Pace?: Im running really really slow at the... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Im running really really slow at the moment as scared I may not be able to compete the runs if I go any faster, currently onWk6r3...looking at some of the distances other people are covering, I’m thinking i need to speed up a bit! Tonight was my first ever 25mins run. Could’ve prob walked it not much slower. Does increased pace just come naturally as you get stronger through the weeks? Do other people run at the same pace the whole time or have spurts of speeding up then slowing down?


16 Replies

I know what you mean it’s scary how fast some people can go! I think to myself oooh I’m slow 🐌😬 then I think hey ho I’m still “running” for 30/40 minutes and according to Strava burning 450/500 calories so that’s fine by me! If I ever get faster brilliant if not meh! 🤣


Lol! I’m getting slower as the weeks go on! Apparently that is to be expected! Fitness and health is the only winner here! Who cares about speed?! 😁😁😁

Very well done on running 25 mins! I’ve got that on Saturday.

I made it to week 8 Run 3 last year and I just completed week 6 Run 3 today.

Every run is different but from what I learnt last year, even though I thought I was going slow, I was actually getting faster with every run. I wasn't trying to be faster but it seemed to happen naturally.

I personally tend to stay at the same speed throughout my runs. Probably because I don't have much more to give in the tank but if I can, I will try to up the pace alittle, even if it's only for the last 30 seconds or so.

I try not to let speed bother me because the aim of the game right now is to just get through the run without burning yourself out.

This is the perfect time though to keep alittle note to see how far you actually run though (if you want) because you have the 25 minute run to do 4 times.

You might find that you run alittle further on every run without really trying. Therefore you naturally ran faster without realising but also because you have become fitter.

Take inspiration from others but do you because everyone is different. Everyone started from different stages in their lives etc etc.

Sorry for the long response and good luck with your future runs.


You are doing exactly as you should - running slow enough to complete the runs :) . Get to the end of the course first, when you can run for 30 minutes straight, and then (after basking in your achievements) you could consider your speed. Even slower than walking is fine as long as you are doing the running motion, you are still learning to run.

I personally took each week slower than the last in order to run for the longer times. I paid attention to my pace and how I felt and tried to always start slow, and gradually am learning to speed up only if I know I have 'enough in the tank' or if I know I am practising intervals and will slow down after x seconds or metres.

Don't worry about distances of others, like Donna79 says everyone's different!


For the last few weeks I slowed my pace right down, maybe half the speed I used to go. Mentally I know I have longer runs ahead of me, and to keep that energy going, I slow down to a gentle jog. But don't worry, as weeks go on, your legs and body starts to get used to it, and you will find you can handle the longest runs better. As soon as you start to feel confident, just start to gently pick back up the pace. That's what I did, the slow jogs might feel ridiculous, but it does get better :-)


That all sounds spot-on Claireednet ... and really sensible. To be honest, this is all so new for me that I find it difficult to gauge my speed during the runs. Am I going faster or slower than last week? Hmmm... 🤔 no idea. I'm mostly just "deer in the headlights" with the occasional swearing in my head. 😂 It's only when I check my Sports Tracker afterwards that I see what I've done. My pace seems to vary from stage to stage.... and from run to run. Having said that, one thing that I CAN gauge during the runs is slowing down. When I start to feel out of breath or start to feel a cramp coming on, I take my foot off the gas. We're all still learning so I think the important thing is "baby steps" and comfort rather than speed. My boyfriend is a really experienced marathon runner (04:30/km on his last 20km race in Brussels last weekend...I know! 😱) and he keeps telling me to be patient and that endurance, and thus speed, comes with time....naturally. Keep at it! I'm going to be doing W6R2 tonight.


Don’t think about pace. You’re doing it right! Pace comes with miles in the legs apparently. Actually I can verify that as I am slowly speeding up as the weeks go by. Just concentrate on getting through the plan. You’re doing fab! Now that your on to no intervals, you could start using MapMyFitness or Strava to get feedback on pace. Don’t try and speed up yet. Just start to become aware of your pace. After graduation you’ll see yourself slowly improve.


