FAQ Post C25K COMPLETED…….WHAT NEXT? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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IannodaTruffe profile image
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When you've read this guide, please come and join in the chat at the latest pinned Consolidation Club post! healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

So you have completed C25k by running for thirty minutes, three times in a week? Congratulations, you have made an amazing start in running and all sorts of opportunities are opening up for you, but do be aware that at the moment, if you have scrupulously followed the plan, with no reruns, you have run for a grand total of 8 hrs and 9 minutes. While you may feel you have climbed a mountain, that you can now do anything, do remember that you are still a very, very new runner and you will continue to be so for many months ahead, however hard you train.

You may have completed the programme now, but please don't feel that there is no place for you on the C25k forum. It is graduates who can supply practical first hand advice and inspiration for those following in your footsteps, so please keep looking in and having your say and inspiring the next cohort.

It is very common for new C25k graduates, heading out on their own for the first time, to have their first injury, simply because they believe they have conquered running and become superhumans. Please don’t make the foolish mistake of doing too much too soon. You don’t want to stop your progress now by heading to the Injury Couch. Just to rub it in, this salutary tale is a good message with which to start your post C25k journey. healthunlocked.com/couchto5....

Okay, sermon over, you want to know what to do next. As at any stage in running, when you have increased your running distance or duration over a few weeks, it is good practice to consolidate for a short period, bedding in all that effort. Having just finished C25k, it is a good idea to continue to run for 5k/30 minutes (whichever you achieved during the plan) for a few weeks, trying different paces and routes and just enjoying your new found ability, without having to increase duration week on week as you have just done in the programme. Take the pressure off, have fun, run somewhere beautiful and new, forget about pace. While you are doing this consolidating, you are also helping to ingrain the habit of running in your life. It is said to take twelve weeks of changed behaviour to create a habit, so three weeks consolidation gets you there. Many struggle at this stage, without a plan to follow, so there is now a monthly Consolidation Club post on this forum, to help new graduates work through this period, which you can find in the Pinned Posts column. healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

One thing that I think all runners should experience, at least once, is the joyous worldwide and free movement that is parkrun. People power at its best. Once you have graduated C25k, even if you have not yet reached 5k in 30 minutes, parkrun is well within your reach and it will expose you to the wonderful world of running with others. Many people walk part, if not all, of the course, but they are welcomed, included, encouraged and invariably cheered across the line. It is only a race against yourself and a wonderful opportunity to have an accurate time for an accurately measured 5k run, under your belt. You will not be judged….do it. Don’t forget that you can put your club as NHS C25k, when you register for parkrun. parkrun.org.uk/

In your consolidation weeks, think about some targets that you want to aim for. It is really helpful psychologically to have some achievable short, medium and long term aims for your running. Something you can tick off on a weekly basis is a good idea to start with, to maintain that feeling of achievement that C25k does so well each week. Have a plan for every run. You might aim to run somewhere new, run up a particular hill or hills, hit a certain pace for a given distance, or just cover more ground in a given time. The possibilities are endless and as a new runner you will find it easy to create new challenges and PBs will probably come thick and fast………..unfortunately, that will not last, improvement tends to slow down, so don’t despair if you don’t get any new PBs for a while.

However, now you have given it some thought, you might want to run faster and further, run a 10k race, with a half marathon or marathon as your more distant targets, or you may just want to continue, more or less as you are to maintain your fitness, which is absolutely fine. If you are the latter, then bear in mind that the recommendation for cardio fitness is to do 150 minutes per week of heart rate raising exercise.

Nearly everybody wants to get faster, whether they are a whippet or a plodder and you might think that now you are beyond the programme that you are beyond being told to slow down…..not so. Now is when you really have to learn about running and take it seriously if you want to progress. Read this about pace and take it on board runnersworld.com/running-ti...

Running hard on every run really is the rookie runner’s number one mistake, so learn to vary your pace. This next article covers how to run faster and also stresses the fact that most of your running needs to be slow getactiverunning.com/single... Don’t expect miracles. Speed requires strength and technique, all of which will improve over time if you work at them. Apparently, most recreational runners spend too much time at a middling pace, not spending 75-80% of their time at an easy conversational pace and not pushing hard enough when upping the pace for the remainder.

For those of you who may think it is just the admins on the C25k forum who bang on about slowing down, have a look at this enlightening Training Pace Calculator runnersworld.com/uk/trainin... put in your 5k pb and you will see just how slow you are recommended to run most of your weekly miles.

It is very easy for those muscles that you are using all the time to run, to develop out of balance with their supporting musculature. Most runners discover the importance of having better general fitness and strength than running alone can give you, which is why CBDB has produced this twelve week Consolidation and Strength Training plan that will see you maximising your running ability in just a few weeks. healthunlocked.com/strength...

Exercises such as these keep everything moving along together and continuing with other non impact exercise alongside, really will make you a better runner. It is not just about legs. My personal experience of this phenomenon was when I ran my first ten mile runs, I developed lower back pain, I believe because of relatively weak core strength. Doing regular core strengthening exercises certainly cured the problem.

