help for a newbie please

I have been walking/running for 5 weeks now and my circuit is 20 minutes about 3 km's.   I was finding I could not seem to up the amount of running time so have decided I would try the couch to 5K method so see if I can improve.

Today was my first attempt after having a week and a half off (been on holiday) and I started at wk2/r1 and did the same circuit in the same time!

My question is on the app, is there a cool down part to it when you finish as I was not doing any stretching before and did feel my legs getting tighter week by week.  If not could you please tell me some stretches and how long I should do them for.

Also does the circuit get bigger as the weeks go by? I know you up the amount of distance you are doing but generally does it take 20 minutes.........?  I know this sounds strange but I am on a time constraint (I do this before work in the morning) and need to factor in a time.

Any help and encouragement would be greatly appreciated.


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14 Replies

  • A 5 minute warm up walk before running, then a 5 minute cool down walk afterwards is recommended.  I started doing strength and flex leg exercises too on rest days and that helped me a lot.  By week 9, you will be running for 30 minutes plus the 2 X 5 minute walks.  Hope that helps

  • I'm only on w4 but you do 5 mins brisk walking to start and then 5 mins cool down walking at the end. It's been shown that stretches may not be needed but the NHS couch to 5K website has a lot of information on things you can do. They have a strength and flex program that may help. The idea of the program is to build up to 30 minutes continuous running. You may do better with the podcasts rather than the app, as this has someone talking you through the stages plus giving tips. My distance has varied over the weeks as I've had to change my pace to suit running for longer durations, but it's always 30 minutes. Hope that helps :-) 

  • As JoolieB1 says... that is the way to do it... stamina not speed and follow the programme... I still use the strength and flex exercises  even now... :)

  • I do these stretches after each run.

  • You're not actually increasing the distance, you're increasing the time. So you're not actually aiming to run 5k by the end, you're aiming to run for 30 minutes without stopping (plus 5 mins warm up and 5 mins cool down)

  • Thank you all sooooo much for this info, I am so pleased I have written on this forum as it has made things a lot clearer and I will use all of this advice to good use.

    I am really hopeful that I can achieve this, it is a bit of a dream to think I can do this (running has always been a fear of mine, stupidly) but with these tools who knows what will happen .................

    Thanks again

  • yes me too on the fear of running. As Shivani says it will take you a minimum of 40 mins by the end. But you will be so proud! :)

  • I never ran before and since doing C25K I now run three times every week.  At the beginning, 1 minute was impossible and now I run 10k once a week and 2 X 5k.  If I can, you can too

  • one last question, when I have the app playing, am I also able to listen to music (this will all be done on a Samsung S4 phone)?


  • I think if you use the app you can have your own music playing. I found the app didn't work very well and I used the podcasts. 'interesting' music... and plenty of cheerful support from Laura...

  • You can always go round the circuit a bit more... I make up my route as I go. There's a chart somewhere which sets out what to expect each run- I haven't figured out how to attach a copy in a reply though...

  • Thanks Rainshine, I will endeavour to look for the route chart. 

    I looked at downloading the pod cast but it says you can down load it by iTunes and I don't have iTunes on my phone so thought this was a no go.  Has anyone else managed to download this via playstore?

    Thanks again

  • Google Play has the new app too:

    The version I use (Laura!) has obviously been removed, boo. But that's the one I'm using!

  • Thank you LonleyWalker, this is the version I am currently using but does not have any music on it, hope they add a "Laura" back in soon!!!

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