Life after Laura : I was wondering what those... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Life after Laura

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I was wondering what those who have graduated did after the program ends?

I'm sure there's as many answers as peopleπŸ˜‰ but I'd love to know how you all approached it.

My 30 minutes amounted to 3.3k and I'd love to get to 5k so my first goal is to increase my time then hopefully speed upπŸ˜€

So I'm wondering how do I go about this? Do I add a couple of minutes each run or is there a better way of doing it?

I don't think I'll ever be speedy but I would love to ultimately do 5k as near as possible to 30 minutes 😁

42 Replies


I've got the graduation badge next to my name😁😁😁😁😁

Apologies, excuse me while I do a little jigπŸ’ƒ 😊

Hi there ... sort of wondering this myself. I am on course to "graduate" on Monday. This morning I did my second parkrun... its been a very positive experience... though I am right at the back. I've loved the structure and targets of C25K & I am hoping that training to improve at parkrun might be a good follow on. I also brought a used garmin foreruner 10 off eBay. only used it a couple of time so far but it seems pretty good and I've been playing around with various circuits I could do locally using the garmin site.

I am looking forward to graduating BUT I am going to miss Laura... and even Julie!


Jalapenolover101Graduate in reply to Kingfisherk26

Ooh Julie, that was a defining moment for meπŸ˜‚ I heard so much about that song I felt like it was a mini graduation when it came on!!! πŸŽ‰πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

Good luck for Monday βœ‹οΈπŸ‘, hopefully some wise words will be offered soon as to what to do nextπŸ˜€πŸŒΆ


Graduate! Hi..

Well... so much choice out there... :)

I did some runs just for pure joy after Graduation! No distance or time constraints... just running for fun...because I could :)

Then, like many of us..C25K+ podcasts :)

Great fun... Stepping Stones.. hmmm.... a few of us found this weird..although some folk love it.... Speed... brilliant, for building up speed... and Stamina great for getting you running further and faster...!

But.. you can tailor them to yourself... and adjust your pace as and when :)

I did each podcast for a week.. three runs for each...just to see which suited me... I still use Speed, when I want a speedy 3K.. and Stamina, on its own or as part of a longer run... :)

Stamina is my favourite:)

The more things you do, you will find the distance and the speed building up...but, the main thing is, suit it to yourself... don't feel pressured...:)

Then after that.. well... there is so much choice...but make a start, and see where you get to :)

Joy57Graduate in reply to Oldfloss

Good advice as always Oldfloss

Joy57Graduate in reply to Joy57

Meant to add (it sent before I wanted it to, sometimes my tablet does that, grr!) - I went back to Stepping Stones and have used it every run for about 3 weeks now. I really like it! I must try Speed and Stamina again too.

Jalapenolover101Graduate in reply to Joy57

Thank you ( my device is a bit temperamental tooπŸ˜‚) what is stepping stones exactly? And where do I find it?

I'm seriously dumb at techy thingsπŸ™„ But I learn quickly, or I get my kids to teach meπŸ˜‰ Is there a link on this site? Or is it a podcast?

Thanks in advance ❀🌢

Jalapenolover101Graduate in reply to Oldfloss

πŸ‘πŸ˜ thanks, I'll have a look, sounds good. I must admit I like the running for fun Idea😁 I might try that first πŸ€“ I love the ' I'm now doing this 'cos I can' attitude 😎 Thanks for the link and advice, I'll look into the others. I think I read on here stepping stones is somewhat strange, how so???

I need something to get me to 5k. The main links (to 10k) don't seem applicable (get meπŸ˜‰), big word on a Saturday nightπŸ˜‰πŸ˜†

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Jalapenolover101

You will get to 5K if you wish...the more runs you do, the more you build up your stamina and core strength.. things will progress, almost unnoticed.

When you are ready... head over to Bridge to 10K forum... you will know a lot of us there already. The Bridge to 10K podcasts are useful, so don't dismiss them out of turn.. there are a lot of ways to run to where you want to be.

ju-ju- put a programme together, there, for folk to follow, and many of us did the Sami Murphy podcast, with success ( me included) :)

The thing is... don't be in too much of a hurry...try different things and work on the different aspects of your running, to suit yourself.