During your consolidation period you could look at the C25k+ podcasts, designed to help you with speed, stamina and technique. nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

For those who have used the podcasts, the Goddess Laura is your coach again and it is an opportunity for app users to see what they have been missing. Say no more!

The C25k+ Speed podcast is obviously addressing speed, but all your running, if you keep it frequent is adding to the strength of your running body and it is wise not to spend too much time pushing pace. Many pros use an 80/20 easy/hard split in their running regimes and the results of training with such a scheme are admirably laid out in this post by our very own Tomas healthunlocked.com/marathon...

Personally, my speed increased as I increased my distance after C25k. It was not necessarily the distance itself that made the difference, but the fact that I was getting more miles on my legs overall and in a shorter time than if I had stuck at 5k runs. The normal way to increase distance is to increase one run per week, keeping the others at 5k/30 mins, or less if you wish. The golden rule is the 10% Rule, which states that you should not increase your long run (or your overall training load) by more than 10% of your total weekly mileage, this is purely to stop you from overdoing it. I did some research on this a while back and this was the result healthunlocked.com/couchto5....

It is certainly a good guide to have, especially for your first year or two of regular running.

Next, let’s look at the average C25k graduate at the end of Week 9 Run 3. You will be grinning and hopefully pink and smug, although some report being a bit deflated because they have fallen short of 5k in 30 minutes, which is totally unnecessary, because they are in the company of nearly 90% of graduates on this forum who also do not hit that target. This poll healthunlocked.com/couchto5.... which you can now contribute to, illustrates the distance covered by graduates. To have run for thirty minutes non stop is a huge achievement, of which you should be very proud. You have already improved the functioning of your heart, lungs and circulation and statistically reduced your risk of a vast range of life limiting diseases, so this is no time to say, “I’ve done that.” and go back to the couch. For many in this situation the next obvious target is to reach that magical and mythical and totally arbitrary distance of 5k. Using the 10% rule as your guide, just add to your distance on one run each week. Unless your pace fluctuates wildly, you can use time instead of distance as your increase. For instance, if you are running 3x30 minutes then you can add 10% of that total, 9 minutes, to your run. Of course you can also add a lower figure, say 2 or 5 minutes instead and keep your progress steady and safe. That 5k will soon be yours. One thing all runners have to accept is that their current performance is what it is and find a route forward. Your pace is your pace, don’t compare!

The enthusiastic graduate also wants to start running every day but patience is essential here. The following article suggests having at least six months of running under your belt before starting to run on consecutive days, but if you read it carefully, that is if you are also doing plenty of aerobic strengthening work on non run days and it also states that the over 40s need to take extra care before increasing training load. runnersworld.com/for-beginn...

My advice is to be cautious here and wait for a year or so before running consecutive days. Even then, when you do start, never follow a hard run with a hard run on the following day, introduce the runs following the 10% rule regarding overall training load and have a rest day each week. Rest days from all strenuous physical exercise are essential. In fact many sources say that every runner should have a non running rest week every few months. In my experience you will return refreshed and reinvigorated. It is all too easy to “overtrain”, even running three days a week, so listen to that body and rest it.

For general info on running for new runners it is always worth checking out runnersworld.com/beginner/

That covers most of the general stuff that you need to be aware of, so let’s look at routes forward. If you have made the decision to aim for a marathon, you could follow a beginner’s marathon training plan, but frankly, you need to take things by easy steps and aiming for 10k first can become your intermediate target.

There are a host of 10k training plans to choose from and what you go with is down to your personality. I enjoyed the liberation of having completed C25k and made my own way to 10k using the 10% rule which doesn’t take long, only a few weeks. On reflection, I would have been better off long term to have taken just a bit longer to reach that target.

On the Bridge to 10k forum there is an in- house 10k in which Ju-Ju has a rolling 8 week plan which involves 3 runs a week that help get you to 10k. Sample post: healthunlocked.com/bridgeto...

There is also the Marathon and Race Support forum whereby you can get race preparation support and lots of other advice and help for your running journey ( you don’t have to be training for a marathon!!). healthunlocked.com/marathon...

There are loads of other training plans available from the likes of Hal Higdon halhigdon.com/training-prog...

Nike nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/running...

Runner's World runnersworld.com/training/a... and many others that you can find with a simple search for running training plans.

Many of the tracking apps such as Runkeeper, Strava and Endomondo have training plans which you can run from the app. There are also a host of other apps available through Playstore or app store with plans up to marathon distance. I have not used any of these, but I know several people who have used the Bluefin 10k app bluefinapps.com/bridge-to-1...

Our very own forme forum chief of admin, Her Royal Highness, Realfoodieclub has adapted some training plans for slower runners, which you can find here realfoodieclub.ovh/page14.html

Up to about 10k, or one hour duration, you do not need to think much about special preparation if your hydration and nutrition are adequate and well balanced. Beyond that distance you will probably notice a drop in performance if you do not keep hydration topped up and fuel supplies maintained. I first noticed this when I ran my first ten mile (16k) runs, with each kilometre split beyond 12k showing a flagging pace. Over 12k, I always carry water in a waist belt, although I have bought an excellent Kalenji lightweight running backpack, with a 2 litre bladder, which should mean, from a hydration point of view, I can keep going all day. The secret on long runs is to start topping up your fluids from about 5k, little and often to keep the supply available to the body.

