Couch to 30 mins! Not 5k. Feeling cheated😥 - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Couch to 30 mins! Not 5k. Feeling cheated😥


Title says it all! On my last run (week 6 run 3) Laura casually announced I would be able to run for 30 mins by end of the programme. Well, that's certainly not 5k for me, it will take me at least 45 mins to run 5k!

I was wondering how it would work out though, in terms of us measuring out our own 5k, and how she would talk us through our progress......

Think I'm just feeling a bit grumpy as I struggled a bit on my last run (25 mins continuous) whereas I've found all the other runs fine😡

20 Replies

Very few people can run 5K in the 30 minutes by the end of C25K. It took me a couple of months before I cracked it. Why not concentrate on the positives rather than the negatives? You've done wonderful things to get to where you are, and it's a real achievement. When you get to the end, you can decide where you want to take your running, but best of all, you can be confident in the fact that you are a runner.

Thinking about it, each week at Parkrun, there are lots of people that take longer than 30 minutes, and are regular runners.

If you do a search on here, you will find this '5k in 30 mins' topic is a regular one. Very few people run 5k in 30 mins at the end of the programme. More than a few don't run 30 minutes 5ks long after graduation. The programme is not about running 5k, it is about running for 30 minutes continuously. Once you can do that then you are well placed to start working on speed if a 30 min 5k is important to you, or increase distance or whatever. You have to be able to run continuously if slowly before you can run faster though. The slower you do C25k the more benefit you are likely to get from it.

Cherubby in reply to Rignold

Thanks both. I know I'm being a bit grumpy about it and should focus on the positives, but it is a misnomer!

Steve_LGraduate in reply to Cherubby

Couch to 30 minutes doesn't have the same ring to it, though, does it?


Yes I remember feeling the same, I didn't do 5k in 30 mins on week 9 - though Laura does say on the week 1 podcast that she will get us running for 5k 'or' 30 mins and not 'in' 30 mins which is what I expected- but hey! Look how well you are doing and how far you have come! at the end of the 9 weeks you will be so pleased that you can run for 30 mins - nearly there!!!

Thanks, yes you're right. Quite curious to see what the next 3 weeks podcasts will be as the last run was 25 mins continuous run (don't tell me though, I love the suspense!!)


Hehe! My lips are sealed!! Enjoy!!!


you are right about the name of the program , but C25K is catchier than c2 30 mins 3 x a week . Ok there are some that do achieve 5k in the 30 mins but there are lots like me who didn't achieve a 5k until after graduation ... and the time isn't so important.

You have done so well to get to where you are , running for 25mins non stop , now be honest could you ever imagine that 8 weeks ago :)

The program really is to get us comfortable running for 30 mins 3 times a week a good base line to work from and move forward from in our time but the real bottom line is just to enjoy running whatever speed or distance :D

good luck with your remaining runs :D

Cherubby in reply to Slow_Rob

Thank you😀

Slow_RobGraduate in reply to Cherubby

you are welcome :)


You could ask for your money back if you're not 100% satisfied.

Tee hee, only kidding! You're off the couch and moving that body. Result! You're feeling short-changed, I get that, but never mind,these things are sent to annoy us. You keep running and you'll soon forget Laura fibbed and made you grumpy

In a few weeks you'll be jumping for joy at your new-found fitness and running prowess. You will get to 5k in 30 minutes, honest, but it takes time. It's worth persisting though. Stick with it and you'll be oh-so-glad you did

Come on! Game on!

Cherubby in reply to misswobble

Ha, your reply made me laugh! Thank you. X


The point is that if you have improved your fitness to the point where you can run for 30 mins you can almost certainly run for 5k, even if it takes you longer than 30 mins. I graduated more than a year ago and have NEVER run 5k in under 30 mins, but I HAVE run 50 parkruns , 10k is getting to be less of a struggle and I've joined a running club without feeling embarrassed. Couch to 5K DOES do what it says on the tin !!!

I think the original programme from which all these others have been derived was distance based, rather than duration based. (And we have members who've done distance based c25k programmes). Duration is a more individual metric to apply, making possible a programme that allows for a wider range of starting fitness levels, and natural athletic ability, so I would consider a programme derived from (and honouring, at least in name) that original c25k, but using duration, to be a better programme for leading people to the Fitness Benefits of running.

This is the thing. It turns out that modern science shows that you actually get more health benefit from moderate exercise than you to by "killing yourself" (and that can even be literally what you're doing at some levels of exercise). If you hit 30 minutes, that's worth more to you than the 5km you would have to either wait for or strain for (complete with injuries to pay for that).

Short version: The original programme was distance based. Others that have followed have just continued to be called c25k out of respect for the original great idea.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. Think I'm over my grumpiness with Laura now😀 I do need to focus on the positives, but it's difficult as 5 years ago I was running half marathons, so running for 25 mins seems like less of an achievement now. I know it isn't really, considering I spent the last 5 years 'resting', having 2 babies, oh, and putting 3 stone on 😳. So actually running for 30 mins should be a huge achievement for an exhausted, fat 44 year old.


The programme has prepared u to run for 30 minutes. If u ran fast enough, it wd be possible to do 5K but not many of us could. I continued running twice on week 7 and did 5K in 43 mins. Then when I graduated I did parkrun in 35 minutes. I am not any more able than u. If you can run for 30, at the same pace u r very close to 5K. Maybe just add a 10% increase per week and u will be there! Well done for graduating 😀 Julie

I re-named it in my head couch to 4k, and aimed to do 4k by my final week 9 run 3, and did it. I agree it's frustrating when you realise you won't get to 5k by the end, but actually 4k is great, and most people manage to reach that. I only recently managed to get even close to 5k in 30mins, and don't know if I'll ever actually get there, and I'm about 5 months since graduating. At least it means you still have a goal when the podcasts finish though :)


Don't worry about not hitting the 5k mark. I graduated a few weeks back and was still only in the 3ks. Today I finally managed to hit the 4k. Still a way to go for me and it will probably take me 45 mins or more to run the 5k too.

I think we all find it hard to complete the runs, no matter what stage we are at. There are lots of us on here who struggle to make 5k in anywhere near 30mins so I wouldn't worry too much. Just keep doing what you are doing and be proud of yourself and your achievements. You are still faster than all those on the couch!

Good Luck and keep us updated with your progress.


Others have said it all - elapsed time = stamina = steady improvement over time. We are all different - different heights, different weights, different ages, carrying different levels of health, flexibility etc etc. It wouldn't make sense for a 58 year old short and previously unfit female like myself to emerge out of the programme able to run at the same pace as a 6'6" 20 year old male gazelle, would it? But my hypothetical opposite and I would both emerge with improved range, pace and stamina versus what we had at the start.

If we keep up the work, we will continue to improve, but probably also at different rates. I can run for an hour. I can run 5K in 38 minutes. I couldn't do any of this when I started. But if I wanted to run 5K in 30 minutes, I would need to run at an average 10k per hour, yet the maximum I can do if I sprint as hard as I can for 90 seconds is about 8.5K per hour. I don't know whether I will ever be able to run 5k in 30 minutes, nor do I worry about it. I do delight in the many benefits this journey has brought and I have no intention of stopping.

Good luck and please don't be disappointed.


I know exactly what you mean and felt the same when I graduated BUT I then realised I had just run for 30 mins !!!??!! amazing for someone who had NEVER run before embarking on this programme. I did eventually manage the 5k - but not in 30 mins - just increased my time. And I'm afraid I always find the runs a struggle, but I take that as a good sign, that I'm still pushing my limits a little

You'll have finished week 7 by now so not long til graduation. Best of luck

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