Couch to 5K
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Any tips?

Hi

I’ve just finished my second run for week 6 and I finished it ok but I’m really worried about the third run as it’s 25 minutes. I bombed out of my 3rd run of 20 minutes last week, I just couldn’t finish it so gave up after running 10 minutes, walking for 2mins then running for 4mins. I didn’t want to dwell on it so just moved onto week 6 but I can’t see how I can jump up from 10 minutes to 25.

I’d be grateful for any advice!

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Well to be honest I would have repeated W5 R3 until you had managed to complete it. However, that is last week and you have moved on.

So, I will little you into a little secret we all learn by the end of this programme. The first ten minutes is the hardest. Known on here as the toxic ten, it is the approximate time it takes for your body to get used to the fact you are suddenly propelling it across the earth and what you are demanding of it. You need to take in extra oxygen. Your heart rate goes up to get that oxygen to your muscles where it is needed. Your mind will also be full of self-doubt at this time - no matter how many times you have run before (AKA gremlins). Eventually though, after a good ten minutes or so, your body relaxes back into a rhythm, your heart rate settles and you are breathing better.

Those first ten minutes of running you did in W5R3 were the worst, and if you had managed to hang on for a little longer, you may have found that you started to find the whole experience a lot better. Also, a lot easier if you don't focus on the time.

So now you know. There is no need to fear the longer runs. Your body has been trained and knows what to do, now all you have to do is train your mind that you can do this.

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That’s good advice thank you. I’m going to give it a go on Sunday, I’ll post how I get on. Thanks again.

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Brilliant answer. Exactly what he said. Believe it or not I found the plan got easier after week 6. I much preferred the longer runs and found it easier to keep going after the first 10 minutes for longer than having to take the walking breaks.

Damien

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I totally agree with the other replies so far. That first ten minutes can be enough to put many a graduate off, but if you can slowly push through you should find you settle into your rhythm and that will get you through the rest of the run. Don't forget the Oldfloss mantra "Slow and steady". Good luck for Sunday's run. You can do it. 👍

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Hi there, well done on getting this far into C25K. The advice Whatsapp has given is bang on the money. Get past that first 10 minutes and you'll feel more comfortable and relaxed (assuming you're not attempting Mo Farah pace!), you'll start to enjoy it the further you go. Now that's something which would've felt alien a few weeks ago hey?! Go for it, enjoy it and good luck!

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As Whatsapp has said.. toxic ten is a well known problem... and the subject of many a post historically.. :)

You next run is just that.. your next run. You are ready for it, the programme has led you to it and slowly and steadily you just run it.

Trust the programme believe in yourself and just know you will do this:)

PS

My husband , once gave me the whole spiel about this, when I, fooolishly asked him about it (He was a Science teacher) ! It went on and on and on...:0

@whatsapp has done it beautifully and much quicker than my husband!

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PPS

If you are interested:)

Th best info info I read on it, was in this book ;

amazon.co.uk/dp/B003V4ASXQ/...

Survival of the Fittest - Understanding Health and Peak Physical Performance.

By

Dr Mike Stroud;

Including the story of Dr Stroud and Sir Ranulph Fiennes' 2003 global marathon challenge - seven marathons on seven continents in seven days - in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

I quote -

"When you start to run your muscles need extra oxygen but your body is not set up to increase the supply immediately. For the first few minutes of a race [or any run] you develop oxygen debt as you use more energy than aerobic systems can supply. It is only when oxygen in the blood has been depleted significantly and levels of carbon dioxide have risen that your brain senses these changes and sends instructions to set things straight. At that point you will begin to breathe harder and your heart will pump more strongly. But by then , besides having to meet the demands of your continued movement, you also have to repay the oxygen debt and clear the lactic acid that has accumulated. This takes time, and so the first couple of miles of any run can be rough."

It is a great book ! :)

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Thank you so much that’s really helpful. I’ll take a look at that book 😊

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as above, but I would suggest you go back to W5R2

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Thank you for replying and your advice 😊

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My tip is stick to the plan.

It is a training plan, not a tick box exercise. You can't pretend that you ran for twenty minutes and then wonder why you find later runs difficult.

If you don't complete a run, repeat it, then move on.

W5R3 cannot be missed. it is the seminal C25k run. The one that gives confidence and extends your running, both physically and mentally.

W6R2 actually has you running and walking for 33 minutes, while W6R3 nudges it up to 35 minutes..........not a big step, but without the psychological boost of knowing you can run for 20 minutes non stop, your head has a big challenge.

The plan works.

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Thank you for replying and your advice 😊

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