Graduation post! Things I've learned, things I'm yet to learn

Well after nearly three days of being snowed in the village, I finally broke free to get to the gym this morning and completed my graduation run. I would say it was the easiest of week 9, but it's still hard! My aim is to get to a stage where I can easily complete, and also get to 5km (on about 4.5 right now).

To help get me through it, I had a long think about all the things I've learned on the C25K program, and thought about all the things I'm yet to find out. So I've got a list of each for you, whether you are new to this forum or one of our trust mentors!

Things learnt:

1. Treadmill running

I am a treadmill runner. Even without all the snow and ice this week, it has never been safe to run around where I live. Some people are in the same boat as me, while others don't have the confidence to run outside. Let me assure you that this programme is 100% doable on the treadmill. For anyone thinking about doing it on the treadmill, there is loads of advice on here about the settings, but most of all, I would just say do it! This has been my favourite thing I've done in years.

I'm sure it is different from running outside, but I'd say each have their own benefits and disadvantages. Personally, I like not having to worry about the weather, and being a number control freak with the dashboard. I used to run outside, and find them equally meditative experiences. When the weather gets warmer and the evenings get lighter in the Spring, I'll certainly return to the great outdoors, but until then, I'm happy on my little hamster wheel.

2. Music

Some people can run with music, others find the tempos distracting and can't. Personally I need it, but I found early on, it wasn't upbeat music I needed, just music I had an emotional connection with to get me through. One of my favourite moments in this programme was when the gym decided to play Labi Siffre's 'Something Inside So Strong', and nearly everyone took off their headphones in disbelief, had a powerful sing song, then plugged back in and we all sort of pretended it didn't happen. Nina Simone's Sinnerman also got me through a challenging run of week 5. Music is there for your motivation, not for a beat for your feet.

3. Mental

While at times this has been a little physically challenging, mostly, it's been mental for me. I used to always set distance or calorie targets when I exercised, so it was easier to work really hard and make them go by quicker. I'm inpatient. But this programme has taught me staying power. You can't run down a clock. You just have to work through it. I recently learnt how useful mantras are. And I'm sure as I go forward, I'll find more and more ways to keep my mind busy.

4. Advice

This forum is a god send. Listen to the mentors and admin on here. They have been running for years. Advice changes all the time, and things are often different for different people, but the people on here know their stuff.

Share your good and bad days on here, and everyone will be there to give you a clap on the back, or a nudge up the bottom.

5. Gear

The right gear matters. I only just learnt how important sports bras are, even if you aren't um, blessed. To do with jigglage, not size, it seems.

The right shoes will not only aid your running, they can prevent all manner of injuries.

For me, sleeveless tops in the gym are a must, as, without all that fresh air, it can get very warm, even if it is a 'cool' band tee. 😎

6. Weight loss

So, I know it's been said that this is not a weight loss programme. That doesn't mean you wont lose weight (I lost nearly half a stone). But, I wouldn't count on losing weight if you starting out, that's all. Saying that, it will give you the tools (legs and lungs) to form a really good spring board!

Which leads me to...

Things I'm yet to learn

1. Weight loss

What cardio can I do on rest days? I'm not 'overweight' according to my BMI, but I'd like to be more comfortably in the normal bracket, maybe lose 15-20 pounds. Can I use the cross trainer on rest days to support some more weight loss?

2. Running frequency

I know I am only just a graduate, but will there come a point where I'm able to run on consecutive days?

3. 10K?

I know everyone is different... but on average how long does it take people to bridge the gap between 5 and 10km? I plan to consolidate a lot first, making one run a week a push-as-hard-as-I-can run, and the other two at a pace I'm comfortable at. But once I get to a time I'm happy with for 5km, from then, how many weeks training do people advise to get to 10km?

I'm sure I will have more questions going forward, but for now, that's all, from a very happy recent graduate.

17 Replies
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Well done! I'm still waiting to do week 9 after my calf injury and now the weather. We do have a gym at work, but unlike you I hate running on a treadmill as 30 minutes seems an eternity without having to think about crossing roads, negotiate obstacles and having the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

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That's why I need songs to break it up! I certainly empathise. Twice this 'week' I've been delayed. It's so frustrating when you can see the end in sight. You'll get there though. Supposed to warm up from midday today

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I need songs too. I've not tried soothing stuff though, so might give that a go and hope it doesn't slow me down. Queen's "Don't stop me now" is one of my favourites to keep me going!

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Congratulations DoYouRemember🏅

Enjoyed reading your post! Sums the journey up perfectly for me. Happy running!

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Thank you! Happy running to you too

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Well done.

1.The problem here is the use of the phrase 'rest days'. Just don't run on those days, but cross training, rowing, cycling, etc are all good. The rest is from the high impact on your legs from running. I will add that it would be good to leave at least one day per week when you don't do anything. See: livestrong.com/article/2428...

2. I have seen it said 6 months, but I think the most commonly accepted time is a year.

3. There are plenty of programmes out there which will have you doing 10km in 6 weeks.

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Thank you! This is really useful.

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Great post and I absolutely agree with everything you say. Congrats on graduating, absolutely brilliant. I have also just graduated and am just going to do consolidation runs between now and New Year then ease into Bridge to 10k. I'm aiming to be able to get to 10k by midsummer but it might come earlier. Well done again. 😁

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Congratulations to you too!

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Great stuff , well done 👏👏

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Thank you

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Congratulations and well done you; what a great post. Welcome to the Graduate club.

Personally, I'm strictly an 'outdoors' person, but I can see the pros of treadmill running in wintry weather. Like you, music is a must for me - I've loaded my iTunes with all my favourite songs and wait to see what pops up next. (Today's random mix included George Michael, Guns 'n' Roses, Jimmy Sommerville and Kate Bush!) Enjoy your post-grad running - and good luck with your quest to get to 10k. Happy running ...

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Well done! So pleased for you. didnt you also say you'd been able to ditch your inhaler?

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Yes sort of, my doctor said I am no longer asthmatic, but I haven't used my inhaler in a long time. Considering I didn't breathe for 8 minutes when I was 16 and am only here because of how fantastic paramedics are, it's a big relief!

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fantastic x

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Thanks! How is your week going?

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I don't know how I missed this - congratulations! Great post too - so useful and encouraging for anyone just starting out (especially those who intend to follow the programme using a treadmill some or all of the time).

It's brilliant that you have been able to go without your inhaler too - that alone surely makes it worthwhile - and well done on your weight loss too. Wishing you lots of happy running!

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