FEBRUARY CONSOLIDATION CLUB ❀️: Hey there... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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FEBRUARY CONSOLIDATION CLUB ❀️

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
β€’53 Replies

Hey there, RUNNER!

Congratulations for graduating the Couch to 5K programme! You are amazing and I hope you are excited about your future running career!!! 😊😊😊

Remember to go and request your GRADUATE BADGE if you haven't done so already! healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

This period, post graduation, can be tough, without either a programme to follow or the regular satisfaction of achieving a new aim each week. So we bring you the Consolidation Club as your go-to monthly post for all your post-graduation questions and answers!

What do we mean by CONSOLIDATION?

As at any stage in running, when you have increased your running distance or duration over a few weeks, it is good practice to consolidate (work on feeling stronger running for 5k or 30 minutes) for a short period, bedding in all that effort.

Having just finished C25k, it is a good idea to:

β˜… Continue to run for 5k or 30 minutes (whichever you achieved during the plan) for a few weeks

β˜… Try out different routes

β˜… Just enjoy your new found ability!

Without having to increase duration week on week, you can take the pressure off, have fun, run somewhere beautiful and new, forget about pace. While you are consolidating you are also helping to establish the habit of running in your life. It is said to take twelve weeks of changed behaviour to create a new habit, so a three-week consolidation will get you there!

We encourage you to check in here straight after graduation, tell us how you're doing and feeling. Give us your run reports, swap ideas, ask questions and get help formulating plans and targets, knowing that at least one member of the admin team is keeping an eye out, with all the usual advice to offer. There is no need to sign up, just drop in and have your say.

β˜…β˜… And check out our full GUIDE to post-C25k running: β˜…β˜…

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Consolidation is not compulsory, but is considered good practice for all runners, at any stage, who have increased duration and distance over the preceding weeks and is particularly appropriate for new runners, to reduce risk of burnout and injury. How many runs this takes will be very individual, but it is so much better for you if you feel strong and confident about your 5k or 30 minute runs before starting work on faster times and longer distances.

So, over to you new graduates! Who wants to tell us how it is going/feeling? How can we help support you at this stage? Know that we've all been there, and we're HERE, with and for you!

The Admin Team xx

January post: healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

53 Replies
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roseabi
roseabiAdministrator

After I graduated I carried on using the Week 9 podcast for a while to keep me going while I found my feet. I found it really helpful to have Laura's encouraging words as I ran. Has anyone else tried that yet?

Oldgirlruns
OldgirlrunsGraduate
in reply to roseabi

Yes, I did all my consolidation runs with Laura - I don’t think I could have done them on my own. But by the end I was confident enough to take the plunge - so thank you Laura!

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to Oldgirlruns

She's fab isn't she!?! 😊😊😊

WeegieBurd
WeegieBurdGraduate
in reply to roseabi

I was running with Jo Whiley for the 9 weeks, and couldn't have got through it without her.

To make me feel as though I'm working on my running now, trying to nail 5k in 30 minutes, and not perpetually stuck on wk9, I've switched to Laura for my consolidation runs. I know it sounds daft, but hearing a different voice, and words, makes me feel different about these runs.

Mind you, I did feel guilty for dumping Jo the first night I ran without her. 🀣

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to WeegieBurd

That's a great idea!

Snodrop
SnodropGraduate
in reply to roseabi

Got to r3w9 yesterday....definitely keeping Laura by my side, she keeps telling me I am great!! I told her its not the end its just the beginning!

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to Snodrop

Lol, that's superb!!!! xxx

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate

I was thinking (well, obsessing) about running and also about running routes. My favourite run ever was my first colsolidation run last week in a country park.

I've been going there all my life, but running there was a completely different experience.

No idea where I was going to go next and what paths I would follow, like rediscovering somewhere I'm so familiar with.

