeping check of my speed and realised that it's gradually increasing too and my average 1km now is about 9 minutes and 40 seconds - very slow I know but I'm getting there. However, it did make me wonder what I should be measuring and I was looking for some advice from you folks. When I set off from home, I start Endomondo and my first Km is always my slowest because I'm walking for a lot of it. However, I'm assuming that I should really be starting Endomondo when I start my first jog. Is that right? If that's the case, I know now that there's no way I'm going to get to 5k by the end of week 9 as I'm not even at 4k with my 5 minute walk included and 28 minutes running.

Can I just check what everyone else does?

12 Replies

I used to include the warm up walk and started Endomondo as soon as I left the house. Not sure if that is the right way to do things. I'm sure I'll soon find out!


First of all many runners about to graduate like yourself start to worry that they won't get the 5K. The actual aim of the programme (and Laura does remind us all) is to run for 30 minutes without stopping. There are very very few new graduates who actually get to 5K in 30 minutes after the 9 weeks. As far as clocking it goes I always start my clock up at the start as I want to know exactly what distance I covered including the walking. I am not that hung up on times and splits just distance so maybe someone else will tell you differently and it will be interesting to see what they do. Well done on getting to week 8 and not long now before the big day!


When I first thought monitoring my distance I included my warm up and warm down walk. Then I stopped and just started my garmin when I was jogging but i really don't think there is a right or wrong, it's what you want to know. At first I wanted to know the total distance I covered, then I wanted to know the distance I covered when I jogged. To be honest I just look at it right that's 3km or 5km or whatever distance that I didn't do before and knowing that is what's really important, whether it's jogging and walking or cycling.


When recording your distance it's totally up to you how you do it but if you want to mark your progress you must be consistent. I only record the bits I run, not my warm up cool down as the running bit it what you would be measured on for a race.

Don't worry about the magic 5k to graduate many people won't get that distance let alone in the 30 minutes, I'm not even sub 40. The aim of the programme is to get you consistently running 30 minutes - there is a post pinned on the right about graduation requirements.


I'm with spoonie - I started timing from when I began running, simply because the aim is to run for 30 mins and it was just easier to be sure of how long I was running for. I couldn't be doing with trying to take away walking time from running time as I was going along - I have a website that does that for me when I get home!

The way I see it is that the warm-up/cool down are pre and post run, designed to get your body prepared for your run, then help your body to recover from your run.

But, that is not meant as a 'This is the right way to do it' - just 'This is how I do it'! The most important thing is that you 'do it'. ;-)

As for the mental struggle - I think that's something we all relate to. I've been finding it tough these last couple of weeks. I went from my longest run (10 miles) and my fastest 5K in the same week, to barely being able to complete a steady 5K after a week's holiday but I am gradually getting back on track. It just happens that way sometimes and I put it down to the body rebuilding and strengthening itself. Well, it sounds good anyway!!


I've always touched my garage door, and then started my watch. I don't stop my watch until I touch my garage door again. One of those completely pointless habits.

But this means I record my warmup walk, and the warm-down walk too. Sometimes I get back to my garage 10 minutes after stopping running, and sometimes I don't quite finish the 5 minute cool-down walk before arriving home.

But when I upload the data to Nike+ I can see me starting to run after 5 minutes. After that it is easy to see haw far and how long I actually ran.


Thanks for everyone's really helpful comments, from which I conclude that there is no right or wrong. I think I'll continue to record as I have been doing just for consists and will look at Endomondo to see if there is a way of getting out the separate information on my running times only. However, I think longer term, I'll move to recording my running only as, you're right, if ever I get into running in races and parkruns (which I'd like to), then that's what I'd be measured on. I might start doing that after I graduate and start working my way slowly up to the grand 5k. That's if I can get through the next 4 runs!


Endomondo does tell you your best distances for each run. If I remember correctly, you have to set it up to record 1k, 3k, 5k mile etc. but then does it for every run, and is one of the best features of the app. This means that you can keep track of progress over those distances, even if you include your warm up/down in your timing. Funnily enough, I have started to include my cool down walk, as I have just got hold of a heart rate monitor and am interested in keeping track of how quickly my heart rate reduces after a run.

There is no right or wrong, it just depends on what data you want to keep track of. Good luck on thos elast four runs.


Thanks IT. You're right. endomondo does let you set out the lap length and I've had it on 1km to measure progress over the past few weeks. I'm not sure how to extract the walking time though to just get run times and distance. Any idea if that's possible?


To keep your run time separate from walking, then you really need to only run the tracking while you are running.

Endomondo will select the fastest sector of your run that equals the 1k, 3k etc. On the website, with your run selected, scroll down so that you have your map on show. To the left are all your summary details, alongside the little green man and the word summary. Select the lowest grey icon, the cup with best distances written below, and the info changes to your best times over set distances for that run. If you hold the cursor over the text for each line, then the appropriate sector will be highlighted on the map. This can help you isolate walking from running, but only for run sectors that are at least as long as the distance selected. Other apps only allow you to see your split lap times.

You may know the above, but it took me a while to find it and it is (along with tracking PBs) one of the features that lifts Endomondo above most of the other apps. I have started to put my GPS watch data onto Endomondo and will migrate my old runs over from Runkeeper eventually. Runkeeper's advantage is that it permits you to set up intervals very easily.


Thanks for the tips. I'll have to study this a bit more!


Sorry I can't help with time and distance, I am very slow. If I run on the road, I remember my run start and finish points and the route and then drive it later to get a very rough idea of distance.

I found W8 hard, my thigh muscles were complaining all the time, did R1W9 on Saturday and nothing happened, everything went well, thighs were behaving and I did the 30 mins non-stop. Why was W8 hard, not sure I'm wondering if something to do with my head, or whether changing route and terrain for W9R1 was the answer - I went from running on the streets to running through the woos to avoid the sun. Think my trainers are 'off roaders'!


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