Couch to 5K
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How to fit it all in?

I seem to be posting a lot today :)

Since graduating in November I've tried to run 3 times a week, doing 4 to 5km each run.

Earlier in the year I decided I wanted to do something to try and improve my overall pace, so I went back to the start of the C25K plan and did the first 3 weeks again but at a faster pace than I did originally. I also started doing parkruns on a Saturday, so my regime changed from 3x4/5km to 1 5km (parkrun) and 2 C25K early week re-runs.

That was going fine until 6 or 7 weeks ago when things got a bit disjointed due to various colds and bugs.

I'd like to get back to that plan, but I've also decided that I want to start B210K and increase the distance that I run (thinking if I only ever run 5km then 5km is all I will be able to run).

I also want to keep up with parkrun as I really enjoy it.

So how can I fit that lot into my 3 runs a week?

Should I do parkrun, an interval type run (like early C25K) to help with pace and 1 B210K run a week?

Or would I be better off doing park run and 2 B210K runs and leave the pace improving stuff alone until I finish B210K?

11 Replies

Crumbs!! Decisions, decisions. Personally, I'd go the tried and tested route:1 short speed, intervals or hill session, 1x 30min (or 5k) tempo run (your Parkrun) and 1 longer slow run each week, increasing in distance by no more than 10% per week. This formula seems to work really well, bringing about an increase in distance and speed without causing lots of injuries. Cross training on your non-running days would make you even stronger. Good luck whatever you decide to do :)

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I agree with AM! (Safest way while she's got that walking stick!) :-)


Hehehe :D Have you been talking to AncientDad, old_git?


:-) Hope the healing process is coming on leaps and bounds!


I wish leaping and bounding was involved but yes, the recovery is progressing slowly but steadily (I hope!)

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So I should do parkrun at a temp pace - which from what I've just been reading pretty much means to run it the way I always run it lol

Then do 1 interval/early C25K at pace run and 1 easy (i.e. slower than my parkrun running pace) longer run e.g. from B210K?

Obviously doing it that way will take me longer to get up to 10K but if that sounds like a reasonable plan then I'm all for it as it covers all of the bases.

Then I just need to find a more interesting route to run for those longer runs!


Most people seem to think this is the way to go to increase your speed and distance safely without injury but yes, you definitely need to sort out some interesting routes for your longer runs! :)


I don't know if I'm a freak, and I don't want to be thought of as peddling bad or dangerous advice. I certainly don't want to be leapt on by people telling me I'm a bad man.

But strangely, a couple of weeks ago, after thinking about where I wanted my running to go, I decided to make my Monday run (Easter monday as it happens) a slow run and see where it took me. I had in mind the 8k very slow run from my myAsics plan. I didn't think I'd get to 8km, as my furthest at that point had been 5.6k.

I started off, adjusting my pace, *trying* to run at the absurdly slow pace the plan called for. I found myself in a really comfortable groove, breathing even, not having to breathe heavier, and really felt like I could run and run. I got to 5k and felt great, not really tired.... got to 7 and thought yes, I can do this. Got to 8k, feeling good - no niggles, no aches or strain feelings anywhere, so I just kept that great comfortable pace up and ran on to 10k. Last Monday I did it again. I know the advice that's widely accepted is not to increase distance by more than 10% a week, but I did, it had no ill effects, and I can repeat it safely.

Just my experience, my 10 pence worth.


AM's advice is spot on. That's exactly what I did and it worked a treat for me, and I only did 3 runs a week. If you don't want to give up your park runs, why not do one once a week instead of every week? That way you're more likely to have more PB's!

Just try varying your runs. There's so much you can do. You can do speed or stamina, intervals, hills, classic 5K and then once a week go for a longer, slower run. Longer, slower runs really do improve your speed too.

The world is your oyster. Honestly.


I think horses for courses :D what suits one doesn't suit another .... I did a longer run on Tuesday eve building upto 10K , Thursday was intervals or hills usually around 4k .. sat was parkrun 5k at what ever pace I ran .. worked for me.. till IC beckoned ..

As for times my 1st parkrun 25/12/14 was

I was hoping to up to 4 runs a week .... hey ho ...

Try a view different things see what works for you :D


I'm thinking of ways to make the 5k running more sustainable, rather than building up to longer distances, 10k etc. But also thinking of going back to the c25k podcasts and going faster for the running parts. Good advice in this thread - doing one 'intervals' type run, 1 normal speed run eg 30 min, and 1 slow but longer run. Lots of food for thought. Hope you find a good combination that works for you :)


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