Couch to 5K
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About to Start Week 5

So intimidated. I've been fairly okay with the last four weeks, but as some critics have said, week five is a huge wall to success for many doing this program. From bits of running to ending wk5 run 3 by doing a solid 20 minute run? I'm determined to get to this but reality is, after discussing this with my physical therapist, who helped me with my torn MCL and helps me with other issues, even she's of the opinion that jumping from 8 minutes to 20 is not a well considered progression in the program. Her advice was they should have at least increased from 8 to 12 to 15 then 20 while decreasing walk times. She's willing to do that run of 20 minutes with me, might let her.

I've tested my limits and so far 9 minutes is my longest non program run. I love the sweat and sense of accomplishment each run offers but 20'minutes, ooof!

Any sage advice for week 5?

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Advice... Yes... Take it slowly. I mean, really slowly. I began W5R3 too fast and realised 3 minutes in that I would never complete it... I adjusted the tempo of my music (I have to run in time with music!) and found my "slow, steady, happy pace" which then got quite comfortable, so much so that when the run was over I was actually a bit disappointed. Take it slowly, breathe deeply, put on some motivating music and tell yourself you are going to smash this! 😁👍😁

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Finished Week 4 today, I have been casting nervous glances towards next week's Run 3!!

I figure, if other people have done it then so can I :)

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I have just completed W5R3...yes it is longer, but it is more of a head game than a physical challenge if you pace yourself. As long as you are breathing sustainably it is just a case of settling in to the rhythm and believing that you can just keep on keeping on....and you can. Good luck!

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You and me both 😂😫

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Just take each run at a time, don't worry about what comes next. Do W5R1, relax into it, and see how it goes. I was daunted too, and thought it was asking too much to do the 20 mins at the end of the week, but went REALLY slowly and turned out it was achievable. Good luck!

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I ran Wk 5.3 this morning, when I discovered it would be 20 mins, up from 8, I thought the same as you, and was a bit incredulous. But it was fine! Hard, but ok! The first ten minutes were the hardest. Then, at some point, Michael Johnson said 'youve done the hard work in the previous week's, the rest is about training your brain' and then it all seemed to make sense, and j ran for 22.5 mins. Try to keep positive, and good luck!

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You can do it. And you will do it. Enjoy it - you will be ready, but go slowly!

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You have to think about your heart-rate and the exertion for Week 5.

Everyone says “what an enormous jump from 8 minutes to 20 minutes”. But that chooses to ignore the reality. W5R2 if I remember correctly is 8r5w8r. That is a total of 16 minutes running and 5 minutes walking. The ‘walking’ isn’t a rest: it is brisk walking and allows your heart rate to recover from a running peak of (roughly) 150-180 bpm back down to (roughly) 120-150 bpm. It will take about 3 minutes to recover.

Compare this to 20 minutes running: your heart rate will be at your ‘running’ bpm for 20 minutes. That is not very much more exertion than 8r5w8r.

Set off on W5r3 at a slower pace than normal. Deliberately slower for the first 5 minutes. After a while your body will naturally fall into your natural running rhythm and your heart rate will be a little off your peak running bpm. You should manage 20 minutes with no problems, and a massive grin!!

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Great post. Ta.

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You completed the week 4 workouts okay?

The good news is that each week 5 workout is shorter than the ones you have just done.

If you look at the total workout times between warm up and cool down, then you can clearly see that week 5 is more about rearrangement of the intervals than the huge increase that many perceive.

W4=16minutes running with 5 and a half minutes brisk walking, total 21.5 minutes.

W5R1=15minutes running, 6 minutes brisk walking, total 21 minutes.

W5R2=16minutes running, 5minutes brisk walking, total 21 minutes.

W5R3=20minutes running.

If you are running at the recommended easy conversational pace, then the difference in energy expenditure between brisk walking and gentle jogging is minimal. By the time you get to the final run of the week, you have already done five longer workouts than that run.

If your physical therapist saw the full programme laid out, rather than the misreported jumping from 8 minutes to 20, then I would be surprised if she did not change her opinion.

It works.

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start with positivity not negativity

you can run w5r3

im in the same boat having completed w4r3 this morning start thinking CAN DO. not cant

see you on the other side😜

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I guess it's only adding four minutes of run time if you think about it, I'm certain it's mental with me but not a quitter so onward I go. I've had to take a two day break due to migraine but will be back out tomorrow.

Thanks all!

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You will do it! Just go slow! Really slow! Have something good to listen to! And stay slow! Good luck!

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I reckon half the battle is in the mind, I'm planning to start slow and just look to complete the 20 mins, we can do this!!

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Today is run 3... so far it's been great, even like "I'm done today?" great. Today is run 3. Gonna take it slow. I want to pick up my pace but would rather be successful that re-tear my MCL. Already had a lecture from the gp Monday because I mentioned my knee was sore.

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