Finished...or just starting?

I've done it I've finished all the runs, some better than others, but all done. So now I'm starting on the next part of my running journey but what do I do? Keep on with 30 mins until I can do the full 5k in that time or try for longer runs? I only run ( read trot!) very slowly so the 5k in 30 minutes seems a distant dream. Should I just aim to run for longer or try for an increase in speed. And more importantly.... How do I get my graduate badge?🙌

15 Replies

  • Congratulations on a major accomplishment. What you do is entirely up to you. If you like the 30 minutes, stick with that and enjoy it a bit. If you want to run faster look into starting some speed work for a run a week. Or keep increasing your distance slowly. If you like structure look into the stepping stones podcasts. Don't worry if you don't hit that magic 5k under 30 any time soon (or ever). It's not necessarily the goal for everyone.

    But first, celebrate. :)

  • Well done- major achievement! :)

    You note that this is where the story really starts (to quote the Two Ronnies- and show my age!).

    as runswithdogs says, it is entirely up to you how you use the tool you have given yourself... my one word of advice would be not to do too much too quickly; you still need those rest days no matter which direction you choose to take from here :)

    Many people enjoy ParkRun on a Saturday morning, a friendly 5K event in lots of locations ... it's 5K but the time is up to you.

    I would also suggest consolidating your 30 minute runs, then adding 10% a week if you want to run for longer. I'm currently 'enjoying' (no really- the occasional minute is actually enjoyable!) the 'stepping stones' podcast with Laura trying to get you to run to BPM to improve your running. Worth a go :)

  • I've got stepping stones ready but not looked at it yet. I didn't want to look too far ahead in case it just overwhelmed me. Not sure about parkruns as I usually run on my own so I'm not holding anyone up! Just me, the dog and a nice flat towpath. I live in a hilly part of the country so our local parkrun has quite a few uphill bits. Perhaps facing a few hills should be my next step

  • I have done 2 ParkRuns but for various reasons have veered away. I chose the stepping stones podcast because it seemed the least daunting of the three... and I've run it a few times now, it's no more running than you have been doing to date. I am finding the initial 150 BPM a bit slow now! Good luck and especially with the hills- they are on my list as well- I've only done rather mild gradients to date :)

  • I would keep running for 30 mins 3 times a week for a while to consolidate your fitness level/ muscles/joints etc, and see how you feel about what your next goal is. There is no pressing need to move on to anything further, but it is better not to rush into anything - i think a lot of people come a cropper pushing too hard too soon for a 10k or speed, either through injury or just burning out their enthusiasm.

    After that, do whatever scrubs your goat. Play around with different things, see what fits. You can chop and change as you see fit or just carry on as you are. I go through periods of tarining for this or that and then otehrs where I just fall back to doing by 30 mins. I'm doing that at the moment, in fact and finding it relly nice and unpressured.

  • ^^ Wise words. Too many of us get injured trying to do too much too soon. Consolidation is the name of the game :)

  • I would get the Stepping Stones podcasts started. I still run them when they crop up on my play list. Start off with the Stepping Stones one, then Stamina then Speed. They're really good. With Laura too so you're on familiar territory

    Congrats on Graduating! Whatever you do keep running! Go steady with your progress, take your time. Your running legs take time to build so take care. No rush

    You apply for your badge by clicking on the link (blue text) on the right and sending the email to Admin

  • Well said MissW! I forgot about the badge! :)

  • This is where I feel I'm channeling Churchill and want to tell you that it's not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning!

    The main thing is that you made is - so well done! It's a great course but it does require determination and persistence and making it through to three 30 min runs in a week is a fabulous result.

    I would suggest sticking on 3 x 30min per week, of which I would suggest taking at least two no faster than you have so far. If you _want_ to work on your speed then perhaps up the pace in the last 5 mins of one run each week, then gradually bring that 5 mins back until you are doing two slow runs and one slightly faster.

    The aim is to make running a lifestyle, so you have years to enhance your performance. Don't rush into it and hurt yourself. Find something that will keep you motivated to get out running but try not to be tempted to up things too quickly. Think where you were 9 weeks ago and you will see that 3 x 30min runs a week is major progress! Consolidate that before you take it further.

    Congratulations! And Happy Running!


  • I reckon pretty much the same as everyone else. Giving yourself time to consolidate your 30 min runs also gives you pressure free time to think about where you'd like to take this. We're all different so what we enjoy doing or are good at doing can vary quite a lot. As you say you're at the start of another journey and although it's always good to arrive at a destination it's also good to settle into enjoying the trip to get there.

    Congratulations! And happy running whatever you decide to do :)

  • I thought I would never get faster, but amazingly I ran my standard 5k run 5 minutes quicker today than when I graduated in September. I started off by doing the week 1 podcast again, but really concentrating on speedy (for me!) 1 minute runs. I walked, then slow jogged the 90 second bits as I improved, and then added slow jogs instead of the warm up and cool down walks. This interval training has really improved my general running speed. I'll never run 5k in 30 minutes, but my slow but sure improvement is giving me a real buzz.

    Stick at it. The 5k+ podcasts are good but a bit daunting at first. The important thing is that you get out there regularly and run! Good luck!

  • Brilliant!! The early weeks really do make for fantastic interval training. Well done and thanks for sharing :)

  • Definitely at the beginning of your journey. Listen to the wise words on here and consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. Let your muscles and joints catch up with your enthusiasm and hopefully you'll avoid injury. Congratulations on your graduation :)

  • I graduated 8 weeks ago and having enjoyed a structured programme started straight away on a 10K programme. Mistake, took me one week to injure my knees. Decided to go back to 3 X 30 minute runs which allowed me to recover. Now I am doing 3 X 5K per week in about 37 mins apiece. One is a parkrun. Moral of the story, graduating from C25k doesn't mean keep pushing hard, spend some time consolidating 30 mins and allow a natural increase in speed, then maybe look at increasing distance slowly!

    Most important thing, run regularly and have fun trying new routes!

  • Well done

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