Life post graduation

Just back from my second post graduation run. I've been reading over past posts on the forum and, like a lot of people, have been trying to figure out what to do now without Laura's mentoring and a structured regime to follow. My cadence is already around 174 strides per minute so I have opted not to try the C25K+ podcasts as I had a quick listen and it sounded like their starting point is at a lower cadence (that's what I heard but please do correct me if I'm wrong).

So I went off on my first post graduation run without laura and completed an easy 30 minute which I managed fine even though I hadn't been feeling too well earlier that day. So I decided that, for the next few weeks at least, perhaps I'd do one of my three runs as an easy 30 minutes, then one focusing on increasing my running time or distance slightly and the third focus on speed.

I looked around for some suggested programmes and it appeared that intervals help with increasing speed. So today I decided that to begin with I'd try a five minute easy run, then ten sets of 15 seconds upped pace followed by 60 seconds slow jog then five minutes easy run to cool down (with 5 mins walk at beginning and end as usual). It was hell! I haven't panted and wheezed and ached like that since the first couple of weeks of C25K! Which I suppose means I'm working hard and it's doing me some good. Shows how slowly I must have been doing the programme! It's only a 22 minute run overall but wanted to not overdo it to begin with and the 15 seconds are over in a flash even though I can feel the effects of them for the whole 60 seconds recovery time! It definitely reminds me of the beginning of weeks 1, 2 & 3 of the C25K. I can keep a track of my average pace, max speed, distance, etc on my watch so it's going to be good to compare these runs and see how these change between runs and over time.

How does this plan sound to more experienced runners? I'm almost looking for someone to say not to do it as it's such hard work but I'd love to have something to aim for and to see progress to keep me motivated rather than just 30 min runs 3 times a week.


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8 Replies

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  • That's really interesting, as I too am trying to work out what to do next. Thanks for raising the question and I'll be really interested in what people say.

  • I'm not a fast runner and have been doing a lot of off road/hills (I live in Cumbria, not much choice!) so I think I will be doing a combination of C25K+ and a bridge to 10k programmes.

  • At the risk of sounding boring, I'm going to counsel caution. Although the temptation for almost all of us is to try up our distance and /or speed straight after graduating, it's really really important to consolidate the gains made during the programme before trying to move on. It really is the best way to avoid injury. So I would suggest sticking with the w9 podcasts for a few weeks until your body gets used to the demands you're making on it. If you can't stand the thought of listening to Laura's music anymore, then download some music with 170-175 bpm and use that instead.

    You're natural cadence is quite quick at 174, so c25k+ may not be the podcasts for you. However there's nothing to stop you rerunning W1 as an intervals run, but running slowly in the walk bits and running harder in the run bits. There's also Parkrun for a weekly dose of sociable running fun. :) :)

  • Thank you! Advice is what I asked for so thanks for your response.

    I did think about redoing week 1 as intervals but I don't think upping the pace for 60 seconds is something I could manage just yet, which is why I started off with 15 seconds, hoping to build up to perhaps replaying week 1 and doing intervals that way. I will perhaps do a few more 30 min consolidation runs first but I am just aware that without having something to aim for like the gradual build up of the programme then I am someone who will get bored quickly and I really don't want running to get boring! I made 5k on my graduation run in 39 minutes so also would like to work up to doing a comfortable 5k as my normal 30 min runs only cover about 3.6k. Was planning to add maybe a minute or two a week to my 'distance' runs. Do you think maybe focus on one or the other, speed or distance? I just want to make sure I don't get bored and continue to work towards a goal rather than get in a routine which feels easy.

  • Heading into wk9 I like the idea of using wk 1as interval training with different speeds of running, post graduation. Thanks!

  • AM is absolutely right. Completing the C25K program gives us huge motivation to continue our already exciting progress. And that is great. But the risk is that we try to do too much too soon. It's a big risk. I graduated the C25K program in Nov 2014, I then decided to gradually increase my distance. I tried to do too much too soon. By march 2015 I was running 2 x 10km and 1 x 14km each week. In april was on the IC with ankle problems. From then until Oct 2015 I was only able to run once per week, and often little more than 4km :( . Since October I have gradually built up to 6km x 2 and 23km on Sundays, but I've increased really gently.

  • Hi - I did the first post grad run this morning and tried to use the stepping stone podcasts. Good to hear Laura and some of the tips but I found it too slow. I've only done 5k twice (both took 40 mins) so I've just decided to concentrate on bringing them down to 30 mins then will start to increase distance gradually!!!

  • Good idea, my 5k was also 39 minutes so it makes sense to try to bring the time of 5k down before increasing distance. Thanks for your input, let me know how it goes!

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