I need to do runs like that but can't always go out to places where that type of run is possible. I love walking and used to hike a bit so I wonder if trail running is best for me (if that's what trail running is). Expect it is unachievable with my knees, but it really would push all the right buttons! I'm not quite satisfied with pre-determined routes because I like to explore. Maybe not running down mountains or fells, but certainly very off road running.

Would I need special shoes? I would only do short distances at the moment. I read somewhere that if you exclusively run off road then you need trail shoes.

Conversely I quite like treadmill running too!

Thank you - sorry for lots of questions it's just this is quite exciting!

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Roxdog

Hi Roxdog! It is all very exciting post graduation. The freedom! The route planning! Researching different types of runs! I love it.

I prefer running in more green spaces, and get a bit β€œtraily” now and again. Proper trail shoes will give you more grip and stability if the terrain is very rough underfoot. However, I do run through my local woods in normal road shoes; in part because I have to run on roads to get to the woodland, and the woodland itself has quite good paths. I think if it was any more rugged than that I would get trail shoes.

I think trail running is very different to road running. You take it much slower, and of course it’s good to take walk breaks where the terrain is especially rough. I think it is all about the being outdoors and enjoying nature around you, with a bit of running thrown in! No need for worrying about pace or distance - now THAT is freedom, and for me, what running is all about.

Happy running!

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to Sadie-runs

This is definitely the future for me! I may not invest in trail shoes yet then! Thank you!

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to Sadie-runs

Oh and slow is good! I think by following this plan I can gradually extend the time I'm running for without thinking about distance. No tracking apps for me yet!

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate
in reply to Roxdog

Actually I bought some trail shoes in US recently ( BOGOF) deal 🀣 and they just seem to have a chunkier tread.

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to Nymahchai

Thanks - yes I just think ot's about tread from speaking to a couple of 'serious' runners (Well I suppose I'm now a serious runner!)

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate
in reply to Roxdog

🀣🀣

Anniecycle
AnniecycleGraduate

Hi I’m a nervous graduate! So grateful to have found this community!

I’m back at week 7 but moving forward after encouragement from here!! So very helpful! I’ve changed my route as well as my mindset! Beginning to enjoy running! Who’d have thought!🀣🀩

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Anniecycle

Welcome Annie! Mindset is over half the battle with running, I think! Half the time that mindset involves ignoring that self-critical voice we all get in our heads now and then when running. When this happens to me, I remind myself that I run because I love the freedom of it and that I am doing this because of the amazing physical and mental benefits I get. And that not every run feels great, but that doesn’t matter, it is worth it for the ones that do. πŸ‘πŸ˜

What are your running hopes and dreams for the next few months?

Sadie x

Anniecycle
AnniecycleGraduate
in reply to Sadie-runs

Thanks Sadie

I guess my aim is to run 3 x a week ... to embed my β€˜getting out’ and running head!! I’m not at this point wanting to increase as I think I’m not ready...

My aim is to relax and enjoy... not worry... get a β€˜mind set’

I feel so much better already but I know that consistency is β€˜key’ πŸ˜œπŸ‘

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Anniecycle

That sounds perfect. And not just saying this because that’s what I did when I first graduated. 😁 Forming the regular running habit is a great idea, but the minute it starts to feel a bit too routine, that’s when you might want to mix things up a bit. Different routes keeps things interesting! πŸ‘ When I first graduated, I hadn’t reached 5k (like most folks) so I added one minute on to every 30-min run I did, until eventually I got to 5k. Took a while, but safest way to do it. Happy running! x

IannodaTruffe
IannodaTruffeAdministrator
in reply to Anniecycle

Have you read the guide to post C25k running? healthunlocked.com/couchto5... It has pointers but you need to embrace the whole wondeful world of running,which is whatever you want it to be.

Relax and enjoy is absolutely the right mindset.

GeorgeZ
GeorgeZGraduate

It took some will power to get out of the door tonight. Still got the tail end of a cold, only a few hours sleep Tuesday night and last night due to a work trip and to cap it all a big team lunch today in work.

