My 6 Month Runniversary, what you can expect. ... - Couch to 5K

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My 6 Month Runniversary, what you can expect. (long post warning!)

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate

Yesterday was the six month anniversary from the day I started C25K, it seems to have passed pretty quickly! When I started I genuinely felt that I would never be able to run for 30 minutes but that I was really going to give it a go. I had stopped smoking the month before and although I wasn't terribly unfit I was overweight with a BMI of 34.4. I started reading the posts in here and was particularly interested in people doing the program who were overweight and how they were getting on and reading some of those posts inspired me to really continue and complete the program, I graduated in January whilst I was on holiday in Florida (remember travel!) and had found each weeks progression to graduation reasonably achievable and tremendously fulfilling. I must admit that after the course was completed I felt a little bit lost as to what to do next and I'll share some advice on that later.

At Graduation, the biggest and most unexpected benefit for me personally was the sense of pride and achievement in what I had done for myself, I had done this over Christmas and kept going to completion without a single wobble or missed run other than a couple of rescheduling issues while I was travelling. I felt really great about myself in a very positive way that I realised had been missing for some time.

My biggest error after graduation was that I didn't really take enough time to consolidate, I think I may have missed it but I didn't really see enough emphasis on how important this is and just dived in to the magic 10 plan before I was ready, this really set me up for failure and I gave up the magic 10 after I had run for 50 minutes a couple of times, this was entirely my fault and me trying to go faster than my body was ready for. This lead me to, I think, wasting a bit of time. I feel that If I had really focused on this for another month I would be further along my fitness journey today.

Anyway I'm back to doing 30 minute runs and it's great, every single week I see improvements in pace and distance covered but more than that I feel much stronger. When I graduated I could run for 30 minutes but got progressively slower towards the end of the run, now my pace is much more consistent and although I do get slower its much improved on where it used to be, I would put that down to losing weight and improving my stamina.

This morning I did my benchmark run and got further than I ever have before and got another couple of PB's along the way, doing this every week really helps me to see how my body is improving and it really works for me.

After 6 months I can run relatively hard for 30 minutes without feeling shattered, I'm still seeing real improvement and will carry on doing this for a while and then I may try the Magic ten again. I really would like to be able to run for an hour without stopping and eventually be able to do a 10K with the same ease that I can run for 30 minutes now.

My body has changed quite a lot, I'm a lot stronger than I was and have a lot more muscle in my legs and around my hips and waist, I've dropped from a 40 inch waist to a 36 inch waist, my measurements have gone down significantly (I would really recommend you take measurements as you will see a big change here more so than weight lost initially) and I have lost 22 pounds or just over 10 Kilos, I still have a bit to go but it's still coming off week after week and I have no doubt now that I will get to my first target weight and beyond. I'm 54 and can honestly say I feel fitter and healthier now than I have for a long time. I also sleep better than I ever have, something that I have had problems with my entire adult life.

If I could give one piece of advice to people who are graduating it's pay a lot of attention to the consolidation period. Do a benchmark 30 minute run on the same route and use something like Strava to map your progress, Strava will compare runs that are the same and will give you a progress report over time which shows you clear evidence of your improvement. It's hard once you let go of the program, the structure of being told what to do is more important than we realise until it's gone and a lot of us may feel a bit lost. I would suggest repeating week 9 for a couple of weeks and then maybe trying Nike Run Club which has some great guided runs for all levels of runner, there are quite a few 30 minute runs in there which keep you going and keep you motivated. I still use these from time to time but usually just listen to a podcast which I find distracts me and passes the time without me looking at my watch every couple of minutes :-)

Everyone is a bit different, some of us advance a lot quicker than others but this is what has worked for me, above all else, keep going, it really works and has the ability to change you so much for the better than you may expect.

Happy running everybody :-)

Tim

81 Replies
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59er
59erGraduate

Good post. I can ditto most of that except the waist measurements 😉

Blueskyabove
BlueskyaboveGraduate

Thanks for posting. I’m week 8 Run 3 and impatient to graduate now but I guess it is just a marker in continuing to run and improve.

I’m slow, normally find a pace but haven’t worried about speed. Will do the 4 more runs but thanks to your post for putting some fuel in my steps.

Amazing results you’ve had!!

