Hills or flat?: As im getting further with each... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Hills or flat?


As im getting further with each week i am running out of road, well flat road that is, ive just done w4r2 (previously got to w6r3 but had a long break) and im slow and steady but find any incline at all just saps any pace and energy and feels like im running in mud. I can barely lift my feet and i hate it!

I run steady enough throughout and try beat my last distance each run but have enough left to sprint the last minute and find that leaves me feeling positive and like ive really pushed myself. But have nothing left when there's hills (not hills to anyone but a new runner!)

What do you think?

Do you think i will get used to the hills or should i stick to the flat until graduation?

10 Replies

It's a tougher... hill work is great at building stamina and endurance but at this stage I would stick with the flat unless you have no choice ...


One thought is aiming for a PB every run is a dangerous habit to get into. On this programme it may happen naturally, that’s the nature of this... after graduation it could be the way to A&E. Strava has been blamed for a lot of injuries caused by that kind of attitude. There’s a reason top athletics isn’t on tv daily! Be careful!

Hills build speed and stamina for later, but that doesn’t help with the programme... maybe put a small one in.

I also like to burn the energy off in the last minute... that’s good for later even though it’s not necessary for us to do it.

Enjoy your next run.


I'm learning to love hills (Well, loving the sense of achievement when I get to the top!), but I must admit, I avoided them like the plague whilst doing C25K. I found the programme hard enough without adding hills to the mix - I know how you feel, wading through treacle!

I'd say to keep it simple till you graduate, then you can work on flying up those hills!

When I did it before I got to the 5k on the flat then added in a slight incline and moved on to stepper over the weeks . I did have to recognise it slowed my time down but great when you achieve it

Thanks guys i hoped avoiding the hills would be the answer!!! NO PROBLEM i will just keep doubling back!

As for personal bests i cant help it!!

Although im not technical so dont even get the runkeeper app to start half the time! I started using it to see haw far i was going out of curiosity.

The thing is i am at home with young children and hubby works away sun to fri so i find it really difficult to get out, my older son works but lives at home so i rely on him to have his younger siblings while i run but 30 -35 mins is the most i can get. I am aiming to get to 5k without it taking longer, but i dont obsess over times or distance getting out is the main thing

CherylcwGraduate in reply to Nickimerritt

I was having a similar problem trying to get out because of young children and my OH working nights, so last weekend I bought an electric treadmill off gumtree for £65 and wow... Game changer..... I've been on it every other evening and my 9 & 10 year olds have now decided to do C25k too. I'm on w4r3 (and absolutely loving it) and they've done w1r2 tonight and they're really looking forward to doing park runs in the spring🙂


Your not aiming for a pb at the moment are you, just to get through c25k. Hills are so tough for the new runner, although they will benefit you in time for stamina, best leave them till you graduate if you can and stick to the flat..

Yeah im just doing the c25k ive never run before or done much else to be honest! I am actually enjoying it more than i thought i would! I am just naturally competitive and want to try my best and although i do not stop i am sensible!

Thank you!


Stay on the flat if you can... some of us have no choice..... they are good for all sorts of things in our running..but... :)

Take it steady and slow... no need to push too hard at this stage... let it evolve.

The hills, like the weather we learn to embrace... but not until we have to:)

Ha yep

Leeds is not the flattest place and i want to be able to run from home rather than drive somewhere first , i just feel a bit daft turning round and running back and forth along the same 1km path!

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