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Couch to 5K
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Back to 30 seconds of running!!

After 20 months and 1400 Klms, running 5K parkrun in 30mins :30sec and a 10K race in 1Hr 3mins -- I am back to running 30second/30second run/walk intervals.

I have made a decision that I will run all future 5 & 10K "races" non-stop - but anything over that I will run and train using run/walk. Last year I did a 14K race and averaged 7:30 per Klm using 2/1 run/walk - so I figure that if I can do the same pace over 21Klm , I can call that an improvement. So far, I have gotten out to 16 Klm longrun but I was starting to doubt my ability to go much further - cardio has been OK but leg strength and stamina have been in doubt. BUT - using Jeff Galloway's latest recomendation to decrease walking AND running times ( at least for the training), yesterday I did a short 7klm at 30:30 ratio at 8 mins per K , I finished feeling that I can easily go further ( which I will on Thursday to 16K) -- but when I ran last Saturday's 5K parkrun non-stop , although I did it very easily in 35 mins ( 7 min per K) and have done it in just a little over 6mins per K, I did not feel at the end that I would have been able to do that 4 times over!!

I have done a 1 mile test run - and found that I can do the mile in 10 minutes - this equates to a 12 minute mile for a HM according to Jeff Galloway and he says that my longrun should therefore be done at 14 minutes per mile -- yesterday's 7K effort was at just under 13 minutes per mile - so if I slow down just a bit more, I now believe that I will get out to 21Klm before my HM in October reasonably easily. Feeling much more confident now. My primary goal time will be 2 hours 37 mins (7:30 per K pace)-- but it would be great ( secondary goal) to achieve sub-2hr30 (7:08 per K pace) --- those 22 seconds difference every K are a BIG stepup though!!! :)

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It's interesting to hear all the options that can be considered for longer runs. Before c25k my mind was narrowed down to the idea that if you're no longer running you're somehow "failing" a run, but that's crazy. Of course it's not "failing". That's as arbitrary as saying it's not really a proper run if you didn't do it in boots, with some bricks in your backpack, a helmet on your head, and a lump of metal in your hands. Nonsense. That's contrary to the c25k spirit, so it's wrong. It's the kind of thinking that puts people off running, and by extension, off exercise in general. It's a kind of thinking that kills a lot of people every year, if you pause to consider the implications of that.

Working out a walk/run mix that increases the amount of time you're out there is just the natural way to either build stamina, or just get out there enjoying something that does this as a byproduct (or both). Seen that way, it's almost "the right way" (but that's a different wrong way of seeing things).

Yes. Interesting. Interesting, because as soon as we start hearing things in these terms, we start thinking things like, "Maybe I could never run 10km, but I could walk it tomorrow", and then, "So maybe I could run a bit, recover, and see what's left in the legs" ... and so on. It draws you on in the right direction (assuming it actually isn't at all bad for you to run long runs, just so long as you do them sensibly). I can almost run 30 minutes, maybe reach 5 kms, maybe run another 2 or 3 kms after that if there was enough recovery ... (Not necessarily good strategies, just registering the fact that more is possible).



I have a run/walk calculator that allows you to put in a running pace and a walking pace - and then calculates an approximate resulting pace for different run/walk ratios. I can run at 7 mins per Klm quite easily so I put that figure in when looking at slow long runs - and i have done a fair bit of tracking my walking pace ( I walk at around 9-10 mins perK - depending on how much I stride out!)

So - if I put in say 7 mins run and 9mins walk, and then start to look at the various run/walk ratios 1/1,2/1,3,1,etc - there is quite a big jump percentage wise between the resultant pace for 1/1 and 2/1 - then not so big between 2/1 and 3/1 - and then as it progresses up to 10/1 , the % difference gets smaller and smaller . Now for someone who wants to run a HM say faster than the one they did last year , they can save a whole minute say over the entire run by going to a higher run time -- but of course they also get more exhausted without any breaks . So there is a fine balance between taking walking breaks and preserving some energy and running non-stop. For me , as someone who only wants to finish a "race" in a "reasonable" time in an upright position, I couldn't care less if the time is 5 minutes either side of what I do it in:) But for some competitive types, it is VITAL!! :)


I think I would also incline toward the finishing in an upright position approach. :-) Even though it sounds like something race oriented, it sounds like a great way of planning one's recreational running, too.

Get to the point where you can fill the unforgiving half minute with 30 seconds of living done, and then it would seem an option to wangle the long runs out to quite a few km per step, just by introducing enough walking time. I could imagine maybe a 20 minute run, a 3 minute walk, a 10 minute run (which I'm assuming would be more manageable than just the 30 minutes a Week 9 runner has been clocking, regularly), a 5 minute walk (to recover completely) , a 6 minute run, a 7 minute walk, a 3 minute run, a 15 minute walk ... put enough walking into it, and set aside enough time, and you're going to cover quite a lot more ground than you have been covering. The idea of the increasing walks with decreasing runs is something that just sounds like it would be interesting to compare to what the scientists are saying these days.

Last time I ran, I walked back probably 3.5 km or so, so the total run plus walk distance was at least 7 km. With enough walking, even within c25k, quite long distances are possible without self-destruction.

Is there any science on continuously changing run/walk ratios?


I am not completely sure what you are getting at here :) Definitely - by including regular walk breaks into our running, it helps us a lot to increase distance and time spent at an elevated heart rate.

But the name of the game is still "running" - so the quest is to find the run/walk ratio that suits us the best. WE mostly think in terms of whole number - eg 2/1, 3/1, etc -- but those who numbers can be made up by seconds - eg 2/1(mins) or 90/45(secs). provided the running part is done at a conversational pace, Galloway is now recommending ( based on info coming out of his MANY pace /training groups in the US) that walk time be kept fairly low eg 30 seconds.

I am basically still experimenting - but certainly 30secs/30secs will now be my training longrun ratio and I will increase that ratio by experimenting during my shorter weekly runs to find what ratio I will use to best effect pace wise during the HM race itself.

I don't think that there is any "science" regarding run/walk - however Galloway has such a large following in the US these days , and US has gone crazy for half and full Marathons that a LOT of anecdotal evidence is coming out of his pacing groups.

This is NOT for those enthusiastic , "no pain-no gain", try to PB types - this is for people like you and me who want to stay fit and enjoy "running" just for the sake of it!!

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Got a bit carried away with the Kipling there (which is actually more of a PB pain-for-gain deal, I suppose). Should've said "unforgiving half hour" and "30 minutes (not seconds) of living done" ... no, I should have said "graduated" ... and not that that clarifies anything.

Never mind. Just thinking aloud, so to speak. It's still all about running, as you point out, so stretching the breaks out as you get more tired is heading in the wrong direction. Or a very different direction. Thanks for your patience.


Fantastic...all sounds very sensible and so doable...go Bazza I think you are fab 💃💃


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