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Couch to 5K
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can't get past 3km in 30 minutes 😔

I graduated from the c25k plan over a month ago. I did it but never got up to 5km in 30 minutes, I mearly managed 3km. im incredibly slow. I am really struggling to get past this. my head tells me I cannot go past this and as soon as 30 minutes is up, I stop be it on a treadmill or outdoors. I'm also finding it's getting harder, not easier and im struggling to run 3-4 times a week.

I'm beginning to get demotivated. 😕 any tips please? I really don't won't to give up. I've signed up to running 26.2 miles throughout may.

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Forget about 5k, hardly anyone gets there for a while after graduating and you are still doing a lot more than when you were sat on the couch. Maybe try a wk 9 run and carry on a bit into the cool down walk. Try sticking to the same route for a bit and just going an extra 2 lamp posts or something each time. Don't be despondent because you've done brilliantly to get this far. Is the struggle finding time to get out or not wanting to. Maybe stick closer to 3/wk so you're not exhausting yourself. Sometimes less can be more. Do you have a local Parkrun, you could run what you can and then walk/run the rest.

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I agree with @ancientrunner . I graduated last July and still take 42mins to do 5k - on the flat (at Parkrun), once, with no wind! I am sort of stuck - so sympathies - but am working my way through the stuckness with the help of this forum, and feel less frustrated. For various reasons I currently run twice a week and average about 4K a time. I guess I will bust through my barriers at some point. A lot of my learning is mental - about patience and trust. Keep reading, thinking, sharing - let your mind soak it all up while your body does its work. Push when it seems right but for me the occasional magic seems to arise naturally from the everydayness of plodding along. From reading your previous posts you’re doing incredibly well - keep sharing.

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I am also nowhere near 5k with week 9 runs 2 and 3 to go this week. Of course I’d like to be running 5k now but I remind myself how I struggled to run for 60 seconds 9 weeks ago but can now run for 30 MINUTES no matter how tough I find it 😊

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I guess I’m one run behind you and also nowhere near 5k

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We’ll get there, eventually 😊

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I'm in same position.. 2 runs left until graduation. Still patting myself on the back as achieved 30 mins of running non-stop despite reaching around 3k. W1R1 was hard! Especially after decade or so of not exercising.

Keep telling myself the distance will come with more practice and build up of stamina. Have signed up for 5k Santa Dash in December.... that's my goal. I know I will do it even if takes me best part of an hour to do it! Goal is to complete... not be the fastest in the pack.

Keep running!!

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Please don't worry about that 5k milestone...the more running you do, the stronger and better you will get.

Spring is here, a chance to change things up a bit and enjoy getting out in better weather. Try the c25k+ podcasts

Try new routes, do your 30 minute runs with pride! If you have a playlist, put it on shuffle. Running three times a week is great. You are still a new runner, build up your legs and stamina and enjoy your running.😊x

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To my mind you need to decide why you're running. To reach 5k? To feel better? Find your joy in it, be it the views, the route(s), the fresh air or just the fun of using your body again and just revel in the good parts.

Stop putting pressure on yourself or telling yourself you're not doing enough and be proud of what you've done and are doing.

This is just a return of the gremlins trying to beat you back to the couch so they don't have to change.

Get lost in your music or a good podcast and just have fun. If you want to push past add 1 minute on to each run and break that 30 min barrier but it's really not a big deal. Find your fun 👍😀

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Great advice in the replies on here :) . You are going through the consolidation phase - I did week 9 on repeat for a couple of months (but that was my choice) and it was hard going and I have to say that I hated it at times, but it is where you learn the discipline of running and build mental strength. Change music, try listening to a book, put the world to rights, find the wonder in the world around you (ok a bit foofy but hey whatever it takes to get through). When I struggled I shouted out lists of 10: reasons why I shouldn't give up; what I'd be if I did; what I'd be if I didn't; what I'd gained; top 10 gorgeous men etc. Swearing also helped me enormously :)

I remember one time thinking one I absolutely COULD NOT go a step further at the end of 30 mins, everything hurt blah, blah, but I pig headedly forced myself around the corner through a field of gremlins pushing me back.... low and behold I was suddenly fine again. It's 90% mental a lot of the time.

Going out with attitude that you are going to kick this run's butt helps massively. Doing all this and sticking at it means when you least expect it (the patience and trust bit) suddenly things come together and get better, times and distances improve eventually, confidence comes, but it does take time (for some of us anyway!). It is so worth it, you just have to get creative to keep those gremlins at bay. Good luck, you can do it :)

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Thank you for all this advice. I too just graduated by running 30 mins and nowhere near 5km! I wish there was an app just like couch 25k to keep going with as I like ticking of the runs, the commentary etc. I’m worried I won’t have the same enthusisam to get out in all weathers and will put it off with no “tick list”!

I’m always interested to read how others are getting on.

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Hi Runnerbean, thats a good point...however 30 minutes was the goal, and it honestly is good for you to stick to this 30 mins for a while to build your strength up.

You could pin a schedule to your fridge though with something like this..

Run 1 Run2 Run 3

tue thurs sunday

And tick them off as you do them...

Recording your runs on Mapmyrun or Strava is fun if you don't do this already. 😊xx

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Thank you. I will look at those apps and maybe a “star chart”!!

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Graduated a couple of weeks ago. Repeated wk9r3 a couple of times but only going by the milestones I know - not conscious of the minutes. I wanted to shake off the 30 min barrier a bit. I then got a free running app, repeated my usual run and added a tiny bit at the halfway point and then ran a tiny bit into the cool down walk. Have done this 3 times now gradually adding tiny bits and am at about 4.8k at the moment. I only look at the distance on the app - nothing else - but am probably running for about 40 mins. Hope this helps but I agree it is hard to keep motivated particularly as no-one is making a fuss of me now I have finished the program!!!

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Thank you for these tips, it’s good to hear your strategies which I will try. I did enjoy the words of encouragement and fuss the C25K app gave though and know I’m “needy” to miss them!

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I am a slow runner too. I doubt I run even as fast as I walk with my Nordic walking sticks! Don’t concentrate on the distance but the time and as others have said change it up a bit, a different route, different music and keep the routine going. You can move on to different apps for c210k. I have got to the end of this programme twice before and picked up injuries, both connected and unconnected (I am getting on a bit!) this time I am aiming to get to 20minutes and staying there for a while. I know from my music, Fitbit and where I finish that I am not going any faster and that is fine. I think it is a bit like learning to drive, you only start learning after the test when you are on your own.

Good luck, you can do it!

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You seem to have loads of great advice in the replies. I too am very slow and my pace has not increased. I did however manage to run for a bit longer eventually, and even got to 5 k a few times but never in anywhere like 30 mins. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do 5k. Now I stick around 20 to 30 minutes and don’t worry about distance. I really like the idea of 26.2 miles in May. I shall set myself the same challenge. I still need some external motivation and that looks perfect, so thank you! And good luck with your continued running.

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