W5R1 - do all roads lead to Rome?

First run of W5 today and it went well. I'm following a slightly different app from the NHS one so this run had me do:

5 mins warmup

3 minutes running with 30 seconds break - 6 intervals so 21 mins of this

5 mins cool down

My app has me running in intervals until week 8 but increasing every week. So week 6 has 21 mins of running (with 3 mins breather), week 7 has 28 mins of running (with 3 mins breather in 6 30 second slots), and week 8 has individual runs - 25, 28, 30 mins and week 9 just has a 40 minute run.

Just wondering should I try to extend my running periods by skipping breaks to get it closer to the NHS model of longer runs and longer breaks? Or will this approach help me get there the same way?

I'm a bit nervous of leaving the solid runs until week 8, but I guess if I can run 28 mins with 3 minutes break, it's just taking out the breaks and running for less time so it should be achievable.

I suppose it's just a hurdle in my mind to keep running continuously and stop the breaks. Has anyone else had experience with using different apps or approaches to C25K that leave the longer runs until the end?

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10 Replies

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  • I'm not an expert but I'm sure whatever program feels good to you should be fine.

    However, if you are unsure why don't you stick to the NHS program?

  • True - just I've downloaded the app already; the first few weeks were the same and I thought it was the same all the way through, but found out it wasn't :) Also I don't really like running plugged in, so tend to just have my phone in my pocket so it vibrates and lets me know when to change. So I don't want anything with too much music or narration. Maybe it's simpler to just stick to where I'm at :)

  • When I first started I used the ZenLabs App which also just vibrates when it's time to run/walk. The program is identical to the NHS one. So if you do end up wanting to switch this might work better for you.

    Anyways, keep running and more importantly keep enjoying it! :)

  • Interesting. By nature I would run faster and take a breather so the running non-stop was an important learning step for me. I couldn't swear that I ran all of Week 7 without taking the odd short stop. I don't think it has much effect on the strength and stamina that these programmes are designed to build, it's more a question of technique (breathing and running a little more slowly). Whatever, Week 9 is not the end result, it's just a stage on the way to running regularly so it probably doesn't matter how you get there.

  • True - that's a good point. I think I might tend to run faster in my smaller intervals as well, but then just having a 30 second breather goes REALLY fast! Maybe it might be simpler to have slightly longer running intervals and then a slightly longer break? Only then I'm mucking around with my app and the intervals won't match :) Maybe I'll just stick with it, and if I'm feeling fast and free and have lots of breath, I could try sticking an intervals and running for 6 1/2 minutes and then have a breather. I think I may be overthinking it :P

  • I would say that, in this case, both roads do lead to Rome.

    Stick with the program that you are doing. Although the structure is different both programs will see your aerobic capability improve at a similar rate. Your week 7 runs, for example, involve really short (30 second) walking breaks and that really is no sort of recovery period which means, in reality, it is little different to constant running.

  • Thanks - that was sort of the way I was leaning; seems quite similiar in ability to the other program :) It is kind of nice having the 30 second breaks though so you can tell how far through the run you are - maybe that's more of a mental thing though :) They are not really sufficient recovery periods :) But either way, I'm getting there, and into my 5th week so I'm pretty happy!

  • I would say stop over thinking and enjoy, you are doing so well!

    Once you graduate you can do whatever you like, intervals, straight through running, fartlek, distance, speed. That's the time for you to make running decisions, for now just trust in your programme, run and have fun 😃🏃🏼‍♀️🌟

  • Stick with what you're doing. It will get you there! :)

  • I did a US version that aimed at 5K in 8 weeks with 35 minutes running. It worked fine and like most I graduated without hitting the 5K mark but doing the three consecutive runs. :)

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