Try for 5k?: So I’ve done one week of... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Try for 5k?


So I’ve done one week of consolidation runs.

I’ve gone 33 mins, 3.7k as my longest run. I regularly reach 3.4k in 30 mins. (“He’s done it 4 times and calls that regular!”)

Should I try to run 5k or is it too soon? I am keen to do this distance but don’t want to get a rushed injury.

I figure I could do an “out and back” to 2.5k and run back as far as I can go, walking if I run out of legs. Should take me about 45 mins of running.

34 Replies

Hmmm.. you could try a 2.5k run 1 or 2 minute walk then try the next 2.5k? I wouldn’t push it too far incase you break something!

Not yet ja you don't want an injury 😐

I've read on here, fellow runners say stay 🏃 for 30 mins for a few weeks.

Unless your like me an do it anyway 😂but not adviced.

Park run last weekend I only walked 3 minutes then run till finish line totally 45:30 mins then walked to car park and done exercises. Reason was I was walking next to tail walker and shame made me run off 😂

Hidden in reply to Kar43

😆 Shame, shame, shame! Shoulda brought your bell (Game of Thrones style). You've give me a giggle as I'd have done that. Hey, jokes aside you've done yourself proud. Parkrun ✔ Sense of humour ✔ Respect of peers ✔✔✔

Kar43 in reply to Hidden

😂😂😂 shame was the biggest thing 😊😉


Absolutely no expert here haha but I would be airing on the side of caution and maybe breaking the 5k goal in to smaller steps, get to 4K a couple of runs then 4.5k then 5k maybe to ease into it?

That’s my plan after graduating (hopefully next Tues)

We will get there 🙌🏼

Jay66UKGraduate in reply to Debsy2008

I like the idea of this. Do a 4k run tomorrow. Is 10% more than longest....

Debsy2008Graduate in reply to Jay66UK

Yes I think breaking it down like that will replica the C25K programme slightly and allow your body to build up and keep gaining strength? To then enable the further distances. If that makes sense?

Jay66UKGraduate in reply to Debsy2008

Completely does. I was hoping to get 5k done before my birthday. Never mind, it’s not a milestone one.

Debsy2008Graduate in reply to Jay66UK

Ahhh when is your birthday?

Best to celebrate with a new goal to work towards rather than an injury 😉

Jay66UKGraduate in reply to Debsy2008


Debsy2008Graduate in reply to Jay66UK

Oh lovely, many happy returns for Monday, hope you are treating yourself to something nice 🍰🥂

Hidden in reply to Debsy2008

I was going to say "go for it", but I bow to Debsy2008, her plan is far more sensible. If you take it up steadily you can be sure it'll be a steady, sustainable progress. Our plan may well result in success on the day and a week of bed rest 😂 Will be rooting for you whichever route you decide.

Debsy2008Graduate in reply to Hidden

Thanks hun 😉


That elusive 5k is über tempting isn’t it. The holy grail! I think go for it but be prepared to stop if it begins to feel too much. Better stop than risk injury. And if you do stop, DONT feel bad!! Remember how far you have come. Baby steps remember 👍

I think i’d try for it. I know that’s against good advice though. Sounds like your pace/distance is similar to mine and i just went for it because the run was feeling good and it made me happy because it was a goal on my bucket list. Took me 42 mins. The next run though... i was desperate to stop at 30 mins! So it was an in the moment thing and you’ll have to judge that at the time? Keep us posted!🤞🤞😀


I say just do it!! I'm doing my 3rd Park Run tomorrow as my weekly 5k challenge (*sniggers) ~ just for the hell of it! Why not? 🤓 My other 2 weekly runs are 30minutes and I'm just scraping 4k ~ they're what I'm focusing on improving on... just remember to listen to your body and interval run or power walk what you can't run 🙌💫


I'm in a similar position to you. I was so tempted to keep running on Wednesday to get past 4k but as I had already run up two inclines and it was getting hot, I changed my mind. I'm going to take it slowly and stick to 30 mins for another few runs them will increase the time slowly. I'm not in a hurry. But completely understand the temptation!! Good luck !😃


As someone who broke the rules bigtime with their very first postgrad run, I’m not sure I should be advising here Jay, but here goes :)

Slow and steady is the mantra on here, and for good reason, but personally I was intrigued at how long I could run for if I went really, really slow. So on my first postgrad run I did that, and pottered along at little more than walking speed for 53 minutes and 5.6k. That was compared to my graduation run on the same route of 33 minutes and 4.2k. So a very big increase.

