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Couch to 5K
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Who can work this out?

Ive been taking part in my local parkrun, its a very hilly course and the best Ive managed is 28 minutes, so I hear some of you think wow, he must be fit. Now get this, because I cant get round the course without dropping down to a fast walk on the hills, I thought lets take a step back and do the C25K, you know what I'm just finished run1 wk 4 today and you'd think I would breeze round, well I cant and I'm still think oh know week 5 run3 will I do it?

14 Replies


I had sleepless nights before that particular run, but this programme is very cleverly planned and each week each run lays the foundations for the next. It is perfectly do-able, it really is.

I can guarantee you that practically everybody here felt the same about this run. Keep doing what youve been doing , its got you this far, slow pace , deep breaths, keep calm. Ommm

You can then come on here and tell us youve done it and how amazing you feel, and you will feel amazing, I can promise you that :-)

Keep going, you are doing great, you really are ! :-) xxx


Thank you poppy, I do hope so. I was a fantastic sprinter in my teens and I still think I'm in my teens lol


Ha ha, Ah so thats the reason for your username ! Love it :-D xxx


You will definitely manage Week 5 Run 3. I only started this in January after years and years of doing absolutely no exercise, and I managed it.

If I can do it, anyone can - if they stick to the programme! It's amazing how it conditions the body.



Thanks Almac, I'd been a couch potato for more years than I care to remember, I was a good sprinter as a young lad 100 metres or 200 but never a long distance runner. On top of this, over the last year Ive shed 4stone and now got walking first then running. I'm loving it, but strugle with the hills and like so many people on here say, I find it hard to imagine running none stop for 30 minutes right now. My goal is to do the 5k in 25 minutes by the end of June, can't see how right now lol


Seriously, you've done a 5k hilly run in 28 minutes and you're worried about W5R3? You will absolutely nail it and no mistake!


Yeh, that's why I say work this out? It's crazy you'd think I consider it a breeze, but its seems daunting right now lol


It doesn't matter at all whether you can finish W5R3 or not!!! :) You just keep on trying until you do!!


You'll be absolutely fine. Just cut the speed down a bit. You're running/walking your park run route really quickly - many here will be envious of your time. But if your aim is to keep running for the whole 20 minutes of W5R3 then you'll need to slow down. You should probably slow down a little now.

Once you have built up to running for longer periods of time - ie., after you've graduated and consolidated a bit - then there are ways to improve your speed and your ability to make it up hills without walking.

In the meantime, remember this ISN'T sprinting. Try to run at a speed where you can talk. It takes some discipline, but is worth it for building up your stamina.

Be patient. And slow!!

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You WILL do it! You've got this far :)

If you have done the previous weeks, then you have done the groundwork.

Just take it easy - it's more about stamina then speed that this stage.

(I think to myself - it doesn't matter now far I get or how fast I'm going, as long as I'm running for the whole time).

If you don't make it - then no worries, just try again after a day of rest.


Thank you Sarah,

That's very kind of you.


I think you've identified the problem yourself: once a sprinter always a sprinter. Slow the blooming heck down so that your average speed stays the same but the changes in pace get ironed out to a sustainable jog instead of bursts of speed and periods of walking recovery. I reckon if you can do that, it's in the bag :)

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lol, I guess you are probably right. I find it so hard to run slow, but I think you are spot on.


I'm am so envious of your time 28 minutes to do 5k is incredible. Just get out there a train 3 times a week run walk whatever if there is another park run not too far away which has no hills, go to that., try it, lots of great people to meet. There are no real rules here. The aim is to get fit.

Well done. I'm doing av 5k in 39 ish minutes and I'd like to get it down maybe 35. The main thing to say is I'm enjoying it.


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