Couch to 5K
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Sheeeeeeeeet, I've lost a month of training!

Sorry for the expletive in the title. Let me explain.

When I graduated c25k, I signed up for the York 10k Sunday just gone, and the Birmingham half marathon on the 19th November. I posted earlier in the week about how great I felt for having completed the 10k, and how I think it might be a bit challenging, but definitely possible, to double the distance from 10k to 21k in 3 months and a bit.

So in a quiet moment at work this morning, I decided to have a look at Garmin Connect's calendar scheduling thingy-mah-jay. Browsed through to November, and found that the 19th is a Wednesday. Uh oh. Strange. More than strange. Very unlikely.

Cue 5 minutes panic as I desperately tried to find the email confirmation from when I signed up. Found it. And it clearly states the date. 19th October.

Sheeeeet! (that's a technical term, btw, not an expletive). Flipping sugar, standing-on-the-head kind of sheet of paper. Sheeeeeeet.

So instead of about 14 weeks to get from 10k to 21k, it turns out I have 11 weeks, including the race day. With a two week taper, as most training plans suggests, that's 9 effective training weeks. Including this week that is halfway gone.

Gulp. This might be a bit more of a challenge than I had realised. And instead of adding 1 km each week to my long run, I'll need to add 10%. That in itself should not be an issue, I mean, what's 10% between friends, right? But what worries me most is that there is zero contingency. No allowance for having an off week, or for being sick or for losing the mojo again. Guess I'll just have to keep that mojo going.

On the other hand, nothing like a tight deadline to focus the mind, eh?! Apologies in advance if I start to spam-bomb the forum with updates to keep the motivation up :)

12 Replies

Ooooopppppppsssss! Try and stay focused, and if you say it quick it's sounds doable to me. Good luck!


Oooooops! Be careful Tomas, don't injure yourself by pushing too hard. Now could be a good time to investigate the Geoff Galloway run/walk method of distance running ;) Good



If you can do it by adding no more than 10% to your long run each week, then you should be OK, provided you keep those long runs at a fairly slow pace. Also, you don't have to do the full distance before race day, although I would advise getting as close to it as you can, without giving up any of your taper time. When I did the Great North Run last year my longest run beforehand was 10 miles because the perceived wisdom seemed to be that that was sufficient. It was, because I completed the HM but those last 3 miles were tough simply because I wasn't absolutely certain that I could do the distance. Also, as has already been said, there is no shame in run/walking it so give yourself permission to take walking breaks if you need to. Good luck!


I'm a bit the same - I know that I will be less worried if I know from experience that I can go the distance. So I will aim to get up to at least 20 km during the training. It's very reassuring to hear that you managed with 10 miles being your longest prior run, that gives me some comfort.

And yep, I will definitely be keeping the long runs to a slow pace. My goal is to complete, without aiming for a specific time.


You could get a training plan off Asics to give you some idea if it's viable. You put a start date and an end date it. It crunches the data and spews out a reply. If it says " you gotta be kidding right!" then you know you're barking up the wrong wotsit. It might just churn out a proper plan without laughing

Worth a try. They're free so you've not lost owt


That's a good point, miss wobble. And I have been looking at BUPA's training plan which covers 12 weeks and starts with being able to run 5k. So I know it's doable, although I don't agree with their aggressive progression; they add 1 mile per week. So in the first week that's 33% increase.

I shall take it nice and steady and try my damnest not to injure myself in the process. Absent of injury and motivation-drop-off, I should be capable :)


Lots of runners I know say like lolb 10 miles is the magic number for hm, doesn't sound bad at all when you're already up to six. Spam away to keep motivated, we'll all be here to cheer you on. :-)

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Thanks notbad. I've also heard that "when you can run 10 miles, you can run however long you want, it's all in the mind from there on". So I'll have confidence (and hopefully discipline). Look out for the spam :)


Have a look at the Asics plan Tomas as they give you the exact distances to run and the pace. They tweak the pace when you feedback your run results on myasics. It's all free! There's no guesswork and they know what they're doing. My 10 mile race I ran using their plan was 4 seconds out! That was my fault for hanging about at water stations! LOL


I've registered and typed my aspirations in, and myasics has generated a training plan. Strangely, the plan starts with asking me to rest from now until Tuesday next week, despite me having ticked the "4 times a week" and "hard pace" boxes.

It sounds really great with them tweaking the plan as I feed actual runs back. So I will definitely be using it over the next weeks to see how the plan developes. Thank you very much for suggesting it.

Impressive prediction for your 10 mile. Or maybe rather, impressive ability on your part to maintain the pace they asked for :)


Well it shows they had it right for me, which is reassuring

I started a plan with 4 days a week but I soon revised it back to 3 days. I couldn't hack it! I was injured more than fit. I've stayed at 3 runs a week and I'm fine with it. If you find 4 days too much knock it on the head fast.

You might find - as I did - that what they recommend is not what you'd planned for yourself, which is why it's a good idea to get a proper plan. Why run too much, too far, if you don't have to.

If you feed back each run then they'll get straight back to you if things need tweaking.

Good luck


Not ideal but I'm sure you'll mannage it ;o)


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