I run the same basic route each time and know that I’m getting a bit faster each time as my 5min cool down starts further along the route so I add a little bit on each time. I don’t really care about speed, we’re all different ages and levels of fitness to start with and some people just aren’t built for speed. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

OK, my run yesterday, week 5 run 2, was at a peak of 7 minutes per kilometer (strava). Back in week 2 I was hitting a peak of 5 m/km. I'm 68, and I'm running after 50 years of sitting on my fundament. I expect to be going a lot slower than this come week 6.....


Like others have said don’t worry. As each run gets longer I get slower it’s about endurance stamina and fitness. Be happy to complete the runs. 😃

My running is so slow that I sometimes feel that walkers will pass me! I use the ‘map my run app’ and have no idea if it’s accurate, it obviously takes into account the walking/warm up part of any session, but last night the average pace was 16:56 minute mile! I am not getting any quicker as the weeks go on, but I am running/shuffling along and am able to do it for longer than when I started, so I take that as a positive!


So what do you know about the people who are running further and faster than you? Do you know their age, gender, history, level of physical ability, physique...............I could go on.

You are doing exactly what is expected of you, as recommended in the guide to the plan and pacing yourself.

My fastest ever 5k was exactly the same as Mo Farah's time...........except that his time was for 10k.

Just compare with your former self.


I feel exactly the same. When I read how far other people are travelling I think I must be doing it wrong. I said to my wife last night that i'm going to have to run faster tonight (tonight) (w5r2) as I'm not running far enough. Feeling nervous about going faster though when I have to conquer eight minutes, twice. Am going out after work to have a crack at it, so will have to see how (far) I get on.

But you just keep doing what you're doing the best way you can, you've come a long way in lots of ways


I’m about to do my w6r3 on Sunday so can let you know but I know I’ve time to notice actual snails!! I’m told it’s the action of running rather than speed that counts just now.


My very first post to this forum almost two years ago was 'is it even possible I run slower than I walk??"

And the answer was - yes.

However - speed got better over time and also fluctuates over time. My best 5K ever was 33 minutes and change, my 'usual' time used to be 38. Nowadays, because I am in the middle of training for first Half Marathon, its about 41 at the 5K mark.

Everyone has different capabilities. If I compare myself to Usain Bolt I sure as hell won't run anymore.

But if I look at the photos of my couch-self a couple of years ago, I'm going to bless the day i saw a weird app called 'C25K' pop up on my phone :)

Pride is a handicap in a lot of areas of life - including running. Yes, I would love to be able to run a Marathon in less than 3:40 and thereby show up the bollix back home that did one in that time over thirty years ago and has never shut up about it since. Yes, I feel a bit let down when someone bigger, older, more decrepit looking than I whizzes past me on the route. Yes, I wish Iwas on the podium in the couple of races I took part in.

HOWEVER - those are fleeting moments now only, like the actual running you learn in increments to put those thoughts and feelings firmly where they belong, in the 'Nonsense' file. :)

I have had so much fun running - reaching a goal, being challenged by crap lungs and feet but somehow carrying on, seeing a lot of bizarre things in the ongoing crazy theatre the outside world is that you see when you run, being able to choose among clothes rather than heading straight for the 'boring but I can buckle my belt' section, having a lot fo fun on here with new freinds and the nice feeling of being able to pass on what was given to me when it comes to advice and help etc, being able to run in charity fundraisers and feeling more involved than simply digging out a wallet and shoving a few dollars at someone, going out each time with the half- nervous, half-adventurous feeling of 'wonder what this run will be like"...

Speed?- yes, nice to have but absolutely not essential. Running at any speed - essential :)

Wishing you the many happy miles that also await you in your future :)

(ps - my best 10K time is 1:23. Laughable to some, enviable to others. Important thing is - it's perfectly acceptable and a delight to me :) )

I'm running very slowly..I have gotten slower each week. inluding the walking many strivers here I am running more slowly than I normally walk..I am new to running and now finally understand why I have sometimes overtaken runners, in my local park, whilst I am walking to work: they are newbie runners like us. I know I am getting fitter..I struggled through week one but have just done R 2 wk very scared about next run..I really needed the 5 ,mins recovery walk today...🙀😱🙀

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