How was your running post graduation?

Just curious, but I wondered how others found their running after they graduated. I think I'm being a bit daft in perhaps thinking that completing week 9 created a transformation in me (other than the fantastic achievement it is). I'm coming to the end of my first full week since graduating last Friday, and have done three runs - Sunday, Tuesday and today. I'm intending to take the leap and go to a Parkrun on Saturday.

Thing is, the runs this week have seemed to be hard work. I've managed to make each of them a 5K (and did my furthest and longest run today - 39 minutes and 5.6Km) but each time has been a bit disappointing and especially in the first ten or fifteen minutes I didn't feel all that comfortable. In week 9, each 5K was faster than the last, and I suppose I was hoping to continue that trend, but then Tuesday was my slowest yet!

Having said that, looking at the stats again, I notice that today was only a minute slower than my fastest.....

So - how did you find it, and did you have any motivation problems?

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  • Hi Steve,

    I've been well and truly bitten by the run bug :-) . Like you I didn't find it particularly easy stepping up, but found it a bit better this week. I did one interval run session on Monday which was 4 x 10 mins with a 1 minute walk in between each (first week of b210K) and this allowed me to increase the distance without too much of a problem.

    Think I will incorporate at least one interval run every week. Funnily enough it didn't make much difference to my pace!

    Good Luck

  • Thanks, OG - I'm still a bit unsure about what targets to set myself, and what kind of a schedule to adopt.

  • I think things can take a while to sort after graduating. At least they did with me I was all over the place. I didn't know whether to try for faster, longer or what. What I did do was a parkrun each week where I decided to push myself and then just added a bit to one run a week. It's good to have a goal in my case, so I signed up for a race which gave me something to focus on. I still find the first 10 minutes or so a bit of a challenge! I hope you enjoy parkrun it is surprising what that can lead to as well! Just try and keep on getting out there and enjoying yourself without worrying about pace on all the runs. It will all come together x :-)

  • Thanks - it leaves you feeling a little bit aimless after 9 weeks following the C25K plan, and being told what to do!

  • The first 10 minutes is a bit of a drag for me too- but I have realised that is because my body is "cold". So i now basically do a 15 minute warmup before any "serious"training workout -5 minutes walking and 10 minutes easy running. For runs which are meant to be done easy or at a conversational pace (like a long run), I dont do a warmup at all but incorporate it into the actual run)

  • I really liked and was motivated by the 'Laura' podcasts up until graduation and then, like you, felt a bit lost. Park run on Saturdays has given me something to focus on each week. At the moment I do a 'long run' (up to 8.5k now after year !) on Mondays. Galloway intervals on Wednesday and park run on Saturday. It gets a bit monotonous just doing the 5k three times a week and it's hard to stay interested so mixing up the sessions helps. I tried the stamina and stepping stones but didn't get on with them at all so just pootling along trying to get to 10k. Hope you can find a solution that works for you.

  • I did W9 for about 3 weeks, just to consolidate running for half an hour. Then I did the stepping stone podcast (and 2 more W9 runs during the week). Then I stepped up to the stamina and speed podcasts and I still use both of these.

    Motivation for running post-graduation can be difficult unless it's become a habit or you have a target to aim for. Parkrun might help. Remember that most of your running should be at a comfortable pace (doing stepping stones and stamina might not be comfortable...). It takes most people 5 or 10 minutes to settle into a comfortable pace, so don't set out with high expectations, and set out slowly - you can always speed up (which is what stamina and stepping stones do). And don't go out trying to match or better your pb every time either.

    Try to remember why you started running. And be proud of what you CAN do.

  • Thanks. I guess I'm a bit impatient! One of the things I need to get under control is my initial pace - looking at the stats afterwards, it looks like I start off like a bat out of hell, though it's not something I'm aware of at the time. That probably doesn't help!

  • Hi Steve. I graduated in November and have now built up to running 10k or just over an hour. However I still always feel that the first 15 mins or so are hardest. Once I get past 20 mins or so I seem to settle in to the run. Strange, but just something I've decided to accept. There are also bits of particular routes that always feel hard for no apparent reason - no hill or wind tunnel or anything - I think maybe I associate them in my mind with the extra tough bits of c25k, like w5r3!

  • Thanks for that, Angie. From what I've seen, the first part of a run is hardest for a lot of people. Perhaps it's because we're trying to establish the right pace. I also think some routes seem harder than others.

  • Hi Steve, I'm about a month post-graduation and a lot of my running has felt quite uncomfortable and I've been battling with a bit of disappointment in my abilities here and there - I think my main problem is that I've forgotten how important it was for me to go really, really slowly in order to complete weeks 1-9 and all of a sudden I want to go faster, faster, faster! I'm having to learn a bit of patience. Good luck with Parkrun. I've done a couple of those and hope to go again this week all being well :)

  • Tough and yes. Post grad is a pain. I think its 'cos we're used to 9 weeks of continual success and improvement and then suddenly 'flop'. But one thing I realised was that I stuck to the prog religiously until the last couple of runs of wk 9 when I went up to 5k - taking anything up to 41 mins - well actually that is a HUGE percentage increase from the 28 mins that we were doing - so it may not seem like an improvement but it was. Then I just got happy with doing 5k each time for a couple of weeks and then the sudden realisation that it was getting less bad (not easy) and also my style was improving. The post c25k podcasts with Laura are great - esp the Stamina one which helps you with technique. Good luck with the Park run - terrific experience.