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Blueskyabove

Nothing wrong with slow, I'm still slow compared to most, you have reached week 8 so you must know by now how great this feels. Once you get that 30 minute run done then you will have a perfect benchmark to see your pace improve, I've improved my pace by nearly 40 seconds per kilometre since graduation and usually get at least a couple of new PB's every week :-) I should have stressed that I'm not really trying to improve it's just happening naturally as I get fitter.

Blueskyabove
BlueskyaboveGraduate
in reply to Rigpig

Really helpful , thanks.

dorarunning
dorarunningGraduate

Thanks so much Tim, my final week 9 run will either be tomorrow or Thursday and exactly what I needed to read.

Congratulations for sticking at it, but most of all for having the wisdom to continue with consolidation before moving on.

Leosmit
LeosmitGraduate
in reply to dorarunning

Totally agree - consolidation for a good few weeks after is key. You’ll find then that you can add on a little more time/distance because you are able to! And well find getting to week 9!

Thank You! I love this forum for the inspiration and support!

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to OldSpeckledHen

You're very welcome, I wish I could get everyone to do this program! :-)

Fionamags
FionamagsGraduate

Great post and great to hear of how you dealt with the post c25k running. Sounds like you've really cracked this running lark!!!

Wenderwoo
WenderwooGraduate

Interesting......Happy running Tim 😁

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate
in reply to Wenderwoo

And Wenderwoo. Lovely to hear from you too. How are these uncertain times treating you now?

Wenderwoo
WenderwooGraduate
in reply to Speedy60

Hi 😁 I’m ok, trying to keep myself occupied - currently making face coverings 😷 for various people. I’m not supposed to go out at all, but started going for a 30min walk everyday about a fortnight ago, really to stop myself getting too low. It’s pretty quiet around here, and I’m super “alert” 🤣. Hope you and your family are well and staying safe 😘

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate
in reply to Wenderwoo

We're all ok, thanks. 🤞

You have to do what you have to do to stay healthy and sane. I'm sure you know what you're doing regarding staying alert. 👀

Best wishes x

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to Wenderwoo

Hello Wenderwoo! Glad you've managed ok. I am also developing a small indusyry in making face masks for friends and family! My one has butterflies on it! Take care! Won't be long hopefully before you can go out a bit more!😊

Wenderwoo
WenderwooGraduate
in reply to Roxdog

Hello Roxdog! I’m enjoying making the masks - trying all different designs that I’ve found on-line, with nice colourful materials salvaged from old clothes either not worn in a while, or never worn at all! Hope your running’s going ok 😁

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to Wenderwoo

I even bought a sewing machine as my old one blew up a few years ago!

The running is good thanks - a few niggles but all good!

Take care and stay safe! 😊

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate

Lovely to hear from you, Tim. So glad you're still enjoying your running. Your enjoyment at the new you shines through your post. 😊

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Speedy60

I don't feel the need to post my ramblings after every run anymore :-) but I still catch up with what everyone else is doing most days.

Fantastic. Happy 6 month running.

You've really had such a great journey and its good fun following your progress.

Running has had to take a back seat for me this year for a whole host of reasons, but I'll be back, virtually running with you soon.

Mig

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to RunningMigster

Thanks :-)

Hope to see you back running soon!

Leosmit
LeosmitGraduate
in reply to RunningMigster

Good, Mig! I am missing you on here! Hopefully you’ll get out soon.

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate
in reply to RunningMigster

This is like a school reunion! Best wishes, Mig x

Allbarron
AllbarronGraduate

Thanks for that Rigpig you've just articulated everything I've experienced since graduation. I was becoming disheartened thinking I should be finding the 30 minutes much easier and like you I was missing a structure. I've now got the Nike running app but haven't attempted any of the guided runs yet. 🥴

This post has helped me gain a little perspective and it's reassuring to know that it's not just me and negative thoughts taking control. 🤔

Keep it up and I'm sure you'll get to 10k when you're ready 🏃

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate
in reply to Allbarron

The Nike running club app is good for a bit of structure and a reminder of proper running form every now and then. I don't use it all the time, but it helps.👍

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Allbarron

There’s a new 30 minute run on Nike called Run with Charlie Rocket, it’s absolutely brilliant and after doing the run I googled who he was, anything is possible if you set your mind to it 🙂

BexHD
BexHDGraduate

Really helpful and interesting, I have one more run to go and certainly not feeling completely comfortable with 30 mins, it is hard work and sore and as my husband keeps saying it does take time and don’t get obsessed with speed, I do slow down towards the end so what you say makes complete sense! And like you physically much better in every way but weight does not go down in a way you would expect. Thank you!

