Feels pointless when it’s not 5k: Made it it to... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

114,945 members146,693 posts

Feels pointless when it’s not 5k


Made it it to week 9 after about 4 months of killing my myself running (and hating every minute). I then installed a different app to track my progress and route and discovered that after half an hour, it was a struggle to even get to 3k. Considering Couch to 5k is for beginners, I’m not sure how they expect you to have Olympic speed in 9 weeks. So I’m a bit disheartened as I can’t seem to get any faster.

14 Replies

You can focus on distance or speed. You can't do both. You can't get speed at distance without building up to that distance first.

C25K bit of a misnomer as there are many that will never manage 5k in 30 minutes (and I should say continue run quite happily at their own pace) especialy not within the time span of the programme.

Trust me when I say the important thing is you are running non-stop for 30 mins. This is no mean feat. Yes some will get further in that time, there is always someone faster than you.

Keep running for 30 minutes three times a week and you will get stronger and therefore quicker. You will not become an olympic athlete however, and neither will I.

I think of C25K a bit like learning to drive. It gives you the tools to pass your test but you only learn to drive after your test (hope that makes sense) Sounds like you put a lot of pressure on your self rather than relaxing & enjoying your run. Increased speed comes with time. I hope you take it. Good luck👍🏻


Just remember: not everyone is a runner at heart! I’m saying this as someone who loves running... You’ve increased your capacity. You can keep running, or you can try other activities: swimming, cycling, hiking... anything that gets your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes. My sister hates running, but enjoys elliptical. I have a friend who never runs but is killer on a rowing machine. Not every activity is for everyone.

Own your success at graduating: very well done you!! I wish you all the best in finding a way to move that you enjoy.


Pointless? You’re getting the recommended 3 lots of 30 minutes of heart rate raising exercise the NHS recommends and that’s changed your life... that’s the biggest prize there is. The whole programme adds endurance and now you’re at 30 minutes you can be happy staying healthy, seek to build endurance longer, or go for some speed. You’re now a runner, and whichever way you take it just needs the same focus you’ve demonstrated over the last 9 weeks. 5k will come and, unless you’re thinking of being an Olympian, you’re only every going to compete with yourself.


Oh dear.. did you check out the info on the FAQ link..it does state that the idea is to run for 30 minutes..not to reach 5K..

As whatappsays..it's a misnomer..C25K..a catchy name..we have surveys that show how few reach 5K in 30 mins...some never..some have no wish too..many run marathons and beyond...Did you hate every moment because you were killing yourself..? We advocate slow and steady on here all the time...me especially...this programme is a slow structured build up to 30 minutes runs.

If you want to carry on running...not sure what your reasons for starting were..but if they have not changed...just relax...and carry on. Finish this week..slowly...really slowly...Relax and just run..all the way to the podium.

Then after Graduation 😊

Consolidation of those 30 minutes running, ...and then less time...Try out some new routes...experiment with different things...strides..intervals..etc

Give it a try...😊 You have done amazingly well to reach this point..😊


Does it really matter that much? You have still tun continuously for 30 mins which you didn't do before! I realised when I started the programme that I was not going to cover 5k by the end of it because my natural pace isn't fast enough but it got me back into running. I have done a number of Races for Life in the past so knew it would take me at least 40- 45 mins but as I have no-one to run with (my sister decided she hates running) I needed someone to be my coach/buddy and Jo Whiley is a bit busy to do it in person so having her in my ear is the next best thing. My plan when I've finished (2 more runs) is to work on increasing my speed if I can to see if I can get to 5k in 30 mins but I think that is unlikely so will then just run for longer. Be proud and decided where you go from here.

Thanks everyone. I do have a habit of putting too much pressure on myself, I'm not a natural at any kind of sport. I have this week reduced my time to 20 mins of running, at a slightly faster pace and I've enjoyed this more as it hasn't seemed like it's taking forever. Hopefully it's still all good exercise. :)

DeckerGraduate in reply to tp91

The fact that you are doing this at all is a huge favour to your future self. No worries, just adjust as you are doing now, and try to enjoy it. All the rest comes with time and making it a habit. It is definitely all good exercise.


The objective of the program is to run for 30 minutes three times in one week.

Whilst "C25K" is a catchy title, it is not accurate. But "C2r430m3xi1w" is a bit of a mouthful.

You're doing great. You can run for 30 minutes and that's amazing.


Many congratulations on your graduation fellow runner.

Please read the guide to post C25K running healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

You have achieved something really special and only about 10% of graduates from this forum hit 5k in 30 minutes at graduation.

Keep running, keep smiling.


So to sum up:

1. Being able and willing to run for 30 minutes on a regular basis is not pointless: it can be life-changing and for some even life-saving. It’s still 30 minutes of cardio exercise regardless of distance.

2. You can’t run 5k YET. You are certainly capable of building up to that because you’ve done the hard bit. You’ll run 5k soon but it may take longer than 30 minutes.


I can feel your pain ! I'm certainly not a runner and have had to drag myself around most times. My


Sorry.... continued from previous post ! When I graduated a few weeks ago my phone app was telling me I'd run about 3.5 k in 30 mins. Like you I was completely disheartened. I then discovered ' mapometer' on my pc. Allows you to plot your route accurately. My route I had been running was actually about 4.2 k. I was so thrilled that my spirits were boosted. I've planned a 5k route on the pc and have finished it several times in 32 minutes....... happy days!


Well done for getting all the way to week 9.

I graduated last October and my first 5k was Jan 1st and took me just shy of 45mins.

My fastest to date is 33mins.

Concentrate on getting the distance in your legs and lungs and don't worry about pace at least not for now ... don't forget to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine (when it is out) and good ol' outdoors.

You may also like...