Couch to 5K
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Advice after graduation please

I graduated on C25K this morning (many thanks for all the congratulations on previous post) but have many questions on progressing. Should I keep repeating the 5k run every other day with the aim of getting faster or should I try to run further? If I concentrate on one of these options will it have an effect on the other i.e. if I aim to run 5k faster will I also find that I am able to run further? Is it just a matter of what appeals to me? I’d love to hear your ideas and advice.

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Congratulations Lorraine.

My view, from 3+ years of participating in this forum, is that you need to spend some time consolidating your running. Keep running for 30 minutes, three times per week, but don't be in a hurry to run a) faster; b) further; c) more often. I've seen many folks graduate, and end up on the injury coach through pushing on too fast. Once you can run for 30 minutes without really thinking about it, then that will be the time to consider next steps.

Some folks will tell you to set some goals, and I think that this is a great idea. Otherwise, you could end up getting bored of doing the same old runs three times per week. So do set some goals, but think about simple goals like "I'll run 30 minutes alongside the river", or "I'll run 30 minutes and time it so that I see the sunrise", or "I'll run 30 minutes along the top of this hill, but walk to the top". Anything to keep it interesting. But don't set a goal like "I'm going to run 10km on New Years Day".

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Well timed advice. Thanks

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Thank you for your advice. Being able to run for 30 mins without thinking about it sounds wonderful and is something to aim for.

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Congratulations you are now free from the constraining shackles of a training plan!!!!!

Unless you want to be. You need to give some thought to what you think you might want to do in the future.

Some just want to maintain their fitness, so three thirty minute runs per week is a very good base for that.

Some want to run races, whether that is 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon or ultras, not forgetting the assault course style of masochism.

Some want to run for fun, exploring the beautiful wide world.

For now, consolidation at thirty minutes, or 5k, if you have reached it, is good for a few weeks.

Parkrun is a brilliant celebration of running, which all should experience.

Have a look at the Bridge to 10k forum, if you are wanting to move up your distance.

Most important of all is to enjoy your running.

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Thank you for this advice and all the wise things you’ve put on this forum. You and Oldfloss have really helped me since I started C25K. I have joined in my local Parkrun 3 times - it’s great to be running with other people but I can feel a competitive streak appearing!

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Just need to run for 30 mins every other day for the minimum benefit's (dont have to run 5k every time you run) consolidate those runs so able to run comfortably..taking in hills thus improving stamina, then can gradually increase distance total each week by 10% to reach 10k if you desire and would be a goal for you, but the world's your oyster now your a graduate, like you can mix it up and vary your distance's nilly willy!😊

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Thanks for your advice. Yesterday a friend mentioned hills, as have you. She said hills are my friend but I need persuading! The promenade I run along is very flat with just the occasional slight incline which I find really hard to run up so maybe I’ve got to strengthen my leg muscles.

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Yes, it's just a suggestion, if your happy running on the flat prom (as I would most of the time if I lived by the sea, are you on the South coast?) then stay with that, your running well as you are, we just give some options..😊

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Well done!!!

Ok- I suggest making some short, medium and long term goals. My suggestion for your short one is to consolidate running for 30 minutes 3 times a week and progressing to 5k. You may then want to work on speed or distance.... it's your journey, you choose, and mostly enjoy it :)

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I think my heart lies with working on speed. My natural pace seems to be fast and there were some weeks I had to repeat until I listened to Oldfloss and started off slower. Thanks for your help.

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Take the hint:) Consolidation is the name of the game and some runs just for pure joy...because you can.... because you are a runner!

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I never thought I’d be a runner but thanks to coming across an article in a newspaper that mentioned C25K and retirement giving me the time, I am now indeed a runner! I will consolidate, I promise. I would love to be able to run for 30 mins easily. My recovery time is improving and I’m not quite as breathless as I used to be. Thank you for your help.

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Congratulations 🎉🎉🎉and Snap! We were both doing our Graduation Run this morning. I’m just going to consolidate for a few weeks and then do a ParkRun in December. Enjoy being a Runner! 🏃🏼‍♀️

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Congratulations to you too. I’ve started doing Parkruns already - they are brilliant. So great to be part of a running community. Don’t think you have to wait - there are people of all abilities running, some speeding along, some combining walking with running. All the volunteers are so encouraging too. Enjoy your running.

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Thanks for that! Much appreciated.

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I think for now consolidate your ability and continue with the 5ks (potentially your times will improve) maybe do a few park runs just for fun whgilst you think about what you want to do

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Thanks, I will consolidate. That’s the message everyone is giving and this forum has never let me down.

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