As far as fuel is concerned, there are proprietary gels available, but many runners use jelly babies, dates or similar, just to maintain a supply of available sugars. How and what you use will be very individual and needs to be experimented with to find your best solution. Don’t make the mistake that a mate of mine did, trying out a gel for the first time in the middle of the London Marathon. It had horrible results, which would have been worth discovering before race day.

Don’t believe that if you are trying to lose weight, you don’t need to fuel up while on longer runs. While running longer durations of over an hour will begin to work on fat deposits, you still need the quickly available sugars during your run. As with C25k, a good broad based diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg will help you along the way. There is no need for carb loading, or indeed any alteration to a balanced diet, for any run up to half marathon distance, although it is considered beneficial by some to have a good protein fill within an hour of finishing a longer run, as well as replenishing your fluids.

Once you have done the training, you can run every week in an organised race if you wish. Road, cross country or obstacle course, all open up to you now you are a runner. runnersworld.com/uk/news/a3... is just one of many running websites that list events of all types and distances. I won’t cover races here, simply because others are eminently more experienced in this aspect of running than me. So, my challenge is, who is going to write the guide to running races?

I am not a competitive runner and for me just being outdoors in beautiful surroundings covering a decent amount of ground is enough to satisfy my soul. Cross country runs over 10-16k are my favourites, especially in new environments. This was my favourite run of 2017. healthunlocked.com/couchto5... To maintain my fitness for doing these at the drop of a hat, my regime for the past four years, has been two 5k runs and a longer 10-12k run each week, although my personal situation has meant I have not been able to sustain this recently and, as with anybody, if they let the fitness slip, I will have to gently build up my distances again, with the 10% Rule as my guide. Use it or lose it prevails.

The important thing to remember is that slow and steady progress is definitely the best way forward. I have known runners from this forum complete their first marathon within a year of starting to run. It is possible, but it has often been a struggle and in my opinion, taking a bit longer to get there is much less likely to result in injury and to be honest, training for longer runs takes a lot of mental adjustment too, if that training is not going to become a chore that has to be got through, which can easily rob your running of all the enjoyment.

After all, you definitely want to keep running, keep smiling.

There are more FAQ posts giving general information here healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

133 Replies

Thankyou for posting this 😊 i reckon i am quite slow so once i graduate i plan on working towards ACTUALLY running 5k in 30 minutes...i am not worried about how long that takes me...😊

Jerichomile profile image
JerichomileGraduate in reply to

Hidden, I relate to your point. That’s pretty much where I’m at too. In enjoying the process & don’t want to add another pressure.....as I started running partly to ease existing stresses. Hope you have a lovely time running. What’s your favourite type of place to run that you found so far? Mine is when I managed to find a way to do a week 7 run on a green lane with a good view over some fields.

Realfoodieclub profile image

Wow what a great post and so much thought and work, thank you. I have pinned the post so it will be easier for everyone to find when they need.

seaspaniel profile image

Excellent advice, some good ideas and nicely timed as I plan to graduate in next Saturday's Park run* and I was wondering what to do next. I have some personal things to attend to such as running with my children at their local Park runs as well as planning some interesting runs in the summer whilst on holiday. But what to do after that?

*If I run 5k in less than 30 minutes does it still qualify as a C25k W9R3 run or will I have to continue running until the 30 minutes is up?

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to seaspaniel

When I did C25k I just completed my 30 minutes or my route, whether or not I had done 5k in under 30 minutes. Why stop?

seaspaniel profile image
seaspanielGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

I will need to slow for the finishing funnel but I was thinking of running home afterwards (another 2km)

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to seaspaniel

That would be breaching the 10% rule.......which is there to help you avoid overdoing it.

Take care

Lizzisforliving profile image

That's so useful, thank you. I was beginning to feel lazy (or at least undisciplined) because in the 2 weeks since I graduated I have only run between 30 and 40 minutes each time out (only managed 40 minutes once!), but you've reassured me. It is also good to know that we should wait at least a year before running on consecutive days. I now understand that the planning and general progress needs to be slow and steady just like the actual time spent running, I'll keep on doing 30+ minutes for as long as it takes for me to get confident doing it.

Thank you very much

Love Lizz x

Millsie-J profile image

Brilliant piece iannodaTruffe. Lots of terrific info and advice for new and rising graduates.

DebJogsOn profile image

Brilliant well considered advice - and we'll timed for me - thanks!

Trying2run profile image

Excellent advice. Thank you

Irishprincess profile image

Great post IT and you've obviously put a lot of work into it. This should be given to every person who achieves their graduate badge.

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Irishprincess

Thanks, O'HRH. I will pass that suggestion to the Graduate Badge Faeries.

