C25K or C230mins ?

Right I've been wondering this for the past week and I'm only at week 3 now but the pace I run I'm starting to think I won't get to 5K in 30 mins by week 8 (by the end) I know I'll (eventually) be able to get to 30 mins of running but what if that isn't 5K? One of the reasons in doing this is to train for a 5K run in the end of July and I want to be able to actually run the full thing so is it more of 30 mins no matter the distance or does it by the end have to be 5K ?


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21 Replies

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  • The aim is to be able to run for 30 minutes regardless of distance. It is only called c25k because it is a more catchy title.

  • No, your right - the programme coaches you up to 30 mins. Many people won't be running 5k in that time (30mins) and some never do. However, once you can run for 30mins you will be fit enough to run a 5k fairly soon, even if it takes you longer. I am sure you will be ready for that 5k at the end of Julyโ˜บ. Good luck.

  • Try not to worry about the pace and distance right now, just follow the plan and do all the times. At the end you'll be running for 30min - I don't think many people manage 5k in 30min at first, but what you'll have done is built up the technique, pacing and stamina to go forwards. You'll be surprised at how much of an effect the adrenaline will have on race day too - it will carry you over the finish line! If you can run 30min of your race and walk any that's left over that would still be a fantastic achievement! โ˜บ

    Good luck, you can do it ๐Ÿ€โ˜บ !

  • Dunder has it right.

    We have a pinned post on this site (blue links to the right) (or at the bottom if you're on a mobile device) that confirms the graduation requirements:


    We've found that C25K is a lot more catchy than 'C2R3xw430m' 'Couch to running three times a week for 30 minutes', but that's its official aim. If you listen to Laura on podcast W1r1, that is the objective that she gives.

    One thing that we all find about C25K, though, It is a program of surprises. What seems impossible at the start becomes attainable during the program. You're doing great, and you have about 8 weeks until your 5km run. You should have graduated by then, and still have a couple of weeks to prepare for the 5k. But don't underestimate what the whole crowd atmosphere can do for you on the day. You'll be great, I promise.

  • I graduated with a 5k in 43 minutes. By the end, I think it is possible to manage 5k but unless u r super speedy, 30 minutes maybe not!!

  • I have graduated a month back and I have got up to 4 k. That is 4k more than I ever thought I would do in my life.

  • 30 minutes exercise X 3 times a week results in SIGNIFICANT health benefits so let's realise we have made huge changes already, well done

  • I'll just be over the moon that I will be able to run for 30 whole minutes; when 5 weeks ago I was battling to run for 90 seconds.

    Everything else, distance, time etc can be worked on once I graduate.

    Does it really matter if you end up walking part of the 5k? I'm sure there's plenty that will be. You will be able to run for a whole 30 minutes, which I think is flippin amazing!!

  • Oh yeah don't get me wrong I'll be over the moon that I can run for longer than 10 mins let alone 30 mins without stopping I was just a bit worried that I didn't want to do the full 30 mins of running and then realise I've still got another 1 - 1.5k left when I'm starting to get tired ..... But I should have a couple of weeks before hand to get up to 5K if I need to

  • Find a comfortable plodding pace, breathe well and keep going a bit longer. If you run for 30 mins, then have a couple of minutes walking, run again, that's still fantastic

  • As you mentioned, you are still only at W3; by the end of the programme you'll aready be faster than you are now.

    You should be able to get an idea of how close you are to running 5km in 30min. towards the end of W6. Now it is premature to forecast any time/distance.

    Anyway, however close to 5km you are at the end of the programme, by then you'll very likely have the level of fitness and the mental strength to keep going for the few additional minutes you might need to complete your race, so don't worry about it and focus on the "here and now". ;)

  • I'm on week 6 and I definitely think it's more about confidence than actually running 5k in 30 mins. I know I won't be running 5k in anywhere near 30 mins but I am at the stage where I am confident I can push myself to do a 5k once I've finished the c25k course. We have ours planned for end of this month, I'm getting nervous bout it but I'm confident I can do it though it might be tough going.

  • A lot of people seem to graduate around 4k in 30 minutes but a lot also find that their stamina enables them to run on to 5k without too much difficulty.

    By the time you're covering solid runs in weeks 7-9 you're physically coming on in leaps and bounds, it's more a mental challenge to run on.

    I have yet to run a race but everyone who has says the event atmosphere and support sees you through so your July race should be ideal timing for you.

    Good luck :)

  • Having graduated a month ago I'm now doing 4.3k in around 35 mins and slowly trying to better it each time I go out. Im doing the speed training podcast once a week to try and improve my overall pace/stamina too, which is helping. 5 k will come and I'm sure if I was running on the flat I could probably do it, but still need to push. It really is confidence and mind over matter when it gets tough. Here where I live in Cumbria, hills come with the territory so I'm just proud to be able to get round and keep going! Never would have thought it possible. This time last year, I remember walking what is now 1/3 of my run and thinking that was quite a long walk. Achievement is relative, try the 5k and do the best you can, it doesn't matter if you take longer than 30 minutes or walk some of it. I'm sure it will be a fab experience and will inspire you to try again, no matter what time you do.

  • 4.3K over hills in 35 minutes is pretty good going!

  • The aim is to be able to run 3 x 30 min in week 9 ,some acheive 5k in that time but alot do not and then becomes the goal to run 5k.

    C25k is a great starting point and gives you a good base to carry on from ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • I did the race for life today and one of our group of 6 women did 5k in 24 minutes and came 4th in the whole event, but she is in a running club. I did it in 41 minutes. Olympic athletes do it in under 15 minutes. It's all relative.

  • See my post yesterday! I was up to Wk8r2, 28 mins and managing about 3.5k. And I did my Race For Life 5k. And I did the whole thing, jogging non stop, in 40 mins! The atmosphere on the day most definitely helped.

    If I could achieve that, in 8 weeks from wheezing in a 1 min run, then you can most certainly achieve this in July! Go for it! :D

  • Ha ha thank you :-) I was getting a bit nervous before I posted this but now I know it won't be a problem just got to keep plodding on ha ha congrats on the 5k by the way

  • I think only a minority of us achieve the full 5K in 30 minutes at the end of the course. It doesn't matter how far you go - just how long you run. Aim for an ultimate 30 minutes of running rather than worrying about speed or distance. Just keep on with the 3 x 30 minute runs after the C25K course ends, and you should be fine in the race!

  • I suppose it all depends on your level of fitness at the start of the program, whether 5k is achievable within 30 minutes.

    In 2015, I did a 100 day walking challenge and averaged around 20k steps a day! That gave me a great base, and I completed a 5k at week 7 in a Parkrun, in under 30 minutes.

    What really helped me was 'extra time'. I used to try and run through the cool down if I felt I had the energy, with the analogy being some people are struggling to run for the allocated period, so if I get to the same tired level as they do, it's not a bad thing.

    I graduated in April, and run at least twice a week. I have ran over 10k twice, and looking at 10miles as my next target.

    It all started with that first 60 seconds run at the end of February. Running has become a part of my routine, and it is all thanks to this program! The benefits are great. Just do what comes comfortable. Your body is your best coach!

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