Couch to 5K
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This is the place for those who have just graduated to talk about plans, problems, terrors and triumphs.

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:

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

★ Try out different routes

★ 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.

★★ And check out our full GUIDE to post-C25k running: ★★

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!

109 Replies

I graduated at the end of May and so I have spent all of June and July consolidating! At the age of 50 And never having been a runner, I found C25k fantastic in getting me running. I’m still slow, but I’m in a routine, and some weeks I feel I’ve gone backwards but I don’t want to waste the progress I have made. This week I’ve done a 20min a 30 min and a 40 min run. Sometimes I feel like I’m not going to be able to do it. When that happens, I’ve found allowing myself to think, ‘I’ll just do 20 mins’, gets me going & when I get to 20, I can feel another 10 is possible and then I’ve done it!

I’m not confident in my ability or speed, but I’m sure it’s doing me good in lots of ways. 😁

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to CDolly

You are building a routine and that is really valuable. At the same time you are getting more miles on your legs, which will continually build your stamina and strength.

Do you have targets for your running?

They can be very useful and don't have to be performance based, but give you the satisfaction of achievement. I would suggest that it is a good idea to know what you are going to do on a run before you set out. That doesn't mean it has to be rigidly stuck too, but can help with structure.

I regraduated in May after an injury and have been consolidating ever since at 5k runs plus a few fun runs across the common. In recent weeks I have increased one run per week, using the 10% rule as a guide and on one other run I have introduced some fartlek to work on pace.

CDollyGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you- my goal is 5k, which I have done, so now I’m trying to get it in nearer to 30mins. It will take me a while, but as you say, I am building stamina and routine. This forum is so supportive which is really helpful 👍

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to CDolly

So your aim is to get faster.

To do that you need to spend up to 80% of your running time at an easy conversational pace to build stamina and then push pace in the remainder.

The majority of recreational runners, apparently, spend far too much time at a middling pace and not enough time either slow enough nor pushing pace.

CDollyGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks! I’ll try it!

Thanks Iannodo. I graduated last week . Being newbie and a pensioner I’ll try and consolidate over the next 3-4 weeks.

Any plans You recommend to follow after this?

SueyMcSueFacGraduate in reply to CDolly

Well done! So funny - I’ve just posted. I’m in such a similar position to you!


I've just sent the following to the Admin team....

"There are a few of us who have recently graduated and have started consolidation. I posted earlier on the main forum about how I ran my first ever 5 k this morning albeit at a steady pace and it started off a discussion. We feel that it's important to maintain momentum going forward and some are a bit lost without the help of a program to follow with coaches supporting us. Some have tried for the 5 k but stopped at 30 minutes more out of habit than out of puff.

So I came up with the idea of a "Weekly Virtual 5k" which we believe would focus a few minds and help likewise runners move forward. What it would entail is a 5k run once a week as a consolidation run but then post up a brief write up with maybe a photo and personal stats. It's not meant to be competitive or a race but maybe a help towards the Park Runs when they start up again. It would perhaps be accessed as a weekly pinned post.

Wondered what your thoughts were on this and would it be possible to set something like this up?"

To date there have been about 20 "interested" replies of support.

If anyone is interested in this please reply below, spread the word and we'll see how much interest we get. Thanks in advance 👍😁

Rocky1122Graduate in reply to MontyMooDog

I like the idea of that plan MontyMoo. Anything to keep the enthusiasm....I’m already concerned about how I’ll run without Laura!

In the meantime, thanks to the Admin guys for the consolidation info....

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to MontyMooDog

Congratulations on your 5k.

This is a nice idea but would not easily fit into the constraints of the forum format.

It is impossible to post photos in replies, so they would have to be written only replies.

It would probably work best if you put up your weekly post on a regular day and asked others to follow it and add their comments and results as they go. I am not sure that adding it to the already cluttered pinned posts would help, as many people do not know where to find the Pinned posts and it would require admin input, which is often stretched.

I think MontyMooDog's monday Virtual 5k could easily become a regular feature if you are willing to run it.

Apart from this post and the other one with the same text, there has to the best of my knowledge been no communication with the admin team about this, so I do wonder where you sent your communication.

MontyMooDogGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks for your response. I have just sent it to roseabi. I will see what she says but suspect it will be similar to your reply. We'll see😂

But yes I'd be willing to run "MontyMooDog's Monday Virtual 5K" certainly in the short term to see how it takes off.... 👍

PhoenixRiseGraduate in reply to MontyMooDog

I’m still interested but does it have to be a Monday though? Hehe. Slightly joking - don’t mind!

Juliet202Graduate in reply to MontyMooDog

Interested ! Anything to keep the motivation up ! I only discovered this forum in week 9 of my C25K and graduates last Sunday and just done first consolidation run. I made it to 5k in about 40 mins !!!! Feel great about it but agree the 5k is a psychological milestone now the time milestone has been reached and great to be able to have others egging on. 😀

FrisselsGraduate in reply to MontyMooDog

I managed to run my first 5K last week (third week if consolidation). I signed up on the Parkrun site and entered my time on their virtual (not) Parkrun page. You don’t have to run the Parkrun route, you can run anywhere and on any day of the week. I thought it would help me prepare for the actual Parkruns when they start up again.

SunnytomGraduate in reply to MontyMooDog

I would definitely be interested in this and may give me some motivation and something to aim for as I have been struggling a little since graduating

SJ60Graduate in reply to MontyMooDog

I like this idea but can I join when I’m a bit closer to 5k?

MontyMooDogGraduate in reply to SJ60

Of course but read this first

SJ60Graduate in reply to MontyMooDog

Oh good...I’m at just over 5k with my warm up walk 👍 count me in 😃

Cloudy321Graduate in reply to MontyMooDog

Hi I’ve just read this now and would really be interested in the idea to keep me motivated . I graduated on 22 Nd May, did several weeks consolidation and now am trying to do a 30 min run, a longer slower run and a short run of about 20 mins. I’ve reached 5 k a few times but not in 30 mins!

MontyMooDogGraduate in reply to Cloudy321

Time is immaterial. It's just a regular 5k to keep the motivation going through Consolidation and beyond👍

Smoonie in reply to MontyMooDog

I would be interested. I’m planning how to consolidate once I finish week 9 next week 👍🏼🏃🏽‍♀️


I graduated about a month ago and you are absolutely right, it felt odd not to have someone in my ear telling me what to do and setting me a new goal. I repeated week 9 just to hear a voice to guide me. Have now done three weeks consolidation, so approximately nine 30 minute runs. Been listening to music and podcasts to replace my trainers voice and that's working. Not quite got the hang of Strava as I keep starting it off and then forgetting to turn it off. Last time it registered my having run 23 miles.(Most of them being my car journeys that day!)Just about to start Juju 's running programme to increase my time gradually. Would people agree that that's the best programme out there? Thanks ,as always for the support and suggestions that everyone shares. Invaluable.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Fatbags1

Sounds like you have those 30 minute runs taped, so moving forward will maintain the challenge and interest.

Many love Juju's Magic Ten plan. I can't comment, because I have not used it, but it is well structured and you will find plenty of others doing it on the Bridge to 10k forum.

Remember to tell this forum how you are getting on.

Fatbags1Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks. Will do


Just completed my first post C25K consolidation run ! Yey ! Was a bit worried because I hadn’t run since last Sunday - had meant to have just couple of days off (I deserved it !) but then my next run would have been in the hottest days of the year so I put it off till this morning.... Seems I haven’t lost it, though, which is a relief. I used the stepping stones podcast which was quite a change - I actually found the pace too slow ?! I thought I was a slow runner !! But it was good to be so methodical and stick to it and maybe it helped with technique - I found myself trying to lift my feet more, take longer steps. (People overtake me all the time and I measure my pace against them and sometimes our pace is the same but they have much longer stride so it seems....). Anyway stepping stones helped pass the time - I passed half way without realising it - and felt I could continue on at the end through the cool down because I wanted to do 5k (and I knew from measuring past runs roughly how far I have to go for that) ! In the end hit 40 mins and 5k and I’m very happy with that. I sound a bit of a swot I know - but it’s as though getting to 30 mins was a breakthrough - pain / exhaustion barrier - doing 40 wasn’t as painful proportionately ! Walking up 4 flights at the end was harder than usual though. Now can’t get off the couch !! But look forward to the next podcast ‘speed’. Maybe Monday....

