Life after graduation: I am SUCH a sucker for a... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Life after graduation

ejvcruns profile image

I am SUCH a sucker for a structured plan. This is how I am in life. New things, I start by following other people's instructions. And I'll do that till I've sucked the marrow from how the instructions work, and once there is no more to be gained from instructions, I'll head out on my own

After nine weeks of running, the marrow remains in the bone of running. I do not exactly *know* how to keep on and do it myself. I certainly could, but as I mentioned before, I need time to *understand*. I don't like doing without understanding. I want to KNOW that this particular thing I'm doing will WORK. So -- that's why I love couch to 5k.

And that's why I know that having NO plan for me is deadly.

I still have a goal: 5k. And I have a speed goal: under 7m/km. That will be very fast for me. Not everyone wants to be fast but I do. Because I like fast. I just broke the 8m barrier on my last run so I am hoping that 7m will be attainable after a while. And I have a fitness goal: keep active 30 minutes a day and run 3x a week.

But those goals are not a PLAN.

Not really.

I am now thinking about my PLAN. My "graduation" from this next PLAN will be to run the virtual 5k zombie race on Halloween (in Stockholm) with my Zombies Run app. If possible (I don't know yet) I will try to make one of those 5km under 7 minutes. Otherwise, faster than I run now... perhaps 7:30 will be an appropriate goal -- I don't know about how fast my fitness will improve (because I don't *KNOW*).

Next Monday I will be going out to spend a month at very high altitude. Thus I must also foment my PLAN to take account of the fact that I'll lose something like 25% of my capacity to run when I arrive, and must build up my fitness again.

Do/did you have goals or plans post graduation? Are/were they detailed or vague?

18 Replies
Sillyyak13 profile image

Well, I started stepping stones on Tuesday and collapsed in a pile around 16 mins into it. The transition from a slowly slowly approach to increasing your pace as you tire seems manic to me. It's also left me depressed....

So tomorrow I'm wondering whether to start week 9 again or the bridge to 10k

Like you, I'm flapping around looking for a structured plan.

Frostycat2 profile image
Frostycat2Graduate in reply to Sillyyak13

I lasted 1 min longer and felt awful the same as you I'm back to wk 9 for a few weeks xx

Polly2810 profile image
Polly2810Graduate in reply to Sillyyak13

I’m doing wk 9 a couple more times just to try and get some structure. See where it takes me after that...I am totally different I resist following the rules...I just know I want to try and do 30 mins x 3 weekly. 😊

After I graduated I didn't have a specific plan, but my goal was to complete a Parkrun in under 30 minutes. I planned to carry on running three times a week when possible, and used the 5K+ podcasts to work on my speed and stamina. But more than anything, I just wanted to get used to the feeling of running 5K and enjoying my surroundings. I still used the week 9 podcast to help me on my way (it took me a while to wean myself off Laura).

It was only once I was comfortable with running 5K just under 30 minutes and had enjoyed many runs just for the fun of it that I started on my next big challenge, which was to build up to 10k. But this was quite some time after completing C25K. And then, like you, I needed a structured plan, and downloaded the Sammi Murphy Bridge to 10K tracks.

What I would say is that, as a newish graduate it's really important to take time consolidating 5k. Use the week 9 podcast, or start to develop your own playlist, or even run without music and enjoy the sounds around you. Set yourself new routes to try out as part of your plan. You can build in hills, or intervals into your plan too.

I'm now at the stage of deciding whether I need a new goal - it may be to work on my speed, and I know that will involve interval training - which I loathe with a passion, so for now am just going to get out there and run for sheer joy.

Good luck with your planning, and happy running. 🏃🏽‍♀️

Martin_Rose profile image

My plan was to run 5k, and it be comfortable for me. My plan has now changed to running 10k, I'm going to take my time in achieving this.

Pretty much same for me, I am up to 7km. Nowhere near 5k in 30mins, but I am running hills and extending the distance ....that's my plan and when I get to 10 I am going to try and do it faster... like Mr Soeedy Gonzales here already does👍👟👟👟🏃🏼🏃🏼🏃🏼🏃🏼

Martin_Rose profile image
Martin_RoseGraduate in reply to Jancanrun

I wish I could run 7k up the Italian hills.

