B210K Week 4 losing faith in Sami

This week was supposed to be 3 x 18 minute runs with a minute walk in between and the gremlins got me. It all started well enough running just over 6mph but then I started thinking about how 18 minutes was nothing as I had been doing 30 and am I really progressing so when it got to the first 18 mins I ignored Sami and kept running.

Then the second 18 was up and I thought what I really need to do is keep going until I hit 40 minutes because that to me is progress so that's what I did. Over 4 miles and it felt great. The trouble is I then walked for 2 minutes and ran walked for the remaining time unable to get back into my stride. I did complete 10k during an extended warm down in 70 minutes but it was really tough and very muggy.

Has anyone managed to follow Sami to the end?

I'm starting to wonder whether it would have been better to consolidate the 30 minute running and then extend by a few minutes a week but it's a bit late now.

Just need to celebrate the positives - I'm running a whole load further than I could in April ;-)


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17 Replies

  • I didn't finish it and did similar to you and ran through the breaks a lot. I am a bit rubbish at stopping to walk as my body/mind always decides that's it once I stop and never really get going again. Eventually got to 10k just by extending my runs but unfortunately have never kept that distance up so a bit rubbish all round. I know a lot of people are successful extending runs until they get there - general rule is 10% a week I think. That's probably not a lot of help but good luck

  • Thanks ancientrunner I'll try and persevere with Sami but can't help thinking extending runs might be better

  • Hi GF, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about those podcasts! I think they ask too much of fairly new runners (which can lead to a stint on the injury couch) and it's much better to extend one run a week 10% or so until you get to 10k, and keep the other two runs as either 5k or intervals or whatever you choose to do. In fact I wrote a post about it a while ago:


    It worked that way for me, and it's never too late to change your plan. Good luck!

  • Thanks TT. I have taken a look at your post and it makes sense. I have noticed it is tough to do 5 to 6 miles when I only graduated in June but also my shape and weight are changing for the better.

  • Hi GettingFitter :)

    Sorry to hear that you and Sami are having some trouble. Those aren't the traditional 'give up' gremlins you have there, they're the more unusual but equally troublesome 'impatience' gremlins.

    Following Sami is hard, it worked for me and at least three or four other runners I know on here, I'm sure there are tonnes more. Equally, there are people who haven't got on with Sami at all and have built up distance other ways. She isn't as roundly and heartily endorsed as Laura (which is hard in itself), but her podcasts do work IF you're willing to follow them through :)

    I know how you're feeling at this point, having ran for 30 minutes the intervals do seem a little tiresome and there's a nagging worry you might lose the ability to run continuous for 30 minutes, believe me though, you won't. All Sami is doing is building up to running for an hour in physically and probably more importantly psychologically manageable chunks. In Week 4, you're essentially running for 54 minutes which is a fantastic step up from 30 at the end of C25K, another couple of weeks and you're running for an hour. Another clever thing about intervals, from personal experience is they help you run for longer, while keeping your pace. Where if you were to be faced with long and longer runs you might find yourself slowing to a crawl to complete them, by piecing together doable intervals into one long run you finish up running 10K at the same pace you used to run 5, at least that's my experience anyway.

    Of course I'm very biased and would advocate Sami having used her to get up to 10 Km BUT I do think you've come so far that you should stick with the program. She'll get you there and she won't even mind if you roll your eyes as you walk for your minute intervals ;)

    Well Done on the run today, as you say, which ever way you look at it, you've made massive progress :) x

  • Thanks Em. As it is not long to go now I'll give Sami another go. Some of the music grates on me - Britney Spears especially. You are right it is the intervals got me to 30 mins so I'll just grit my teeth and stop being such a wuss.

  • I loved it!!!!! I loved the music and it kept me going. I did get stuck though. On week 4 as it was tough but I hung in there and kept repeating it til I could do it before moving on to the final week.

  • I think I probably could run for 60 minutes but would be down to snails pace at the end. I think Em is right about the intervals so I'm going to keep going

  • I did a similar programme (but just set the intervals into endomondo and had it beep at me) to get to 10km, but like TT I don't know that I would recommend it unless your general fitness and motivation levels are very high. I stuck with it, and did the 10k, but haven't run further than 8k since doing that back in January.

    I think that the b210k programmes often ask you to up your mileage in a week much more than the 10% recommended, thus increasing the risk of injury or giving up due to not being able to sustain the time commitment needed, that's why I wouldn't recommend them.

    Having said that, you've got this far and it seems like impatience and not trusting the programme is your problem. It's never too late to change what you're doing. Either stick with what the programme tells you to do and trust it (it has worked for many, but again it's at the risk of injury) OR build up one long run a week by 10% while doing something like the speed podcast and an "easy" 5k in the others. Unless you have a deadline to "having" to be able to run 10k after another couple of weeks, then you won't be losing anything and may find it more satisfying to switch. If you started with a long run of 40 mins or 7km, you really wouldn't have that much to do to increase your distance to 10k.

  • Thanks RNB you and Em have hit the nail on the head it's just me being impatient but also a bit worried that the intervals will undo the C25K work. Just need to keep at it ;-)

  • The programme is only five weeks which I thought was a bit intense but I did it. You do have to push yourself, which is what she's asking you to do. It is phased increases like C25k but it just seems so much harder because the runs are longer and the walks shorter, so you feel the pain. You'll get there. You just have to stick at it.

  • Thanks MW I'm going to stick at it.

  • I am following a 10 week b210k programme which has a more graduated build up. I have extended this even further by combining it with a b28k programme, so in effect, I have a 20 week programme to get me to 10k. This works for me because I am prone to pushing myself too much and have suffered injuries as a result. So far, I am on my "week 9" of this combined programme, 4 further weeks of running including this week. It's taken a while but I feel more like I am achieving results. I can PM this to you if you would like to see if it might suit you.

  • Hi tanyag I'm going to trust Sami but I may ask for your programme if it doesn't work for me. I'm still carrying my ankle injury and identify with pushing myself too hard. Sub 60 minute 10k is in my mind but I think I'll settle for running 10k without too many stops

  • Not a worry. Best of luck with your programme

  • I'm with TT on this. In my personal experience, B210K was "too much, too soon" and I ended up on the injury couch for a week (the first day unable to walk) and absolutely exhausted. Your mileage may vary of course. I took the approach of two 30 minute (or 5K ish) runs a week and then worked up from 6-7-8-10K over 5 weeks or so...

    I just did my first 10K last weekend (with TT!) and I can tell you that I ran the whole way and that the slow and steady approach was so much better on my body and I had loads more energy from only doing a long run once a week rather than 3 times a week...

    Many ways to get there - just choose what works for you and take it easy! :) And have fun!

  • Thanks Aussie - Loved your 10K post. I also feel exhausted but I'm not far off so will persevere (also lost 4 lbs) since I started it which is nice

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