Onto Auto pilot when I got home, gear on, trainers on, out of the door. 5min walk, 1st km feeling like a wobbly hippo then after that it settles down. 35 mins later back in the house and feel great.

It’s nice to know there is sure fire way to lift your mood in 30 ish minutes.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. Happy running.

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to GeorgeZ

I know exactly what you mean - well done!!!

And that reminds me, time to run 😊😊😊

Just discovered the Stepping Stones podcast for graduates. Can anyone comment on running at 150 steps/minute. It was challenging to run that slow and used some different muscles, but I'm thinking that it may have paid off towards the end of the run as I enjoyed the faster pace of 160steps/min.

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to NorwegianWood

I must admit I struggled with such a low cadence, but you are right in thinking that it is good to learn about how different paces feel - nice one!

Do you think you'll keep trying it?

NorwegianWood
NorwegianWoodGraduate
in reply to roseabi

Now that you've asked I will probably will. :-)

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate

So this post-programme stage is so interesting! Discovering what type of running you like is very exciting and the new freedom from instructions is good.

I am settling into a pattern of having 2 or 3 day breaks between runs because it seems to suit my body.

I am pleasantly surprised that after a longer consolidation run yesterday, which included inclines, plus 3 hours work on my allotment, I have no aches and pains and feel very strong.

At my age and with my dodgy knees I am working on lots of strengthening exercises and it seems to be working!

This takes commitment and research which makes it all the more interesting.

I have never experienced anything quite like the power of running, apart from perhaps swimming crawl. So good in every way!

Managed to run just under 3 miles yesterday in 39 minutes. That's slow but all good!

IannodaTruffe
IannodaTruffeAdministrator
in reply to Roxdog

It looks like you are doing all the right things.

Keeping moving on rest days is a great help, but your body will become more and more accustomed to this level of demand and the pains and aches will mostly disappear.

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you for confirming that I'm on the right path!

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate

Just checking in post graduation πŸŽ“. Oldfloss pointed me this way and it seems to fit. I hope to increase pace and distance and run 3 times a week. After a break I did a 25 minute run today so next will be 28 min then 30 min and onward from there. This wind πŸ’¨ is a bit challenging but making me fitter!

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Nymahchai

Hi Nymahchai! Welcome. 😁

When I first graduated I added a minute on to my runs a week, until I got to 5k. I focussed on reaching that distance first, and didn’t worry about pace. It’s all about β€œbuilding” your running legs post graduation, and building a regular routine. In fact, I didn’t really start to work on my pace for at least 6 months (if I remember correctly) post grad. Slow and steady builds stamina. πŸ‘

And oh boy, this weather is challenging! I was being blown sideways on my run this morning! Bring on spring/summer i say. Had enough of this winter malarkey now.

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate
in reply to Sadie-runs

So thank you! You know I haven’t focused on distance until now as it’s all been about Michael calling out time to me!! I do have a record of my distances so I will look at that and use that as my marker! The wind πŸ’¨ looks likely to continue so will need to plan my next route! Maybe I’ll give my trail shoes an outing in the mud. πŸ˜‚

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Nymahchai

😁 I think the saying goes β€œwork on speed or distance, not both at the same time”, so it’s up to you! Getting to that 5k milestone is nice though. And running slowly is nice too. 😁 Gawd, I cannot wait for spring/summer - hate this wind!

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate
in reply to Sadie-runs

Oh I hadn’t heard that saying so will go for distance. I like the sound of reaching 5K! And I do like slow running πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ. Think the wind will continue. Need to get a buff.. never had one but saw Oldfloss with one !

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Nymahchai

I ❀️ my buffs. 😁

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate
in reply to Sadie-runs

Who knew! Behind the drag curve 🀣

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Nymahchai

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate

Oh blimey - have done 2 longish consolidation runs this week 1x39 minutes and 1x33 minites, including inclines. My marathon runner work colleague has suggested running 'intervals' for about 20 mins on the outdoor running track on Friday as we don't have much time in our lunch break. He is moaning that he's not running often enough so I am motivating him πŸ˜‚I looked at the couch to5k plus plan and after advice on here, decided not to try the 'speed' podcast just yet.

