Life after Laura. Recent graduates settling in... - Couch to 5K

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Life after Laura. Recent graduates settling into a routine. Keep yourself motivated. Week I/IV. Part II.

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There was a little discussion recently in relation to new graduates finding it hard to find a routine after the C25K programme with Laura or on Apps. I was looking on this forum earlier and came across some posts with the title above , thought it might be a good idea to resurrect the title and make it part II. The original discussions were from 1 year ago. So if it's OK I'll get it started. If your a new graduate please feel free to add your plans for keeping running post graduation below. This is for week 1, whether you have just graduated or are graduated over the past few months. Next weekend I'll make a new post for week 2 and so on.

I'm 43 years old and just graduated over a week ago on the 22nd of June 2017. Since then I have done 4 x 5k runs, two of which were Parkruns. My plan is to continue to train for 5k over the next 2 months, with the aim of comfortably and consistently running 5k sub 30 mins. Today I took part in my 7th Parkrun and achieved a new PB of 32:07, so I have a lot of work to do so as to shave 127 seconds off my PB, but I am giving myself 2 months to get there.

I am training on my own on a Monday or Tuesday, training with a local Athltics club on Thursday evenings (group 5k run) and running a Parkrun on a Saturday morning. Three months ago I was a couch potato. No one including my wife could have guessed I would have got into running. I love it after the pain has subsided following a run.πŸ˜€

Feel free to post your experiences and plans post graduation.

Happy running,


29 Replies

I kept running post grad and definitely felt lost without the structure, but now that I've tried the stepping stones and the speed podcasts they were actually....dare I say it... not too bad! (I've yet to try stamina though). I doubt that would have been the case if I'd started them immediately post week 9. What I mean by this is I guess that we are improving as long as we keep running, even if we feel a bit directionless at times. I've tried park run but want to be a bit more confident on my ability to run 5k without walking any bits before I return. I've lined up a newish runners group that I'll join after that and then I'm aiming for the Manchester 10k for next May. So... That's my sort of plan.

damienairGraduate in reply to runlikeagirl

I've done 7 Parkruns so far, of which 5 were done with a combination of running and walking. I managed to run all of it today. I am finding that my biggest problem is holding a consistent pace. It's practice I guess. Totally agree, running πŸƒ is all that matters so as to build on C25K.

OldflossAdministrator in reply to runlikeagirl

Stamina is superb!!! I love it.. on its own or in longer run.. wonderfully versatile!

GillmaGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Sorry to be a pest - I can't actually find the Stamina podcast on the Livewell link. Would someone be able to give me that specific link or share it to me in a PM?

damienairGraduate in reply to Gillma

Hi, just google NHS C25K plus. It will bring up a screen which you can enter and select the 3 separate podcasts for download.


Feeling quite pleased with myself so far - first post grad run was a park run last Sat which I aim to repeat soon. Have done the stepping stones podcast twice so far, each time was a challenge, but achievable and also dare I say, enjoyable. Yesterday, I went on a new route as the fair is in town on my usual route, it was good to mix it up a bit. Off to Race for Life tomorrow, which I am also looking forward to, although slightly worried it will be a bit emotional. That will put my running days all out of kilter, so only planning one run in the week, before hopefully another park run next Saturday - fingers crossed.

damienairGraduate in reply to SueKen

Best of luck tomorrow and have a good run. Let us know how you get on.


I graduated last August and yes found the lack of structure hard and missed Laura more than I expected!! However I soon got used to the liberated runs and feel so much safer running without headphones -much of my running is on country roads and tracks and you need to be alert for occasional traffic. I wasn't running 4K at graduation so first challenge to get to 4K then up to 5k which was amazing. I then aimed to consolidate 5k three times week, which I did - usually just under 40 mins. Injury couch put me back, with not much running over the winter, then restated running and built up to 5k again and a few weeks ago almost a lightbulb moment that I could do more and ran 6k, and then over time built up to 8. (Five miles). Takes me just over an hour. Hope to build on this staying injury free and get to ten k this summer. Slow and surely. Only ran one race - a 5k beach race- which was great fun !


this is reassuring - I re-graduated in March , actually on a Stroke association Resolution run and initially kept up running three times a week ....but am slacking! My excuse is that I find running in the heat very trying and uncomfortable but I know what I'm like and need a challenge. 5k is probably my ideal or should I push on for more?

So where can i find the stepping stones, speed and stamina podcasts? Help please from all you lovely encouraging people !


Here you go! Build steady as ever.


newrunner56Graduate in reply to Millsie-J

Thank you so much ! All I need to do now is get it on to my iPod.... May have to use SonAssist - he's more knowledgeable than me!

Best exercise though, is simply getting Sports Bra on and off!!!!


Lovely idea, and well done on your progress 😎


I've been using Stamina and Speed, plus parkrun each Saturday, since graduating 15 months ago. Whilst I enjoy those podcasts, I feel stuck in a rut now! My parkrun PB, set last December, is 29:44. My times this year have slowed over the past 2 months and I am lucky if I go below 31 minutes. I tried B2 10K but found the 3x15 minute runs a challenge too far! I have a Windows phone which is a let down apps wise! I also have limited data. Now I'm running early mornings I might just give B2 10k another tryπŸ˜–

runlikeagirlGraduate in reply to ladyharvills

It would be interesting to know if the b210k programme is now easier for you 2nd time


I'm going to consolidate my 5k in the hope of emulating Friday's pace when I take part in my first organised event but it's a hard route so anything around 32 minutes I'll be happy with.