You have surprised other half.. now go ahead and surprise yourself...because you are a runner... just enjoy the journey :)

" Fast enough to get there, slow enough to see ."

Just had a quick look, please tell me why stepping stones is weird???😁 I need something that works😁

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Jalapenolover101

It works for some folk. :) It is just that the pace changes and some of us found the pace differences odd and a bit tricky... but others of us love it and use it a lot.:)

Other half has just acknowledged my achievements πŸ˜†πŸ˜³πŸ’ͺ

I think they're all , secretly, impressed πŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸŒΆ

Thanks , night night time , 🌝🌢


I kept running for a while feeling kind of lost without the structure of the programme but gradually discovered that 'speed' does not interest me - distance is becoming my passion :)

So - I basically started breaking the week up into three sections and ran each for thirty five to forty five minutes.

One day of (pretty brutal) hills - kept plugging away at them and still do, to build stamina. Not interested in 'speed' or even 'distance' except the latter as a marker for progress in how my stamina is improving.

Then one day a week a 'fast' run - where I push it a little bit harder than usual, again to build up stamina rather than going hell for leather to beat some arbitrary time. I finish these runs feeling rather more worn out than with the others but again I 'err' on the side of 'slow and slower still' rather than 'Am I getting faster?" I usually ran five k on these ones or forty five minutes before stopping.

Lastly - the 'fun' run, where I just went out and ran like a little kid without a care in the world. Goal was to just have an 'enjoyable' run and hopefully get in some distance, but again emphasis on not getting injured or hung up on some arbitrary time.

I had done one five mile run - the definition of a 'Long distance Runner' in the book of that name - and gradually started feeling that 10K would be a nice distance to get to. And I did just a little while ago :)

I had plans of only running on the flat to consolidate that but in actuality I am now back to doing a hill run a week to keep it interesting, a five K as a 'fun' run and will be consolidating the 10K at the weekends when I have no time pressures hopefully.

I had signed up for the 5 to 10K programme but I did not like the walking breaks and also I really did not like feeling like I was under pressure to succeed each section. I guess I am more confident as a Runner and in my ability to stick with a plan, as haphazard as my plan is LOL

Main thing though - I want to enjoy running and not get hung up on ever-increasing and ultimately unreachable goals. I have some ambition to reach 10 miles this year, a half marathon next year and a probably-very-slow Marathon the year after for my 60th birthday. But above all I want to run in a way that brings me happiness and keeps me healthy and not a candidate for the IC :)

Main thing is - keep running ;)

PippiRuns in reply to Irish-John

I saw that! You said the HM and the even more crazy M word! Will be keeping an eye on you in 2018 an 2019, Irishman.


I only graduated a week ahead of you and the first week I did 3 more 30 minute runs, spot on 5k each. Yesterday I began a 5 to 10K app by Active. I'm going to see how that goes but maybe keep doing a 5k once a week. Still slightly unsure as you can see but I think it will drop into place! Good luck with it, it's nice someone is at the same point as me 😊


If you want to get up to 5k I would run 3x a week. Two of the runs should be your normal runs and one of them (normally the weekend) could be a bit longer. Only increase by about 10% each week to avoid injury. So your next long run could be 3.6 k, the week after try for 3.9 or 4K. Increase slowly until you reach your aim. If you're increasing distance try and stick to the 10% rule. Speed should come as you gain stamina, although you can work specifically on that if you want.

Good luck! You're doing great!

I followed that model, more or less.

I graduated at the end of Feb this year & I felt totally lost & missed the structured runs of C25K so I tried Stepping Stones ...oh dear! I found Laura's constant chatter intrusive & downright annoying - I just couldn't get into a rhythm. I also found it pressurising & began stressing over my pace & distance; had I continued with that program I would have given up running. I looked at quite a few training apps including 5-10k but really didn't want the walking intervals as I felt I that would be a backwards step. I haven't yet run 5k - been very close to it but not achieved it yet. I got hubby to check out my usual route & measure out 5k so that I know how to run & that helped me to stop obsessing about distance. That route is so familiar that I find it boring so I changed where I run as that has steps, short steep inclines and lovely views so I can mix things up. No pace or distance pressures, as long as get out there 3 x weekly I am happy. I have volunteered for my local Parkrun to get a feel for it & will start running that. I changed my running songs too just do I don't get bored. Try a few things to see what suits you but keep running & enjoying it. πŸƒ

