5k run

Hi, I registered to do a 5k run beg of July. I have never run before and I am very unfit ( improving lol) . My goal is to run the 5k irrespective of speed ( I will be devastated if I have to walk it) .I am currently on week 2 day 3( to complete) and I am very excited about the prospect of been able to run 30 minutes non stop at some point!

However, I am really worried because there is NO CHANCE I will manage 5k in 30 minutes! So how on earth will I do it? Will I actually manage to run the extra 15+ minutes required to finish the 5k?? Thank you in advance for any suggestions xx


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  • Hi At the moment just concentrate on finishing the C25K and not getting injured speed will come with time most people never get to 5k in 30 minutes and a lots of graduates are not that bothered but go on to do 10k's and further where speed is not a major concern

  • Hi, thanks for replying . However, I think you misread my post or I didn't write clearly what I meant, apologies.

    I don't care how long it will take me , speed is def not an issue I only want to be able to run the 5 k even if it takes me 2 hours lol.

    I know that 5k in 30 minutes is out of the question and I am happy with that . I just want to know if Its possible to run 5k when week 9 is complete as it only goes up to running 30 minutes non stop? I hope it's a bit clearer now πŸ™ˆ

  • If you follow the programme you will be able to run for 30 mins at graduation. The distance is different for each runner depending on pace, stride length, fitness level, age etc. Also some runners take longer than 9 weeks to reach graduation, and that is absolutely ok.

    The other thing to be aware of is that many advise you do not increase distance running by more 10% each week post graduation. This is to guard against over use injury as you build your running legs.


    How far will you run at graduation (30 mins running)?

    How long after graduation is you planned 5k?

    Can you bridge the gap in distance to a full 5k within the timescales, extending by no more than 10% per week post graduation.?

    I'm guessing you won't know the answers to these questions until much closer to graduation. Also, many people run walk in a 5k event, there is no problem with that.

  • Gosh it's complicated isn't it !! You are right I won't know till closer to the time .I think I will just have to get used to the idea that walking part of it will be necessary. Oh well , hopefully I will run/jog the whole 5k the second time! There... setting goals when I am only in week 2! I must be mad πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • You are doing just great! It is harder to hold back to a sensible approach once you begin to get the bug, but It is definitely the right way to go to guard against injury.

    As you say, take the pressure off at the moment by accepting you may walk a little. Who knows what you will find out about yourself on this journey. Some speedy people are very close to 5k at graduation, you may find this is the case for you. But if not, that's ok, you will be well on your way by then!

    Well done on starting the programme!

  • Hi,the couch to 5k app that I'm doing finishes with running 5k not for 30 minutes.Was only timed for the first couple of weeks then went onto distance.I'm on week 4 now x

  • Hiya, mine is the NHS c25k, I should be finishing week 2 tomorrow assuming everything goes according to plan. I think there are many versions of it but I will stick to what I started for now and see what happens. I just have to remember that two weeks ago I couldn't run full stop! Now I can manage 9 minutes in total , not bad for a couch potato like me haha xx

  • I've never run before either and I'might an oldie.Signed up for a 5k at the end of August x

  • Well done! I find having a goal help me to stay motivated. However I wish I had given myself a bit more time, I think August sounds more doable. You will be great ! We just have to keep going πŸ™ŒπŸ» x

  • Yes it has definitely helped me signing up for it plus I have told a small charity that I will be raising money for them so I have to do it lol x

  • Hi! First of all, well done for getting started and I think it's great that you have a goal. People often comment on the name of this programme - and really it should be called Couch to 30 minutes of running! Many are not running 5k in 30mins by the end of week 9 ( and some people will always run at a slower pace, but that is perfectly ok). However, once your fitness has improved and you can run for 30 mins, you won't be far off running a 5k. As you progress through the programme your speed will naturally increase, although do take it steady - completing the runs is more important than the speed! Slow and steady at this point is the best way to build up fitness whilst avoiding injury. Good luck with Week 3 and keep us all posted on your progress. Happy running!πŸ™‚πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈ

  • Thank you ever so much!! That makes more sense now . Personally ,Having a goal motivates to go out and try , if it wasn't for the run in July I would have probably found a million excuses by now to give up lol

    I do think you are right though, the name is a bit misleading . If I had realized sooner I would have chosen a 5k run a bit later in the year haha . Thanks again xx

  • You will be fine☺

  • You'll be just fine. I signed up for a race before I had started the program as well. It's great motivation, and you'll have a blast when you race.

