Another happy 5k, not speeding up though!! - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Another happy 5k, not speeding up though!!


Morning fellow runites!

Day off today, so I thought I'd try and beat the heat and get out early, which on a day off, would be about 9am for me! I was awake much earlier, but, you know, the bed was sooooo comfy.

Nothing much exciting to report, except that I did another 5k, using the C25K+ Stepping Stone podcast as a basis, and keeping going to 5k at the end. In short, it was fine, I had no issues, in my quest for 5k I got past the mill, a picture of which I will share shortly! Goyt Mill, Marple for anyone from this neck of the woods. It's a bit odd still running to the warmdown music, but whatever!! So all good really, and I was happy that I kept going with no problems.

It does annoy me that I'm still not really breaking the 35 minute barrier for 5k, so I was wondering how to proceed. What I feel I should probably do is repeat this podcast for a 3rd time, and then move on to stamina perhaps, and finish with the speed one, but I'm impatient! Is that the way to do it?

TBH I never really thought I'd get this far. Never thought I'd run for 50m let alone 5000m. Advice greatfully received.

Oh - and the reason I'd like to get down to 30 minutes for a 5k, not because it's necessary, but because it's something I'd like to do, but I want it to come naturally, if you know what I mean. Am I making sense?!

Neil :)

27 Replies

wow - what a beautiful route.

I think you need to throw in a longer run once a week - i aim to do 8k on a Saturday (because i have the time) - and it helps with endurance and also then my pace increases on the weekday 5k's - i am also trying to get to a 30min 5k. Gradually getting closer but my best has been 33 mins so far :-)

HiddenGraduate in reply to alisonx

Hi Alison,

It is a lovely route along the Macclesfield canal from High Lane. This is the furthest I've actually got, as I just ran straight along the towpath, and turned round at 2.5k. I shall certainly take note of your advice about longer runs. I'd been thinking that myself, but probably too scared to try it!!!

All the best with your running too :)


Best way to let it come naturally is to do just that.

Stepping Stone is a good intro for looking at cadence and pace but it seems to work on the theory that one size fits all. The Speed and the Stamina podcasts can be used as you feel like. Speed is much shorter time wise so you can stretch the pace a bit. They don't have to be used in any particular order. Just remember that most of your running should be at your easy pace.

HiddenGraduate in reply to SlowLoris

Ok - that's good advice actually. I was coming to the conclusion that letting it come naturally is good, but also that sometimes I need to push it in order to improve. Thanks though, always good to know how other people handled this stage :)


Hi again.... as an old hand at this, you know how it works.. sometimes it happens sometimes not.. I know you have had a go at the C25K+ podcasts too...

I ran 5K in 30 minutes when I graduated.. simply because I thought..then..that was what I needed to do..duh!

I run at least 1 x 5K each week... and my time, nearly every 35 minutes..Just the way it happens.

Try the Speed is fun... and the stamina one too will help... I use them both a lot, alone or within my longer runs..of which there will be many now I am starting my HM programme:)

You are a Graduate and you know that this may or may not happen for you... how many posts do we have about this...but I can understand you.. for me, it was reaching 7 K, when i was moving towards a 10K.. it always just eluded me...but finally it happened:)

You have done brilliantly Neil.. and it will come :)


Where has your Graduate badge gone?

HiddenGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

I’ll reply properly when I have time later on... but where has my badge gone? I tend to use the app quite a bit, so I’ve not noticed! Maybe just a glitch?

HiddenGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Ok Oldfloss I think I've worked it out, regarding the badge. I followed the Bridge to 10K community in order to reply to Sadie on something she posted there, and I suspect that's the point at which my badge got knocked off. I've unfollowed that now, but I was wondering, are you able to re-instate it for me? Or *shock horror* do I have to start at week 1 again??! :P

Sadie-runsAmbassador in reply to Hidden

Ho ho ho!

HiddenGraduate in reply to Sadie-runs

Yes, actually, I blame you entirely Sadie!! :P

How's you btw? Any better? No more visits to A+E I hope...

Sadie-runsAmbassador in reply to Hidden

I am sorry if I am to blame for the loss of your grad badge. Sigh, there is nothing for it, you just have to do the 9-weeks again, buddy. Sorry, but rules is rules.

I am lovely thanks. Leg has felt good for a few days now, so went out this morning for a very gentle 3k to test the waters, and she held up fine! I am full of the joys now. It felt so so good to run again, even if it was just a 20 min quickie.

HiddenGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

And a reply on the actual run... yes, I know full well that it's actually Couch to 30m and not Couch to 5k, but also that the premise is that most people can run 5k in about 30 minutes, and I do sometimes get a little OCD about things :) I do find it really reassuring that you run 5k in exactly the same time as I do, and you're a bit of a legend round here, hence I'm a little happier with it now :)

I still want to do a sub-30 minute 5k though, just to have it under my belt!!! But I shall be good, and let it come naturally if it wants to. I'm also getting the idea that varying the run lengths is good, and having easier runs combined with a run that really pushes you, is probably a good thing to try.

Thanks for your encouragement as ever, you are indeed a legend, written into Couch to 5K folklore!


My first parkrun was 35mins so I guess that's where I was at after graduating back in December. I think my 5k times cam down most by moving up to 10k and did so without me really pushing for it. I always had it in the back of my head that I'd like a sub 30min 5k but didn't want to explicitly kill myself trying for it lol.

I find my ability is elastic, some runs feel a bit better and in those I can push a little, others are a chore so I embrace them and just accept that they add run miles into the bank. In time you will get there assuming you push just a little. My best is now 28:30 but I know I can likely do 26 to 27 if I push hard, but I won't.. I will keep letting it evolve :)

HiddenGraduate in reply to pinkaardvark

Thanks pinkaardvark, I'm definitely picking up a theme here, not to stress myself about it, and let it come naturally/evolve, and also to mix it up a bit with the run times. Which I hereby resolve to do :)


Keep running 3 times a week. Make one of those runs your fast run. By that I mean for just one of your three runs just try to get a little faster. Run at a tempo so you feel you are pushing yourself along. For the other two just go out there andenjoy the run.

You could also look at doing some interval running and/ or some hill running once you feel you have done enough of the fast run above. These are not as far distance wise because of the effort required, but they are a good way to build speed. As before just do it as one of your 3 runs.

HiddenGraduate in reply to Whatsapp

More very wise advice there Whatsapp, as I said above, clearly a theme developing here!!

Interesting idea about the interval running or hill running. I got used to hill running during the winter, as I wasn't quite ready for tough-mudding along the canal towpath! So streets with hills it was. So I know I can do hills, but I also know that I am probably a little out of practice at them now. I'll keep reporting back anyway :)


Hi Neil,

Just used for the first time ever Laura’s speed podcast.

The 12 mins and 6 intervals calculate to be 6 minute / km pace 🤔 or 5k in 30 mins.

I have found the experience very encouraging just to know what that feels like.Lots more to do.

Laura actually says at the end somewhere , how she uses the 3 podcasts with her runs ,but leaves you to just work it out for yourself.

Atb., you will do it.🌟👏👏

HiddenGraduate in reply to Tbae

Thanks Tbae, and glad you found the speed podcast encouraging. I had it in mind to try the stamina one first, does the order matter?

Personally having done the stepping stone podcast twice now, I'm finding less of an urge to throw my phone in the canal every time Laura counts 1-2-3-4, and rather enjoying it :) The funniest thing was where she quite clearly counted 1-2-3-4 but off the beat. Being a musician, I notice these things!!

Thank you for the advice and encouragement, really appreciated.

TbaeGraduate in reply to Hidden

Hi Neil ,

I am glad you pointed that out.

I used the SS.3 Times now,first time ever last week and first time ever with music,

I broke my stride every time at some/ maybe same 🤔point, so that explains that.😂😂🙈😂

I run in the woods and have a 5k Circuit, reasonably flat, when Laura starts me running I note my Circuit location and even after the 30 mins I just run on until I have completed my 5k , 4 times round for me.

If I were you, I would use the speed on your next run , just to experience the 12 minutes at the average 10 km/ hr pace. It is 150 bpm🤔 for 6 mins and 165 bpm 🤔 for the other 6 mins.

I have basically come through a sticky patch since graduation, self inflicted,but was running at 4-5 km/hr🙈,but I kepted doing 5k every 2nd day no matter how long it took, now after3x SS now maybe 8-9 km/hr and today first time ever 10km/hr for 12 mins.👍

I only have Strava at present since my one and only park run, but intend to use their two programmes together with the fabulous Laura’s 3 podcasts.I may just follow her recommendations.🤔

I think I might simply use her speed podcast once every week and add an extra 1-2 intervals each week.So go from 6 to15 intervals, 30 mins and 5k. Sorted.👍Then go and do a park run.🤔

I intend to continue working on my core strength every second day also and other strength stuff ,increase distance also.Its all good Neil.

