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Couch to 5K
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Working up at my own pace

I started C25K about 9 months ago. Yes, it's a 9 week programme, and no, I haven't yet finished it. I run three times a week but had December off due to injury. I just kept getting caught out on week 6 run 3, and even if I managed it I couldn't repeat it for week 7. So I'd go back a week or two and try again, and again...

So I've changed my approach and I'm just running three times a week, and adding a minute at a time. On Monday I ran for 22 minutes, so today (Wednesday) I have to do 23. I'm liking this approach better, but that number still looks so scary. I still hate running, but I am determined to get to 30 minutes - and maybe beyond. Has anyone else here taken the best part of a year to do C25K, or had to change the plan in order to succeed? Can I really run for 23 minutes when 22 nearly killed me?

7 Replies

You know Annie, it sounds like the program has done exactly what it should - got you out and running three times a week. I'd call that a major success. Sounds like gremlins are stopping you from running longer than 22 minutes. Why don't you just go out and enjoy yourself and leave the watch at home? Maybe you'll run longer, maybe not, but try and have some fun with it. You've done the hardest part which is establishing the routine - you can do whatever you feel like from here. I love 20 minute runs!


Running for 22 minutes is a fantastic achievement. Dont fret it. You are fitter than most in the country.

A few questions. What is it that is stopping you? Perhaps you are going too fast? It does not matter whether it is a slow sloooooow shuffle or a confident stride. As long as you are moving forward you are completing your run. Try and take it slower and you will conquer this block you have.

Good luck


Wow! What perseverance you've got, you should be so proud of yourself. :) :) I reckon at least 95% of people would have just given up and decided running isn't for them. But not you. No, you have stuck with it and fought your own battle with the gremlins for 9 months. Flippin' amazing!! Well done. I'm sure that the 23 minute thing is all psychological and that physically you could easily get beyond it, but your mind is at least as important as your legs when you're running.

All I can suggest is that you ditch the watch and the podcasts, load up some tunes you really enjoy and just get out there and run. That indeed is what the programme is all about. Very best of luck and do keep posting Annie, I so want to know how you're getting on. :)

1 like

Well, I, too, started about 10 months ago, got to Week 7 Run 3 and then gave up (got to exactly that point now, keep your fingers crossed that I'll be more successful this time) - I think your approach was much better! Running three times a week is brilliant, who cares whether it si 22 or 30 minutes? (Ok, I know you do, but you should be proud of yourself for keeping it up). As runner56 said, try going slower, that might help adding another minute. And if it doesn't, you are still doing great!


You are a runner - and you're doing great!


Wow, thanks so much everyone! What great encouragement. I'm almost looking forward to going out and trying for 23 minutes this afternoon now. (Almost.) I do run very slowly - not much faster than walking pace - but I can worry about speed later when I've built up endurance. Thank you all!


Hey Annie, you can do it ! If you can do 22 minutes, you can do 23 minutes , no problem !

Just carry on doing what you've been doing , and you will be fine :-) xxx


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