Log in
Couch to 5K
79,433 members110,708 posts

What now to reach that 5K goal?

I'm all set to do W9 R2 tomorrow and wanted some advice on getting my pace up and reaching that 5k goal!

I managed to do 4k in 30 minutes during my last session which I was really chuffed about, but this involved really sprinting for the last 2 minutes and I wonder if I can achieve the same result with a more consistent pace!

Once I've completed Week 9, should I focus first on achieving the distance of 5K (no matter how long it takes), or should I focus on getting my speed up so I can cover more and more (and eventually 5K) in 30 minutes.

7 Replies

After you graduate just keep running 30 minutes 3 times a week without concentrating on anything for a couple of months. This will allow your tendons etc to strengthen and catch up with your muscles and cardio ability. During that time you may well find you get a bit faster quite naturally. After that, its up to you whether you go for speed or distance first.


That's interesting about allowing tendons etc to catch up. I think I probably do want to start working towards that 5k distance goal, but will intersperse distance training with half-hour runs as you suggest. I already feel I can go a bit faster more naturally than I could earlier on in the process, so I'm sure you're right that the speed part will come.


If you are doing 4k in 30 minutes and if you can maintain your current pace, then you should complete 5k in 37:30. Rig's point about consolidating at 30 minutes is very valid, but risks you getting bored, in my opinion. Better maybe to push on towards 5k, perhaps just one run per week, over a couple of weeks, just to have the satisfaction of hitting that target.

As for your sub 30 minute 5k, realistically that may be some time off, so setting some other intermediate targets would definitely be beneficial. To get from your current 7:30/k pace down to the 6:00/k required, is quite a leap, so maybe try the C25K+ podcasts as well.

5k in 30 minutes is a pretty arbitrary target and with the best effort in the world, not everyone is going to achieve it, but if you are determined and willing to work for it then you can get there. You know now what it takes to get to run for thirty continuous minutes and you should be proud of that achievement and by now you also know that slow and steady progress is the only sensible way.

Keep running, keep smiling.



Yes, I think my goal is more about the distance than that '5k in 30 minutes' goal, which does seem some way off. I think my own personal sub-goal is 5k in about 35 minutes. I want to try a park run soon and for that I'd want to know I can achieve the distance before I go into it.

I think for the last two runs on Week 9, I'm going to try and slowly build up my 'average' running pace. I'm feeling a bit sluggish and tired after a big meal out with friends last night though ... so I'm drinking lots of water today to prepare!

Next week, I want to to try running outside (very nervous about this as I've been doing it all on a treadmill so far), where I fully expect my performance to dip a little while I get used to it. Then I might also have one run back at the gym where I can focus more on getting closer to that 5k target. I'm a bit nervous about not having the structure of the app so will definitely check out that C25K+ podcast.


Been wondering this myself, just done week 9 run 1 and I'm at 3.9km so good to see that's around average for people.


Oh, I'm pleased to hear from someone else working at the same pace too! I sort of feel like the app leads you to believe you'll definitely be doing 5k by the end of it, but I bet most people aren't running 5k in Week 9!


Oh thank you , glad it’s not just me. I’ve just completed week nine and I’m only reaching 3 k. I thought I was supposed to reach 5 k, so panicked a bit


You may also like...