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Couch to 5K
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fitness test dipped

Failed a recent running test which prompted me to start c25k, and I have to say I've thoroughly been enjoying it. Just finished wk4 when I failed my test. Now I have to do speed interval training and have been given a few weeks to do it - but now I'm not enjoying it, and can't work out how to fit the sprints in with this programme ? Am v upset as worked so hard doing this and it just didn't get me fit enough ! Any ideas how I can still love it, if I carry on the weeks till 9 on this programme does it make you faster , or just fitter ?

5 Replies

The whole point of C25K is to be able to run non stop for 30 minutes by the end of week 9. After that there is C25K+ podcasts that you can use to work on speed etc but it is highly recommended that you do C25K first as it will give a good foundation for you to work upon. Hope this helps, good luck with the rest of the plan.


Both, but the fitness needs to come before the speed. Healthy eating will get you leaner so that running faster is easier as you're carrying less ballast.

You need to run fast intervals for a speed test which is a bit beyond the remit of C25k as you'll appreciate. Maybe after 9 weeks though you will be more ready than you otherwise would be. You have nothing to lose by completing the programme. You might be more confident by then of achieving your goal

Give it your best shot! Good luck


Hi there,

Sorry to hear you did not pass your test. I am working for a fitness test so I know how hard it is.

The couch to 5k will have helped you although it might not have felt like it when you did the test so don't be discouraged.

The couch to 5k is designed to get people running for a period of 30 minutes so it will have got you running--- however for a speed test you have to build power to go from one running pace to faster pace very quickly. This requires a slightly different type of fitness which is built doing interval work.

The idea behind interval work is to run fast for a short period of time and then take a recovery period (walking is fine). This is repeated for a few times during a running session. It is hard work though and it might be a bit too hard to work to week 9 and to do interval work at the same time. The danger would be that you get worn out and increase the risk of getting an injury.

Maybe it would be better to concentrate on the program you have been given and join the couch to 5k when you have finished it.

You won't have lost any fitness and we will all be here waiting for you.

I know how grueling this type of training is as I am doing it myself---it is a lot of pressure when you have a test hanging over you. :) Don't worry you are still part of the couch to 5k community and many people take time out for various reasons.

good luck with the training.


Thank you harveyemm for taking the time to reply ! Makes a lot of sense and your right . Just annoyed really - thought by doing the c25k would have been all the training I need. But I will come back here when I pass - and take off where I left off. Thank you

1 like

I'm in exactly the same position, failed a fitness test and thought doing c25k would help. However have decided to get to week 9 and then start interval training. Good luck! 😀


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