Shorty7Graduate in reply to Dhiny

Hi Dhiny, in case you resume interest the active 5-10K doesn't have walking intervals. I've just started it so can't say if it's any good but thought you might like to know 😊

Dhiny in reply to Shorty7

I will have to take a look at that Shorty - oh it seems K had already downloaded that but I don't remember doing nor is it on my phone. Plan looks good so I shall start day 1 when I get home this evening. Cheers for that x

Shorty7Graduate in reply to Dhiny

Hi Dhiny, so I just did day two of the active 5-10K. It was 10 min jog, 3 min tempo run, 10 min jog with 5 mins beginning and end. It was hard but definitely doable and an enjoyable challenge. I usually run at 10kmh so I dropped that to 9.5kmh and ran the tempo at 12kmh. My legs can feel it now but not in a bad way! 😊

Dhiny in reply to Shorty7

I will have s look at that then cheers xx


Thinking the same thing as graduated yesterday. I've been a real steady Eddy for eight weeks so fortunately no injuries but this week on my 65th birthday, I ran a "fast" 4k in 30mins and then yesterday WK9R3 ran 5k in 40 mins - I just had to run 5K ! Lots of good information on these forums to help us - thank you and the NHS and Jo Whiley. The cycling season has started for me but aim to keep to two 30 minute runs per week and try to enjoy them and not obsess about times, distances, speed and heart rates.


This is so interesting. I graduated a couple of weeks ago. I don't want to set another target, so I'm just aiming to keep running for 30ish minutes 3 times a week (if I can fit it in) until I'm comfortable with it. I don't take a podcast but do use my own playlist which helps keep me on pace. I've run almost 5km in 30 minutes - made it in 32, but it was really, really hard work. My only aim is to persist...

I think once I can definitely do 5km in 30 minutes, I might go back to the slightly snotty park run group, who would look down their noses at me when I was only walking (briskly - 45 minutes) just to prove I can...

MotwCoopGraduate in reply to MotwCoop

Although I've just got back from this morning's run and only managed just over 4km in the 30 minutes... booo

BluebirdrunnerGraduate in reply to MotwCoop

That's NOT a booo Motwcoop..30 mins running non-stop is ALWAYS an acheivement...😊

Early days still, you are doing a great thing for yourself by taking this regular exercise. Think how far you have come since week 1. Run tall and proud, slow and steady and you will improve your technique, no need for speed. Don't sweat the small stuffπŸ˜„xxx

Jalapenolover101Graduate in reply to Bluebirdrunner

So true, 30 minutes running is a huge achievement 😁 It might not be 5k but we're trotting past those couch potatoes, sat in their living rooms watching their wide screens πŸ“Ί πŸ‘πŸ’ͺ🌢

GoogleMeGraduate in reply to MotwCoop

They don't deserve you.

MotwCoopGraduate in reply to GoogleMe

Thank you! It's funny because I've now been to three park run locations in two continents and this one, which is the nearest park run to home, is the only one where no one walks and they're all "proper" runners. It's really disappointing. One week they'd taken all the signs out before we'd finished (I'd been going with a friend)! Given that I was training for an endurance walk - 52 miles non stop over the South Downs last June, I did think I deserved at least some encouragement if not respect!

JeleybellyGraduate in reply to MotwCoop

That's dreadful! At our PR the last person gets a bigger cheer than the first, and nothing is packed Duden til the tailrunner goes past.

Not the spirit of PR at all 😟

Kingfisherk26Graduate in reply to Jeleybelly

Yes I agree it's a shame. I did my second parkrun yesterday and my experience has been positive. The last people round were a couple of ladies and they got a big cheer. I was pretty near the back, but I'm there for me and my health so I'm not really that bothered about what others think.

Each week there are also some joggers and walkers who seem to have joined a club and are going round with some clearly much faster runners who are staying with them to give support. I'm not a very clubby person (ok my wife says antisocial!) but a running club could be an option for you MotwCoop.