  • Thank you 😊 x

  • if you stick to this program, you will run/jog for 30 minutes, as I did! when I finished w9r3 I covered just over 2 miles, however a couple of weeks later I decided to keep going until I completed 5k and it took me 55 minutes of non stop running. You will get there, just stick to the plan and do not try to push too early or too hard and most of all don't panic about it.


  • Thank you!! You are right , I have to stop stressing about it and enjoy the process of getting fitter and healthier πŸ‘πŸ» x

  • There should be no need to be devastated if you had to walk some of your 5k race. You would find plenty of company, I am sure. You can only do what you can do and that is probably more than you think.

    Building up gradually, as C25k does, is the best and safest approach. What you will be capable of at graduation is anybody's guess.......if you don't know, we certainly don't, but you can be sure you will be fitter and well on the way towards being able to run 5k non stop.

    Just enjoy the programme and each session will take you nearer to your target.

  • Thank you for the advice, much appreciated x

  • I graduated the program at the end of Feb this year & still don't run 5k in 30 minutes. Just focus on completing the program for now & don't fret about speed, that will come in time. You will be surprised at how quickly your fitness levels will rise and you will run the 5k in July not walk. Well done for signing up to do it - once you do one you will looking for your next one, it is addictive 😁

  • Thank you !! I do want to be able to run it , it will be such an achievement!

    Loads of people from my work have entered and they are so much fitter than me! Admittedly some younger but I wasn't fit younger either lol

    I am worried I will be seeing them on their way back when I am still going πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Anyway, that's what has been stressing me a bit I think.

    Since I joined this forum though and I have read all the lovely responses I have decided to stop worrying and whatever will be will be!

    I will run/ walk/ crawl if I have to lol but I will do it , and I don't care what anyone else will think. For me ... taking into account my history with fitness ( lack of it) it will be like I have run the marathon ! X

  • Hi l've just been reading all the comments to your post.l to think the couch to 5k, is misleading.For my part l look at it as aguidance to get to a goal.We all have different ways to attain this.You had the courage,to enter a race,good on you;does it matter if we find, on the day that we can only walk?;no, l don't think so,go for it, do it, and be happy 😊,with completing 5k and all your future achievements.Stevy.

  • Thank you Stevy! X

  • Well done on doing the Couch25k. Since completing the programme (December) I have been along to my local parkrun and even now some weeks have to walk/jog the 5k my first time was 42 minutes now it's about 40 minutes (even with walking at times). As you have a goal set by July you will be running further anyway. Keep going and keep us posted as to your achievements each week.

  • I will do !! Well done on completing it, 40 minutes sounds amazing! 😊x

  • Yes you can do it. Each week we wonder how we are going to run the time required the following week, but each week we manage it. I am on Week 9 and never thought I would get here. I am still not fast and no way can I run 5k in 30 minutes. However, I have been going to Parkrun on a Saturday and started by walking the 5k and I had no idea how to pace myself. Someone there told me about Couch to 5K and I downloaded the podcast and haven't looked back. I have used the Parkrun for my 3rd run of each week and once the podcast was finished, I walked/jogged the rest of the 5k route. I know we are not supposed to run more than the program says, but on Saturday when I did my first 30 minute run, I decided that instead of walking at the end of it, to keep running (slowly) for a bit and see how far I could get. A friend who had already finished, came back to meet me and run with me, telling me to walk if I needed, but I kept plodding on. There is a steep underpass which we go through 4 times and I did have to walk up the very last time of it, but started running again at the top and managed to continue right to the end, even finding a little sprint to the finish line with everyone cheering me on. Despite all this it still took me 43:58, but that was a PB for me and I was thrilled with it. I don't let it worry me that my friends run it in 26 minutes because 2 months ago I had no fitness whatsoever and for me this is amazing. I am one run off completing C25K and can't believe I have got this far. Stick with it, you most definitely can do it.

