Couch to 5K

Running shortcuts - week 3 after 2 weeks!

Well yesterday saw me start week 3 of the programme. Been a bit cheaty but I have been able to pull it off so far.

When I say cheaty what I mean is I did week 1, and got struck down by flu\chest infection the very day I did it, so after 4 days in bed I went and did week 1 for a second time.

Having done week1 twice, I went onto week 2, which I ran twice and then stated week 3 which I must admit I should do 3 times.

The reason for the short cut is I have a 5-6k indurance race in about a months time 17th March, and quite honestly I need to have the ability to run most, if not all of the way.

Is this cheating? Is this wrong? Am I going to hrt myself?

So far, I have been able to progress easily, I have not injured myself and I feel great when I finish.

I run at 6am, on country roads, in the freezing cold. My lungs don't work so well when I begin, due to the reminants of the chest infection, and asthma. But it is brilliant, and at the moment I am really enjoying myself.

I used to weigh 20 stone and smoke around 20 a day, but now I'm 16 stone 10 and smoke free. the running is now definitely a joy.

4 Replies

I guess we all have different levels of fitness and ability that we start with. I know that for me week 1 wasnt difficult at all because I do zumba and that involves a lot of stop/start activity. I could have done a shortcut, but I didnt.

However I'm glad I didn't do any short cuts as now at week4 I dont think I'd ever managed the stamina to get through the runs. As you run you build muscle, tendons, bone density, cardio-vascular changes as well, thats why the rest days are just as important as the running.

If you listen to your body you should be ok. Just be careful not to over-push it and be safe :) No point zooming through the first few weeks only to get injured two weeks before your race!


I agree it is important to run to your ability. To a certain extent I had a slightly higher level of fitness prior to starting the running.

I think the trick is to make sure that I (or anyone else) doesn't over do it and to listen to your body.

On the flip side, I have Zumba on the Wii so I do a 20 minute workout on my non-running day.

At the end of the day it's very much up to what the individual can do and maintain.

I just have to make sure I can do the race at the end of the day.


I think you know what you'r doing and You'll be fine on race day, good luck :)


There are other 5k programmes that are shorter than this one so it is not necessarily cheating by skipping out runs.

Same as above, that rest days are very important. The main risk you are putting yourself at is possibly an increase of injury, but who really knows what that percentage is.

Personally I would carry on with the programme from where you are now and by March 17th you should be able to manage your run, whether it's at a slow pace with a couple of walk breaks, at least you would have done it!

On the week 5 run 3 20 min run, I completed the run, had a 5 min walk break and ran for another 20 minutes. That was never the plan, but I was with my sister who had been running 5k already and she decided to run back to the car rather than I went for it too!

The important thing is finding a pace, on longer runs once I find my pace I feel like I can go on forever...although I don't always feel like that at the end :)

Good luck for March :)


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