Good luck and keep going john


Just to add to all the great ideas I'd endorse, how about joining in with the 6 weekly Quests on this forum (see pinned posts). You set your own goals (so yours might be something like running 3 times a week or to try each of the C25K+ podcasts once over the Quest period)


Unfortunately I've had to rest this last week (feels like an age!) because I've developed a pain at the top of my hip. After searching the Internet, I think it's bursitis so am doing some recommended stretches and having to stop running for a month! 😀😒😒 I'm gutted and really, really missing my 3 x a week 30 minute runs.

So, be careful out there peeps. Listen to your body. The last thing you want is an injury ☹️☹️


Firstly congratulations on graduating! I'm a graduate too! On c25K you concentrate on the time ran, so I've now bought myself a Garmin watch and I'm now concentrating on building up on the distance. I've stopped listening to Laura (but I miss her) and I've downloaded Strava, so I've got someone telling me my distance. Also download some good dance music, I feel that the beat helps with my running 😊

I hope I've helped xx

Thanks everyone πŸ‘ Some brilliant ideas there. I think I'll try lots of different things and see which I enjoy most, it's easy to forget it's not all about targets😁🌢

Hello jalapenolover101. I know what you mean, I am in the same position myself.

I've decided that for now I shall go out twice to three times a week ( depending on work days as I'm far too knackered to go for a run after a work day! ) playing my own music while perhaps adding a few minutes each week if I feel like it and I thought I might just have a week 9 with Laura incorporated into that when I feel I want Laura with me. And, as you have said, try and get to 5k in the 30 minutes.

I'm hoping that by doing that I will become better with the running and breathing. That's my first step. I shall be interested in other answers to your post so thankyou for asking your question.

Jalapenolover101Graduate in reply to Chrysanthemum

Hi chrysanthemum and congratulations πŸŽ‰

It is a funny one isn't it? I know I've graduated but don't really feel like I know what I'm doing 😳 I guess I've had Laura holding my hand so long I'm unsure what to do nextπŸ€”

I think I'll continue with 3 runs a week, I'm lucky enough to be able to😊 And gradually increase my time, 10% is advised I understand. I quite like the idea of 3 different runs. One with no target, just for fun, one with Laura ( although the w9 music did nothing for me😏) and one where I increase my time.

Good luck, and hopefully one day that 5 k will be oursπŸ‘β€πŸŒΆ


Congratulations on your graduation.

For the first week I redid week 9 then I was introduced to the c25k+ podcasts. I've done Stepping stone and Stamina but haven't tried speed yet. I use Stepping stone most times and others I just have a playlist as I run for 30 min. I once did a proper 5k of running only that is excluding the warm up and warm down. Of late I have been doing a gym routine that includes 20 min on the treadmill.

All the best with your running


I graduated a month ago and since then have just been trying to enjoy running for the sake of it with no goals. I do try to run 5k each time usually takes just undwr 40 minutes. In the Autumn I'm going to do the bridge to 10k. But for now I'm enjoying running for pleasure.


It's been nearly 6 months since I graduated and I still run 3 times a week. I've got a pretty good routine of treadmill running Mon and Wed after work (usually between 2 and 2 1/2 miles) and Saturday morning trail run/walking (usually 5k). I'm looking into getting a bicycle now that springtime is here to do some other exercize option. Since graduating, I've used the run/walk method (usually a minute walk and various running times, although I don't time the trail runs--I generally complete the 5k loop in a little less than an hour). The longest I've run in one stretch has been about 15 minutes. I feel fit and enjoy the workout, although sometimes I do feel like I'm plodding along. :-) There's a 5k run that I plan to sign up for at the end of the month.

Well I graduated back in August 2015, with a few other people as part of the programme being helped along by a local running group, so I continued attending sessions and runs with them. Did my first 10k the following May and then another in June. Had assisted in the running group's next C25K in Jan 16. Then I'd continued to encourage people for a social run out once a week outside of the run groups scheduled sessions. Last October the group helped me become a LiRF (Leader in Running Fitness) and I now lead runs every week.

Also, last Sunday, I ran my first marathon in Brighton.

End of this month I'll be helping more people start on their C25K journey as I'll be leading that as part of the running group :)

I guess graduating as part of a local, friendly group has helped me a lot on the 'what next' journey.

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