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

Couch to 5K

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


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 a few weeks ago and found some posts with the titles above, thought it might be a good idea to resurrect the title and make it Part II. The original discussions were from just over 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 4, whether you have just graduated over the past few months. This is the last post of the 4 weeks.

11 Replies

Wow it's almost a month since I started these posts. I feel a lot has changed since I graduated six weeks ago. I have thankfully found a routine, I am running 3 times a week, usually five kilometers each time. This week I ran on my own on Tuesday evening and did five k and had to walk just a little bit. On Thursday I met up with the local running group, same Athletics club but a different group. I met up with 8 ladies and we did a long run and sprint training. I really enjoyed this run as I was at a very similar pace to the ladies and found it enjoyable and comfortable. Yesterday I ran at my local Parkrun, I did not want to put too much pressure on myself and so I just said that for my 9th Parkrun I would just run at a comfortable pace and forget about a PB. All I wanted to do was just run the full distance without walking. But in the end I ran a good Pace, and shaved just over a minute off my PB getting a time of 31:04. I was thrilled.

Today I ran with mith my wife. We were away at my sisters house at a party last night. My sister lives in a beautiful village up in the Wicklow mountains. Nicola and I ran and walked around a gorgeous lake on a trail. We did not realise how long the loop was and in the end we walked and ran for a total of 8k.

It is really hard I found to settle into a routine once getting to graduation. Not everyone will find the same routine which will work for them. My quest is to get to running a Parkrun in under 30 mins confortably and consistently. Others will want to get to run five or ten Kilometers, just run for fun etc. Whatever your Post Graduation plan I wish you all every success, safe and happy running and love the freedom. I was a total over weight couch potato, now I am a runner, 17 pounds lighter and trimming up every week. I don't recognise myself.

This is an amazing Forum and everyone on it is friendly, encouraging and supportive. Thanks for all the support.



It is indeed difficult to find a routine after finishing the programme. So many people graduate and either disappear almost immediately or after a couple of months. But some manage to carry on and go on to great things! You sound as if you have found something that works for you and provides you with variety so that you will carry on. A real inspiration, well done!


Thanks for the post Damienair. Less than two weeks since graduation I haven't got much of a plan. I have done a couple of runs and a Parkrun which was great and my first 5k. I think I will try to do Parkrun weekly and if I can't do it on a Saturday I'll try to do it on my own on the Parkrun course which is perfect. And also keep up Active10 daily - that's 3x10 consecutive minutes of brisk walking using the Active10 app. (Harder than it sounds on a tired day.) I need to do one other thing pw which could be a 30-minute jog (I find the 30mins an achievable time without too much effort- can't believe I am writing that after the early struggling weeks of C25k). 😀 thanks for the opp to think it through/write it down. It helps.


I haven't yet found a true routine yet, but I am trying to do Parkrun on a Saturday, go out doing something on a Monday and join a local running club's 'Introduction to Speedwork' session on Thursdays. Speedwork starts this Thursday. Today (as it's Monday and my diy day) I'm trying the NHS Stepping Stones podcast session (back with Laura!) & I'll report back how I get on - seems a bit much for me, but we'll give it a whirl.


It really has been useful reading about how others are carrying on after the structure of C25K. I completed the programme whilst on holiday in Italy. Running in heat. Uphill. Running in unknown locations and enjoying every run. Once back in the UK the goal was to do a 5k in under 30 minutes. With that duly ticked off I thought that I was a runner and would be able to just run for 30 minutes going solo.

How wrong I was. The first run was hard. After 18 minutes I wanted to give up. I felt sick. I hurt. I felt I had failed. And it was the first time that I had experienced such a bad run. Once home and very cross with myself I checked Strava. Just in case it was a bit longer than the 18 minutes. But what I had done was run my fasted mile. My fasted 2k. So looking as the stats it showed that I had not paced myself for a 30 minute run. I had just RUN. The next two runs were again hard. Unstructured and unsatisfying.

But now I am using the C25K plus and mixing up the runs. This has helped put me back on track and I am now back looking forward and planning my next run.

Maybe one day I will love running for the sake of it. But for now I am happy just finding a routine that works for me.

Good luck to every runner.


Well I missed my Monday run this week as I ended up working extra. Tonight only had time for short run. Went back to Zombies run and did 2.7 km with a pace just under 7/km, which is speedy for me so all good. Back to Parkrun on Sat.


I did a timed 3k around a running track with the local Athletics club on Tuesday evening. It started with 4 laps of a jog so as to warm up. Then some stretching exercises and squats. Following that 7.5 laps of the track. I was happy managed to hold a pace of 6:00/km and got a time of 17:57. After that there was 2 cool down laps and more stretching, followed by Tea/Coffee and biscuits in the club house.

I am due to run this evening but not sure if I will be able to. My bum muscles are so sore after the squats on Tuesday. 😳

SueKenGraduate in reply to damienair

I've managed to make contact with an improvers group not far from me. Now I have to pluck up the courage/motivation to actually go!

Done two 5k runs since graduating last Saturday, to prove to myself that I can actually keep going for 5k rather than 30 mins. Times were 38 and 36 minutes (second was on an easier course). Planning on doing the Parkrun on Saturday (the two this week were practices).

What I plan to do in the short term is to stick to 5k runs to consolidate the progress so far, and only when I am completely comfortable, to stretch it our further. The reservoir I use is 4.6km around it, but has a path across, dividing it into two, so a figure of eight course would give 6.4 km. Then - who knows? Maybe a Bridge to 10 K course? I rather like the structure of a course.

I also have a crazy idea for reusing the podcast for Week 1 for High Intensity Interval Training - where the 1 minute "run" sections are High Intensity, and the 90 "walk" changed to gentle jog. But maybe 1 minute is a bit long for flat out. Does that sound a crazy scheme?


I've run 5km 3 times now, mixed with shorter distances. Having been initially confused over what to do next after graduating, I believe I have found a plan which works for me. My aim is to build up to 2 fixed runs of 5km each week plus a third longer run which I will gradually increase. I have abandoned the C25K podcasts in favour of running to a fixed beat (I really like Spotify Running). I would eventually like to run without music at all, but at the moment I need it to keep me focused. I tried a couple of different routes this week which contained more inclines than I'm used to and it wasn't half as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm not concerned about running faster - I've seen so many people on this forum saying that you speed up naturally as your stamina increases. I just want to do what I set out to do when I started this - live a healthier lifestyle and enjoy running.


I'm going to need a plan for after I graduate. I would love to do Parkruns but I'm working every Saturday when they're run in my area. I'm surrounded by 1:5 hills where I live and don't feel strong enough to tackle those yet. I think I'm going to have to stick to laps around the village for a while maybe just change up the music for a bit of variety

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