Tips for hitting 5k?: Hi, I am looking for tips... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Tips for hitting 5k?



I am looking for tips please for increasing my average pace. I today completed Week 9 Run 2 and only hit 5k if you include the warm up walk.

My pace is about 7:14-7:24 at the moment and it feels gargantuan to get to 6 minute kilometres to actually do the 5k in 30 mins. I think it will take a while yet after graduating the app later this week.

Does anyone else feel the app makers were a bit ambitious with having the final week as 30 minutes being classed as 5k? I was thinking maybe 35 minutes would be more reasonable.

Many thanks,


7 Replies

Only about 10% of respondents to a poll on this forum managed to run 5k in thirty minutes at graduation...........many never do.........but this forum probably has a bias towards the unfit starting to exercise for the first time, so maybe that is not a surprise. The C25K training plan is way older than the app (1996) and it was adopted by the NHS after proving it's worth over many years and it certainly does the job of building basic stamina and making that target a possibility.

Personally, I believe that the majority of the population could run 5k in 30 minutes if they were willing to put in the effort and time and live an appropriate lifestyle.

This guide to post C25K running may help you with your future running and get you to that arbitrary time and distance aim.

Keep running, keep smiling.


You don't have to reach 5k, just to be able to run for 30 mins, and you will still graduate. The distance will come in time if you keep at it.


The app is available free to all. Unfortunately, not all things are equal and unless the programme is tailored for individuals it is always going to struggle to please all the people all the time.

The programme itself focuses more on consistent weekly running then acheiving any particular milage. In fact the olny reference to distance is the 5k in the title. That was settled on mainly as it sounds better and also as IannodaTruffe says it is a realistic goal for most. Whether it is acheivable in the 9 weeks the programme runs for is down to individuals.

Complete the app and then make 5k you next goal. Most find they get a little lost after the programme finishes, so having an ongoing goal should hlep keep you focused.


It’s different for everyone... the 30 minutes is the thing that changes your life the most. After graduation you can work on increasing endurance to give you a bigger tank and also some shorter faster runs using the tank you have. Eventually the two do come together. If you can run 7:20 for 30 minutes, it’s not a big leap to run 6minute pace for a kilometre... it’s just a case of perseverance and having a structure to your mission. That’s if you want it to go that way of course.

You’re doing great and have added years to your life... be happy and celebrate that the most.


I'm doing 4.7k in 40 mins with the warm up and down walks. My plan after this (1 run left!) is to programne 5k into run keeper and just see how long it takes me. Then i'll do some park runs and work on getting my speed down through those. I also have a Pretty Muddy 5k booked for sept. I'm not too bothered about increasing distance yet as i have a knee teconstruction and am frankly, still amazed i can run at all!

The times will come if you keep going.

Graduated today :) My fastest 1km was 6:45 which was really pushing myself. The overall pace including warm up and cool down was 7:36. I will keep at running 3 times a week at least to build fitness, and as said above it’ll come . I use Runkeeper too, so just seeing how long it takes for me to do 5k sounds like a good idea. I’d like to be able to build up to 10k eventually.


I think you will reach 5k fairly soon just by increasing your running time by two or three minutes each week. After all you can already to 5k in 40 minutes and some of that is walking, so by the time you can run for 38 minutes that should be 5k and by adding 2 minutes per week you can achieve that in a month. Getting down to 30 minutes will take longer: I suggest splitting it into separate targets, get to 5k regardless of time (even if you need to SLOW your pace to get there!) and only start to work on pace once you can already run 5k.

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