Couch to 5K
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So what next?

So what next?

Since starting couch to 5k, I have...

1. Got an activity tracker (something I swore I would never get)

2. Built up to doing at least 10,000 steps every day (from about 3,000 at the start, I work at home - very dangerous because you think you're constantly doing something but you're really not moving!)

3. Dropped 2kg in total

4. More impressively, based on the readouts from the scale, that 2kg is made up of 6kg lost fat and 4kg gained lean muscle

5. Dropped from 36% plus body fat to 29.9%

6. Gained a waist

7. Lost a spare tyre (still carrying two stone of extra bulk, but hey! It'll go eventually)

8. Built up to running for 30 minutes at a time!

9. Put my own playlist together (and it is cheeeeeeeeesy - see later)

10. Requested a Garmin Forerunner 10 for my birthday (and if I don't get one I shall... of course be grateful for what I do get and simply resubmit the request for Christmas).

Since graduating last week I've run twice. On Monday, I managed 4.4k (around the same time Busted Crashed the Wedding on my playlist) and decided that was enough, I'd walk (I'd not measured out the route, and passed my old "stop and walk now" marker and the gremlins got me). Today I decided to run 5k along the old railway line (now a cycle track) rather than around the meadow/across a cow field/next to the river. Basically, I wanted to see how quickly I could do it without looking out for potholes.

Unlike Monday, when the Fitbit and MapMyRun apps both swore blind I'd run 11.04 km in 36 minutes, the GPS behaved itself today (it also helped I'd mapped how far I needed to run on Map My Run's website so I was keeping an eye out for the half-way point, so if all else failed I could ignore the ridiculous km counts if they were out). I managed 5 km in 34 minutes, compared to the graduation run (across fields etc.) of 37 minutes last week. So, actually, plodding along a perfectly straight (though not level) track only saved me 3 minutes.

So - here's the question, what next? I always said I'd do a few weeks post-graduation "free running" and I'm not putting any real pressure on myself to do the 5k every time. If I can keep it going for half an hour, everything after that point is a bonus. The plan was to then move on to the other, post -graduation podcasts - but should I do stamina, speed, or the other one (momentarily blank on the name) first? The Purple Perils (running shoes) are safe in the cupboard for now, but I feel I owe them some explanation as to what the next target is.

Comments welcomed.

Oh, and here's that playlist.

Warm-up walk music:

The Avalanches, Since I left you


Steeleye Span, The Dark Morris Song

Amy McDonald, An Ordinary Life

Sam Sparro, Black and Gold

Smash Mouth, All Star

S Club 7, Don't Stop Movin'

The Rembrandts, I'll Be There For You

Gorillaz, DARE

The Proclaimers, I'm On My Way

Scissor Sisters, Music Is The Victim

Elton John, Are You Ready For Love

Busted, Crashed The Wedding

Smash Mouth, I'm a Believer (yes, another from the Shrek soundtrack, I was pushed for time)

Eric Prydz, Call On Me

Walking home:

The Beatles, Let It Be

Told you there was some cheese on there. :) Might have to trim it a bit, as obviously the running songs go on for longer than I actually run for. Today I walked a bit extra just to hear The Beatles.

10 Replies

Off the top of my head, and in no particular order:

1) Try running naked (no, not that - running without earphones cutting off the sound of your surroundings. I love it that way.

2) Find you local Parkrun, register and just go.

3) Find an event in a couple of months time - say a 5k race, register and prepare for it.

4) See how you feel if you build your distance up towards 10k. If you like it, register for a 10k event in around 3 months time and prepare for it.

5) Try different types of run, like long slow runs (keeping heart rate and breathing low), intervals, fartleks, hill runs to develop your body in a more rounded and complete way.


Exactly what he said :-)


Thank you both. I can see a day in the not too distant future where a training plan is drawn up.

There may even be a spreadsheet. With colour-coding.

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Sounds good to me..

I see you have cut down your TIME already as well.. well done you!!

and i have JUST one beef about the play list.. no not the Steeleye Span , not even the S Club & ( been there) , its the Proclaimers.... SURELY it HAS to be... ( you KNOW whats coming!!)


Very tempting, but then part of me thought "what if it's a bad run, and the words 500 miles really defeat me???"

But yes, playlist 2 will include 500 miles, just for you. :)

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No... it has to be YOUR playlist.. I'm rapidly realising one of the GREAT pleasures post graduation.. ( as a podcast user) is that you can listen to what YOU want...


It's easy to lose a bit of direction after graduating, it certainly took me a while to decide my real aim was to be able to go slightly faster, and that to get there I needed to have some interval running and some longer distance running. I have found ParkRun helpful in giving me a regular event (although I can't always attend).

In parallel with running, I decided to step up my swimming, and I have found this to be the area where I am continuing to make noticeable progress (the weekly running gains are fairly small now, 8 months after starting). Swimming might not be your thing, but mixing in some other activities might be an idea, if you have time. Swimming works for me because it's low impact, and I therefore find I can do it on running rest days.

Your physical changes sound great, well done.

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Sounds like you've done great. Well done!

As for "what next", it really depends on what will motivate you and make you feel proud. For many it's running further and further, for others it's running faster and faster (and yes, the two are to a large extent mutually exclusive), and for stone it's just getting out there three times a week.

What really worked for me after radiation was to mix things up. Instead of the regular c25k route I went a toss fields or along new roads. Sometimes further. Sometimes faster. Sometimes mone of the above but just a wee run. But try to think about what you would love to write on Facebook as your 2015 achievement around Christmas, and then start to plan to make it cone true.


Have you done the C25k+ podcasts?


Not yet - original plan was to run a few weeks to consolidate what I've built up, then do them, but now I'm wondering whether to mix it up a bit from next week, or carry on consolidating, or...

Have just run my third run of post-graduation. 5.2k in 37 minutes, I can live with that. :) I might see how I do next week, then work out a training plan from then on. Or I'll work it out this weekend, who knows!!


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