TJMazz profile image

Thanks for such a great post with lots of information. I graduated in November but I’m not yet able to run 5k in 30 mins. However, I’m enjoying doing a mixture of 30mins and 5-6k runs. The best thing I ever did was start C25k 😀

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to TJMazz

Enjoying your running is far more important than achieving some arbitrary pace or distance. Your last sentence is something I have said many times. A life changer.

TJMazz profile image
TJMazzGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Yes, it’s done wonders for my confidence in running and also gives me the opportunity to make time for myself. Loving it 😀

notoutofbreath profile image

Thank you so much, this is *perfect* timing for me! :)

MickGJ profile image

Interesting stuff. Getting to 5k was really important to me, doing it in 30 mins less so. My main "ambition" at the moment is just to keep running regularly rather than hit any other targets and so twice round the park two or three times a week might do me. But having other targets might help from a purely motivational point of view.

There's always Parkrun to ponder, too.

Sweatyfaced profile image

Thank you - fab post!!

Fishypieface profile image

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this really informative and helpful post. It must have taken you ages! It's so great to be reassured (I am actually doing most things right!) because we are all stabbing about in the dark to a certain extent, but no longer!! I'm glad it's been pinned as I'll be coming back to remind myself from time to time and read all the links. Great job :)

SueKen profile image

Hello IT. I’m not on the forum so much these days but have just read this fab post, and have been reminded again of all the lovely words of wisdom that got me to graduation and beyond. Hope you are doing OK.

MirandaT profile image

Great advice - so glad I read it before pushing too hard! Thanks!

saul01 profile image

Brilliant piece of writing there. Loads of info and food for thought.

JetsOwner profile image

Morning. The C25K is proving marvellous for me. I am doing Week 8 after repeating week 6 - bad snow meant I did very little for 5 days so I felt repeating W6 was a good plan. And when I first did a 20min run I could NOT believe it. This post of yours has been great because it addresses my new ‘concern’ - what to do when the program finishes. Thanks. My short term goals are to do a charity 5k run on 8 April and to start finding a good regular run route with my dog Jet in our woods. Then to combine 2 runs a week with Pilates. Then I’ll see how I am come Autumn. No rush. I am 51. Doing well. Great App and I am recommending it around. 🏃‍♀️

Katkin68 profile image

Thank you so much for this helpful post. I would like to use the C25k+ podcasts. Are they only available on iTunes, not Play?

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Katkin68

If you follow the link in the post it will take you to an MP3 podcast download. It is not an app.

Clareie profile image

What a great post! Thank you! I’ve just done W9R1 and was probably the first run where my legs felt like lead! I ran just over 4K which I was very happy with. I’m looking forward to graduating and am so pleased I’ve got so far. Just hope we have the discipline to keep it up so very happy to read some of your links and suggestions.

Sandraj39 profile image

Wow - what a fantastic resource of running related advice IannodaTruffe ! Thank you for posting this - have only just stumbled across it!

Birdsong53 profile image

Thank you Ian, some great advice there. It’ll take me a while to digest but I think the first thing I’ll do is register for park run. 😊

Thank you for posting this. Really helpful. I'm only just about to start W7 but I think I'm prob not alone in thinking what next.

janclifford profile image

What amazing advice - thanks so much. I’m lucky that I can run along Teignmouth sea front and this morning there was a seal just 10 feet off shore. I have joined park run and volunteered to help marshal if needed. I will follow your advice about increasing distance rather than speed and will try other running plans. Thanks again for your encouragement

Chaseme73 profile image

Brilliant read. Thank you!

baldybeardybill profile image

Fantastic post. Loads of info. Ta lots

TSword profile image

Thank you - really helpful advice on how to continue running. I particularly liked the 10% rule to increase distance and after reading this, I have agreed to do a Park Run with a friend - feel a little happier reading this that it is ok to walk if it gets too hard.

wyersmith profile image

Hi! I finished the c25k a month ago and have been doing some 5k runs and knocking a few secs off of pbs. I’m now looking for an app or podcast to help me with interval training to increase my speed and get below the magic 30 (currently just under 32). Any recommended? Ideally looking for something like structured Fartlek for a 30 min run (if you can have such a thing!) Do the nhs speed podcasts do that? Thanks! J

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to wyersmith

In the above post there are links to articles about increasing speed. I have not used any apps or podcasts since graduating, so am not in a position to personally recommend.

The C25k plus podcasts do address this.

The definition of fartlek is that it is playing with speed in an unstructured way, so I doubt if there is an app to help out. Just decide, as you run that you are going to up your pace up too the next lamp post, for instance, which is effective and under your control.

wyersmith profile image
wyersmithGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Ok. Thanks. J

lexiemcd profile image

What a great post - lots of information and good advice 😊

BaddieThePirate profile image

Thank you. I'm off to buy a new coach! No, not really. I've been talking to 2 of my friends about doing C25K so will support them, join in various park runs, and try and find a local running group to run with. I also intend to run all the way to my friend's house (she'll give me a lift back) and run further along the river and find out where it goes. Might enter a 5K fun run in Sept too 🙂

SirVillian profile image
SirVillianGraduate in reply to BaddieThePirate

Are you a Rovers fan? Good luck with your running plans, sounds fun.

