5K?: Just a quick question. Does Laura actually... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Just a quick question. Does Laura actually get you running 5K at the end of the 9 weeks as it looks as if the goal is running for 30 mins. Am I supposed to be able to run 5K in 30 mins? Cheers

14 Replies

I think some will, some won't. It's a great target to have but I get the impression that the real objective is to get people running continuously for 30 mins, however far that takes them. I'd love to be able to do 5k in 30 mins, but I'm not sure if that's maybe a little out of reach for me... Good luck with it all though, Steve x


As many others may comment.. the plan would be better entitled "couch to 30 minutes" but that doesn't role off the tongue so well. I think it is quiet rare for anyone to be covering 5k in 30mins at the end of the programme. Distance is not the challenge, time is :-)

After graduating... then come the fun of trying to get to a certain distance or reduce your time or set no targets at all and just run for fun (3 times a week if you can) :-)

I graduated in October and do about 4k in 30 mins. Other people who graduated at the same time as me are running 10k already, and doing much better times. It's all personal. Just do what you can - push yourself if you are competitive, or just plod like me if you're not!


it is to run 3 x 30mins really :) alot dont do 5k or in 30mins ,that come later , just concentrate on completing the timed runs :D


This is a common question on this forum.

The official answer is a 'pinned post' available here:


Agree with everyone else the target is 30 mins continuous running. 5K will come later some in 30 mins or less some take longer. You race against yourself just as you are week by week improving on the length of time you can run. Good luck


I finished week 9 couple of months ago and I still cant run 5K in 30 minutes. Went for a run today and all I managed was 3.7km and that's including the 5 min warm up and warm down walk. Laura says "covering AROUND 5K in 30 minutes", so it's different for everyone. I certainly cant do that...yet. In my opinion any running is better than no running, so I do my 30 min whenever I can and that's that :) Good luck!


I worried about this, but think time is the key factor. I graduated about three weeks ago, and finally covered 5k this week, but that included the two warm up / warm down walks, and took 45 minutes. It's good to have a continuing goal! Good luck!


I've got my 5k down to just under 44 minutes two and a half years after graduating.... but I can run 10k... what Laura gives you is the belief and the tools to take your running where you want to go with it, and, through doing all the runs in the programme, the habit of being active several times a week.

During the programme (can't speak to non-NHS versions) speed/distance are irrelevant - but Laura has the NHS C25K+ suite of podcasts waiting for you afterwards. Enjoy!

ginbinGraduate in reply to GoogleMe

Very good explanation, GoogleMe.

The first time, being in the USA, I didn't know about the NHS podcasts. My OH, who lives in the UK made me aware of them. Laura is much better than the generic C25k programmes. I repeated the programme with Laura and she taught me how to breathe properly.

I'm a slow runner, and my immediate goal is to run a 5k in under 51 minutes (including 5-min warm up walk.) hopefully that will be today while doing a Santa run. But I've proven to myself that I can go the distance. I ran 10k last Sunday but it took me 1:47 min., which breaks down to a 24 min mile,


Like a lot of people here I do 5K in about 45 mins, I graduated in August. I'm now following another programme that apparently will have me running 10K in one hour, by the first week of Feb... we shall see!


Running for 30 mins is the point and is actually an amazing challenge in itself whatever distance is covered and completing it is a tremendous achievement - the vast majority of people you pass on the street cannot do this... :) - Ignore the 5K.

Hi - I asked the same thing a few weeks ago when I finished w9r3 only doing about 3.5km in 30 mins.

I then went to stepping stones podcast which was a huge change - Laura sort of morphs from supportive bff to drill instructor!

The whole stop/start time of the programme I never had pain, but one session of stepping stones left my knees/ankles hurting. I reckon rather than 5k the target for me is to get a habit of 30 minutes exercise 3 times per week. So after recovering from stepping stones I'm now running to a simple stop watch whilst listening to the radio (news & talk takes my mind off the mental challenge if that makes sense).

I am now adding two minutes a week so after the 30 min week I ran 32 mins (16 mins out then turn around). Once I can do my slow jog 40 mins I will try a parkrun so I can finally see what 5k really is.

It's definitely worth sticking with it no matter how little/much you manage. Cheers!


The real goal is to get people running, but not necessarily for 5k in 30 mins. If you can, well done, but most don't get to the 5k by the end. Keep going and you probably will quite soon, but even if you never do, give yourself a huge pat on the back for getting to where you are, and look back to W1R1 and what that was like.

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