Personally I think taking it incredibly steady and “seeing how it goes” like I did seemed to work for me (even if most experts would advise against it), however it may not be the same for you, because...

A) I think I am probably going to be a bit of a specialist in running slowly and for a long time, given I already do an awful lot of hiking/walking and hence have a lot of stamina (just no running technique)... and

B) I can see that my graduation run was already closer to a 5k than your latest run, so there was less of a jump required.

So that approach may not work for you and, if you stick to the 10% rule, you are going to be there in 3 weeks anyway. Probably a lot safer to do that?

Well done on your runs 👍

So if I can just ask my 3rd stupid question (I’m keeping count 😂) Does finishing the 9 weeks not gaurentee a 5k run. Or is it that you do 5k, but not in a specific time. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got W2R2 tomorrow, so an amazingly long way to go. But will be good to know in advance. Cheers and happy running all my EX Couchers.

Jay66UKGraduate in reply to Chrisc1967

It’s three non-stop, 30 minute runs in the final week. No distance guaranteed/required.

AlMorrGraduate in reply to Jay66UK

Only 10% of runners of C25K achieve 5k in 30 minutes, so don't worry too much about that, pace yourself at what you feel most comfortable with, perhaps through time you can reach that goal that most runners here would like, that is to run a 5k in 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

SandieFGraduate in reply to Chrisc1967

No, the C25k, although there’s a 5k in the title haha, only gets you running for 30 minutes. Few people achieve 5K in the 9 weeks but with perseverance and time, we will get there 👍

Chrisc1967 in reply to SandieF

Only 28 minutes and 30 seconds to add then 😅😅 Just over a week ago, getting to the kitchen (beer fridge!) Was an achievable target. Not quite at the ‘I love running’ stage. But deffo at the ‘I love the changes I’ve made already’ stage 👍


If it were me, I'd add 10% of my 30 min duration each week. So: 30, 33, 36,40, 44. That's about another four/five weeks to get to 5Kish.

That's taking the 10% rule literally, but we don't want anyone injured and anecdotally people come out of C25K, try and do much too soon and end up on the IC.

Don't want you on the IC, tiger.

But if you're feeling good, then try a bit more. Just not too much more...

EiralasGraduate in reply to sallenson

Yep, that's what I was going to suggest - add a little more time each week (like in the programme) and you'll build up your distance gradually and get there safely

sallensonGraduate in reply to Eiralas

We were twins in a former life :-)


Hi Jay66UK, from what I’ve read , the 10% increase should be on one run a week so 33 mins one week, 36 mins next week but keeping the other 2 at 30 mins. Whatever you do don’t push it too fast in your enthusiasm to go further. I am on the injury couch as I think I may have a tear in my calf. It is so frustrating hearing how well everyone is doing and not being able to run myself. Take it slowly. 😒


Thanks for all of your replies. My conclusion is not to try for the 5k tomorrow!

I’ll be good and stick to two 30 min runs and a growing third run.

I did a 33 on Wednesday. So 36 next Wednesday. Could still reach 5k before July.

SandieFGraduate in reply to Jay66UK

Sounds like a plan 👍

Debsy2008Graduate in reply to Jay66UK

That sounds like a great plan, it will come... enjoy the ride 😉

DeeRunningGraduate in reply to Jay66UK

Interesting read. I got here just in time to see your decision lol. I know nothing about anything but I think that's a sound way forward. Thanks for posing the question, I'm going to follow your lead after graduation and do the same 👍

EiralasGraduate in reply to Jay66UK

Sounds good! Let us know how you get on :-)


Hi Jay, just reading this over breakfast, (always late to the party) I’m thinking slow and steady here and take your Lyme Park cape off for another day even though its very tempting to try for that 5k. When you achieve it’ll feel like your birthday anyway. Let there be cake and wine then and not bandages now.


The 10% rule is your friend and trying to run a 5k in what you estimate will be 45 minutes would be exceeding that guide considerably. Take your time. You have a lifetime of running ahead of you and the one thing that most long term graduates on this forum would agree with, is that slow and steady in your journey is the safest way to proceed.

That doesn't mean you will injure yourself if you attempt 5k straight off, but why risk it.

I tried to cover the advised routes forward in the guide to post C25K running

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