BaddieThePirate profile image
BaddieThePirateGraduate in reply to SirVillian

I presume that's football, no not a fan of football.

cheekychipmunks profile image

Wow, thank you for all that fabulous advice IannodaTruffe. I graduated last Friday as a proud snail, and I’m very happy. Still, I like structure and being a newbie to running at 54, having someone guiding me post graduation is comforting. Your advice is very welcome, so thanks! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️😀😀

MandiV profile image

Thank you - I will come back and read this often!

Mallard1981 profile image

Fantastic read with loads of great advice. As a PE Teacher of ten years I've re-learnt a lot of things that Michael Johnson has given in advice during the programme. I've applied for next year's London Marathon. I'm looking for programmes to help me increase the distance and decrease the time taken. So that rule of 10% is interesting. Thank you again for a great read

59er profile image

Hi IannodaTruffe!

I have just completed W8R3 at the age of 59, so am beginning to wonder what’s next for me. This article has been really useful in giving me some good advice ( don’t push it - not that I think I could!) and slow and steady. I’ll be graduating in France next week and I have to say I’m with you when you say how much you like to run in new places.

Thanks for this article. I’ve screen shot all the sites you’ve recommended and am going to research them all and take it from there.

Wishing you well.

Mayanow profile image

Great article ian!! So many links to read on. Thank you so much for everything. And let me add you are so inspiring having achieved so much and with serious obstacles. I wish you the very best! Honestly. Thank you.

59er profile image

Thanks so much IannodaTruffe for this plethora of information. Realfoodieclub said that they’d ‘pinned’ this so to make it easier to find? So how do I find it again? Still not that tech savvy but I CAN run for 30 minutes 🤣

I love reading your posts - so much information and love for running - you are an inspiration to us all. I take my hat 🎓 off to you 🙏

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to 59er

Pinned posts are on the right hand side of the posts page. Once you find a page you like you can bookmark it, the method of which depends on your browser.

Glad to be of help.

HappyNoodle profile image

So good, I wish I had read this earlier although I didn’t realise I was running much faster until I ended the run where I strained my knees. I shaved 7 mins off of my time as it got much cooler so the ‘same exertion=a much faster run’ and now I’m out for 6-8 weeks. I have had lots of lovely messages from the super people on here that have made me feel much better about being laid up.

Languid_Lil profile image

Thank you so much for this Tim xxx


MVBrown profile image

Thanks for posting this advice for those completing week 9.

I like to work towards SMART goals, so sticking to 3x 30 minute runs are my first goal so I will be consolidation for a number of weeks as suggested by Iannoda Truffe.

Secondly, to use the podcasts as recommended and third to do park runs (might include it in one of my weekly runs).

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. I greatly appreciate it, as a newbie runner.

rancher profile image

Thank you, wonderful advice for a newbie graduate

Tanyat profile image

Wow! This is amazing advice! Really interesting and your links are really helpful! Will keep coming back to this post to read the articles when relevant ... but sage advice and inspirational too! Thank you 😊

Suse70 profile image

Great post C25K info & advice. Lots of things in there I wouldn't even have though about ( tho it seems obvious now) like the over 40s article! Still a bit in denial about that, 8 years in.😂😂😂

gallopinghairpin profile image

Thank you for such wonderful advice. I read this post time and time again when you tag it in your reply to posts. It is an invaluable message to us all.

sunshinefish profile image

Great article. I read it before I had graduated, and again just now as a graduate. Now a bit clearer of where I am going, definitely doing consolidation runs for 3 weeks (3 a week) and then see how close the 5k is, maybe a park run in there too in the holidays when I am a bit more rested ;)

Meganpippa profile image

What a fantastic post IT! Great advice. It's almost as if you have my back - great to know. Enjoy your day! 👏

zeidan profile image

I keep coming back for this post, it's very important and useful. Thank you so much.

I had a 10k run-walk last week, finished in 1:12 mnts! I ran 6 km, walked two, then ran 2km. No ijuries, only some nusea after one hour, maybe it was the sun, as I'm not used to running in the sun.

I'm more determined now to increase my pace in the 5k, only for fun and to maintain my weight.

I love running, and I love this forum so much coz I learn so much here.

IannodaTruffe profile image

Good to have you back.

Tony_68 profile image

Great info all in one place, as other posts have suggested, this should be shared with all graduates, I especially liked the detail and theory around a slow run,

Iwtdttad profile image

Thank you found that post very interesting xx🏃‍♀️

BananaRunner profile image

Great post thank you. I hope to need it soon!

Jjg123 profile image

Great post - thank you!

60yearsyoung profile image

Thank you so much for forwarding the link to post C25K running - what an invaluable source of information. I will definitely take on board the advice given to progress my running. I had visions of turning back into a "couch potato" as the information was so interesting I couldn't put it down! :)

Thank you for this. Lots for me to think about!

It took me 15 weeks to graduate so my aim it to get to a consistent 3 runs a week. The approaching longer days, better weather (hopefully) and a route I enjoy all help!

