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Couch to 5K
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Using Couch25k to Train for Army Run


Wondering if there's anyone on here who can help me?

I've applied to join the TA as a Musician and have to be able to complete the army fitness tests one of which is to run 1.5 miles in less than 14mins. Whilst I would consider my fitness levels to be quite good (workout out 4-5 times a week) I have never been able to run!!

I'm on week 3 and am finding running for 3 minutes quite challenging. There's some great advice on this site including to slow down if it's difficult but I'm panicking a bit because of the need to be able to complete the distance in the alloted time. I seem to be getting slower as the running amount increases - I'm quite a fast walker!

Am I best to complete the program slowly or try to push myself speed wise? x

8 Replies

Follow the plan...keep it steady and, as the runs lengthen try to find a sustainable pace... without exhausting yourself.. your fitness and strength and stamina exercise will undoubtedly help

If you are finding the runs challenging, there is no point in pushing harder.. you will end up, on the IC and not running at all...what is your time frame...

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Thank you for your speedy reply,

Not sure of the exact time frame but it's not imminent. I have incredibly poor eyesight so have been advised that I will be rejected on that initially then my unit will appeal. I presume I won't be able go to Pirbright until that has been sorted so should have plenty of time to train.

Am doing the programme with my 13 year old son who is asthmatic so tend to take the runs with him quite easy. When I run by myself I think I am trying to go too fast!! Presumably once I can run for 30 mins there will be specific things I can work on to improve my time?x


Right... well you have time... do the programme.. and take it at the pace that is right for you....

Check the info out here... lots of great advice.


Every run makes you stronger and the speed does increase. ( usually) after you have reached the 30 minute run marker... the more you do, the stronger you get..that is the time to think about speed, and yes, there are Podcasts which follow this programme, which may help :)

I find running faster for a short distance is much easier than for a longer distance, anyway......Intervals etc, are also helpful.

But... carry on with this, and keep posting, we will advise and support you through it... :)


Thank you,

I'll keep posting my progress! I was using mapmyrun to look at my mile speeds so probably helps that my son (and his phone!) have gone back to school this week :-)


Agree with all that Oldfloss says - she is a very wise lady.

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I had never run either, and I suspect I am a fair bit older than you. I checked my time today, out of curiosity, rather than a desire to go further/faster and I did 4.45 kmph in 30 minutes, so not too far off your target I think.

I think you will breeze through the fitness test once you have completed the programme, but don't push yourself too hard as being injured is not going to help.

Good luck and enjoy it 🤗

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I would say C25k is not the best programme for you. C25k will get you to running 3 miles very slowly. You need to be running 1.5 miles fairly quickly. They are quite different disciplines. There are good training programmes online specifically for military selection. I would say you would be better off spending your time following one of those.


Hi Rignold,

I downloaded the Army Fitness app before this one but the first thing it wanted me to do was run for 15 mins non-stop! I couldn't manage that. Do you know of any specific programs to get a beginner ready for the test? x


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