Have added lots more to my warm up dynamic stretching and intend to try and pursue combination warmup dynamic stretching.

You are much closer than me , but I believe it is not outwith my reach, so I just know you are going to do it.

No one recommends aggressive pursuit, but being informed is key.🤔

Go for Laura’s speed podcast, enjoy it and please let me know if running fuel thingy? are on the beat.🤔🙈😂😂

Hope this is helpful.🌟👏👏

Cannot believe I did not take up running until my mid 70’s.🙈😂😂😂

HiddenGraduate in reply to Tbae

Thanks so much Tbae, yes that's really helpful, and really good to know how you're doing too. Sounds like the speed podcast is the way to go, although I must stress I'm not aiming to be a sprinter or anything. I just see it as the next step in my running journey.

I'm also planning the Parkruns of course... I went to see my GP today, who is a keen runner, and he was suggesting which ones I should try.

And thanks for pointing out you started in your 70's. That gives me hope! I'm 43 and had convinced myself that I was over the hill. That just proves to me that it's never too late to start, and it sounds like you're doing really well too.


I used to go with fast interval runs, regular 5Ks and slower longer distances during the weekly schedule. Leg strengthening exercises, among other workout, also helps. In the end all my 5K runs went under 30 minutes but the real progress only started once I got to run frequent 10-15K distances. Mind you, I didn't try to run fast, or cared to go faster. My aim was to run longer and that in return made me faster. Body built also helps and we are all so different.

HiddenGraduate in reply to mrrun

Thanks mrrun, once again, wise advice on the general theme I'm picking up here. I think I may well do a little more at the 5k distance, but then start trying slightly longer runs, and see where that takes me. Figuratively I mean. Obviously longer runs will take me further lol I have long thought though, that doing greater distances would improve my speed for shorter runs, so thank you for confirming my uneducated guess on that one :)


So pleased you got out yet again! Mr Mojo well and truly back in town! Nice route you have there, too. Isn't it just lovely running in the sun in the mornings?

You know, I got to run 5k in under 30 mins just by chance. I was merrily running 5k three times a week, usually between 33–35 mins, honestly never trying to beat my own times. I was just so happy to run 5k, and to have established a regular running habit. I was also adding distance slowly – so, making some runs 5.5k, and even 6k a couple of times. Then, after a longer than usual running break (I had not been out in 5 days or something), I set out to do my usual 5k run and it came right down to 28 mins. I was on rocket fuel that day I think. :-) Since then, my 5k has ranged from 32 mins to 29 mins to 30 mins – never consistent!

You have lots of very good advice on this issue from the lovely people here. I have heard that increasing distance (with no worrying about speed), can improve your speed...

Get a few more solid 5k runs under your belt I say, then gradually add on a little distance. See where that takes you?


Me too Neil, me too...I shall follow this posts & read the suggestions...I know it’s not a necessity but I’d like to be able to do that too...well done for pulling yourself out of that comfy bed 👏🏻


Naturally whilst increasing distance I started to run slower. In order to build endurance (like C25k) you slow your pace, so you have more in the tank for a longer run. After I had completed a HM in March I found that my 5k pace was about 3 mins slower. I then had to work on this in order to teach myself to run faster again.

Having said that, the speed came back soon enough, but you do have to work at it to retrain your body. It is however, a lot easier to build speed once you have been used to longer distances.

Good luck with your goal!


Thanks Neil.

I am a novice runner,but like you I want to tick that goal/target.I would love to tick that for my 75th which is soon.

Never had a problem with stamina,think I could run 10k now, but would not, without the proper preparation.

Sorry I have gone around the houses and sorry to talk in this manner, not meant to be misunderstood, age and opportunity and realism just drives you on.

Keep posting your progress I want to know how you are doing.

I must catch up with your story.

Think I am going to post a little table in numbers of the C25k journey and this hassle of converting km/hr pace, with minutes/km, which although understood is not universally and technically a correct way of expressing speed or velocity or pace in a unitary sense.🤔😂

No sprinting Neil, but there is a safe limit on stride length to avoid overstriding, so limited opportunity, but more opportunity in increasing cadence and therefore your pace.🤔👏👏

Atb Neil.


Try and work in a hill session if you can every week! I found my pace jumps up on the flats when I’ve been training on hills. I read a running book that said something very similar so I think I’m right :)

TbaeGraduate in reply to hjgibson

Yes hills great.Your spot on.🌟👏👏

Strava Hill repeats training programme very good Strava progression run training programme also.🤔

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