Do you include warm ups/downs in distance? - Couch to 5K

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Do you include warm ups/downs in distance?


Just a question about etiquette really - when you say "Yeah, I killed that 123K run" do you include the distance of the 5 minute warm up and warm down?

For more experienced runners I guess that distance is just noise but for the c25k crowd (at least for me) it is a non-trivial distance.

I do - I start my garmin activity before the 5 minute walk and stop it after the last 5 minute walk. The various web sites (garmin, strava etc.) clearly show the difference between the run and walk segments.

Dunno - I can't decide whether including it is 'cheating' somehow :-).

23 Replies

I usually only record the bit between the warm up and warm down, but I leave the garmin recording if and when I take walk breaks, so sometimes the splits are a bit interesting!


I used to include the warm up/cool down when I first started to record runs.

Now I start the app when I actually start running and I stop it when I stop running. 


When I used RunKeeper it was so hit and miss I got it going before I started walking so I knew it had found a satellite, now I use Garmin I only include the running bits. I stop it if I take a rest. I know I usually walk about 1 KM in my warm up/cool down walks anyway, so I can easily work it out if I want to.


I always started timing, after I have warmed up and stop before walk down... :)


I include it: it's time that I'm active, considering its the only exercise I get. That may change after I graduate. I'd like to be able to RUN 5k. But for now, it all counts.


I used to include it all. I now (week 7 and 8) generally count the run and warm down. I've done a 5k and just counted plodding time. I guess my advice would be 'use it in your favour!' Until we've graduated we really shouldn't be concerning ourselves with it all but it is handy to know your own progression.

However, it could be disheartening. I remember on week 3 I included everything and my further predicted 5k time was 39 minutes. Actually running it the other day took me 41 minutes! Of course, on week 3 there is comparatively little running so predictions were very 'pie in the sky' to the reality of how knackering a long plod is!

Take it as you want to, once you're setting your 5k times it'll be running only :)


Thanks all :-) Now the running is taking close to 30 minutes (week 7 day 1 next) I guess I might just include the running bit.

JoolieB1Graduate in reply to yatesco

As long as you run for 30 minutes in week 9, you graduate.  Nothing is really cheating so enjoy it and when you can run for longer, it won't matter.  My first 5k at graduation on a parkrun was 43 minutes, now I can do it in 34 minutes, fitness just builds and builds naturally.  Being active for 30 minutes X 3 times a week is fantastic in anyone's book


While on c25k I always included the warmup/cooldown walks. Now I'm on my 10k plan I just count from when I start running. I would say its a matter of preference as to whether or not you count it. Its all exercise at the end of the day :)


There is no "etiquette" nor "cheating"; when you start the tracker depends on what you want to track and why.

For example, before graduating my main focus was to complete each workout and things like avg pace did not interested me therefore I found more practical to start the tracker at the same time of the podcast (which means including the warm-up/down walks).

After graduation I've become more interested in improving my performances and accurate data about my avg pace or heart rate during the actual run have become more relevant therefore I now start my tracker after the warm-up and I stop it before the warm-down.


I only record the running time

When I was doing the programme I used to run (and still do quite often) at a bird reserve a few miles from here, along an old towpath by a canal, and would drive there and back. Quite often I would forget to switch my Garmin off when I finished (still do this as well, even in important races) so when i came to upload my data it would have included the drive home. My distance and average speed on those days was always pretty impressive.

GoogleMeGraduate in reply to Rignold

When I first started trying to be more active I was using the Walk4Life app which had just come out. They emailed me about one of those drives home!

yatescoGraduate in reply to Rignold

That sounds really nice - I use a (pretty muddy) school playing field. I really must find a nicer place to run...


You can include them at this stage or exclude , I woukdnt worry to much about the stats until after graduation then just record your running  only :) 


I haven't been including them. It's handy that I live at the far end of a residential car park and then once I get out of that I walk up a hill to get to where I start running, so my 5 minutes feels like it's decent exercise. I usually stop running a bit too close to that hill to get much of a cool down, so I walk back a slightly longer way to ease out. I'm not very exact with it so I never time it.


I start Runkeeper when I begin the warm-up walk and stop it when I complete the cool-down walk. I do this because I keep my phone in an arm strap and it's too much of a faff to have to deal with - imagine trying to run whilst trying to wriggle it inside the case and then trying to secure it safely onto my arm! It just wouldn't happen. You can always do a bit of maths afterwards to figure out your true running distance, but honestly it's not something I do... I just feel proud of myself for covering 'a distance', whatever that distance may be, warts and all =]


I start and switch off my watch at the back gate. It is the best way for me to remember. Then i work out how much I actually run. Usually my warm up and cool down is 800metres each so for a 5k run I make sure my distance is 6.6k at least. 


For Runkeeper it is when I am running (I did have a brief period of insanity when I tried to have it on 'walk' for the warm up and down and switched to 'run' in between) Now I have a Fitbit which tracks the walking automatically and I like that, but still want to use Runkeeper for runs.


I used to include it when I first started but once I reached week 5 I decided to drop that.  I'm looking forward to graduating tomorrow.  Can't believe I have achieved this having not run for thirty years.  Good luck!

yatescoGraduate in reply to Rosie58

That's brilliant Rosie - well done!

I've always started my apps as soon as I close the front door & end them when I get back to it but from today (W6R3) I'm going to start it when I start running. Never thought about it before but at least this way I'll get an accurate idea of my running times x

For me I've always included the warm up cool down. If only to give me total calorie burn for the whole workout.

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