Trying to go too fast: I’m approaching 40 far... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Trying to go too fast

snagsboson profile image
6 Replies

I’m approaching 40 far too quick for my liking and have gone from been a keen rugby player and pretty good runner in my younger days to a tired overweight Dad.

I’ve been doing the C25K on and off for an age, been doing it this time since November with a lay-off over Christmas, (excuse number 1)! I’ve been stuck at week 4 and after reading this forum I have finally accepted what I knew all along but wouldn’t admit to myself is that I’m running too fast. I’ve been doing the walking bits at 5.5kph and running at 10kph. Looking at the later weeks for time and distance (week 5 day 3), C25K to me suggests running pace to be about 10kph? I thought I’d nearly mastered week 4, I managed up to 3.5 minutes on week 4 day 2 last 5 minute run. Today I dropped to 9.5kph for the running and did the full duration.

I’m running on a treadmill with a view of moving onto the roads when I’ve gained some fitness and feel more confident.

My obstacles/excuses for struggling to be committed are I work away from home, often overseas, often offshore. When away I do a manual job 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for sometimes up to 6 weeks. After a week or so of working I am too tired to run and go to the bar instead (when one is available).

6 Replies
UnfitNoMore profile image

Welcome... yeah, the title C25K can cause that misconception, it’s about the 30 minutes... 5k will come later in most cases. The great thing with this plan is it gets close to 30 minutes of cardio straight away, raising your fitness right from the get go. Slight pace changes make big differences to the level of required effort, as you’ve seen, so now you’re going to progress through the weeks and look back at your fast sessions stuck on week 4 and laugh at yourself one day soon. I read this termed “running it like a guy” a while ago... I think most of us guys feel the need to be fast straight away 😂

Your job doesn’t make it easy, especially offshore, but that doesn’t mean this is impossible, it’s just another challenge. If they had treadmills at the bar we’d all be good on business trips... well, maybe not good but we’d come home fitter!

Enjoy the rest of your journey on C25K, the journey to 5k and then the journey to a sub-30 5k... you can do it all.

IannodaTruffe profile image

Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

This guide to the plan is essential reading

Testosterone has a lot to answer for........

The science tells us that running/jogging at an easy conversational pace is the way to build stamina, which is why elite runners spend up to 80% of their time at this pace.

As a new runner, with a susceptibility to injury, it is the pace that you should do all your C25k workouts.

Many have a problem with this pace because they get overtaken by other runners breezing by effortlessly.............that will be you in a couple of years time, but for now stay nice and slow, so you can speak clear ungasping sentences as you run........speed comes later.

Enjoy your journey.

Dilmark profile image

I’m looking at the program as being all about time. Agree the 30 minute final week would require 10kph to do 5k - however I’ve not heard a single reference to distance from the trainer app (did W7R3 today - at 8kph).

I’m assuming (/hoping) that once I’ve the discipline to keep myself going for 30 minutes plus, speed (in the loosest possible sense of the word!) will come.

Your work stints sound very intense - I’ve had intense periods but at a desk - and after 12 hours of that, hammering it at the gym is quite therapeutic! Certainly shouldn’t berate yourself for not hitting plan timing.

snagsboson profile image

Thanks for the advice. My job is a huge interference factor but I will not allow myself to keep using it as an excuse.

Even though I’ve done week 4 a few times trying to nail that second lot of 5 minutes, now I’ve actually completed the whole run I’m going to do day 2 and day 3 to consolidate. I need to get minutes into my legs to prep for the 20 minutes on week 5 day 3.

ktsok profile image
ktsok in reply to snagsboson

I’m finding speed and endurance are on two trajectories. The run length increases so the pace comes down, then the pace increases, repeat. The 20 minute run was a breakthrough moment for me as I was finally forced to find a lower gear. I didn’t realise/believe it, (despite excellent advice on here) as I felt I was going slowly, but I had been going too fast for my beginner legs. Sheer willpower was getting me through the 5 and 8 minutes but I knew I had hit my limit and something had to give. I guess I’m fairly fit by some standards and couldn’t understand why I was finding it so hard. I guess if you have run before you might be coming at it from a similar mindset. Sounds like you have worked out what’s going on... and you’ll be flying within no time at all :)

Beachcomber66 profile image

All been said really. I completed C25k then up to 10k since last May. C25k is about a slow build up in my book; it is not a high intensity work out. No other goal than somehow, however slowly, running for the specified intervals. It is amazing to see the pace and endurance build up slowly by sticking to that formula. Post C25k, there are all sorts of opportunities for doing different length, and therefore different speed, runs every other day. Speed and fitness build up really gradually, but if you have a running watch you can see the progress; quick run times improve, the maybe 1 minute per k slower long run pace also improves and average heart rate reduces. So it all works out in the end without running yourself into a lather. There are some racehorses around who would rubbish the above, and good luck to them; they have talent I don't possess, but I think that my experience will be similar to many. Foot off the gas !!😊

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