Couch to 5K
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Rhythm vs Terrain

Does it matter if I'm on dirt footpaths and going a bit slower while I dodge round the puddles and sludgy bits or should I stick to tarmac and get a more steady rhythm going? It's the difference between taking the dog or leaving her behind. I don't mind doing a bit of both but I don't like the messy, slower graph. Or is it all insubstantial providing I just do what Laura says!? (Week 7)

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At this stage, it is fairly important to do as Laura says - but you will graduate soon and then you can take doggy for as many runs as she wants!! :) But what matters most at this time is that you get to the point where you can "run" for 30 minutes non-stop.


Ok thanks Bazza, I can leave her behind and do her walks separate for the next few weeks and stay focused on the plan


I say mix it up with both. There are times I run with the mutts and times I run alone. They are both important to me - it's not a one or the other thing.

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I and two friends worked through the C25K plan all together with our dogs. Only had to leave the dogs home when it was too hot to take them with us ;-)) And we all still run with our dogs.

If you are going to run with your dog, on lead, you need to get the proper equipment for them if they are "pullers" or they won't be able to breathe properly.


I've never run without my dog (I once had the opportunity not to and found I didn't want to) Well, I say that, on occasion we have been in the same wood and started and finished in the same place... an excellent book called Total Recall had some good ideas which helped with that, including carrying warm cocktail sausage wrapped in foil.

You are dead right that it is all unsubstantial provided you do as Laura says. Stats get in the way for most people - as you've found. Personally a dirt footpath is about as hard a surface as I like to get and I avoid running on tarmac as my body complains (I take my cue from my 82 year old father who has run all his life with no worn out joints and avoids tarmac). But I have the luxury of being able to choose. I wear trail running shoes and slosh through calf deep puddles. Dense woodland with no path is not much fun though.

I have a waist belt lead set up (not Cani-X) if we do go somewhere where the dog needs to be on the lead. I don't have the option to run and to air the dog separately, just don't have enough energy for both.


It's up to you! As long as you do the runs as Laura sets out then that's fine. I left my dog at home for the runs as they don't take long so it's not unduly onerous to take the dog before or after

I take my dog on his long walk then nip off for my run while he's having a kip

Running on soft trail has a lot going for it. It's easier on the legs but messier on the shoes. I love running the trails and would run them all day in preference to Tarmac. I run the roads too however as sometimes the trails are just too wet and filthy


I think the trails can break up the monotony of the run, and I like being in the middle of nature, if you get my drift. I have to think more to skip the roots etc and mud baths. And sometimes I just run right through them for the sheer hell of it. I've seal skin socks that are waterproof and a godsend! Then when I've gone back to the pavement I actually find it easier, smoother. How marvellous to run with the dog though. I'd like to run with my 3yr old on his bike, but he is a bit unpredictable yet for that and I'd just end up chasing him round, funny little man!


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