Couch to 5K
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A Pat on the back Quest wk 6 -Feel free to join

The Pat on the Back Quest.

Week six

Wow can't believe we are already in week six.

The reason for the name is reading the last few weeks of posts and there seem to be some of us struggling. The whole point of the Quest is to help motivate not to make you feel bad. So if your finding that you've stretched yourself a bit on your aims bring them down for this quest just to help you get back On Your feet. I always think things are easier when you feel you are doing well rather than the other way round. I know you all will be doing something every week and if you don't you have very good reason, you are some of the most motivated people I know. Happy Questing.

What the quest is:-

The quest takes six weeks. You can join any time within that six weeks.

The main aim of the quest is to help you find a focus or goal that you would like to achieve by the end of the Quest period.

I ask that you will be a graduate or about to graduate to join the quest. The main reason I ask this is that while you are doing the program your plan is very structured so I wouldn't want the quest to interfere with that.

Most popular goals are:-

To run three times a week

To slowly increase distance

To train for a specific race

To add In Stretch and strength exercises

As you can see they are personal to yourself and it's totally your own choice.

Every week I will pin a new post where all the members of the quest can talk about how things are going.

So if you wanted to join all you have to do is put

I would like to join the quest, or count me in and then I would like to. ..............

Your name will then be added to the top post and every week your name will be in the quest until the end.

At the end, only for those that would like to, we each put out longest run of the quest and it is then marked on a virtual run we are doing London to Paris






















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1st of all thank you all for you lovely kind messages they meant so much in a difficult week. We drove back from Yorkshire on Thursday and got caught in the worst weather we have driven In For a long time. The journey took 6 hours, but that was just the push I needed to get me up and out the door for a run on Friday. I knew I just wanted to feel my body move and running seemed the right way to go. This week I feel like I am back on track with energy but I'm behind in jobs getting things ready for Xmas so I will fit in The runs where I can and not beat myself up about it. Sometimes life is like that and there no point In Making yourself feel worse about it. Happy running everyone.


Good to hear you sounding so positive again, RFC x


Goodness, 6 weeks already. As ever thanks to the wonderful RFC for organising us and giving us a reason to get out the door. I know it makes a big difference for me.

I had some unexpected time off work last week (had some days to use up that I'd overlooked) so had the opportunity to do my weekday runs in daylight (usually I do them in the dark while my son is at his music lessons.)

Monday I had another go at 30-20-10. Had thought I might manage 3 sets with 2 minutes recovery between each set. Well that thought lasted to the end of the first set, when I definately needed 5 minutes recovery before doing another lot. I then rounded out my run to 30 minutes by doing 10 minutes gentle jogging at the end. Definately hard work so presumably worth it. Doing it in daylight let me use my watch to time myself, which was good and will give me a feel for how to just count them when doing it in the dark.

After that exertion, Wednesday I decided to just go for a run. Did a route I haven't done for a while round one of our local parks. (Doesn't feel safe after dark but isn't long enough for my Saturday runs any more).

Saturday I had planned a long run, but I woke up late... so decided to keep it to an hour. In order to keep things interesting and stretch myself I ran up a hill for the first time in ages. Was pleasantly surprised to manage 15 minutes uphill (at a gentle plod of course) and really enjoyed running back down. View was fab too.

Definately need to keep up with my 3 runs this week, as opportunities to eat too much are coming around more and more often as Christmas approaches !

happy running everyone


Still no long run for me. Managed to fit in a 6k lunch time run and a 6.7k run home the long way on Friday. Also ran to work this morning, so my last three runs have been to, at or from work! So lucky to have showers at work and to live the right distance from the office (i have route options between 5 - 8km), otherwise it would have been even more difficult to run at all at the moment.


Arrrgh! Struggling to fit runs in at the moment. Only one last week *hangs head in shame* Hope to do better this week xx

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Ah, I'm in the same boat AM - one puny run-walk for me. But one run is still better than no run, so let's be happy about that.

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All positive here! Good running last week, a decent 5k and my first 7k at the weekend (hard work, but so worth it). Really looking forward to the Christmas break (I work school hours) when I will have more time to run on my favourite trails locally. I tend to stick to the residential area when it is dark, although perhaps a good head torch might make me a little more adventurous in the dark!

Safe running everyone!🏃🏻

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Well done on the 7k! I passed that mark myself recently and you are spot on, it is so worth it!


Great news you feel good again RFC. Running is always there for us, like a best friend!

Can't believe this is the last week! I had a good one totalling 29K, 1x 5K, 1x 7K and my long run of 17K. I got to the gym once only but did manage weights, the bike and rowing, so felt a bit virtuous, which is just as well as I've been eating a few mince pies and cake! But hey ho it's Christmas and I can run them off!

Have a great last week fellow questers. And I hope Santa is getting ready to bring you lots of running stuff.

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I really hope Santa is bringing us running stuff. In funky cookies colours and prints....

Also - 17k!!! That's great!


Definitely funky colours and prints! And thank you!