  • Your story is so encouraging!! I can't thank you enough! And what an achievement for you! Wow !!

    I feel So motivated reading all the success stories like yours on this forum that if I wasn't feeling under the weather at the moment I would be out there finishing my week lol

    I have been so stressed about the race in July and what everyone might think that I forgot to stop and take in how well I have done so far.

    Some days I have gone out and run/walked at 6 am which for a terrible morning person like me is an achievement on its own!

    I just have to keep thinking positively and make sure I finish the C25K . This forum with all your kind messages and success stories helps me doing just that, so thank you all!!! 😘

  • That's it just keep thinking positive thoughts it, don't rush it,it will start to feel easier;also do not be daunted by the times for each run,just relax into each one.

    As a footnote;l went running this morning,along the river path; there was acold easterly wind blowing across which hampered me," Boy-oh- Boy" it was cold,then l heard a willow warbler singing,and cows making a racket in the field; they are pleasant distractions,l kept to a steady pace and managed to finish the run. I'm glad l did it as l was reluctant at first.That was the 2nd run of week 9; l shall do the final run this coming weekend.Good luck,we are behind you all the way.Stevy.

  • l want to carry on into my80's.Am now nearly 63,but what's in a number Stevy.

  • Good for you stevy! I've just done my final run on the canal path with a jay darting about, ducklings & the glorious smell of wild garlic everywhere - the little rain shower didn't matter! Keep going - just 1 to go til graduation!😊

  • Thankyou Slinky,l cannot believe l'm going to be doing the last run,my only reservation is where do l go from there. There is a local running club hmm! not sure. Also there are prog's like C25k; do l try one hmm! not sure again.Shall finally throw myself at something,all the best.Stevy.

  • Thanks Stevy!! 😊 you will be a graduate next weekend!! Can't wait to congratulate you !

    Ps: your footnote could be part of a novel! Secret talents ??πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸ˜€ x

  • Thanks Eva, cannot wait for weekend

    A novel ?, l'm flattered, thankyou,Stevy.

  • I started C25K in February and graduated in April on my 65th birthday. I just came back from a run and normally now run for 30 mins three times a week but today felt good AND it was a flat run so ran 5K in 38 minutes. The great thing about the C25K for me was to take it nice and easy over the nine weeks and this allowed me to convince myself that I was in this for the long haul so avoiding injury and not setting myself unrealistic targets was very important. Will I ever run 5K in 30 minutes ? - perhaps and if happens, that's fine but no way will I beat myself up if I can't ! I sometimes run with a friend and this seems to help the time go faster !

  • That's amazing!!! You should be so proud of yourself! Flat or not flat 5k in 38 minutes is awesome! I hope it will be me at some point but currently speed isn't an issue. Running ( if you call it running πŸ™ˆ) the 90 secs no stop is hard enough lol

    I love the fact that running is a sport of no age and how refreshing to see how many different age groups are on this forum.

    It was my 40th in January and even though I spent most of my 39th year telling myself how I will ensure I am fit and feel healthier when I turn 40 , it just never happened!

    So my new resolution ( not a 1st of Jan one for a change!) is to be healthy and fitter whilst 40! This is why I am doing this. To get healthier , fitter and prove to myself that if I set a goal I can achieve it.

    If I manage the above I will be over the moon!! πŸ˜€ x

  • Hi Evagr1 - go for it!! You sound so positive & have a very realistic attitude toward the programme. I just completed my final run of week 9 & was thinking back to how hard I found 90 secs at the beginning. My reasons for running are also health based & the timings are not the most important thing for me. I'm 46 & aim to improve my fitness for the rest of my life. This is a fab programme to set you up on the right route (no pun intended!!) Best of luck to you, keep posting! 😊

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