Couch to 5K
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Hi, I graduated on Monday and going forward I want to get fitter where I’m able to run 30 mins comfortably. Do you think that’s ok? As in the programme it kept pushing you that much extra each week.

My plan is to run 30 mins twice a week and a midweek 20 min run (as that’s all the time I get due to work and kids) Do you think that’s ok?

This morning I did a 20 min run and actually enjoyed it! Want to be able to say that about the 30 min ones.

What would you advise?

Thank you

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You should do whatever keeps you running and enjoying it. :) 2 x30 and 1x20 sounds a great plan for that.

Over time your performance will improve and those 30 mins runs will become easier, and you'll likely get faster. You may even get a yearning to go further.. time will tell ;)

All that said.. if the reason you want to do 20 mins is because you are afraid of 30 mins then you really need to face into it, as said it will become easier but only through repetition. If you start on a path of fear where you keep lowering your goals, you'll end up back on the couch. Most of your time is in putting your kit on and having a shower afterwards so is 10mins more that much to spare?

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I actually don’t have the extra 10 mins 😞 As I do the midweek run before work but after the school run, I already get to work a bit late with just a change of shirt over all black joggers that can pass off as trousers! And can’t go in the evenings again due to the age of my kids. So it’s just the weekend that allows me to go and Monday my day off work!

So you see it’s purely a time issue although I won’t lie and I do enjoy the 20mins more than the 30 at the moment! 🤨😏

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Well you can only use the free time you have available :) Maybe you should teach the kids to run to school ;)

I don't think there's any real requirement to do 3 times a week though if twice a week means you can get to work in trousers rather than joggers lol :)

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😂😂

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Have you joined the Bridge to 10k forum, since you can already run 5k in a good time. Lots of advice on there about what to do after graduation if you ask them 😊

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I haven’t yet as a bit daunted by the very word- 10k!

I want to get comfortable with the 30mins/5k first. (I’ve only run 5k once! So stil afraid of it!)

I will sign up for a park run in March and maybe after that look at other challenges.

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I joined it inadvertantly by clicking to see what it was about. I was welcomed. It isnt just for people who can run 5k (I havent yet) and Ive had some sound and helpful advice on there about how to proceed now Ive graduated. Lots of familiar faces on there.

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Ok soon 👍😊🤗

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Me too, and it's just as friendly as this board, so don't worry. I haven't posted on there, but I drop in for a bit of motivation from time to time. (You know what, I think most of them were just like us once.)

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The question for me to answer now is will I ever be like them? 😂

However my aim was just to be able to run 5k and now it is to be able to maintain that level of fitness and be consistent with doing 3 runs a week and stay committed to that.

Haven’t thought beyond that just yet but will nip in and have a look at the bridge to 10k for tips and ideas as you say. 😊😊

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Dear Vish-runs

You've already achieved so much (look at the new posts and see how many are from people just starting the programme - that is no longer you - YOU'RE a graduate). No one on here is into oneupmanship - in fact it's more like a cult ;) - they want us all to worship the running gods. (Of course I'm exaggerating.) Please don't think that there is a standard you are somehow not meeting. That standard does not exist here; all that counts is getting out there.

Love Lizz xxxx

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Hi Vish-runs,

yes, consolidate with regular 30 minute runs and a shorter run too will all help build your stamina and running legs.

Try running at a bit more of a slower steadier pace for your 30 mins, you will find the run easier if you find your comfortable, sustainable pace. I always try to start my run slowly and let it build once past the first 8 to 10 minutes while taking on oxygen.

You could also try the c25k + podcasts which are three different runs with coaching and something different for c25k graduates.

Happy running.😊 x

Here are links to the podcasts and a post about the toxic ten which you may find of interest..

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

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Thank you. Will try the podcasts.

Yes was informed about the toxic 10 and always remember to take deep breaths when doing my warm up walk and also when I start getting tired. Thanks

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It's great you enjoyed that 20 mn run! It's what you're aiming at first of all: to enjoy yourself so that you don't even have to ask yourself the question am I going for a run today or not. So, any combination that suits your mood and keeps you motivated is fine. I think it's great to have the possibility to go for a shorter run when you feel tired or that you have less time (I do not completely agree with pinkaardvark that 10 mns more is not that much different: when you are in a hurry before going back to work and you need to get a shower, it IS 10 mns more ;-).

I went for my first run yesterday after a nearly two-week break due to a bad cold. On my last run before the break, I had run more than 40 mns, very slowly on purpose for the first 5 km and then quicker on the last ten and sprinted for the last minute. So, I was quite anxious about how I would cope with yesterday's run because as a beginner, I still feel that the stamina could go away. But no: I thought I would go for a 20 mn run (I listened to Week 6 R2) and break into walking if I felt really bad. But in fact, I did 28 mns because I felt fine and I alternated slow jogging making sure I landed on the forefoot with more "natural" running (landing on middle foot for me except when I sprint). I'm planning to go for a shorter run Friday evening if not too much pollution in the air as I'm still coughing a bit. But I might end up doing 30 mns...

My point is: go for a run and if you feel comfortable, run a little bit longer than you had planned. The first objective is to enjoy yourself and feel you run easily. But as Jan and Flick advised, try the podcasts for graduates when you feel ready and you can join the 10k forum.

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Thank You for your reply. Much appreciated. Yes want to enjoy the runs. Will strive to run 30mins twice a week and the for the 3rd run will have to play it by ear- 20mins and if doing ok with time then maybe run a while longer 😊

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I did 40ish minutes the other day because I felt as if I could keep going. I didnt feel tired and had no aches and pains, but I followed it with an easy 25 minute run today.

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You are an inspiration 🤩

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Very kind of you, but loads of people running further and faster than me. You run furter than me!

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Sounds like a good plan to me....

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That sounds like a plan---the programme is only pushing you to get your body capable of that regular 30 minute run. I wouldn't stress over 5k--running any distance three times a week puts you far ahead of the rest of the population in terms of activity and will deliver all sorts of health benefits.

if the 30 minute runs are a bit of a struggle then that means your body is still adapting so you will find they get easier. If you only have 20 minutes you could always try upping the pace a bit, which will then set you up for the 30 minute runs. I haven't tried it but there's a "speed" podcast on the NHS site which only takes 16 minutes: (https://www.nhs.uk/tools/documents/antbits_dl/data/Couch-to-5k-plus/accessible.html

Also, why not start tracking your runs using a phone app like Strava or even invest in a Fitbit (I have a Charge 2 and I love it)? They're just a bit of fun really but you'll be able to see that you're still improving, even within your tight schedule.

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Yes thank You. I will download Strava. Good idea about tracking my runs. I used to be very unfit and now that I’ve been running I’ve become a lot happier and have gained some confidence and don’t want to loose that after coming so far. So really appreciate your reply. Thank you

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