Wow , Well done your Maj ! Excellent stuff ! :-) xxx


3 runs this week :) one 30 minute run, 4.2k (pb), one 30 minute interval run, 4.35k (pb), and a 5k on sunday, 4 seconds slower than my fastest time! So overall very good. However, still reminded on sunday by achy shins all afternoon making me limp around the house than my shin splints are an ongoing battle and I really can't push myself very hard every run. I think I need to aim to slow down the pace next week but perhaps aim for a longer, slower run next weekend. It feels great to improve each week but every run doesn't have to be a pb, and it will come naturally without me forcing it! Still, I'll keep RICE-ing, rolling, taping, strengthening, running on soft surfaces because I'm determined to not let them stop me again! So.. mixed week in that I'm proud of what I ran but should have eased off on the long run. I think my trouble is that 5k isnt such an insurmountable distance to me any more that I don't drastically slow my pace and instead I try and keep my best pace up all run which is a bit much on the shins in retrospect. Next quest aim will be= run consistently but know my limits! Either aim long + slow or short + fast but don't try and mix the two! (just because my fast is someone else's slow pace doesn't mean it isnt a bit too fast for me at the minute).

Sorry for the long post. Just trying to talk some sense into myself!


3 runs last week. All 5ks.

Nothing special on Tuesday, but Thursday saw me "home" on my towpath for the first time in 6 months. Barcode scanning duty at parkrun on Saturday. Sunday was a Santa Run over the parkrun course.

Going to try for a 10k sometime this week. Haven't done more than 8k for months - last 10k was early September and that was 2:1 Galloway.

Looking forward to hopefully getting to the top of the NHS waiting list to see a physio and getting my knee looked at in the New Year - it's starting to brass me off now!

Well done everyone and thanks to rfc xx


Have you tried specific exercises for your shin splints Beatrice? Foot lifts, heel drops and calf lifts have helped mine no end.

Glad to hear you're back on track now RFC. I hope you can fit your runs in around your Christmas prep.

I did my race on Sunday and did better than expected. Hope that my shin splint woes are well behind me now and I can crack on and have a better year next year. Resting running wise til Thursday but then I get a recovery run with the jog group's last run of the year.


Yes, doing calf lifts and heel drops, at least twice a day, I could probably up it to three times. +foam rolling, KT-taping, and running on soft surfaces as much as I can manage. I think I need to stop focusing on intensity and build up my long term stamina so my bones get strong enough to deal with my running. Also reading up about 'Chi running' (which didn't really convert me) but I do think increasing my cadence and shortening my running stride could also help. I just really don't want to take more weeks off when I've just got back into a routine over the last two weeks!

But I think when I start a run although I think 'this will be an easy one, don't worry about your speed' I always try and go a little faster and I think I need to think more long term about gaining stamina and real strength in my calves before I can push myself at all! Its just hard to be self-disciplined..


Looks like folks had a good week. I pat you all on the back.

The good: I managed three runs this week (5k, 7k, 5k) and three long walks (2.5k, 3k, 2.5k) and I myrtled once with a set of squats thrown in. My runs were strong, though I had two instances of my hamstring seizing up toward the end of the run. It was strange, I get niggles everywhere, but never had this one.

The bad: My two year old son lifted my shirt in search of my belly button this week and joyfully declared "Jelly Belly Mama!". So...

This week I will stretch more for the hamstring and try to run three times. I will squat, I will plank, I will lunge. I will.

Onward questers, we are nearly there!


Two runs last week, hooray, but I didn't make the Bounts challenge run that I set myself a target of. It was going to be an easy 5k, my first for months, but it had to be completed over the weekend and the weather was so foul that I just didn't even bother putting my running kit on. I cannot get out in rain. I know loads of people love it, but I hate it. I am not enjoying this cold, damp weather as it is, and am struggling to get out and run even on reasonable mornings. I haven't even gone swimming during this whole challenge as I said I would because I cannot face the showers and then walking back up with wet hair. But at least I ran this week :)


Managed two runs which were really a struggle after the virus I had for a couple of weeks before that. The first was 4.5k the second 5.5 but it was soooo slow. That was Thursday and nothing since! I had planned to go this morning about now, but forgot I have arranged to meet a work colleague at 12. Ah well, there's always tomorrow night.


Lots to reflect on. After the previous excellent week, I then didn't run at all, one swim. There were reasons of busy-ness and weather and all that... but actually I think my 'excellent' week had made me pretty ill... the post exertional malaise was out, if not in full force, certainly a posse.

However, have already been out for a run this week, so not unduly worried, just going to be a bit less gung-ho.


Quite happy with running this week.

Run1 -5 miles on my own slowish,

Run2 - 2 miles when tried to run faster than normal. I struggle with speed but was ok.

Run 3 - 4 miles in rain splashing through deep puddles and mud with friend from runnng club. Squeeling and hysterical laughing all the way round. Great fun and felt fantastic.

Have booked my 1st trail race for February as a goal to aim for over next few weeks.

Happy running fellow questers.


Morning All ! :-)

Good to hear youre feeling better RFC ,massive hugs for you (((( ))))

I have had a good week . I did hill training /sprints twice last week . Walk to one lamp post, jog to the next one ,and sprint to the next one, then back down the hill x 4

I have also found a workout for my arms on Pinterest, " 21 days to Sculpted arms " or something like that, as I really need to work on my upper body strength as my biceps look like knots in cotton .Ha ha ! :-)

I have also had a few sessions on my exercise bike .

Having to look for a new Zumba class as the teacher has moved away - Pah !

Good Luck everyone and soothing vibes to all of those on the IC, another day to recovery ! xxx


I have not commented on this quest for a couple of weeks but still glad of it as it makes me stick to my aims ! I have been doing 3 x 5k per week outside whenever possible and have started in a gym for really bad weather days (1% incline 8-9 km/hr) which suits me well. My quest was to not let the weather stop me and I now love running in the rain ! :) Happy running everyone :)


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