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to BexHD

Once you have your graduation just focus on your 30 minute runs, they get easier and you will get stronger, watching yourself improve every week is all the motivation you need and when we are ready we will move on to the next stage 😊

Myfi
MyfiGraduate

Great interesting post and brilliant progress! 👏👏👍🏃‍♂️🌺🌸🌼

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Myfi

Thank you 🙂

Nicolegee
NicolegeeGraduate

Thanks for your post, it’s really heartening to read. I’m in week 9 and I thought I’d try to get to 5k in the next few weeks. Your post is making me think what to do on a regular basis. Thank you.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Nicolegee

I can do a 5k but not in 30 minutes, not many people graduate and do 5k. My best 5k is 36 minutes which isn’t bad but I’m enjoying getting a little bit further every week in 30 minutes right now. It gets easier as you get stronger but it takes time to get stronger.

Nicolegee
NicolegeeGraduate
in reply to Rigpig

Oh wow that's good to know. Might take me quite a bit longer. Thanks for the feedback.

DebraWill
DebraWill
in reply to Rigpig

This is such a relief to read this as I don’t get anywhere close to 5k yet despite having graduated last week.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to DebraWill

I was around 3.8k at graduation and tired. I’m now at around 4.2k in 30 minutes and improving every week. Not the best or the fastest but better and faster than most people my age 😁

Diamondshoes
DiamondshoesGraduate

What a wonderful encouraging post! I'm coming to the end of wk7 and have been wondering what happens at the end of the programme. I want to keep running after all the effort to get this far so thanks for your tips.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Diamondshoes

You’re very welcome, if I can help in any way feel free to ask 🙂

Hideaway3
Hideaway3Graduate

Tim

I really enjoyed reading your post , thanks for sharing your experience .

it’s definitely spurred me on as like you I initially thought I would never run for a solid 30 mins ! Can I ask besides a all the fitness benefits do you actually enjoy running ? Does it give you a feeling of exhilaration? Do you look forward to running with a sense of positive anticipation?

I don’t mean at the end of the run but during ? I find it quite a hard slog after 10 mins of running ! I’m currently starting week 8 this Thursday but found the progress gradual and challenging.

H3

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Hideaway3

That’s a loaded question 😂😂

The answer is sometimes but not always, you may have read about the toxic 10, this used to fill me with dread and I had to just push through it. You will get stronger and it will get easier and the toxic 10 gets less and less, sometimes I can just take off and run and sometimes it takes a few minutes to find that rhythm but the more I do it the better it gets. Ian our wonderful admin once posted that it takes a year to develop our running body’s, I arrogantly thought I knew better but now that I’m half way there I know exactly what he meant because I’m getting stronger and a little bit faster Each and every week, there is a lot of joy to be had from that 😎

June441
June441Graduate

Thanks for post I am due to run week9run2 tomorrow. I am running ok now for about 25 mins but the last 5 seems like it takes forever to arrive. I was also a little concerned at what I would do when Laura has finished. Your post has given me hope and some good ideas. Thanks.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to June441

I was exactly the same, you will get stronger and it will get easier it just takes a little more time 🙂

Thanks for the advice, I will take that onboard

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Get_me_fit

You’re very welcome 👍

Kumearn
KumearnGraduate

Thank you. Great info for me, as I'm in the same postion as you were at the start, age, fitness and weight wise I'll be doing W4R3 tomorrow and I'm actually looking forward to it. I've learnt to slow down and so it all seems much more achievable as a result. Thanks again for your inspiring post.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Kumearn

You’re very welcome, we all want quick results and the program delivers that to a certain extent but then you have to consolidate your gains and it takes a while to realize that. You will get stronger and faster it just takes a bit of time 😊

Thank you for your great advice. Very timely for me as I completed final run of week 9 this morning 🏃 🏃🏃

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Whoberleygirl

Great! Congratulations on your amazing achievement and I’m thrilled if you found my advice useful 👍

That's a really inspiring post and shows how important it is not to look too far ahead.

Thanks for the tip about Nike Runners Club too. I'm just starting Week 6 and really appreciate the trainer being there so it's good to know there are still guided runs you can do after graduating and you are not 'on your own'.

