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Couch to 5K
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I’ve done it!!!

Well....I’ve just finished W9R3 and I’m over the moon! Never thought I’d be able to achieve that. I’m nowhere near 30 mins for the 5K distance, but I have ran a few 5K’s now with my local running club- which I hesitate to join as I’m by far the slowest but they are so supportive and positive! From my first time of 41:52 and have now managed to get it down to 36:43. I don’t find it easy by any means and sometimes get disheartened as the “30 mins” looks so out of reach. My question now to you wonderful people is - do I keep trying to lower my 5K time or should I start to run for longer and accept it’s going to be slower? I’ve heard a lot about “Jeffing” basically a walk-run-walk method - the same as C25K teaches us. Now I’m hooked with this running lark my aim is to run 10K. I’m not competitive, and I’m doing this really for my own well being, both physically and mentally. I love the buzz you get when the run is over and when the going gets tough that’s what I try to focus on. Knowing that I’m not competitive I have done a “virtual race” and got my first medal! Some might think it’s an odd thing to do, but for me it was a positive decision and now my first medal is sitting there makes me want to add more to my collection. Any thoughts or comments will be appreciated! Thank you for all the support so far!!

11 Replies

Congratulations on graduating! I’m on W3 so I don’t have any advice I’m afraid, just a huge well done!👏🍾🏃‍♀️

Liz x



I graduated 3 years ago, have run loads of 5k parkruns, numerous 10ks and I'm now training for a half marathon. However I still can't run 5k in 30mins. It's really not an unusual scenario and your next step depends on your interest really and it seems to me that you are keen to go for the 10K so there lies your answer - at least for now.

Loads of us run to compete only with ourselves but I'll admit I do enjoy large 10K events that are well organised, result in a medal and t-shirt at the end and are so big there's no way I'm coming last!

Also I ran/walk the first few 10ks I did. My goal was always to finish the distance and that's what I had to do to achieve that. It's a great way to up the distance either at first or as a permanent solution.

I'm excited for you because I know what a blast I've had these last few years since graduating C25k and if you have even half as much fun as I've had and make as many new friends (get yourself to parkrun if you can!) then you're going to love it.


Thank you for your advice and it follows sort of what I was thinking. I am not going to worry about timing for 5K and achieveing a sub 30. Any where between 35-40 mins will do me! My aim now is to achieve 10K so think I will start following the 5 to 10K app. Maybe one day I might feel confident enough to enter a 10K race!

Many thanks for your advice👍

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Congratulations on completing the C25K programme. Not sure I am the best to give advice on this but I agree with Atalaya - personally I graduated 1 month ago and ran my 1st 5k a week ago in just under 45 minutes. I plan to run a mix of 3/4/5km to continue to build up my stamina but if you are running 5k already I would suggest keep running 30 mins or thereabouts for a month and then gradually increase distance. Check out the Bridge to 10k forum for advice on getting to 10k.

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Many congratulations on your graduation.

I am not a competitive runner having done only one organised 10k race, alongside parkruns every few months, but running still has a lot to offer in sheer life affirming experiences.

This post epitomises my feelings about running healthunlocked.com/couchto5...……………...highlight-of-the-year and hopefully communicates it to others.

Go wherever your running takes you.


Thank you for sharing your link. How beautiful your photos are! Such an inspiration and an amazing run! Like you I don’t think I’m into competitive running. I have done one Park Run and although my time was pretty good for me, I felt so deflated as the faster runners overtook me. I felt a failure at the end ......and that’s a horrid feeling to have!

I’m looking forward to getting out more in daylight hours, and challenging myself. Happy running!


Congratulations. I think you need to find your optimum running speed for the distance you want, there's nothing wrong in trying to go faster if you feel that's where it is at. Likewise as said there is no requirement to go quicker if you don't want to. I have found I don't always run optimally so feel I'd like to get my own time down a bit and believe it will come down as my body strengthens to meet the demands. I did try the c25k stepping stones podcast and found I knocked 2 mins off my time without even trying to, so there may be fuel in the tank you haven't tapped into yet.. or not, it's entirely your call. I will be joining you on the journey to 10k also as I think I'd rather chase stamina and longer running as a greater goal :)

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It sounds like you’ve answered your own question there - if you want to do a 10k, focus on increasing your distance. You’ll probably find your pace increases as a result anyway. If you haven’t already done so, get yourself over to the Bridge to 10k forum, where you’ll see plenty of familiar faces and some superb advice and training programmes.

When I did my first 10k, I certainly hadn’t done a sub-30 5k and wondered how it would ever be possible. But remember when running for 30 minutes seemed like an impossible task? If you keep running, you’ll keep making progress, and those times will keep coming down.

Good luck! 💕

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Brilliant. Congratulations to you. Very interesting post too.

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Congratulations on graduating and also your 5k progress! Where you go from here is up to you but once you have consolidated that 5k a little, the world is your oyster! Many of us have been unable to resist the challenge of running further and also faster (I found that my 5k pace naturally increased over time, especially as I introduced longer runs) but it entirely depends on you and what you enjoy! What I would say is try to include some strength and flexibility workand/or cross training, as this will increase strength, and protect you from risk of injury. Happy running!🙂


Well done Allia and congrats on completing the program.

I wouldn’t get hung up on the time thing, what ever pace is comfortable for you, Everyone is different.

The main thing is that your out there and running.

Good luck with the 10K



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