Why is week 6 run 1 such hard work: I did W5R... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Why is week 6 run 1 such hard work


I did W5R3 on Sunday morning, in the rain and into a head wind ( until i turned round and had the wind behind me!) and actually enjoyed it.

So why did the shorter times of W6 R1 seem so hard? Surely, if I can run (well, plod) for 20 minutes, then five minutes ought to be a doddle, but I was really relieved when Laura said to slow down.

Am I the only one who felt like this?

15 Replies

I graduated well over a year ago and I STILL remember this run!! You are not alone in finding the return to intervals hard, but stick with it because if I remember rightly you will soon be back on the block runs again! If you search on here I am sure you will find plenty of others who were caught out by W6R1! Keep the faith though, this is where it all really comes together too.🙂


It is a puzzle but if you search week 6 posts, you will see the fear of week 6, followed by the elation and I can do anything is soon thwarted by week 6! Just when we think we can do anything, a surprise one comes along. Another one under your belt though, plod on

newrunner56Graduate in reply to JoolieB1

Will keep plodding on. Am secretly very chuffed to have go so far xxx

JoolieB1Graduate in reply to newrunner56

In terms of increasing run times, you already nailed it! Run, rest repeat


Ha ha !!!!! Pardon my mirth.... no, you are not the only one... far far from it.. it is a real tricky little week!

We usually do very gently try to warn folk a little about this week, without scaring them... :) Must have missed you.. really sorry ! :)

Thing is, you can do it and as one of our seasoned Graduate said in a post, the programme teaches us so much more than just running.. :)

So slow and steady does it :)

You are going to be fine, we have all come through it and are still okay, ( well maybe I am a bit loopy...) :) x

newrunner56Graduate in reply to Oldfloss

I still am amazed that I can do this. I graduated three years ago but don't remember this particular run being so hard. I'll get there, though

Thanks to everyone for being so supportive- it means a great deal

MotherPipGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Just a bit ? Oldfloss 🙃😉😁


Week 6 is, by consensus, the toughest week of the program.

My own theory is that we have reached the stage where the rest benefit of the walking break(s) is outweighed by the loss of rhythm that the walking causes. Looked at from this perspective, it is actually good that you find it tough!

newrunner56Graduate in reply to Dunder2004

I like that thought and will hold on to it! Being somewhat of a saddo, I'm looking forward to run 2 !!


Hi... I'm on week 9 so by no means an expert, and I wondered the same thing and looked into it (!). I might be totally wrong but here's my take on it: I think it's something to do with the way the body adapts to settle into the run - to get more oxygen to where the body needs it. My husband - who cycles - insists the first 10 minutes or so are always hard however fit and "on form" he feels. There's something called "toxic 10"... So, anyway... On the 20 minute run you got through that hard bit at the start, and then carried on to the 20 minutes. On the shorter ones the following week, you have to go through that hard part more than once... As soon as your body starts to get over that initial pain you have to stop, walk, and then start it all over again! It's sort of "cruel", but it appears to be good training for your body! Everyone else is right - once you stop the intervals of walking it feels a bit easier...certainly more than you expect!

MotherPipGraduate in reply to Emmy9

Ooh that makes sense, I vaguely comprehend, I think 🤔🤔😌

newrunner56Graduate in reply to Emmy9

yes that makes sense - I find something similar with swimming - the first ten lengths seem to take forever, and then I'm off and the subsequent lengths seem easier - even with my dodgy right hand side which is much weaker than the left since I had the rotten stroke !


I've just done it tonight too and it took a while to get into it, found the first 5 hard not helped by slowing to a walk briefly due to rapidly approaching mad dog. By the end of the session I felt ok though and dare I say it quite good. Still do slow tho


Yes I agree I was surprised at how difficult I found w6r1 I don't know if I was overconfident

Now just about to start a 9 and still finding each step up hard

newrunner56Graduate in reply to Worldsend

I'm very lucky - my routes are mostly flat and alongside the sea, so i am very spoilt! Goal is the Resolution Run along Worthing seafront (again, flat but sometimes a strong headwind....) but am behind schedule. But going for it!!

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