Thanks for sharing and I'm really glad you are starting to see such positive results now 😊

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to RachelH25

I glad you found it useful, I got great help from this forum when I started, it’s a great place to be 😊

Well done on 6 months of running. Great post. Well done for having such motivation 👍🏼

Peony116
Peony116Graduate

Thank you for that I graduated couple of weeks ago and still finding 30 mins hard some days its not to bad others I get 20 mins in and the next 5 just drag. I’m 59 and could do to loose a bit I have few health issues fibromyalgia being the main one so back hip leg issues, poor sleep etc I do feel better it’s trying to work out the “next bit “ that’s difficult so thank you you’re post has helped .

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Peony116

You’re very welcome, it gets easier and the time passes more quickly than you think. I used to really struggle with those last few minutes but pushing through them is what builds our stamina and strength and it really does get easier before you know it 🙂

Oldgirlruns
OldgirlrunsGraduate

A lovely post Rigpig and very helpful! I did some consolidation runs and eventually got to a slow 5k, then felt I was a bit aimless so pushed on to juju’s plan. I got to an equally slow 10k last week but now need to focus, probably on speeding up a bit - 10 mins per km down to 8 would, for me, be a major step! The difficulty may be trying to work out what plan to try for next, Nike Run Club, jog/run/sprint etc! . But thanks again for your post; happy running !

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Oldgirlruns

Thank you, I think the mistake we make is jumping from one thing to another before we are ready, we are all different and I think if you can find the run you love and work on improving it then that’s half the battle. For me it’s seeing definite improvement over 30 minutes, I feel a bit stronger every week and that really motivates me. 🙂

Love this mate. I was lucky enough to start the same time as you and we supported each other throughout the programme, which I was really grateful for. Your six months have been peppered with so many achievements and milestones and it's always, always inspiring to read your posts. I think the forum needs people like you on it to contribute and give advice. The most important part of it all is that 6 months down the road you are still out there, still battling and still running. I personally believe you will run 10k one day, if that's a goal you look at. Keep on keeping on my friend. It's been awesome to share a part of your journey. Here's to another 6 months buddy.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate

Thanks Dean, it means a lot. I’ve really enjoyed being part of this together. We will do that Humber bridge run together before you know it 😊

This is great advice, thank you and well done! I think the biggest thing I’m learning is that previously I’ve been quite faddy with exercise and have pushed too hard too soon and put myself off! Trying to be consistent and gentle this time round. Congratulations on sticking with It for six months that’s a really great achievement and so great your feeling stronger and fitter x

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Reluctant-jogger

There was a time that I hated running, probably because I was forced to do it at school, I have spent most of my life thinking that I couldn’t do it and really didn’t want to. I tried and failed at many types of exercise and did succeed for quite a while at going to the gym but ultimately gave up because of various circumstances, running is easy you can do it almost anywhere with very little equipment and It makes you feel absolutely amazing. There is no way I’m giving this up 😄

Great stuff Tim.

I've just finished week 7 and feeling good

Madloonmary
MadloonmaryGraduate

Hi Rigpig, lovely reading your post and the ups and downs to your journey. Can I ask do you still run 3 times a week?

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Madloonmary

Almost always 3 or sometimes 4, I had a 10 day break with some lower back pain but apart from that and a few missed runs because life got in the way I’m fairly consistent. I do have to force myself sometimes though but it’s always worth the effort 😊

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Madloonmary

It definitely gets easier as you get stronger, I pushed too hard and was always tired at the end but sticking to 30 minutes you can clearly see and feel the improvement.

Madloonmary
MadloonmaryGraduate
in reply to Rigpig

I graduated middle of March and was consistently doing 3 runs a week until recently and have to say I only enjoyed a couple of runs but still did it, however with everything going on I am slipping and haven't been running at all this week! Dont want to slip back to residing on the couch with chocolate and crisps!! Great that you can keep yourself motivated!

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Madloonmary

There’s a coached run in the Nike app called “need a win” run, despite being heavy on American cheesyness it really works 🙂 It only takes one run to break that streak and get back out there 👍

Madloonmary
MadloonmaryGraduate
in reply to Rigpig

I'll take a look, thanks Rigpig.

