How I approached Wk5R3

I thought I would share how I approached Wk5R3 and hope it might help other cautious runners build a bit of extra confidence before embarking on the dreaded 20min non-stop run. Before embarking on Wk5R3, I repeated R2 but added an extra 5min run at the end to bring the final run to 13min. It's a slightly slower way to get there (I also repeated some of the earlier runs before moving on), but I think that helped me feel that the leap to 20min in R3 was achieveable.

Kudos to everyone who diligently followed the app and went for it!


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  • Always good to have some ideas up your sleeve. I like it :)

  • Must admit that there seemed to be a what seemed a big leap to get to 20 minutes and your right to try anything that works. For me and probably most it was OK

    I think others have posted on this issue before and can't remember all the responses. I bet at some point the C25K had quite a few trials before perfecting it. They obviously thought it was doable. It is probably that your progress does accelerate more as you get further into the program. Also perhaps psychologically saying something works in 9 weeks seems a lot shorter than saying 10 weeks ? like something for Β£9.99 is more palatable than Β£10 ?

    Also as always they do say repeat or do whatever you think works and are happy with to progress. As they say there is no perfect plan and C25K is not a panacea for guaranteeing that you will run. But it's all relative and it has proved a success for me and probably most.

    As they say take it slow !

  • Thank you for your re-assuring reply joepublic. I agree with everything you say above - for me, it's all about my own personal confidence levels - or lack thereof, at a particular time in my life, and adjusting the number of steps I feel I need in order to reach my overall aim. But now that WK5R3 has been tackled and I realised I could do it, I am determined to follow the plan and get to the end - and beyond!

  • Whatever it takes... and if it means you learn to run continuously for 30 minutes and acquire the habit of doing it regularly, that really is all that matters.

    ....but I do feel strongly that a big part of the potential benefit of the NHS C25K (as well as one way to approach it) is just learning to do as you are told sometimes. Feel the fear and do it and all that. Not second guessing the programme.

  • Hi GoogleMe, thank you for your encouraging reply. From now on I will try to 'feel the fear' and embrace it! Personally, for me, this period of my life has seen a lot of instability - still unresolved - resulting in a massive loss of confidence across so many areas, even a hesitation to go out sometimes, and for me I guess emabarking on the programme and trying to repeat earlier sessions and build up to the final run in WK5 was about feeling able and having some control in something... Hope that makes sense.

    But as I say, from now on, it is all about taking up the challenge head on!

  • Absolutely makes sense. I am a big believer in having compassion for oneself... real compassion not a gremlin disguising itself as compassion.

    I did the entire programme telling myself I didn't have to do this and could stop if I wanted to - worked really well for me, am sure it wouldn't for some.

    It took me sooooooooo many attempts before I completed a Week One podcast successfully that there was no WAY I was going to repeat any session that I didn't have to because I'd completed it the required number of times, however ugly.

  • That's so re-assuring to hear - especially coming from a C25K Graduate! I guess we all develop our own personal strategies to get to where we want to get to. Knowing that the programme is about personal health and fitness, and is not about 'failing', just improving and getting better, is what is keeping me going - and of course all the great advice, support and inpiring journeys that are shared here!

  • Thank you for this tip, I am about to embark on week 5 runs this morning. I have also repeated some of the runs in earlier stages. It is most certainly going to take me a few weeks more than the 9 if you follow me programme to the letter but I think slow and steady for me will ensure I graduate in the end!

  • Hi Claire332 - how did your Wk5 run go? Not too bad I hope? As Laura says in the podcasts and as you are doing, keep it nice and slow and pace yourself. The point I am learning from reading the posts here is that we all come from differing stages in our lives and that plan is there to get us running for fitness so for some of us, we might need a bit more time. The main thing is to get to the end - and you will! Completing Wk5 is a real boost to the confidence and you will realise that your body is more prepared and able to handle 20min of running than your mind thinks! So go for it, nice and steady!

    Good luck!

  • Well I survived at it wasn't too bad other than being 6.5 degrees, that upset my asthma a little on the first interval in particular, but I kept plodding. Am going to find somewhere flatter for the 20 minute one!

  • Great tips, thanks for sharing :)

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