ShadowDee profile image

Fantastic post IannodaTruffe .

I don't think I'll be getting competitive in the running sport. I already have a busy schedule with rowing. I row Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting). Once we get to brighter days our rowing is increased to Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I specifically signed up for C25K for an extra boost for my rowing.

Once rowing is back during the evenings I have to reassess my schedule to incorporate jogging. I'm really enjoying it at the moment. I actually look forward to it after long busy day at work, I clock watch the days I go jogging. LOL.

I do want to pick up my pace. As I know I'm a slow jogger :)

SpanishShuffle profile image

Thank you for all the support and very good advice.

I have downloaded it so I can keep coming back to it when I need it.

I intend to carry on and get to the actual 5k then enjoy it for a while. By this time next year I aim to be doing 10k and maybe the year after even the odd half marathon - but I prefer Twix. You have to be of a certain age to get that 😉

Thanks again 👍

Granspeed profile image

So useful and helpful, as ever. Many thanks for this. Just what I needed.

MsLegs profile image

Thank you!

Soozc25k profile image

Thanks Iannoda, there is a lot of good info in there.

Hopefully I’m on the right track with post C25k, I've made a running diary and hope to run every Tuesday, Thursday, and a Saturday park run for at least 3 months till my legs feel stronger and breathing easier 😺It was interesting to read about running over 40. I’m 64 and think I’ve tackled this so far as if I was my younger self. I don’t want to go on about age, but if it has a bearing on my health (which is why I started in the first place - to increase stamina) perhaps I should acknowledge it to myself 🙀 Having enjoyed, and appreciated, the discipline of the 9 week programme, I’m really looking forward to some “freedom” running. I’ve signed up the Quest, and will stay with this HealthUnlocked, I find other people's stories and ups and downs motivating/reassuring in equal measure.

I just wish I’d have found running in my 30s!!

Crossbill profile image

Thank you so much for this post. Can I ask you a question? I have managed week 9 run 3 and deliberately did not check the distance throughout the 9 weeks as I know I am a slow (but steady runner). I am 50 and not someone who did much exercise before this and I am very surprised by how much I am enjoying running now. I did my first post c25k run today and ran 5k which took a lot longer than my usual run! As I kept going pretty slowly I managed it without feeling too stressed or tired. It is actually quite a lot more than an extra 10% of distance. My question is - should I keep running the half hour through the week but try to increase speed a bit more or would it be more health benefit to try keeping to the 5k? I am planning to do a Park Run on Saturday...

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Crossbill

The 10% rule is based on your weekly total mileage (kilometrage?)

So if you were doing say 4k on each of three weekly runs, then it would be considered safe to do two 4k runs and a 5.2k run the following week.

As the above guide states, it is advisable to spend 75-80% of your running time at a nice easy conversational pace and then if you want to increase speed, do that for no more than the remaining 20-25% of the time. Intervals are the best way to gently increase the duration of fast paced work.

For the next couple of weeks though, we recommend that you just consolidate on what you are now managing, without majorly increasing the distance or duration, until you are totally comfortable with that degree of effort.

Crossbill profile image
CrossbillGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you...great advice

CrazyDogLady19 profile image

I had so many questions! This has answered them all thank you so much, I’m officially in consolidation run period enjoying and do exactly as suggested. I’m getting the 5k in but onyx taking 40 mins I no longer feel bad about that. Plan for the next few weeks keep going, listen to those pod casts and read up. Thank you so much for all the info 😊

Jerichomile profile image

What a really helpful piece. Thanks.

Nater85 profile image

Great post, thank you. I feel a bit lost now I’ve graduated but the 10k bridge looks like it might be something to consider- thank you

Curly44 profile image

Brilliant post,so much info to help me continue my running journey, thank you!

Dachshundluver profile image

So pleased that i have graduated last night. Felt really proud of myself.

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Dachshundluver

So you should!

disi profile image

Left two three, left two three, brilliant. I always wondered if I should do long steps or shorter ones.


Mark1909 profile image

Thank you so much for posting this, there is a wealth of information here that is so interesting. A good read that will help me go forward with running and that will, fingers crossed, help keep me injury free best I can.

Etsy17 profile image

Thank you this is so helpful and inspiring

Moonlit profile image

thank you for this post. it is really insightful. I bookmarked and I will come back and reference it going forward.

Uptongirl profile image

Thank you for this will read and thoroughly digest all very interesting definitely now have the running bug now want to move on to longer runs but definitely slowly slowly I think..... managed to complete the whole program without repeating runs but I know I definitely need to stick to 30 minute runs for a few weeks and build my fitness have always managed to do the 5k in the last week averaging with the warm up walk/cool down 6.5k not really racing or trying to pace myself just jogging along feel I need to learn more about pacing and be comfortable before I try to add more minutes ...is this a common feeling?

santoshbarot profile image

Thanks for sharing this insight...

Portlandprincess profile image

You write amazing pieces that have helped me on this exciting journey. This is just what I needed to read today. Thank you.

