Couch to 5K

Finished C25K - but feeling flat

Hi everyone,

I 'graduated' today from the programme. So it's quite ironic I've only discovered this forum! Lots of interesting and encouraging comments...

Prior to starting all those weeks ago, I was a bit of a slacker. Average weight for height etc (not overweight), but despite this I knew I needed something to push myself for and attain.

Yet here I am, feeling curiously deflated. Why? Well because I decided to have no distractions throughout C25K, until today when I borrowed a friend's sports watch to ascertain exactly how far I had been running for in the climax of week nine.

The upshot was, I ran for 3.71km today and I felt really, really disappointed. Given I had no slip ups with every run I thought if I had ran 4km+ then that would stand me in good stead.

In fact, the more I think about it, the idea of Couch to 5k is a bit of a misnomer. 'Couch to 30' seems much more realistic. I'm not so sure too many people who complete the programme, do so having ran 5K by the end. Maybe I'm wrong.

It looks like I'm going to need a few more weeks of this, trying to build up pace over 30 minutes before subscribing to parkrun. I had hoped of doing it quite soon, but I'd rather wait until I'm confident as opposed to trailing in and feeling down about the whole thing.

Anyway, I'm very disappointed - possibly even a bit depressed - but at least it's all over now. As for running in general I'll keep going, with, hopefully, 5k not too far away.

No quibbles with the NHS podcast though. Laura is great!

Good luck to everyone keepin' on!

9 Replies

Welcome to the forum. Maybe we can cheer you up.

No need to feel down. Some manage 5k in 30 minutes during the plan, but many, probably most, do not.

I would say do parkrun now. It is an uplifting supportive celebration of exercising and many people walk some or all the distance at most parkruns.

The running habit is the thing you need to ingrain in your life.


Yes, it is a tricky moment when (most of us) realise that the 5k bit comes later - sometimes much later, sometimes never within 30 mins, maybe never at all. But then, for me, came another slow dawning - I need to work out why I am using my aged energy on approx 3x40 mins pw of going out and scaring the rabbits. It's not simply to tick off a 30-min 5k that's for sure.


Welcome, and yes I get what you say. It's true, for probably most of us the stated time and distance don't come together but the motivation and goal is clear ... lets start running, lets work towards something and for the OCD freaks like me, a tidy number is good! C24.26K isn't quite the same really :-)

I didn't achieve that distance in 30 or under on graduation and never did until after my first half marathon and that's not a boast, that's just saying that a spud like me who had never exercised seriously, had decided early in life that I couldn't run and never would and really needed something to get me moving regularly managed this at 45 years of age. I have to say I've never hit the 30 minutes again in nearly 2 years but ... I'm still running, 3 times a week most weeks and am training again for my next half and have managed some 10k events in between. What this gave me was confidence to get out there and more importantly to keep it up so where you go from here is your call now ... and that's the exciting part!

Some days I go for 5k, others I'll keep going for a few more but it's down to me and myself to set the target and reach it or breach it so maybe from this point simply congratulate yourself again on a really great achievement, look to the future and seriously consider a park run ... speed is not the essence, stamina in my book is the key and you've proved you've got that already, now you can build on it. Good luck and keep us posted :-)


If you count the distance covered during warm up and cool down it will add about a kilometre to the distance and rounding makes the program title a fair representation.


Erm - maybe for some!


First, congratulations! Couch to 30 isn't very catchy is it! As you know the programme's great but no most people don't get to the 5K in 30 minutes. Personally I'm still miles off, but I am running two or three times a week and have done 2 lots of 5K plus in the last week (taking way over 30 minutes to do each of them). You mention Parkrun - don't wait, sign up and do it. The events are wonderful, everyone friendly and supportive. I've done 6 now and Parkrun is just my perfect start to a weekend. I walked my very first one all the way and still wasn't last.....


I don't get this glass half full thing. You completed this fab programme and can now run 30minutes after just nine weeks. I think it's flipping amazing, and opens up a whole new world of running


Can't say anything better than what has been said above. Congratulations on finishing the plan. Very well done as well for doing it on your own as it is not easy. And yes do a Parkrun as soon as you can. I did my first Parkrun at week 5 of the Plan and did it in 39:14. I have done 8 Parkruns since and volunteered at 2 of them. My personal best time at the moment is 32:07 for 5k at a Parkrun. Enjoy and keep posting.


Congratulations on finishing the programme, it's a great achievement and don't you forget it!! My first 5k took me about 38minutes and, 3 years later, I still haven't done a 30 minutes 5k but I keep making improvements - in pace and in distance. Perhaps you'll do the mythical 30 min 5k, perhaps you won't, but it doesn't matter, just celebrate your achievements as they come - you have a PB to beat now for a start!

Definitely sign up for Parkrun - it's great fun and completely non-judgemental. There will be people who run the course in 15 minutes and others who walk it in an hour; people who jog with their dogs and with their pushchairs; parents who run with their children; and loads of people who run a bit and walk a bit, chatting all the way round. It's a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning, and once you've tried it you'll be hooked and keep going back to beat your previous week's time. :)


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