What do you do for post-grad consolidation? - Couch to 5K

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What do you do for post-grad consolidation?

telford_mike profile image

I was tempted to sign-up for one of the 10k plans, but I'm not really doing 5k yet so it seemed premature. So far I've just repeated my (around 4K) graduation run and tried to go faster each time. After 3 runs I can now run in 27 minutes the same distance that took 30 minutes for graduation. Unfortunately I don't know what the actual distance is as GPS on the phone doesn’t work here, but my Garmin arrived today so hopefully this will work better.

What have others done in the few weeks post-grad? Guess I'm feeling a bit lost after C25K.

26 Replies
dindy profile image

To knock 3 mins off 4k from 30 mins to 27 mins is really good going. I think the general advice not only on this forum but other forums that going to 10 k would be a mistake at this moment in time. It may seem a bit boring but you need to really do 3 x 30 mins runs for a few weeks to really get your body used to running for that amount of time.

It sounds like you want to get to 10 k which is natural & good so you are looking at distance training not speed training .I think it is almost universally accepted now that to train for distances you need run slower than your normal pace at least on your long run. I would of thought that is difficult to do for someone who has a natural fast pace to run slow,being a snail pacer I do not have that problem(-:

I am sure more experienced forum members will give you top advice to follow.I can see you in the not to distance future doing 5k in 30 mins!!!!!!

I graduated last sept and I am still happy following week 9 of C25K- I still cannot make 5 k in 30 minutes it takes 34-37 - and I run 4 times a week - but I have never been happier - I am just planning to get faster or further whatever the mood takes , just enjoy 😉

KazH01 profile image
KazH01Graduate in reply to Heartlesstroll

Thank you for posting this. You have just reminded me it was never my intention to run 5K in 30 mins and after the rubbish run I had this morning I’ve been feeling down. I am delighted I can run 30 mins 3xweek so why does it matter so much that my pace is slow? Graduated 2 weeks ago so I think I’m expecting too much of my overweight and over 50s body 🤪

Exactly I feel at our age it's about how we feel - I only wanted to become fitter and hopefully shift a few unwanted pounds not win any marathons - I love what I'm doing and also how running well plodding) makes me feel 😀😀😀

Oldfloss profile image

Different routes.... different distances... I got into a pattern of a short, a 5K and a longer, see where I get to run... the more runs you do, any kind of run, then speed and distance, certainly for many of us just evolves.

Many of us did the C25K+ podcasts too... which are so useful... Many new graduates do them too soon after Graduation and completely miss the point of them; dismissing them as a waste of time... when they are quite the opposite.

They are challenging and great fun and so, so useful for improving the different disciplines in our running... changes in pace and speed and stamina... I still, as many of us do, use them on their own..or withing longer runs..

Basically just let it evolve and see where you get to... lots of things to try out and when you feel ready move across to Bridge and have ago at ju-ju- s plan for 10K.

I know what you mean. I graduated about a month ago and have just stuck with week 9. I really don't feel ready to do 10k training. I am happy at the moment but I don't want to lose motivation so I am trying to go a little faster. I am not doing 5k consistently yet so that is my goal to try and achieve that in 30 minutes. Good luck with it, sounds like you are doing great!

Sarakc profile image

I graduated in December and spent a month or so repeating week 9! I just gradually improved my speed and distance naturally and explored new routes!

I did Ju ju’s 10k plan in Feb/March and by then I was ready for it. I liked having the structure of a plan to follow but since I’ve done that I’m happy doing my own thing now! 😀

mandy167 profile image
mandy167 in reply to Sarakc

I think that what I my do when I finish week 9 as some is there to help

Whatever you do, don't try to get faster every time you run.

You need 80% of your running to be easy, as described in links in the guide to post C25K running healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Just relax and enjoy running for fun for a few weeks, before you push in any direction.

MMlk profile image

I’m in the same position!

My best advice so far would be to consolidate until you feel comfortable enough with the 5k to move to 10K. For me personally that number of sessions cannot be random, as psychologically if I don’t set myself a specific goal I tend to unravel. So now(finished Friday) I will do roughly 3 weeks of consolidation and start the 10K plan. Still haven’t decided whether to go with a new app for that or a non app guidance, like the majority talked about Ju-Ju-‘s plan. :)

I feel like I need to read IannodaTruffe’s pinned post a couple more time to let all that golden information really sink in!

Also do a parkrun! It’s a challenging and extremely rewarding way to complete all those weeks you trained for the distance! Finish C25K on a high ;)

Ang33333 profile image

I've been consolidating 30 mins so I could comfortably run for 30 mins. Distance covered was not the most important. Now I'm extending my run a little and am reaching 4k. When this is comfortable I'll move on to 5k. Doesn't matter how slow! 5k is the target in whatever time it takes. Not sure I'm lookimg towards 10k at the moment! Maybe in the future.......?

telford_mike profile image

Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I'm going to try a new route this morning and I’ll be taking it slow.

Hey Mike - I was kinda the same, but after graduation I immediately ran 33 mins (+10%) and at the end of that week (W10) I did 35 mins which took me to 4.9km.

