Top tips from those who made it?: It would be... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Top tips from those who made it?


It would be brilliant to share some tips that have helped us to get to graduation and beyond for those battling through the C25K programme. I will start it off. When you are running, relax your shoulders and arms, let them hang down for a few strides. At the same time relax your legs, ankles and feet and just plod on for a few steps. This opens up the lungs so you can breathe well and avoids stiffening of the legs - works for me and it gives me a minute of rest and recovery during a run so I can keep going a bit longer. What are your good ideas?

15 Replies

I agree with your picture! I think the time around graduation is a critical time. The new graduate is on a high. They have just finished nine weeks, or more, and have been working really hard to get to this point. As a graduate you can do what you want, there is nobody planning out your runs for you, telling you exactly what to do and when. You're on your own and it's suddenly easier to just run for 25 minutes, or take breaks, or only run twice a week, or overdo it and get injured. And suddenly you find the 30 mins slipping away from you. So many people seem to stop. When I think back to my graduation nearly a year ago the 2 girls I was running with (a bit like the Musketeers) disappeared from here relatively quickly and I'll bet they are no longer running. So plod on after graduation, accept no excuses, as Joolie says "keep going".


Take smaller bites on days when you're finding it hard.

Promise yourself you'll run to the next tree/lamp post/that red car parked up the street before you take your phone out to check if your app is still working!

Touch it if possible.

If you've graduated do the same thing, but see if you can keep running at that faster pace to the item you've chosen.


Before graduation - believe in the programme! After graduation - take the time to consolidate your 30 mins/5K and most of all, believe in yourself!😀


Dont run away with the idea that graduation makes you an expert runner, its just the beginning! Lots to learn but also lots to enjoy!


Just focus on how far you have come.. relax your body, your mind and let yourself go with the run. S

low, steady, and enjoy every single feeling that you experience...

Go with it, like a leaf on a stream, take the rough with the smooth and always believe...

" You can... and you will "


Keep using the forum. The quests and challenges for graduates are great for keeping motivated, and the support when you lack motivation is great.

Don't compare yourself with other people! You have done really well to get through the programme. You may not be a gazelle. Who cares? As long as you are getting fit, and enjoying it, then that is all that matters.


Keep practicing and accept that it's tough at least some of the time. The up side is how you feel when you finish 😀 That is worth all the gremlin attacks in the world 😂😂😂 No one but you counts the minutes it takes or notices the speed you run at. Most of all make sure it is happy running 👟🏃👟🏃

pollyp1Graduate in reply to RunningGeek

As someone reminded me: it should be enjoyment not endurance.


My advice would be to vary your runs - try different routes, try different terrain - trails, hills, road, tracks, grass, even sand. Try different types of runs - walk/run, intervals, long runs, short faster runs, hill reps. Run on your own, with a friend, with a group or with the dog! Run just for fun or maybe a race. Variation is the key to keeping up motivation, interest and challenge. But most of all ...... run because you can!

Maddee_6333Graduate in reply to skysue16

Sand is a killer.


Figure if you want to go for Time or Distance or Speed or just maintain the 5K habit, or some combination. Expect to feel a bit lost the first few weeks post-graduation and the loss of 'instant gratification' in reaching the goals each week up to now.

Keep it fun and keep looking in the mirror you are bound - even on the worst Running days - to have more of a smile on your face and less of a girth on your body than before W1D1 :) Remember where you came from! :)

Personally - I split the week up into three different runs. One where I tackle Hills and don't worry about speed or distance but simply run a sensible length of time. One where I run for distance - I am aiming for a 10K and don't worry about time or speed. And one where I run for 5K and don't worry about distance but kind of just let loose and go for (relative) speed and getting to the 5K mark in a shorter time than the other two days :)

And some days it all seems so easy...and some days I wonder if I can make my absolute minimum-acceptable 2.1 Miles :) We are Runners - not Robots after all :)


When it all gets difficult - and it will - there are several things to do. Run your very first Week 1 Run 1 route again, noticing where you thought you would keel over and die as you run past it. Think how far you have come. Run a totally different route/type of run. Come on here for ideas/support/a whinge/a kick up the backside. Slow down (we can't all keep getting faster every time). Re-assess your reasons for running. Enter an event. Consider how much fitter you are now than when you started (mentally and physically). Buy some new running kit.

But mostly, don't stop. Ever.

Happy running :)

pollyp1Graduate in reply to Anniemurph

I love re-running routes and seeing progress. I thought I'd get bored running the same thing over and over so I vary my route but - given the limitations of where I am - it usually includes recurring bits. At the moment I have a particularly steep stretch I'm not fond of but the second time I ran it I was less not fond of it than the first and now I'm looking forward to the next time so I can feel it getting easier (if any of that makes sense!).

AnniemurphGraduate in reply to pollyp1

When I first started there was a bit I christened the North Face of the Eiger. It's actually quite a short, gentle incline and I smile every time I run up it now :) Keep going !

The best piece of advice someone told me, when your foot hits the ground, is to imagine it pushing the ground away from you, as if you're on an escalator. I still run like that 😊

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