  • post Grad can be a more difficult time being cut loose from laura ... don't worry to much do what comes naturally don't try to push it to hard , consolidate and continue to enjoy the runs , parkrun is a great way to go see how it feels running with a lot of other peeps :D

    there are so many things you can do with your running take some time to look around try different thing see what you like or suits you , keep it interesting :D

    You have done so well Steve , you have done such an amazing thing by raduating ,time to savour those feelings and just enjoy being out there running for a while :D

  • Those first 10 minutes, to use the vernacular, "suck".

  • Totally the same for me after graduation. This week I started a MyAsics training plan for a local 10K race in June (which I am not sure I will enter yet but it gave me the very needed focus) and I feel motivated again. It made a huge difference to my running, having something to aim for and a plan to follow!

  • After graduation I wanted to do three things. run sub 30 minute 5k, run 5k easily and to run further (10k?). Someone (rignold?) suggested that doing intervals, and going a bit further each week, I will achieve all these goals. And it seems to work. I managed sub 30 minute 5k on the treadmill, I'm up to 48 minutes running, and I've done three 5k's or more every week since graduation.

    another thing I've learned is not to expect to run faster every run, it just won't happen.

  • I completely remember how you are feeling. After the elevation of completing you feel invincible, and then it's, 'what now then,'!! I a made an early decision to get to 10k, then a HM now a marathon, but then I'm a bit like that. I would have stopped if I didn't have something to aim for.... Think about what it is you would like to achieve, then make a realistic plan. Good luck :)

  • What I missed post graduation was the structure and the ever increasing goals of the C25K programme. The natural thought is to run faster, because, like most, I didn't run 5k in 30 minutes at the end of week 9 (more like 36 to 37 at the time). I found that my initial obsession with going faster worked for a while but it easily lead to increased pressure and dissapointment. What I found to be best for me was to get some discipline into my running and make sure that I found time to continue with three runs every week. Always 5k to begin with but over different routes to maintain my interest and develop running as a habit.

    It sounds silly, but I give the courses and some of their features names. "The point", "The big D" (features elements from all four routes I run around my village), "The long climb", "The Eagle" (that one goes past a pub...) are some daft things that I turn into challenges and make running more than just putting one foot in front of the other.

    The fact that I cracked 30 minutes not long afterwards and eventually got it down to 28 or so I put down to it becoming something that is just part of my life. It also set me up nicely for the longer distances I do these days - which are completely without pressure and, although I would never had believed it pre-graduation, are far more enjoyable as a result.

  • This has been a really interesting thread. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. This really seems to be an issue that affects a lot of people. It's helped to hear that and hear how you all dealt with it. After tomorrow's Parkrun, I'll spend some time over the weekend to draw up some plans and objectives for myself.

  • Let us know "The Plan"!!

  • I will!

  • Yes, I'll be interested to know too!

  • He he, so the 'planned by itself' plan was to run 10K on 06/04/2015 :-)

    It must be down to the nice spring weather?

  • Had to laugh at that! Honestly, that was my most enjoyable run ever. I felt like I could run for ever, and I felt like a proper runner as I ran among and around loads of people - especially the crowds in front of Christ Church College (where bits of Harry Potter were filmed).

  • I carried on using the C25K app for quite a few weeks - Week 9 for a 5K, or earlier ones for interval training. I liked getting the encouragement from Laura. But now I'm just using a gps app to tell me how fast I'm going - doing the 5K more quickly is my personal motivation, I'm aiming at 25 minutes, with 20 minutes as a fantasy goal :) And I go to a parkrun, which is a MASSIVE buzz and I can't recommend it enough. I have continued to get the odd 5K personal best time, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. It's disappointing, but I think it's just the way things go. If you want to improve your speed though, interval training is the way to go.

  • Thanks for that, Rose.

  • I graduated a month ago, and as an older runner with short legs, hadn't (and still haven't) achieved 5k. My target is to be able to run 5k in less than 40 minutes. I wanted to mix up the runs, to do intervals to try to increase speed, to do some longer slower runs to build distance. It hasn't exactly gone to plan. In the first week I tried an interval run and found it very difficult. I then ended up spending 3 weeks in South East Asia working, where heat and humidity confined me to the treadmill and left me dripping in sweat each time I ran, meaning I stuck with a consistent pace and never ran for more than 30 minutes. I think perhaps all that matters is to keep the running habit. I can see my speed / distance is gradually improving, and I think on the whole I will settle for that.

  • Hi. I graduated from c25k a few years ago. Went on to a half marathon just by running longer. It's now only I discovered there's c25k + and very good for building stamina, speed and then further on... Try it. It's brilliant and the same format.

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