Couch to 5K
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My first Run aka W10R1 and advice please

Well, not actually my first run, obviously but my first run since starting on C25k where how far and for how long I ran was entirely up to me - I was entirely free to run anywhere I liked under my own steam.

So I downloaded another podcast to follow, naturally!

Specifically, I couldn't leave Laura alone and downloaded the Couch to 5k Plus "Stamina" podcast, which promised "a thirty-five minute run with music to keep you running faster for longer". 35 minutes seemed like a good next step from 30 minutes so off I went. Laura explained that we were going to run 10 minutes at 158BPM, 20 minutes at 160 and then 5 minutes at 165.

It was brilliant - not only did the BPMs and the fast music mean I ran a lot faster than usual (8.46mins a mile rather than my usual 9 and a bit) but Laura was great - instead of the Couch to 5k "you can do this/you're doing great" she was giving reminders of technique - what to do with arms, head &c that I'm sure made it both faster and more of a workout.

I really enjoyed my run today and would definitely recommend the podcast to anyone graduating C25k.

My plan for the next few weeks is now sorted, I think:

Monday: XT/Strength and Flex

Tuesday: 35 minutes fast, as above

Wednesday: XT/Strength and Flex

Thursday: Longer, slower run, building up endurance

Friday: XT/Strength and Flex

Saturday: Parkrun or similar timed run

Sunday: Outdoor Gym/gentle exercise

I've entered a couple of 10ks in May and July which the Thursday runs are aimed at working up towards.

If I can trouble the forum's collective mind for a bit of advice, how long do people think I should try for on Thursday? For comparison, I ran 4m exactly in 35minutes today.

14 Replies

As a very recent graduate I'm afraid I can't offer any useful advice regarding distance for your long runs, but out of curiosity which 10k's are you doing? I'm also entered for two, also in May and July, and both in London (assume yours are from your username?) Just wondering...


Hi 5kOrBust - I'm doing the Ealing 10k in May: and the (expensive but it seems an exciting treat) Great Newham Run ( in July.


Ah. I'm doing the Great Newham Run too. As a West Ham fan I couldn't resist a run that finishes in our new stadium ;) In May I'm doing the BHF Tower of London Run. Good luck with yours. :)


In my previous running life, about six years ago I did the Tower of London run - it's a great fun place to run, you'll enjoy it.


Re long runs - increase you weekly mileage by 10% each week. So if your 3 runs are 5k each, do 6.5k on the 1st run, then 8.15 etc.

You don't specify what you XT/ Strength and Flex session involve. That's pretty key. Also, if you are just stepping up from C25k , that's quite a heavy duty programme. A full cross training session, plus a resistance training session and a stretch/yoga session three times a week on top of a running regime is a lot of hours to jump into.


Hi Rignold.

I've been doing the Strength and Flex since before I started C25k earlier this year - it's this programme: (scroll down to Podcast 5) so it's not too strenuous!

Thanks for the 10% tip, I'll do that and report back in a couple of weeks.



You might like to try the speed podcast every now and then too. It sounds much easier than it is. What is it ... a mere 16 minutes of running?!!! You could alternate it now and then on Tuesdays instead of Stamina or on Saturdays if you don't do a parkrun. The first few times I did it, the best thing about it was that it was over nice and quickly! But I'm hooked and it's still a "go to" run for me.


Thanks - I have to say the short duration put me off, but I'll definitely give it a go.


I definately agree with Rignold on the 10% thing. I graduated C25K in Nov, and since then have added 10% per week (3 mins per week actually up to an hour then 5 minutes per week thereafter).

I actually stopped increasing my weekday runs when they reached an hour, but the weekend runs have increased up to 1h30mins. I will now consolidate for a while before further increasing the weekend run time.


Thanks. This may sound like a silly question but I presume it's not sustainable to add the whole 10% on to one long run every week is it? I.E. if I continue to run 4miles on Tuesday and 3 on Saturday, I can't presumably run 4.5 this Thursday, 5.6 the Thursday after, 6.9 the week after that &c? That would have me running a half-marathon in 8 weeks!


You can add 10% to your long run yes. You need to be running at least 3 times a week I think to build up the stamina for each increase.


Apologies, that's exactly what Rignold says to do - my maths isn't s good as it was!


It would probably be wise not to go quite that fast in increasing your distance. A number of us have spent a miserable time on the injury couch from doing too much. Even those of us who've thought "it would never happen to me"...


As it happens, I enjoyed 4.5miles today in just under 42 minutes...onwards and upwards!


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