RunawayBetty profile image

Wow, I'm reading this on my graduation day and it is so helpful and inspiring! Lots of good advice and great articles to read. I feel just like when I started C25k and read your guide for beginners - taken by the hand and guided by someone who really knows what he is talking about. Thank you!

flywell123 profile image

Thankyou so much for this information. This is great help. ☺

Suesixty profile image

Thank you for this post - it is exactly what I needed to read.

kdavies83 profile image

Reading this in prep for my graduation in 2weeks. How very thorough, I love it! Loads of great resource links in here for me to pop back to over the next couple of weeks to keep me going past week 9. Thank you :)

Speedy60 profile image
Speedy60Graduate in reply to kdavies83

I became a bit of a geek after I graduated 🤓. I think it's the teacher in me. I read every pinned post, followed every link, read every runnersworld article and YouTube video. With all that knowledge, I still decided to just enjoy myself for a few weeks to let it all sink in.

It has paid off though. I feel more confident and comfortable than I thought I would on my own.

Good luck with the graduation. I'll be looking out for the post. 👍

kdavies83 profile image
kdavies83Graduate in reply to Speedy60

Thanks very much. Yes I’m a bit of a planner too.

Healthrunner1 profile image

Ta for providing all the consolidating info ..but to be honest as a new graduate (healthrunner1) there's too much info to digest. I 'm 69 y.o.!

Would the consolidation group be more useful to me?


IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Healthrunner1

The What Next post is designed to offer you all the basic information required for future running, so that you don't make any of the classic mistakes made by new graduates, of overdoing it.

I put all the information in one place to enable people to bookmark it and return to it at their leisure.

The Consolidation Club is just a monthly post where you can go to ask questions, knowing that there is always at least one member of the admin team on hand to answer.

LadyHelen profile image

Great post...thank you 🙂

Healthisfun profile image


Thankyou for the post, very informative.

I have achieved my goal of running 5km 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

I'm so delighted, it just shows with determination you can achieve anything you want, just believe in yourself

5.02km in 35 mins.

Looking forward to joining a running group, already on there Facebook page so had amazing support.

I will continue with the app and just increase gradually.


Martin1956 profile image

Great post ,I'm on day2 wk8 and this has answered a lot of questions I've had on my mind ,cheers

Diamondshoes profile image

Good advice. I've been trying to add on 5 mins to my wk9 runs each time I go out. Still slow but right now I'm just aiming to get comfortable with running for slightly longer periods. Did a different route yesterday, wow what is flat when driving is a mountain when running!

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Diamondshoes

Try just adding on 5 minutes to one run per week, not all of them.

Diamondshoes profile image
DiamondshoesGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks, that's a relief. I get a bit obsessive and gung-ho sometimes!

HerbieL profile image

Thank you it feels like it’s taken me ages to get here and never something I would achieve on my own, I want to keep running but I have to be careful because of injury, so leaving longer between runs is helping!!! Onward and upwards I can do this 👏🏻

HerbieL profile image

I don’t understand what happened I went to the June page, all very bizarre but thank you

Slowshuffle profile image

Just read this with great interest, what a fabulously informative post, thank you. I graduated about 3 weeks ago and had been running for the 3 x 30mins the last two weeks until last Thurs when I had a truly awful run and only managed 1.75 miles and felt terrible. To be fair it was very warm (even tho I ran in the eve) and lugging 14 1/2st around doesn't help, I felt absolutely exhuasted, overheated and ended up walking most of the way home. The problem is its totally knocked my confidence and now I havent ran since Thursday. It's going to be really hot again this week so I've promised myself I'm going to go first thing in the morning when its cooler, should I go for 30 mins? If I set a target and fail again I think this will set me back further. How long can I not run for and pick up where I left off? Help! I dont want to lose this life skill I've worked so hard to achieve...

AliceInThePalace profile image

This is such a useful post!! Thank you for taking the time to write it 😊😆

Shellygall profile image

Where do I get my graduate badge?

Vegplot profile image

Thank you for this post and for the administration of this site. I have recently graduated!! I cannot believe that I can now run/jog for 30 + minutes. Since graduating, I have managed to run up to 6km, but I am still very slow (my husband, who runs and has been a great encourager can run faster than me, even when he has a dodgy knee!) and do not seem able to get any faster, so will follow some of the above links and advice above. Although I do not usually post, I have found this site really useful and the other posts very encouraging, inspiring and helpful on my C25K journey.

Ruthwuth profile image

Thank you, and what a wealth of information there. I think I am going to keep going on a 30 minute run with two rest days in between each one, and hope that my stamina improves as I still struggle with 30 minutes, not as young as I used to be at 63! I would imagine, inevitably, that my speed and therefore distance will improve over the next few months, too. Aiming for a 5K fun run in March 2021. I'm currently running 3.5k in 30 minutes.

Thanks for the information.

GoNYGoNYGo profile image

This post is just what I was looking for after graduating from C25K!

Buddhagal profile image

Many thanks Ian for this fabulous piece...must have taken you ages,!! Well worth all that effort, appreciated.

