Couch to 5K
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parkrun part 2

I did my second parkrun today. I completed the first lap at 15:45, a bit too fast, and finished in 32:23, a minute less than my graduation run, but the problem was I had to take a walking break before the finish. I was gutted. It seems that 5K is at the limit of my endurance and if I get the pace wrong.... I need to improve my stamina until I can do 5k and it not be a big thing.

I assume I need to start doing intervals during the week and persevere with parkrun at the weekend? Any other advice?

and the stats - 283 ran

220rmnsuk32:23VM55-59 48.28M137New PB!

12 Replies

Sounds like you starting way too fast and tiring as a result. I use the first 5 mins of a parkrun as a warm up and take it quite slow and by 20 mins you have a good pace and can up your ante. I wouldn't worry though 32 is a really good time. Have you tried the speed podcast for training during the week? You are doing so well and soon you will have your sub 30! Good luck! :)

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I think you're being too hard on yourself. That's a brilliant time especially as you took a walking break. Your speed and stamina will improve over time but you need to build up to it and not do too much too soon. Try the following podcasts:

or do one shorter speed run, one 5K and a longer run each week. It's the longer runs that will build your stamina and ultimately improve your speed. Just make sure you don't increase your TOTAL weekly mileage by more than 10%.

Congrats on the PB!


Hi RMNSUK, congratulations on your 2nd Parkrun. Just think back a few months and how happy you would have been at being able to complete 5K in under 33 minutes!

Hoping to complete my first one next weekend on my (again hopefully) graduation run. Would be really happy to get anywhere near your time.

A bit worried about the hills and getting dragged along at a faster pace than I am used to in the excitement.

Never the less looking forward to it!


good luck with the run. Parkrun is a fantastic way to graduate. Probably a good idea to go to 5k on at least w9r2, just so you KNOW you can do it, and of course keep it slow. You'll probably find it easier than you think. You'll be swept along in the excitement.

I'm really pleased I got in under 33 minutes, but not at all happy I had to walk. I'm not a morning person and I ran too fast on the first loop, and then there was nothing left to run through the second. I'll try again next week and hopefully not have to stop, even if I come in last.


Thanks RMNSUK, Good advice.

There is one lady at my local Parkrun who walks for 90% of the 5k and everyone is really supportive of her, so I'm not too worried about being slow. That is the great thing about the Parkruns!!

There are 3 loops, just hoping not to be lapped 3 times!!


It is so easy to start off too fast. When I start slower I often find I am overtaking others. I am slowly improving, but realise that I will never get a sub 20 result!! I find pacing is difficult, so I try to follow somebody that has a steady pace - change to somebody else if they turn out too fast or slow. I find that there is a lot of encouragement at parkrun, so keep going.


Well done on the PB! That's still a good time you're getting there. I generally find it better if I can slow down for the first part as I have a tendency to set off too fast as well and still chasing the sub 30 min 5k! :)


Exactly the same thing happened to me (although I'm much slower) my first Parkrun I completed in 34.56 and ran the whole thing. I had a technology failure, so had no music. The 2nd week, I had an audiofuel playlist, and set off too fast. I just couldn't run, and had to walk about five times. I was gutted, but my time was only 4 secs slower! This week I've had shingles so didn't run, but next week I'll go music-less so I can pace myself. It is hard though, when everyone flashes past you at the start. Running well really is all in your head, I think! Good luck!


You can't get a PB every run. There is no shame in walking. To improve stamina start to do one longer run each week, increasing your distance or duration by no more than 10% over the previous week. Very soon 5k will be a short run, not the distance at which you run out of puff. Interval training on one of your other runs will also be beneficial if you are chasing PBs.

The pros always aim to run negative splits in a race. That is, the second half is completed in less time than the first. It makes sense, physically and psychologically, but is difficult to achieve. I know that I am not warmed up until the first mile is completed. By then the muscles have lost their stiffness, the joints are lubricated and the breathing is settled. So if you start off, knowing you have something in reserve, you can up the pace as you warm up and then again as you near the end, hopefully with a sprint finish across the line, rather than the staggering lurch of the exhausted runner.

Your times are something to be proud of and I am sure you will beat your PBs. Incidentally, I can't get anywhere near my PBs at the moment after injury and illness, teaching me to be patient at building myself back up to challenge myself again.

Keep running, keep smiling.


You have answered your own question in that you know you started too fast. You'll have bad runs and you'll have good runs - they are both learning processes. Try and relax and be comfortable with your running at the start and run your own race, that way you won't exert yourself so much and you won't use so much nervous energy. You'll also find that although you may be hurting(everyone does who is pushing themselves) it is encouraging that you will probably be overtaking people on the second lap. You'll find that with no additional training but better pacing you will be able to run without stopping. It is always worthwhile doing intervals to build on your fitness but if you start too fast you will still suffer.

I've done many parkruns now but initially i used to hurt so much and it was only the fact that i knew i could run the distance that stopped me from walking. Just keeping up the parkruns will inspire you to better running and times.


good run and time rmnsuk :) don't be to hard yourself with that ... intervals. hills and distance will all help with your 5k pace/times .. but setting off to fast is always a killer although it is easy to at the start of parkrun ... just carry on enjoying your running :D


well done, I managed 5k last year and reached the point where it was easy, possibly too easy, maybe I should have upped the challenge,.. then over winter, I:ve had one cold after another so the running has by and large stopped, I am trying to resume my 5ks again... and it is very hard because of slackening on the training for most of winter, but just wanted to encourage you that it is well worth continuing until it is easy, you feel like you are flying some days, and also, that I am at the same point as you now, it's like running with concrete legs, but like you, I want to get to where it is easy again and a joy, so I am building up gradually, it's not a race, ! because you will get there, the best advice I was given was to listen to your body, don't do too much too soon, this is the danger I fall into, but I am trying to be sensible,,... we will do it x


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