My brother, who completed his first marathon this year after graduating just over 18 months ago has roped me in to a 10k MoRun in November so from next month I'll be working on stamina either with the podcast or a 10k programme.

I'm kind of enjoying not having Jo in my ear at the minute, as I no longer think about how long I've got left and there's a bit more freedom to my runs plus I'm more relaxed which I think has helped me, but I'm definitely not adverse to having another voice in my ear when it's time yo step it up.

Good luck to all in whatever route you take after graduation, our goals are there to be achieved.

I think this would have to become a pinned post otherwise no-one's gonna see it. There should be a post graduate pinned post if you ask me (unless I missed it - I can't see any), since everyone spends all their time working towards this target then afterwards seem to start scratching their heads. I can't decide yet what to do. I don't want to mess up my knees running long distances. There is a guy in Ireland currently doing 24 marathons in 24 days for charity! I feel happier with just 5K but I know I could run 10k. I am going to plod along and test out some of these plans and a parkrun soon enough. Are all the parkruns on at the same time? There must be some with great backdrops.

Millsie-JGraduate in reply to DawnRun

All Parkruns are at the same time, 9am Saturday morning. In many countries across the globe but not all.

If anyone wants to run faster 5ks my understanding is you need to run further, not just 5k. It helps stamina and strength, so a slow longer run.

Happy running everyoneπŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»


In Ireland and Scotland Parkrun starts at 9.30 am. My local Parkrun is just a 5 minute drive from my house. I'm usually up with the kids anyway at 7:30 and have time to have a light breakfast and relax for a while with a coffee before I go.

Millsie-JGraduate in reply to damienair

I didn't know it was a later start time in Ireland and Scotland. My son has run in many places, most recent last month in in Singapore, all started at 9am πŸ˜ƒπŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»

Well done Damien πŸ‘ can you get the post 'pinned' (beyond me!)

I have had my first difficult post graduation run today due to a classic car race on my usually quiet roads and then feeling out of sorts.....

I don't have a particular goal; I just want to RUN πŸƒ


I graduated a week ago and have done three 30 minute runs ( following my habitual mon, wed, fri pattern in an an attempt to keep the focus). So far I have been wearing a Fitbit Charge HR which I had before I even considered running, it's nearly two years old, has a heart rate monitor but no gps so the distance it is quoting is based solely on stride length and I don't know how accurate it is (it said 4.65k at graduation).

Today I downloaded Strava on my phone and set out to do a measured walk on my beloved boardwalk. So, I now know exactly how far I need to run before turning around if I want to make it a full 5k.

My plan is to run mon wed fri this week, two runs of 30 mins and one the full 5k ( I'm hoping it won't take me more than 34 mins but I will know better tomorrow)

After that I plan to do two things. One is get the 5k time down and the other is to achieve the same on harder terrains, inclines etc as my lakeside boardwalk is probably easier than most other routes.

I have no ParkRun within 1000km and only one running club( think they may be a bit elitist as running here is not as popular with " normal people") so I am struggling to find suitable local goals like others can. Support from this forum has undoubtedly been key in me getting this far and I hope will keep me on the right track going forward

I am excited about this graduate venture as I think it will be invaluable for me, and others too.

Long term, I don't know if I want to run further, faster or what. Right now I just want to keep running as I am sure both my mental and physical health have benefited in the last ten weeks.

Congrats to all you graduatesπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ₯‡πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ₯‡πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ₯‡πŸ‘πŸΌ


As this a post grad post any thoughts on myAsics anyone? Ive just downloaded it and casually put in my details and asked it to come up with a 10k training plan and it has devised a five week plan!! Eeek!!

Asics tend to know their thing


Tried stepping stones podcast this evening. Won't be doing that again. Just could not get into it. I prefer just running and listening to music. I found the talking and beat too off putting. So it's definitely life after Laura for me from now on.πŸ˜€

Oh I quite liked it. Not all the time but as a change...still you seem to have found your way with the music/running club

I think there is no right answer all the time, just needs to be right, on the day,for you.


It's funny isn't it. What works for one is definitely no guarantee for another. I like dancing so I find the beat/rhythm pacing motivational and the barrier disappears for me when running to a steady beat

Yes I think I feel the same but only on some days....other days ATM I have John le Carre to keep me company 😊

runlikeagirlGraduate in reply to helenwheels

I probably need need to try different things too . Maybe some classical or ambient type music to get me more into the less 'rocky/fight' side of my brain...


I've found when I have run lately to music I don't know it has taken my mind off the pain.πŸ˜€ Last Saturday I ran to Heavy Metal at a Parkrun. It's not my thing but it helped. I just pick random play lists from Spotify. Hardcore Rap is good fun to listed to also.πŸ˜€πŸ‘

Unfortunately Laura put me off this evening. It's a good podcast but just did not work for me.

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