When do we actually get to running 5k? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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When do we actually get to running 5k?


How many of you actually get to run a distance of 5k when you finish this plan? I'm slowly beginning to realise that although I'm now running for 25 mins I'm not nearly running a 5k distance so even upping my time by 5 mins which I'll do the week after next I can't see how I can get to 5k.

Feel great that I'm running but disappointed that 5k won't be as achievable as I'd thought it would.

24 Replies

The plan should really be renamed couch to 30 mins but that's not as catchy. Many do not reach 5k by the end of the plan, however that is nothing to be down about.

Running for 30 minutes... no I'll say it again... Running. For 30, yes 30 whole minutes! That is something to celebrate! Have you forgotten weeks 1 and 2 already? When running for just a couple of minutes was so hard?

It's a great acheivement. If you want to reach 5k, give it time, you will. You really will. 👍😉😁

geb6o8Graduate in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Oh I know... and yes I often talk about how I could not run for even 1 min just over 7 weeks ago...🤗


don’t sweat it, you’re out running rather than sat in the house and I’m sure I read on here somewhere that it is only 15% of ppl who get to 5k in 30 minutes when they finish the plan, you’re doing great, keep going 😀 I’m at the end of week 7 and doing about 3k in 25 minutes.

geb6o8Graduate in reply to Soolou78

Thanks, I'm probably not doing much more than you...I feel great anyway🤗

Soolou78Graduate in reply to geb6o8

The running group i’m in have our graduation run at park run, as long as I do the 5k in under an hour I’m happy 😂


Well I finished the plan today and I’m still sub-5K and quite ok with it. I do about 4K so reckon I’ll get there eventually but to do it in 30 minutes may take a good bit of training! I actually think a 30 minute 5K is a pretty ambitious target in its own right. I know some runners who’ve been at it a lot longer than I have who are pleased to finally do it. A lot is about individual characteristics and starting level, I think. What has pleased me is reaching a reliable, easy 30 minutes without any injury to my not-so-young frame along the way. 😄👍 Just do your own thing is my mantra.... Happy Running. 👏🏼

geb6o8Graduate in reply to Granspeed

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm very proud of myself. Well done to yourself too.🤗


The important thing is to run a 5K only after you graduate from C25K, 30 minutes is the goal, only 10% of people who complete run 3 of week 9 manage that. Don't be disappointed if you don't run a full 5K by the time you 🎓 graduate, the important thing is to run for 30 minutes non stop even if it's only 3K which is perfectly fine. . 😊 🏃

geb6o8Graduate in reply to AlMorr

Thank you for your reply. On week 7 I'm doing 4k so a little way to go. It's all good though and I'm amazed by what I've done so I'm not complaining🤗

AlMorrGraduate in reply to geb6o8



Some of us (me!) will always be slow runners, I’m now (slowly) adding time to my running. I don’t run 5k yet but I will do, and can now run for 35 minutes (thought I’d die on w1r1), not long I’ll be running for 40. After graduation, and once you’ve consolidated your runs, you can work on your pace, or duration. You’ll get there!

geb6o8Graduate in reply to DiscoRunner

That's helpful to know... thank you for your thoughts. Well done on keeping it going. Do you follow another plan now? I'm already thinking of the next step but think I will need something in my ear to keep me motivated!

DiscoRunnerGraduate in reply to geb6o8

For my consolidation runs I redid the graduation run again & again changing the coach for variation! That really helped me as I needed the encouragement and the timings. Recently I bought a simple multi timer app so I can create different runs (and have half way bleeps) and this has been great - I have my 30 (+warmup/down) and a 35 & a 40 - I can break these down as much or as little as I want. I’m still experimenting to see what works best for me. I’ve tried listening to few podcasts instead of music, and these have been great for just getting lost in a subject. I’m following the Japanese slow jogging movement technique (you can search that on youtube and find a useful video) that’s low impact injury-free running style. My aim is (probably take me another couple of months) to be running for 3x45 mins per week. There’s a whole bridge to 10k group on here, but this slow running and adding duration is working for me. Good luck with your next few runs!

geb6o8Graduate in reply to DiscoRunner

Awww that's all been so helpful. Thank you very much.

Couch to Running for 30 Minutes At Your Own Happy Shuffling Pace is not quite as zippy as C25K.

When I 1st did the program a few years back I found that my happy sustainable pace meant I could do the 5K in 40 minutes. So if needs be make the actual 5K a goal for Week 10 and Week 11 :)


I think it’s all been said! I just finished my penultimate run - I couldn’t have gone any quicker but only covered 3.7 km.... the point is I’m thrilled with that!

I’ll keep going after C25 and maybe I’ll get quicker - maybe I won’t but one thing’s for sure - it’ll be one and a half hours of exercise I wasn’t getting before C25k!



Really, really don’t worry about it.

I think I made it to 3.5k In the final week. I then slowly built up my running time to reach 5k.

I’m now regularly doing 5k in about 35 mins, almost 9 months after graduating. And regularly running 10k plus each weekend. That doesn’t feel like failure.

Enjoy your next run x


5k will come eventually the point is you are out there running and will get to 30 minutes of non stop running that in itself is amazing considering we all started with 60seconds so keep going 😊


Pace is dependent on fitness, gender, age, genetics, height, weight and probably more factors... there cannot be a plan to get everyone to 5k when basing the runs on time. Don’t worry about it. I’m proud to say that I didn’t run 5k on the programme, and that I have since... I got two celebrations instead of one!

The thing that matters most is meeting the NHS guidelines of 150 minutes of cardio a week... and this plan gives you 90 of them, a couple of brisk walks and you’re at 150. That means the fitter, healthier, hopefully happier you will have a longer life expectancy... which frees up more time to worry about trivial things like pace. These people who can run a parkrun in 20 minutes or less have to run more to meet the guidelines 😂

geb6o8Graduate in reply to UnfitNoMore

Ha...I like that especially the last sentence😎

UnfitNoMoreAdministrator in reply to geb6o8

I haven’t shouted “you’re doing it wrong” to any of them yet 😂

Seriously though, these people have been running for years... most of us here have done days, weeks, or months... maybe one day some of us will be that fast, but I really don’t care... I’m happy being fit and healthy.


I graduated last week and 3k is my best distance so far. That’s fine - now I have an obvious target to keep me running 😄


I'll never run 5k in 30 mins. And thats fine. When I first ran 5k it was in 45 mins. I was so excited! I run it at least once a week now and can now do it on my flattest route in just under 37 mins. I'm not aiming to go much faster as I'm now working on long slow runs. Much more fun when you can breathe and enjoy the view!! 🐢🐢🐢🐢


Have a look at this poll to get an idea of distances run in week 9 of C25K (which really should be called "C2r430m3xi1w"):


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