Run timings - advice please

Hi I'm on w7d2 and now my runs have distance as well as times showing, I've realised that I should be running 10 minute miles to be on track. My actual best split time for a whole mile of running is 12.57 and it's more usual to be over 13 mins. I'm a bit fed up with this as I've done the programme right through without any repeats or slips (apart from a flu bout in about w4). Is this a typical pattern that others have found, and should I aim to achieve the distance whatever the time, then build up speed from there? I would welcome any advice from the amazing experience of people on this site. Thank you!


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16 Replies

  • Hi

    Please dont worry about your speed, miles, pace, distance. It really doesnt matter at all.

    Slow and steady is the way, completing the run and then going onto the next one is all that matters at this stage .

    Try and put your worries to the back of your mind and just concentrate on completing the runs up to Graduation


    Good Luck and Well done for getting this far, you can do this ! :-) xxx

  • Thank you for your advice! I've just looked on the NHS c25k and theirs doesn't mention distance which is probably more helpful! (I'm doing Zenlabs). I will continue with renewed vigour towards graduation!

  • No, you should be achieving the TIME regardless of the speed or distance. The programme is designed to get you running for 30 minutes non stop, by which time you should be able to run 3 miles or 5k even if it it takes you longer than 30 minutes. If you've got up to W7 you're doing really well so just stick with it and don't worry about how fast or how far you're going until well after you have finished the programme. Really...

  • Thank you - I will persevere! I'm really enjoying the progress I've made so far and didn't want to think I still had a massive mountain to climb.

  • Many people seem obsessed by PBs, time and distance. I suppose it depends how competitive you are. I would say, if you are a new runner just enjoy running for the sake of it. Rejoice in the fact you can! As others say. It's all about making sure you can run consistently for 30 minutes. Do that first before giving yourself extra goals. But overall, just enjoy it!

  • Thank you! Your advice is appreciated!

  • Sounds like you're doing just fine! Graduation is about being able to run non stop for 30 mins. You can concentrate on speed and longer distances afterwards if that's what you want.

  • Thank you!

  • Stop worrying .. as everyone says..slow and steady and aim to follow and complete the programme.

    Take it easy, and listen to the great advice from folks on here.:)

    Just, enjoy the journey

  • Thank you! I'm reassured by the support and advice

  • Please don't worry about your distance, speed, pace. It's a bit of a misnomer that it's called couch to 5k as the programme is really about being able to run for 30 minutes. Very few new runners graduating from the programme are at the 10k per hour pace that would deliver 5k in 30 minutes. If you think about it, we are all different - different heights, weights, gender, starting point fitness, general health etc etc. We run in different conditions - outdoor / indoor, weather, terrain, surface etc. It would be ludicrous to expect someone like me (female, short, on the more mature side, slightly overweight) to have the same theoretical maximum performance as (say) my mid-twenties son (male, tall, thin and gazelle like). What we all have in common is the ability to improve over time, given the application of effort. Once you can run for 30 minutes you will be able to build up to 5k, and you will also be able to gradually increase your pace. Good luck.

  • Brilliant! Thank you

  • Wish it was called "Couch to 30 minutes" sometimes!

    Yes, don't worry about your speed at all. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy it and go at a comfortable pace - one called a "conversational pace", ie where you can comfortably talk at the same time.

    Once you've graduated, then you can work on your speed, but for the moment, just take it easy and enjoy it :-)


  • Thank you - I continue to plod along with (now) not a care in the world!

  • Everyone's already said it, but pace is irrelevant right now, just getting the runs in is what matters. I'm just starting Week 7 too and started tracking my times a couple of weeks back, but purely out of interest - I've found the time of day, weather, how well I slept, what I've eaten, etc., all affect how I run, but I have no target pace or distance in mind for now... just trying to build stamina so I can complete my first 5K on 20 March, in however long that takes! Keep it up, you're doing great :)

  • Thanks for your support - I'm just trucking on - finished w7 today, so looking to build further on the next run! I agree with what you've said about the variables which affect the run 'quality' - all in all - I'm just proud of myself when I've completed each one!

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