The following week I ran 5k x 3 but slowed right down to ensure I’d get there with no issues. Before the park run yesterday I did a short recovery run on Thursday at around a normal-ish pace but only 2.6km (so didn’t force myself to slow down).

Now I’m at 5km I’ll stay here roughly, I’ve done a 5.2k by accident (and that 0.2 is very important!!! 🤣)

At the moment it’s about just putting time and Km’s into your legs. After the stuff above I can do 5k in 35min (around 7min/km) but generally aim for 40 minutes which is on 8.10min/km but feels totally different when doing it!

I’ll start 10K in 3 weeks!

Hope that helps mate - good luck! 🐌🐌

heavyhorse profile image

I kept adding on a few minutes every week , but it all depends on how you feel. I never ran less than 30 mins after graduating but I do feel better if I am achieving something new, like a new route, a bit quicker, a bit further , or a bit more hilly etc . I lose motivation to do the same route and distance all the time so need to mix it up!

telford_mike profile image

Just back. Did a completely new route, really hilly. Took me 31 minutes. Enjoyed it a lot. Variety is the spice of life, etc.

Sybilw profile image

I got a Garmin too as frustrated by the wildly differing estimates of distance on various apps - varied from less than half a mile to I think it was 16k!! Gives you lots of info so that’ll keep you busy for a while.

Dexy5 profile image

Hello Telford_mike. I graduated mid May and sine then , apart from a week or so on the IC, I have tried to do a Parkrun on a Saturday and 2 x 4k/30 min runs in between. I might do a bit more when it cools down but to be honest this is far more than I expected to achieve when I set out on this journey. I certainly didn’t expect to get addicted or to end up with a drawer full of new running gear, or various apps on my phone to look at my stats. I have just taken the Garmin Forerunner 35 out for its 1st run and really like what it does.

telford_mike profile image
telford_mikeGraduate in reply to Dexy5

Thanks. I know what you mean about all the gear. I bought a Garmin too, they're absolutely marvellous. We don’t have parkrun where I live but I’ll be back in the U.K. for a few weeks in August so might try to squeeze one in.

Dexy5 profile image
Dexy5Graduate in reply to telford_mike

Oh yes I remember you live in the mountains with those wonderful runs

Ouching profile image

Hi mike

I graduated two weeks ago and am still smiling

I do three wobbles a week. I try and incorporate a park run (but not this week though as found the bottom of a bottle of wine on Friday. Wasn't even looking for it either. Surprise!).

Anyway I try and plod 5k every time. Not worried about speed. I am slow but don't mind. Am recognising a few of the same snails along the way.

Just enjoy and keep going


telford_mike profile image
telford_mikeGraduate in reply to Ouching

Thanks. I've not actually done 5k yet - didn’t have a way to measure my distance until I got my Garmin a few days ago. I'll try and work up to that over the next few weeks.

Whatsapp profile image

For distance checking try inputting your route here : gb.mapometer.com/

In terms of what to do after C25K, well theres a whole world of possibilities out there. I would start with booking an organised event. It will give you a great experience whilst adding an element of 'training for...' to your runs which post-C25k has been lacking. Plenty of choices here: timeoutdoors.com/

telford_mike profile image
telford_mikeGraduate in reply to Whatsapp

Oh wow, thanks! I'd never heard of mapometer, and it even works here in Switzerland! It's not perfect because we run on paths rather than roads (the roads here only have footpaths in towns), but it’s still a great planning tool 😀 Yes, looking for an organised 5k here, but they all seem to be marathons or 10ks at the moment 😬

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappGraduate in reply to telford_mike

Thats lucky, from your username I thought you lived in Telford, England.

telford_mike profile image
telford_mikeGraduate in reply to Whatsapp

A good assumption. That's my home town, still have a place there 👍

I am terrible at self-motivation unless I have a goal so as soon as I finished C25k i signed up for a race in about 6 months time! I’m reasonably fit despite not having run for years before doing C25k so I signed up for a half marathon which scared me into making sure I got out and did my 3 runs a week! It doesn’t matter what distance you aim for - and a half marathon was prob over ambitious as I’m now finding i have to be careful with me knees on longer runs, but I think I will just about manage it - but picking any goal, a 5k, 10k or a half, as long as you give yourself enough time to train for it, will keep you going. Also races are such a massive thrill, if you’ve never done one I massively recommend it! Don’t worry about your time just worry about getting to the end and your time will probably surprise you (make sure you have a few friends/family to meet you at the end as you’ll be so proud of yourself!)

I should also say I’m still a really slow runner, nowhere near doing a 5k in under 30seconds (takes me about 33) but I’ve been focusing on finding a pace I can maintain and seeing how far I can go. I ran 10 miles at the weekend (which took me 2 hours!!!) 4 months ago I couldn’t even run for 3 minutes so I was so thrilled.

There are loads of beautiful races out there so my advice is pick one that is far enough away to give you time to train, but not so far away you get complacent, and go for it!

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