Couch to 5K
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W2R3 clarification please

Hi guys, I completed my run today so I can feel good about that. Can someone please clarify after my 5 minute brisk walk , do I then complete 20 min of the walk / run programme or is it 20 minutes in total including the walk? I ve been doing 25 in total and running everyday except 1 per week as I did not realise I should have a day off! Sucker for punishment! 😁

6 Replies

Are you new to running? I guess you are not using the free, downloadable podcasts on the NHS C25K website? If you were, the progress you are expected to make is very clearly given! If you are a new runner, running for 20 minutes in week 2 is far too much! The programme most folk on here are following, covers 27 runs - these should take a minimum of 9 weeks to cover as it is incredibly important to rest and recover for at least one day between runs. There is a programmed and gentle progression from several little runs and walks to longer runs and shorter intervals of walking until, eventually after several weeks you'll get to 20 and 30 minutes continuous running.

Many, many folk actually take far longer than 9 weeks - they add extra 'rest' days or repeat certain runs until they are satisfied they have achieved the requirements of each level correctly at least 3 times. (It is on rest days that your body recovers and strengthens for the next stage - it's essential for new runners and helps to avoid injuries, aches and pains).

Most of the 27 outings take around 30 minutes (+/-) and that includes a 5 minute walk to start and a 5 minute warm down walk at the end. Obviously, by the time you are doing one long run of 30 minutes, your total 'outing' time will be 40 minutes.

I would encourage you to check out the programme, listen to the podcasts - even if you don't want to listen to them while you run - at least then you'll get full information about what you're supposed to do, and you'll be able to make progress at a healthy rate which won't injure you. Take care


Thank you so much. It's because I don't have a good phone that I am having to take a timer with me. I am following the guidelines per run but was unsure if the total inc the warm up walk was 20 mins or 25? I will listen to the pod cast at home from my computer as you have advised. I'm running 6 days out of 7 atm but as you say I will listen to the advice given . I have recently given up kick boxing because of the impact on my shoulder and elbow, and am hoping running this programme will help me continue to keep well. I have parctised yoga for many years so feel that I have a slight advantage with regard to keep muscle relaxed and stretched but thank you again I will educate myself via the pod cast ☺️


Brilliant, well done you! I've never had or used a smart/posh/expensive phone - I had an old MP3 player, cheap as chips, worked for me - you might be able to get a cheap one online or at a high street store cos they're considered 'old-hat' technology these days! So useful to have Laura telling you when to start and stop, and giving hints about technique along the way. The music was pretty dire, but I ditched that for my own stuff at about w6/w7 when the longer runs were easy to work out with a wristwatch. Have fun x


Thank you will do 😃it is a pain keep checking my timer I'll look online


Here's the programme in full, very useful .


Thanks so much I did research more once I read the kind post. Treated myself to a day off today! And think I will look for cheap MP3 player . Thanks again much appreciated


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