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Couch to 5K
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Advice and Encouragement please! Week 9 Run 1

Advice and Encouragement please! Week 9 Run 1

I have posted before about distance so sorry to repeat myself but I feel so disappointed that the NHS app told me today that I have run my target of 30 mins for the first time covering 5k! I am under 3k for 30 mins so why does the app think everyone will cover 5k? I know what I have achieved is great but I am disappointed the app suggests 5k is achievable in 30 mins, a bit discounting for us slow coaches!

Anyway, my question is about running terrain. I have done the program cross county in woods with quite some inclines. How should I progress to flat running? Am I likely to cover more distance? I’m scared of joint and hip ache which I tend to get flat running but have had none of it in the woods! Any suggestions or ideas?

I really want to progress to 5k and am wondering whether to just go and do my local park run once a week and push myself to do it! I did do a cheeky 5k the other week (have 10k and sprint triathlon years ago when fit and slim) to prove I could, it took me 54 mins!

I really want to continue but do feel a little disillusioned with the program as if I have failed somehow. Crazy I know but that’s unfortunately how I am programmed!

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I bet if you had a poll of graduates, more than three quarters of runners would be running less than 5k in 30 mins. The main thing is just to keep at it and have fun. You're a running success!

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Almost no-one does 5k in 30 minutes at the end of week 9. Don't get obsessed with the 5k thing. Definitely don't run on the flat if you get pain when far more interesting terrain is available to you without injury.

Go and do Park run but be careful about running the whole way. Why not split it so you run at the start and the end?

You could use the 10% rule and build up 10% each week till you are running long enough to cover 5k. Then build up your speed.

I prefer to run without technology so I don't obsess about speed or distance. I just time 30 minutes or do a shorter faster run. Only time I know how far I ran is park run.

Only thing that really matters is you are running longer and further than you could 9 weeks ago. It's a fantastic achievement to build on. Don't let the name of an app take that away from you.

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Failed, never -- you have been running for 30 minutes which is what the programme sets out to achieve.

Running on the flat should possibly increase your time/distance but come what may don't worry about it, at this stage we are very new to this running malarkey and strength and stamina are still building and will continue to for some time so don't be despondent when you have achieved so much.

Just get out there and enjoy, yes try a few park runs, have a punt around the streets BUT enjoy, onwards and upwards and very well done on what you have done to date

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Thank you for the photo- I now know what the mysterious Garmin is!! 😂

I just have W9 to do now & there is no way that I will be doing 5 K in 30 mins in a week's time- or even a month's time - but 8 weeks ago I wasn't running at all & I am now noticeably fitter than before. There is time for us ( all of us in this situation) to reach 5k in the future, or to take some extra minutes to achieve that distance.

Maybe leave Garmin behind for some sessions and run for pleasure - not to mention all the many benefits that running brings.

I use map my run sometimes, but quickly realised that I could be easily discouraged by it and only use it sometimes.

The other thing I wondered was… Is the joint pain about running on the flat or is it about running on tarmac rather than soft ground? I definitely noticed a difference with how comfortable my joints are depending on whether or not I am running on soft ground.

Keep up that lovely running and find your own way to enjoy it.

Good luck 😄

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30 minutes running is an amazing achievement. Just think where you were just a couple of months ago. I’m planning on practicing 30 mins running and not going to worry too much about hitting the 5k. I’m sure this may come with time when we build more confidence and stamina. I’m sure there aren’t a lot of people who cover 5k by week 9. Keep going and enjoy the journey 😊

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I think couch to 5k is just a catchy name for the original programme, of which there are many variations. Some of them have an option to aim for a distance in the later weeks and I think it's usually stated as an either/or thing, if everyone tried to hit both I think it wouldn't do so well for so many people.

Couch to 30 min is just a bit less catchy, and there are 5K races but not 30 minute races, which wouldn't really make sense so perhaps it's a more appealing name ... but I personally like the focus on time rather than distance :-), very happy with the NHS plan, which doesn't mention distance other than the name!

Also Midriff_Crisis there was a poll that people refer to sometimes, they said something like 95% don't graduate "on time" and "with distance".

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Don't be disappointed; you are doing a great thing! Very few of us will be running a sub 30 minute 5k after 9 weeks but hey, does it really matter? Could you run at all 9 weeks ago?

Irish-John did a poll about this a few months back- have a look; very interesting.

I did my graduation run covering about 4K and I am still very slow, but I run 5k two or three times a week and sometimes run 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 k.

