Couch to 5K
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Am I crazy?

Hi all

I'm just coming to the end of the 5k plan and my mum has suggested I try and run the 10k in three weeks time. Am I crazy to even consider it? I appreciate it would be a huge challenge and not something I'd try and do everyday but I figure I could run most of it and maybe have a couple of breaks, just like a super difficult podcast. Is this an impossible task that will ruin my confidence? Any advice appreciated!

3 Replies

This is ONLY what my thinking is Emily.

I graduated here only a couple of weeks ago - took me almost three months to finish the C25K. I only actually ran 5K a few days ago. The programme is really about buidding up stamina - NOT speed or distance. Our best guess here is that it would be too clunky to call it 'Couch To Running Continously For thirty Minutes In nine Weeks" :)

I would certainly not say don't enter the 10K - but I know that I would personally have no ambitions or interest in actually running it or even 5K of it in anything like 'fast' or 'finish the distance'. It's fifty perenct further than you now run, there will be a lot of people getting in your way and basically dictating your pace and you may hit a lot of hills/road cambers/surfaces etc you are not really yet very experienced on,

If it were me - the BIGGEST problem and the one that would most likely lead me into doing something really stupid is Ego. I would really be reluctant to 'fail' in front of all those onlookers if I entered as a 'Runner'.

Like I said - I would not advise you either way, am just giving you my thoughts and I wish you well whatever way you go :)


Somebody posted a similar query just a few days ago (might have been on the Bridge to 10k forum) only in their case the upcoming run was four weeks away. The general advice given there was that while it was possible, it certainly increases the risk of injury to try to increase quite so rapidly. Do a search on here for the 10% Rule, which states that you should only increase your weekly mileage by 10% of the previous week's total distance. If you are doing 3x5ks at present, it would take four weeks to get up to 10k on one long run per week.

While we are all different, the rule (or guide, perhaps) does keep one from overdoing it, although some research has not borne out any difference in injury rates between those observing the rule and those exceeding it.

It would be a shame to get injured so soon after graduation and have to stop completely for a while. There will be plenty of other 10k runs in the future, when you have actually built up your stamina and ability to finish well. Your general physical condition and age are obviously major factors in your consideration.

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John and Ian give great advice.

Emily, can you walk 10km? I'll assume that the answer is Yes. Can you run 10km? Maybe not. There could be a walk/run strategy that enables you to take part in the 10km run in 3 weeks time. It all depends upon your expectation of finishing time and your current level of fitness.

(Like Iannado) I don't recommend suddenly increasing your distance to 10km. But you could complete the 10km with a 5 minute run, 2 minute walking strategy. But check if the race has a 'sweeper' or maximum time you are allowed.

Why the rush? Move onto the B210K podcast when you graduate C25K, and pick a 10k race in 3 months.

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