Madloonmary
MadloonmaryGraduate
in reply to Rigpig

I did at one point get up to 50 minutes a couple of times but that was only because they were the elusive times when I actually enjoyed the run and felt I could keep going, wasnt intentional!! 🤣😂

BooAlto
BooAltoGraduate

Thankyou Rigpig, what a great post! So nice to hear about someone’s complete C25K journey - and onwards. I’m on Week 7 at the moment, have my ups and downs (mostly ups, I’m pleased to say), and found your thoughts on the whole journey and everything around the periphery (use of Strava, weight/size, PB’s, etc) really helpful, thankyou again.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to BooAlto

Glad you found it useful 😊

Leosmit
LeosmitGraduate

Great post, Tim. Live reading about journeys with running. Thank you for posting.

Totally agree with the importance of consolidation after the programme. And possibly the most important time to make all this a change for life. I finished the programme in January and spent a few weeks just repeating w9r3 until one day I felt I could do an extra few minutes. I have now done 5 60 minute runs which I still can barely believe.

Fantastic to read of all your health benefits. Well done!!

Thank you so much for sharing this! I really needed this visa vis the weight situation. I have put on weight (not lost it) since starting this programme, but I do feel as if my close are a bit looser!

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to lydiab852

I think we all go through that, it’s disappointing until the clothes get more loose 😊

The tape measure is a much better way to check progress.

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate

What an interesting post Rugpig.

I agree that post cto5k can feel odd and it's tempting to push too hard. I consolidated for over a month, adding just a couple of minutes here and there. Then it all fell into place and I was running for longer. My wish is to be able to run for a longer time, without much emphasis on distance. I'm not planning to do park runs or races because I am a lone runner and lije to explore on my runs on my own.

Thing is, if I run a bit faster then I can explore more places while running. So getting faster is in the back of my mind. Need to be careful as I'm 60 with arthritis in my knees, but my knees have been so much better since I started runnjng.

Happy running journey. 🏃‍♂️We are all different types of runner and that's great!

Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate
in reply to Roxdog

Sorry for the misspelling! Blooming autocorrect!

Brian-P6
Brian-P6Graduate

Great to hear from you Rigpig (and I've now followed you on Strava!). We graduated about the same time didn't we ... my 6 months from Run1 Wk1 is this Sunday.

I echo everything you've said, especially about consolidation, it's so important to just let your body get used to this new found running thing and let it adjust. We're also not as young, fit or agile as we once were!

I started from a different place, I was 13 st (182 lbs) at 5' 11" and after graduating I wanted to be 12 st (168 lbs) so used Garmin plus myFitnessPal integration to lose weight - it fell off. Got to 12 st and started eating like a horse again and it still kept falling off. I'm now 11 st 9lbs (163 lbs) and it seems to have stabilised. I do keep forgetting though that I no longer have to suck in to do up my jeans haha.

Bri.

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Brian-P6

I use Myfitnesspal as well and record my measurements in there, I find it really helps you get to know how much you are eating, My measurements went down while my weight stayed the same but now they are both falling again, slowly but surely. I'm 6 ft 3 inches so never looked really fat just a lot of weight around my torso which is gradually melting away :-)

Thanks for the Strava add, there are quite a few of us in here that are also on there, I love statistics and figures so its perfect for me on my measured routes :-)

Tigs08
Tigs08Graduate

Brilliant post. I graduated in April, I’m still slow and will only run for 30 mins. I was a little disappointed in lack of progress. This post has really helped. Thank you!

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Tigs08

Give strava go, it’s really great and shows you improvements over time even if you don’t thing you are any better.

D48P
D48PGraduate

Thanks for this post, I have been doing consolidation runs for a few weeks now but finding my motivation lacking at the moment 🤷‍♀️ I might go for a run today !

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to D48P

I have motivation issues sometimes as well but Strava has proven to me that I am improving and that keeps me going. I’ve knocked 40 seconds per kilometer off my pace since graduating and wouldn’t have known this without strava, I will get to 5k in 30 minutes this year I’m pretty confident about that 😊

Good advice and like you, I use the Strava app. It’s a great tool. Stay well... keep running 👍

Rigpig
RigpigGraduate
in reply to Big-Jo

There are quite a few of us C25K’ers on Strava, my link is in my profile if you would like to join up.

Dexy5
Dexy5Graduate

Well done on your achievements so far Rigpig. We are all learning lessons along the way and passing good advice on these forums is what it’s all about. The advice given by the admins on graduation is really important but I think it often gets forgotten in the euphoria. This can be found at any time in pinned posts.

There is also a consolidation club forum run by the lovely Oldfloss where you can gain lots of great advice about running post c25k

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