This makes me happy and you should be happy (and proud) too :)

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Don't beat yourself up. Running for 30 mins is a huge achievement. If it makes you feel better you're faster than me 😀

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Thanks guys! These words really do help! I will keep on keeping on!!!!

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Aaah I just re-read your original post and see you used to do 10Ks and triathlons, amazing! You've done brilliantly to get to the end of C25K and you'll be running for miles and miles before you know it (though do progress nice and steadily :) )

Couldn't offer any wisdom about the flat tarmac vs woody terrain but I guess people say the tarmac's a bit rougher on your joints. I don't know whether your shoes make an appreciable difference, do you have trail or road shoes?

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Only did one 10k!!! Moment of madness combined with weight loss years ago and got carried away!

I do have trail shoes for woods and normal trainers for road. I may need to work up road running more steadily! I am really pleased as I am doing this now being overweight so it does feel like more of an achievement!

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This is right about where I am currently.... I just try to keep reminding myself that 30 mins of running is AWESOME!!! And hey... we graduate this week too... so there's that! ;)

I also try to remind myself that if i do too much too fast I will injure myself and set myself back even further!

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You shouldn't be disillusioned you are doing amazingly. If you were like me and didn't do any running before the programme think how far you've come. I don't do inclines so well done you I'm super impressed. 👏

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Nooooo I feel sad that you are feeling deflated by the wording of this programme - look at what you have achieved! You are out there, running - for 30 mins too. You are a runner! Don't let any negative vibes spoil your fab achievement. It's not about speed it's totally about being a runner .. you have achieved that. Well done to you, this is the time to feel proud! Keep going, you may gain speed but if not just enjoy as you are a winner.

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Which part of the C2r430m3xpw program did you fail at??? Not quite as memorable, but more honest. If you listen to St Laura on the Week One podcast, she clearly sets out the aim of the program.

I suspect that the surface of your hilly, wooded course is more soft and causes less impact on your joints. If you can, continue to run on that course & don’t worry about finding somewhere flat.

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Despite the misleading title of the plan, it does clearly state that the aim is to get you running for thirty minutes three times in a week, which for some is enough cover 5k.

If you really want to do 5k in 30 minutes then there is no reason why, with a lot of hard work and dedicated training, that you shouldn't make it, now you have laid the groundwork, but it is an arbitrary target.

If you run on flat tarmac you will almost definitely cover considerably more distance, compared to hilly woods, but the impact will inevitably be greater.

If you do one long run per week, only increase it by a maximum of 10% of your weekly total mileage, while your other runs remain at 30 minutes.

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I do plan to stick to the woods as personally I prefer it plus the runs double up as dog walks so killing two birds and all that!

I like the idea of the two 30 min and then increasing one each week. My aim has always been to do the park run every week so I think that will be my next goal. Maybe once I am running for 45 mins once a week!

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You’re doing brilliantly so don’t get despondent. The way I looked at it was that the app is there really to get you running for 30 mins 3 times a week, there are some crazy fast legged people out there that do complete the 5k in 30 mins by the end of the programme, being a part of this forum has shown me there are more that don’t! But that doesn’t matter. What we are doing is making ourselves fitter and healthier and happier and, eventually, we will be able to run longer. I finally ran 5k today, 3 months after graduating. I did it in my own time and at my own pace, it wasn’t in 30 minutes but that just means I’ll have something else to work towards. You’ll get there, just keep doing what you’re doing 👊🏼

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A poll here showed that less than 10% graduated "on time/with distance"

Personally, I have to admit I was a bit of an "achiever" myself - wanted to run "fast fast FAST!"

BUT - now a long spell on the IC has me realising....running at ANY speed is a bloody marvellous thing :)

I'm going to really be grateful when I get back on the road and the heck with "fast" ;)

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Just remember the only person you are competing with is yourself. This isn’t a race or marathon. You are doing great and from the first moment you donned those trainers and decided to do this you were a winner 👍🏻 Every single person doing c25k will win their fight for fitness and wellbeing. As for time you have the rest of your life to get your speed up. Just enjoy looking back at where you were when you started... just look how far you have come !!! Keep at it you’re doing great 🙌🏻x

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Thanks for the support I took on board what you said and have just covered 3km in my half hour - best distance so far. I covered more meadow and less woods as it definitely slows me down. I graduate on Sunday and am aiming to get my best distance so far as a little goal - so will prob be mainly grass!!!

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