W8R1 done but where was MJ?: Half term this week... - Couch to 5K

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W8R1 done but where was MJ?


Half term this week so thought I'd go out early and get the run out of the way so that I could get back and work my way through the mountain of marking that I have to do. I am a creature of habit so felt slightly panicked when I was unable to load Michael as my trainer, how could I cope without him? Who should I choose instead? I opted for Sarah and off I went. I had thought about changing my route but decided to just tag a detour on to the end of my usual one. As usual the first 5mins were tough but I was pleasantly surprised at how it went. Still not a fan of running on an incline, luckily it's fairly flat here, and am still overtaken by other runners as I shuffle along. Best feeling ever was just when I was waiting for Sarah to tell me I had only 60 seconds left, she told me to stop, I had run for a full 28 mins. Cant believe the end is now clearly in sight. Is anyone else starting to worry about how they will motivate themselves to run once W9 is over?

13 Replies

Well done! How was Sarah for you? I haven't run with either of them. I used to run with Laura, now I'm on my music plus robot who tells me to start, midway, 1 minute before end, and the end :)

I was thinking of 1-2 weeks of consolidation runs, and then or Bridge to 10k, or other stepping stones (or how it is called) by NHS. I will see. First, I want to reach and finish week 9 :P

SlowLoris in reply to IgaT

I found Stepping Stones really useful. It gets you varying cadence and pace. Takes a bit of getting used to though.

IgaTGraduate in reply to SlowLoris

I think someone mentioned that it is quite fast paced. Or I mixed with the other one?

SlowLoris in reply to IgaT

There are three post grad podcasts. They all get you focussed on cadence as a way to vary speed. They did get me well out of my comfort zone as my natural cadence is about 160-165 steps per minute, although I didn't know that until then (I upgraded to a fancy running watch much later). Once I learned to run slowly it became a lot easier and more enjoyable.

IgaTGraduate in reply to SlowLoris

I think I am good while running to music around 120-130bpm, so I assume my cadence is 120-130 steps per minute. Can you do those podcasts with slower pace than they are telling you? I don't have a fancy watch, and my free app isn't that great to tell me my cadence. If I may ask, do you have Garmin or what fancy gadget are you using?

SlowLoris in reply to IgaT

I suspect your cadence is higher than that. On the post grad podcasts Laura counts out the pace 1, 2, 3, 4 for you to follow so you'll know whether it's faster or slower than what you're used to doing.

I did have a very basic Garmin Forerunner 10. This year I had a little reminder that life is short so, as a treat, upgraded to the 645 which measures everything. Of course this doesn't make me run faster but does give me no end of stats and graphs to waste time poring over. All part of the fun for me.

IgaTGraduate in reply to SlowLoris

Thank you, I will have a look and listen to the podcasts, and probably give them a try after graduation ;)

Running-nanaGraduate in reply to IgaT

Sarah, was ok actually. I was worried I wouldn't be able to take her seriously 😂


Great job sparky. Just got back too and it was my best run yet. Have always used Sarah. I too was waiting for minute warning and was strangely disappointed when she said it was over

Not really thought about after next week yet other than to run 3 times a week

Keep up the good work 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

I graduated in August and felt a bit lost at first, had developed a love hate relationship with Micheal, I bought a 5 quid wrist stop watch from decathlon, big digits, I ran 30 mins for a couple of weeks, a bit panicky about what to do next, I still run 3 times a week and wear the watch but rarely check it until towards the end of the run, but was good security blanket for them first few weeks without MJ :(


Good run... Sarah is great. 5 runs to go. I find setting goals in the short medium and long term really helps me stay motivated.


I assume all the trainer options use exactly the same script, because I've been using Laura throughout and I got caught out by the lack of a 1min warning on the W8 runs too. However it had the bonus of making me feel like I wasn't ready to stop running, so I kept going for an extra couple of minutes, as a result of which I'm continuing to stretch my runs by 1-2 minutes in Week 9 and therefore should be able to keep going long enough to hit an actual 5k distance on W9 R3 (which for me is likely to take 34-35 minutes).

I'm not particularly worried about future motivation; the fact that I'm motivated enough to keep going this week even though I'm extremely busy and it's pitch dark in the mornings means I don't think this will be a problem for me. The sudden drop in temperature has caught me out a bit though - I need to invest in a few new bits of kit.


I’m at the same point and feel exactly the same! W8R2 today and I cannot really believe how I’ve progressed with the programme, it’s been great. Glad you find first 5 mins tough, that’s always the worst bit for me too but my stamina has improved so much I have no doubt I’ll finish next week now. Starting to work strength and flex in on my rest days now as I feel like I need a bit of extra challenge. Remarkable as someone who has always hated running....until now :)

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