I am prepared to try his plan, but speed up for 1 minute intervals every 5 minutes without being paced by the podcast.

Does that make sense? I want to mix it up a bit after the gruelling uphill runs but speeding up!???

Worried I will fail/feel defeated/be out of breath/injure myself!

Help please! No harm in trying but this feels very different just now

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to Roxdog

No harm in trying! I suggest you try just 30 second intervals to start (with 3+ minutes jog recovery) and see how you go xx

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to roseabi

Thank you, yes my friend has suggested 30 seconds instead of a minute. I will try!

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to Roxdog

Enjoy! Intervals are a lot of fun xx

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to roseabi

So I did 20 minutes of intervals today with my experienced runner colleague. I pushed hard on the very short fast sections (well fast for me). I joked he might have to take me to a&e, but actually I did manage it. While he powered ahead, I completed a few very short intervals at the fastest pace I could do without completely losing form and technique. About the length of a football pitch and some only half that length. It was fun, but I do know the majority of runs will still be consolidation runs.

It was a fun way of fitting a short session into my lunch break. I am not trying to reach targets, but mixing it up a bit is interesting and I just wanted to see what it was like. Not entirely pleasant, but done with no pain!

So, plan now is to do 3 runs a week - one 30 minute consolidation run, one consolidation run adding a minute or two a week and one short intervals session, without pushing myself too far.

Happy with that!

IannodaTruffe
IannodaTruffeAdministrator
in reply to Roxdog

If thirty seconds is too much to start with cut it down to what you can manage, then increase gradually over time.

The important thing with intervals is to push hard.

Apparently most recreational runners spend too much time at a middling pace......not enough time (80%) at an easy conversational pace and then not pushing hard enough on speed intervals.

Don't expect miracles.....getting more miles on your legs builds the strength required to build speed.

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks - this advice is much appreciated!

parktrotter
parktrotterGraduate

Hya,I've just graduated this morning and now I am looking forward to at least a month where I just run for 30 mins and I'm personally going to work on lifting my knees slightly higher when I am running to improve my posture. At the moment I really am a bit of a trotter. There are some serious runners pass me by and I know I'm not that and don't aim to be but I would like to improve my 30 minute run.

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to parktrotter

Good for you - and congratulations for your graduation, you are amazing!!!! Go and request your badge from Mummycav 😊😊😊

I suggest you also start to think about lifting your feet higher behind you, and just be a little cautious about landing with your foot ahead of your body because this can cause over-straining. There are many drills and exercises you can do which will get you working on your posture, and hip/gluteals strength and mobility, all of which will help you to improve your running. Here's an article with a set of running drills for you to have a look at:

trainingpeaks.com/blog/dril...

The great thing with these is that many of them can be done at a walk, which is a fabulous way to get you started and build some strength and confidence.

Have fun, runner!!!

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate

Started off to do W8 rerun after my break but added 200m extra on outbound run and ran on after Michael told me time up. Checked numbers and I actually did 30 mins and and increased distance in that time since graduation run if that all makes sense. So pretty happy overall.

What a lovely morning with little wind and took in a mini hill! Glad I went out this morning as it’s now very windy again! Thank you again for all the advice 😊

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to Nymahchai

Amazing! Well done!!!!

Sadie-runs check this out 😊😊😊

Nymahchai
NymahchaiGraduate
in reply to roseabi

Thank you πŸ™!

