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Couch to 5K
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W3,R2..directors cut edition

Hello, just wanted to add some extra musings to my post earlier, I often just write the post as I get in from run, then later on think, mmmh should of mentioned that...

So....this week 3 is a strange little fish, it swings between feeing hard, the 3 minute bits and then at the end it seems to be over very suddenly, I think it only last 15 minutes or so . I definetly feel as if the first weeks felt harder and longer with the 7/8 one minute et al runs intersected by walkings . I felt like I had somehow cheated this morning by how sudden the session ended.

I see that next week I will have to do 5 minutes runs..😱....I wonder if the people who can now run for 20 minutes ( the beautiful but freaks that you are) can recall at what point length of times didn’t seem intimidating? I’ve started using the , “spot a familiar landmark like a bench or tree on route and just keep going to that” method..and hope jo wiley tells me to start walking by the time I’m there

I don’t think I’m a natural runner, I see others with free flowing arms and lovely long strides and then there’s me with more of a plodding , teeth gritted gasping gait😂

The only thing I do have in reserve is that I am as stubborn and as pig headed as a mule , wife can testify , and that’s what normally pulls me through the pod cast or indeed the park run experience last week. When does running become enjoyable?

Anyhow , there you are, the full musings and wonderings ...I’ll charge you extra if you want to read in blue ray

Laters 👋🏻

8 Replies

I think the first weeks are much harder than we realise; we focus only on the minutes we are running and treat the walking as something negligible. But honestly, the week before we decided to start C25K, how many of us found a brisk 30 minute walk easy? I found the first weeks ridiculously hard, but shortly before I got to the infamous wk5r3 20 minute run, I realised that it was starting running again after I’d been walking that I was finding hardest, and actually felt very positive about the change to one longer continuous run. In fact I almost cried when I saw the first 2 runs of week 6 were broken up again.

Again and again, if you read this forum, people that have done it will say, trust the plan, it works. And it does. Today I did my w7r3, and you know, after about 15 minutes I realised that I felt better running at that moment than I did doing a brisk walk at the start of the programme. Michael Johnson told me (me! imagine! ) I am now a runner at the end of week 6, but today I know I am. It feels good.

Good luck with the rest of the programme, I know you can complete it. I think the moment running starts to bring us joy is different for all of us, but I hope you find it soon. I think it’s worth the wait and the effort :)

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They still feel intimidating till i get out there, then they feel inspiring and exhilarating, but the magic turning point for me was week 5 run 3/20 minutes. That's when i felt I wasn't pretending anymore and could actually run.


It just sort of 'happens'. I remember where I was the day that I suddenly realised that my legs were 'carrying me' and it was as if the top half of my body was just along for the scenery and it wasn't me doing the running. Really weird.

Or the moment when you realise you are breathing in your nose and out your mouth without actually realising it.

And dont worry about all the beautiful lithesome gazelles that go bounding past with ponytails swooshing back and forth or stomachs as chiselled as a pebbled beach. My style is 'dying man in desert stumbling towards oasis' but I can keep that going for over 40 minutes.

Dont think of them as 5 minute runs. Think of them as just under 2 of your favourite songs.

Enjoy the journey.



Don't trouble yourself about the leaping gazelles. They will have their tough moments too. If you have got that stubbornness and gritty determination then you have no problem whatsoever and you will get wherever you want to be in time.

As GingerBohemian says above, there will suddenly be moments like the ones he describes (perfect examples) and you'll realise you are making progress. And yes, enjoy the journey, that's what counts. Those moments of having "robolegs" or feeling yourself beaming as you run are priceless, you could live for them. In fact, you have already noticed it getting easier... Good luck and keep running!


I still have those runs when I am a gazelle, others a thundering elephant and at my most tiredness I run like Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques.

I just can't do the long strides thing, but I don't stress about it, as lots of running guides tell you that trying to extend your natural running pace can lead to injuries. So I am a small paced, thundering elephant at times, but when it is at its most enjoyable, is really difficult to determine why it should be so. Just sometimes it comes together as a perfect run, it's the route, how you feel, the weather and for me the music. And it's those runs, that help me on the grotty ones.

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Just keep running... and running....but slowly and gently...relax..breathe...

Use that wonderful stubborn pig pigheadedness.... but in a positive way...:) You are doing this...not finding it easy, or enjoyable yet, still doing it, so..pull back... relax...and head onwards..

"Stubborn about your goals....flexible in the your methods"

1 like

A good question and to be honest I'm not sure quite when/how it happened for even after completing c25k running 5k was still very much a challenge and getting to the end of it was as much a relief as a pleasure.

Now however it has very much become a joy and tomorrow I am off out to run 8.5 miles and am looking forward to it with joyful anticipation


Just to say I am at the same stage as you and am a little scared of the 5 minutes of week 4! Its been interesting to see the responses you have had!

Think I have been bitten by the bug though - sometimes I just want to get out there and go. Defintiely most applicable to outdoor running in the dark/in remote places away from prying eyes though! :-)

Keep going and I'll see you at the finish! x


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