RunForestR profile image

If you like a plan i.e something laid out for you that will get you to a specific goal - but where someone (who hopefully knows what they are talking about tells you what you need to do) - have a look at the ASICS website.

There you can enter your Goal and timeline - plus details of your current running standard and the website will create a plan for you that will get you to that goal - or suggest a goal for you.

I'm now starting to use that in replacement of my C25k - or I will properly after a few weeks of consolidation. I want to build to a 10k or half marathon next year and then see if it is feasible to be running a marathon at 50 in 2019. Those are my long term goals - and the ASICS Website should be able to help me build a plan that will help me achieve these. I have to find my own music/app - but it is good to have someone steer you to what you should be trying to do and when.

It's free too - which is always a bonus in my mind.

misswobble profile image

Stick with the Stepping Stones podcasts but maybe do them in order. Stepping Stones, then Stamina and then Speed. Expect to find them tricky 💪👍

Having a plan is a good idea as it helps focus your mind and saves you from over running

Before you can be faster you have to get stronger, so work on strength and the speed will come, but it takes time! 🙂

The zombies help me keep going, I want to know what happens next in the story! And as with the c25k app I used, I paid for it so I'm damn well gonna use it! The Halloween run sounds excellent!

I'm trying to get the 5k in 30mins and hopefully do a park run, just unfortunate for me I work stupid shift so 9am on a Saturday is barely possible!, I'm off this week but finishing at 1am a Friday! (Well Saturday morning I suppose ), and the nearest one is 30mins away in the car. Ah well, I at least plan to go do the route soon!

ejvcruns profile image
ejvcrunsGraduate in reply to MagicandCastles

Yes, the story in the zombies app is rather motivational -- I don't see any problems in essence with just keeping that up for a while. I to progress. Good luck on getting to a ParkRun. There aren't any around my area. Also, I hate crowds. I did a 5k run two years ago (well, I walked) and had Crowd Hate the whole time. My friends asked me again this year, but I declined...

MagicandCastles profile image
MagicandCastlesGraduate in reply to ejvcruns

That's a shame, I've never ran with other people yet so it'll be an interesting experiment!

trevorjl profile image

I'm the same. I need structure and a plan to keep me motivated or I know I will lose interest.

I'm on week 7 and starting to think about a plan for post-graduation. A little presumptuous perhaps, but I know I will need something in place to keep me running.

At the moment my aims will be to run 5k, then to run 5k in 30 mins, then do some Parkrun's, then maybe onwards to 10k...

Ificandoit profile image
IficandoitGraduate in reply to trevorjl

Yep - that sounds just like my post grad plan. I'm going to try to stick to no more than 2 rest data in a row so I don't let the routine slide

Frostycat2 profile image

I am the same as you need structure xx

Fishypieface profile image

I graduated 2 months ago and I'm still with Sarah repeating week 9. I'm happy with that and it's still hard work, although I've been going faster this week weirdly I can't stop it. But I don't know how fast or how many kms I'm covering. one day maybe. Anything else would tip me over the edge I think!

Lots of great advice here! In my case I graduated a couple of months ago and I used the speed and Stamina +5 podcast for a full month or so till I was really comfortable with 5k, I also fooled around with making playlists of fun songs to run to for 30-40 min that I still use. Since then I switched to the C210k app from zen labs (which was free throughout like the C25k app from them before - that may have changed since my download) and the program advice was to jump to the middle of the C210 program if you were a C25k grad. Am on week 13 of 14 now and it is manageable. Tough at times but manageable. I like the C210 program because I don't have to plan a program or remember what run I am on. My brain has enough to deal with managing just me 😜 And I can use my playlists behind the program so I hear my tunes and the audio cues. Also did a couple of 5k community fun run events to keep motivated since we don't have park runs where I am.

I'll be graduated in a week or so. My plan after graduation is to keep repeating week 8 outdoors and by distance (I've been running on a treadmill and by time) until my 5k in November. After my first 5k, I'm going to start on the 10k program, with the reasoning being that if I train for 10k, my 5k times should definitely improve as everything about a 5k will start to be easy in comparison. At least, that's my naive thought. :-D

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