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to roseabi

😊😊😊 Ah, the joy of post graduation runs! It is an amazing time - a time to mix things up, try a new things, and generally start to have some confidence in yourself as a runner. πŸ‘ Nymahchai: glad you had a fab run and seeing improvements already! xxx

Plutonium
PlutoniumGraduate

Checking in after first consolidation run. Hello runners! Things came up and I ended up taking three rest days since the graduation run. I will need to get used to being off the program - the temptation to start a reverse '5k-Back2Couch' path is still there. The weather forecast today says there is a (another) storm coming, so thought it was run now, or possibly never, and so I repeated C25K Wk9 podcast again. The run was quite enjoyable in places - there is a gentle downhill on my route between 15 and 20 minutes which actually felt good. The following wind helped.

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to Plutonium

Hi runner!

That is a most excellent point you make there!! Absolutely you can take a few days off running and not worry that you have lost fitness, or are not a runner any more - and definitely not use it as an excuse to give up exercising as you say! We all need a break from time to time, and it's actually very important that we do so. But you know why you started C25K in the first place, and you know why you want to carry on running 😊😊😊 It's all good!

Well done for getting out there, and gotta love a tailwind!!!

xxx

πŸ€— just wanted to pop in and say hello.

I re-graduated yesterday so feel I’m officially allowed to post here now, been snooping up until now πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†

My aim is to keep running, simple as that.

I first graduated in 2015 and fell off a cliff with no structure.

The plan is to carry on running 3 times a week for 30 minutes ( I’ve read the guide πŸ‘) for 3 weeks.

I’m feeling the need to plan ahead though πŸ™„

I’m nowhere near 5 k so don’t think the bridge to 10 or magic 10 would be doable πŸ€”

I’ve read a lot about the 10% rule. I understand that you increase the run by that amount but for how long? I.e. I increase my runs by 9 minutes, overall. But how long do I do that for, before increasing again? Hope that makes senseπŸ˜‰

Thanks in advance 🌢

Sadie-runs
Sadie-runsAmbassador
in reply to Jalapenolover101

Hello Jalapenolover!

Well done on your re-graduation! The 10% rule is based on your weekly mileage, so you increase week by week (if that makes sense!) I think by the example you gave, you get that! I did roughly that until I got to 5k, as that was my goal post graduation (I cannot remember for sure, but I think I was running something like 4.2km in 30 mins when I graduated.) I think my first ever 5k took me around 36 mins. I got there by adding a minute or two onto one of my three runs a week - I wasn’t very scientific about it!

The key is to not push too quickly, and keep the pace slow and steady for a while to build up stamina. And to have fun. You could make one of your runs an interval session - there is an NHS C25K + podcast for that. It ends up being around 3km - not every run you do has to be 30mins/5k. Intervals are tough to begin with, but great for stamina!

Have you tried parkrun yet?

Happy running. 😁

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator
in reply to Jalapenolover101

A 10% increase in weekly time (or distance) running is a very conservative guideline for new runners. It is used as a way of helping to avoid increasing too quickly and risking injury to body parts that are not yet used to the demands of running.

In going from 3 x 28 minutes in Week 8 of C25K to 3 x 30 minutes in Week 9, we are actually increasing our running time by 20%, so the idea of spending about 3 weeks consolidating - just getting used to the 30 minute run and having fun with it - makes a lot of sense. As Sadie-runs said, some fun intervals are a great idea 😊😊😊

After that, it's really a case of self-assessment - if you are feeling strong after your 9 minute increase in total weekly running time, there is no reason why you shouldn't continue on and add another 10 minutes the following week. But you could start to think about how you might increase each week. If you are interested in running further (having a goal of running for 60 minutes, for example), you would do well to consider increasing just one of your weekly runs gradually over time. If you were to add the full 9 minutes onto one run, you might well find that a bit much at the moment, and perhaps it would be better to add, say, 5 minutes - and see how you feel after that. If you don't feel ready to move on, repeat the week and reassess.

I suggest you have a look at Ju-ju's Magic Plan over on Bridge to 10K. I don't recommend you embark on it straight away, but in a couple of weeks it could well be just the sort of plan you're looking for!

healthunlocked.com/bridgeto...

I realise Sadie and I have given you a lot of info here, so do feel free to ask us any questions!!

xx

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