Hi I graduated yesterday but only ever ran twice a week throughout the program I really don’t want to run faster or further but feel comfortable at my current pace do you think if I carry on twice a week I am over doing it?

roseabi profile image
roseabi in reply to

Hi! If it works for you then twice a week is perfect! The most important thing is that you develop a habit of regular running xxx

RajK2020 profile image

Thanks for the info, this is great 👍

GigglyBFC profile image

Thank you for all that information, I think I need a plan although I have run to the Stepping Stone podcast. I also think I need a short break, so can tie planning and taking a break together 🤔

Beckywiththebadhair profile image

Wow! Amazing. Thanks so much for all the information. Will sit down and work through it later and try to take on board the advice.

Returnagain profile image

Absolutely brilliant information to keep me going. Thank you

ZuluBravo profile image

Thanks for this post. I’ve just graduated and I feel a bit lost without the structure of the programme!! Now I have some direction to keep me going 👍

newbie-nick profile image

A brilliant, long, but necessarily so post that deals with so much. Thank you for putting that together, and it is most definitely food for thought. I will take on board what you have put and hopefully move on steadily and slowly. Consolidation runs for a few weeks and then moving onto the bridge programme once I feel ready. I will also be redoing C25K as my wife's running partner! Back-to-back C25ks! I didn't expect that.

Thank you once again for all the support and advice. Happy running to you.

DiogoC profile image

I had my first run without Laura today and it felt lonely. I found a marathon training plan that basically starts from 0 and gets you to run 2+ hours in about 15 weeks. It follows a similar structure to C25K. I thought of picking that up from the point the runs are about 30 min runs and take it from there. I'm not planning to run marathons anytime soon, but it's good to have structure and 2 hours seems like a good target. I'll also have a look at the 10k plans mentioned on here. Thanks for all the tips

RunningJ123 profile image
RunningJ123Graduate in reply to DiogoC

That sounds a really good plan! Could you send a link? I'm looking for one too

DiogoC profile image
DiogoCGraduate in reply to RunningJ123

It's longer than 15 weeks, my mistake. I can't find the link, but this is the plan's breakdown from the minute it starts 30min runs. You can replace the swim days with other cardio activities or even Laura's strength and flex podcast. The swimming was my choice.

Week 7

Monday 30m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 25m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 30m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 8 and 9

Monday 30m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 30m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 40m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 10

Monday 30m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 20m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 30m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 11 & 12

Monday 40m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 30m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 50m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 13 & 14

Monday 40m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 30m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 60m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 15

Monday 50m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 45m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 40m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 16 & 17

Monday 60m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 40m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 80m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 18 & 19

Monday 60m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 80m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 90m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 20

Monday 90m run


Wednesday 60m run


Friday 100m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 21

Monday 60m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 60m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 120m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 22 & 23

Monday 90m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 60m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 120m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 24

Monday 90m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 90m run

Thursday Swim

Friday 120m run

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

Week 25

Monday 120m run

Tuesday Swim

Wednesday 60m run

Thursday Swim

Friday Marathon

Saturday Walk or rest

Sunday Swim

RunningJ123 profile image
RunningJ123Graduate in reply to DiogoC

That's great... Thank you so much!!

GreenNewYork profile image

Thank you so much for your post you are a fountain of knowledge ! Sensible too.

Jogger22 profile image

Hi IannodaTruffe i completed W9R2 today and intend doing W9R3 on Tuesday. I want to do parkrun when it restarts next Saturday but obviously won't have done 3 weeks of consolidation runs before then. At the moment I'm covering 4km in 30 minutes so 5k will probably take me 37 1/2 minutes. Is it ok for me to attempt 5k next Saturday as I really want to do parkrun? It's less than an increase of 10%.

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Jogger22

You will probably be fine and you can always walk.......many people do. You will still set a parkrun pb.

Parkrun is a wonderful event and this post may answer some questions healthunlocked.com/couchto5....

Jogger22 profile image
Jogger22Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks @iannodatruffe . I will try and run the first 30 minutes at least and anything else I can do will be a bonus. Now I just have to do W9R3 before Thursday :)

LottieMW profile image
LottieMWGraduate in reply to Jogger22

Good luck and enjoy!

Jogger22 profile image
Jogger22Graduate in reply to LottieMW

thanks so much LottieMW 😀

Lola-bear profile image

Thank you once again some great advice.

Thank you for providing such a comprehensive guide to post C25K running. I over did my exercise regime (added C25K to my 5x week HIIT classes) and ended up with an injury. I was determined to graduate so stopped my classes towards the end of the programme and rested for a couple of weeks after graduation which has helped me recover. I’m still trying to consolidate so your advice has really encouraged me to get back to repeat my 30 mins runs with a 10% add on.

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to

Most people only add 10% to one run per week making that their long run.

Don't forget to check out the other FAQ Posts healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you.

sparky66 profile image

Thanks 👍 exactly the advice I was looking for !

I've passed my year, ran regular 3 times a week.. strength training on non run day's.. want to get out with a Friend tomorrow, but I ran a 10K this morning,

I recon if I take it slow,on trail I should be fine 🙏🏃‍♀️😁

couchvssofa profile image

Thank you for the information.

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