Still not hitting 5k on 30 minutes.: Hi guys, I... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Still not hitting 5k on 30 minutes.


Hi guys,

I’ve been a graduate a while now (since March). I haven’t ran 5k in 30 minute yet. I can run 5k in about 37 minutes.

Will this come with more running or am I doing something wrong?

I’ve had a couple of weeks out from running due to uni exams and assessments. I did my first run yesterday and ran 3.8km/2.39 miles according to my Strava and Fitbit app.

I just don’t seem to be getting any quicker. But on the plus side I managed to push through the calf tightness I’ve been experiencing.

Any advice is welcome!

D 😊

15 Replies

hi i have been runing for about 7months now done 5mile 6 7 8 9 and 10 and even hm but it still takes me 36mins for 5k its not abot speed for me its knowing that i can do no matter how long it takes me dont worry about how long just that you can do it


Took my a few months to get to sub 30. Running further and doing hills will help. Go onto the bridge to 10k forum and use Ju-Ju’s plan to build up to 10k.

DbonGraduate in reply to Tasha99

Thank you for your advice!


37 minutes for 5k is good! With more running and development a 30 minute 5k will almost certainly come... don’t worry about it though.

Speed comes sooner with longer running and some specific speed work... if 30 minutes is comfortable/easy now maybe it’s time to look at a 10k plan and there’s none better than the one on the Bridge to 10k forum on here. It has good varied runs and cross training... even if you don’t want to take it all the way to 10, your 5k pace should improve.

DbonGraduate in reply to UnfitNoMore

That’s made me feel much better about my running. Thank you for tour advice and encouragement.


Hi Dbon. Most people who graduate can't run 5k in 30 minutes. 90% I think. 5k in 37 minutes is great. You can get faster but it takes time. Speed and pace increase naturally as you get more ruining miles in and build up your stamina. There are lots of guides on how to do this and specific exercises. Your definitely not doing anything wrong. If you increase your running beyond 5k you'll find your 5k time should improve. Don't try to increase your distance by more than 10% a week though because that could lead to injury and fatigue. Good luck and enjoy your running!!

DbonGraduate in reply to steviej99

Thank you :)


I got under 30 minutes ONCE - about 3 years ago- these days I average around 35 minutes at parkrun, mainly because I am marathon training requiring lots of slow running , but mostly because I dont even try to run faster :) I really dont want to hurt myself at this stage of my training

DbonGraduate in reply to Bazza1234

Thank you! I thought I was running slow and giving myself a hard time for it :)


It may come or not....many folk never make 5K in 30 minutes... ever... But they run and run the most awesome runs...

It is the long slow runs which build up the running legs, stamina and strength and eventually distance and sometime speed follow...:)

Please do not push through calf tightness... I am overly careful as after a minor calf tear, I know the return to running was taken, with close support from my Sports Physio', slowly and very carefully.

Try some calf exercises and make sure you carry on slowly and steadily... let the uns evolve:)

These work for men and women :)

DbonGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Thank you 😊


Becoming a graduate doesn't suddenly confer you with superpowers, or even the ability to run an arbitrary distance, say 5k in an arbitrary time, say 30 minutes.

Having been a graduate for a month will have consolidated your ability, but is not going to have made a great deal of difference.

You need the special ingredients................patience and dedication.

You are still a very, very new runner.

Are you any faster than you were at graduation? If so, then that will give you an idea of the degree of progress you can expect over time, although it will not be a constant gain.

Are you following the advice in the guide to post C25K running of spending 75-80% of your running at an easy conversational pace, to build stamina and strength, with which you can push hard for the remainder?

Have you tried intervals?

Apparently, the majority of recreational runners do not spend enough time at an easy pace and do not push hard enough when trying for pace. Suggesting that too much time at a middling pace is not the way to become a speed merchant.

I don't think C25K is really about 5k! It's just about running for 30 min and may be based on 30min for 5k being doable for some. I think finding a good pace for you is important. I'm a recent graduate and running about same pace at my best. In the past I have been able to increase my speed by running in a group. If you are determined to get your time down maybe join a club if you haven't already?


Pace comes with time. Just run regularly for now Try adding hills and some in intervals. A running club can help too


Thank you everyone! I’ve taken in all the advice and I’m just going to keep preserving and keep going! And importantly enjoy my running!

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