TortoiseRegretsHareGraduate in reply to Juliet202

I did read something about not trying for long steps - that it was associated with higher likelihood of injury and that shorter strides with higher cadence was the way to go - it would be good to hear from others if they have advice on this. I took the hot day off as well (and have the same problems going up the stairs sometimes after a run!) - keep going, congratulations and have fun.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Juliet202

As TortoiseRegretsHare states, increasing stride length is not advisable as it increases impact stresses on knees in particular, so increasing cadence is the way to go.

Be careful to work within the 10% rule. It is only a guide but a sensible way to make sure you don't overdo things at this stage.........moving from 3 x 30 minute runs per week would limit you to a 39 minute run, so you did breach the rule.

Learning to run at a slower pace is very important if you are wanting to increase your run duration.

Juliet202Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Good to know - I won’t try to increase stride, but found it very hard to maintain slow pace and I really wasn’t trying for speed previously. I remember each time Michael suggested I could slow down if I was tired thinking I’d ground to a halt if I went any slower ! I actually hit 30 mins in week 7 then 35 in week 8 and then regressed in week 9 though did finally achieve 5k for the first time in my 3rd run in week 9 and according to Strava that was 39 mins. So strictly speaking I haven’t broken the 10% rule :) sorry for the obsession about 5k but that’s how it was sold - the power of marketing, eh ? I only joined the forum at the end of week 8 - had no idea that 5k is not the real target. But admit it was ‘easier’ to stay to the end following the slow pace even though it was hard to stay slow (if that makes sense).


Thank you that’s fab!! I graduated yesterday and I’m thrilled 😁 I am already planning to continue & do a run tomorrow morning. Otherwise I won’t know what to do with myself 🙈🤣

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Jnubster

Just enjoy your new found ability for a few runs, forgetting about pace and distance.....have some fun running somewhere new and inspirational.

JnubsterGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you 😊 I may try a different route but I’ve been so used to running there I’m almost scared to go anywhere else 🙈

I graduated at the start of June and have been consolidating regularly ever since - 3 runs per week. I'm aiming to get to 5km in 30 minutes. Like lots of others I needed a goal. I'm trying out a Garmin training course which is a beginner/intermediate one, involving intervals on two runs per week - 30 secs high cadence/30 secs recovery x 4, then 30 secs going from slow jog, acceleration to running and then back to slow jog/30 secs recovery x 4, all top and tailed by 10 minutes warm-up & cool-down. Then one run is longer - around 30 minutes. I'm on week 4 and my pace is slowly increasing. I think there might be some hills training involved later in the course, which I'm dreading - so far, everything has been on the flat. So far, so good and still enjoying things. These consolidation club forums have been great - I've learned things, had support and enjoyed posting - so thanks everyone!

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to TortoiseRegretsHare

You seem to have a well worked out plan.

If you input your 5k pb into this TRAINING PACE CALCULATOR you might surprise yourself just how slow it recommends that you run your long runs.

This pace will help build your overall stamina and long term will help improve your fast pace when you push.

Thanks for the advice. I'll check that out.


I have just completed my 3rd consolidation run. I still haven't managed 5k but that's my goal at the moment. Ran 4.61km this morning with 2 steepish hills, so I'm happy with that, but really want to get to that magic 5k!😁

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Basil_Cosmo

Well done.

Consolidation by its nature is not about pushing onto distances or durations that you have not yet achieved, but just becoming comfortable with what you managed during the plan, before pushing on.

As explained in the post above, it is not compulsory, just advisable.

When you want to hit 5k, just increase one run per week within the 10% rule until the duration is enough for you to get to your first 5k.


thanks will try that. 🙂


Just completed my C25K today. I am now wondering what to do next. I will be looking out for information on consolidation and next steps now.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to MoverDoer

Have you read the guide to post C25K running?

Graduated a month ago...Just did 42 min 7.2 km .......quite pleased...-)

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to MrPMrP


Sounds like you are not consolidating then.

MrPMrP in reply to IannodaTruffe

Hi, Was just following NRC the moment this feels like OK.... perhaps will do some shorter speed runs before increasing the time or distance...any suggestions-)

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to MrPMrP

The recommendation is that you spend up to 80% of your running time at an easy conversational pace, to build stamina and endurance........apparently most recreational runners spend too much time at a middling pace......not enough at slow pace and not pushing hard enough during intervals or fartlek.

This TRAINING PACE CALCULATOR will help you realise just how slow you should be jogging.

BeatlesforeverGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you for that link IannodaTruffe, it's really useful! I've started JuJu's magic plan after a month of consolidation and I'll be using that calculator to help me plan my training. My first goal is to get to 60 minutes, a longer-term goal is to run 10k ☺

MrPMrP in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks so much


I ventured out this morning for my 4th consolidation run without Jo to help me and encourage along. I wasn't sure how it would go without her telling me how I was doing and how long i'd been running, it felt quite strange. I listened to my running tunes which always helps and once I'd run as far as I could, I checked to see my distance .....5.19km. I'm over the moon!! I still can't believe how amazing this app really is 😁

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Basil_Cosmo

Well done.

It is wise to plan the distance that you are going to run rather than make it up on the fly, just to avoid overdoing it.


I graduated 2 days ago. This morning, I completed my first post-graduation run. When I was going out for this run, I decided that I wasn’t going to bother about pace or distance; and I would just enjoy running for 30 minutes. That is exactly what I did. I just kept going and enjoying the surrounding view. I even made it a point to smile and wave at everyone that I came across during my run.

I think will keep on with my 30 minute consolidation for the next 4 to 6 weeks, before I start considering speed or distance. For now, I am excited at the possibility of running for 30 minutes non-stop. I wouldn’t have imagined this, a few months ago.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to MoverDoer

This is exactly what we mean by consolidation, whereas many refer to their attempts to speed up and run further during consolidation runs, which really is missing the point.

Go to the top of the class.

MoverDoerGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe



Where do you all like to run? Treadmill, outside on a trail, the track...

I have ran 5k twice after graduating this past Friday. I changed up the route from a small trail at the park to a track. It's really boring lol! I ran all of c25k on hilly routes - 1st my neighborhood has 3 hills and then when I started running at the park there is a steady uphill climb. Wasn't trying to run on hills, I just could not find a flat path. Of course this past Monday I found the track. I was curious to see if I could run faster on the flat. My pace went down by about 30 seconds so not much difference. It actually seems more difficult running on the track versus the hilly trail. Maybe because there's not much to look at, just going around in circles.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to 5Jean

I am in total agreement with you.

I hate laps, even on my trails and I love running hills.

A few years ago I set out to run a 10k on a dead flat surfaced riverside route to set a base time, but gave up at 7k out of sheer boredom.

This post gives you an idea of my favoured running routes


Hi! Thanks for all the advice! I graduated 2 weeks ago. I’m continuing to run 3 times a week based on the 3 C25K+ podcasts. My problem is that I came from a v low starting point (51 and totally unfit). I’ve made so much progress and can comfortably run for 30 mins but I’m still slow. So each of my weekly runs has a target. Run 1 based on “stepping stones” - to go further in 30 mins (currently 4.5k including warm-up and down). Run 2 based on “Stamina” - to run 5k faster - currently this is taking me 42.5 mins (including the 5 walk at beginning). Run 3 - no specific target for this yet!

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to SueyMcSueFac

Now that you are comfortable with your thirty minute runs you can move on. You have some targets, which is great but maybe your approach needs adjusting. You currently have two of your weekly runs focussing on speed......going further in 30 minutes and covering 5k faster are effectively the same aim.

If you get on with the podcasts then they are a useful basis of some structure. It is recommended that up to 80% of your running time is at an easy conversational pace, to build the solid aerobic base required for speed and endurancewhich would mean only having one speed based workout each week.

Perhaps use your third run as an extending run, increasing duration within the 10% rule.


So, here I am after completing C25k yesterday.

I certainly want to continue my running and to improve my overall fitness, my duration and yes, even my speed .

But I am not sure of the best way forward .

I hear about bridge to 10k

But it doesn't appear to be a program ?

I hear about stepping stones, but I can't find it ?

Help , advice or a link to stepping stones would be great !

Many thanks 😬👍

Blossom-Graduate in reply to Instructor57

Is the link to the c25k+ podcasts.

Bridge to 10k is in the pinned posts.

Hope this helps! Good luck!😊

Instructor57Graduate in reply to Blossom-

Many thanks 😬👍

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Instructor57

Consolidation is highly recommended. Not much point pushing for speed or longer runs until the 30 minute runs are comfortable.

Bridge to 10k is a forum on which you will find juju's Magic 10 plan, which is a nicely structured way to move forward. There is a link to it in the guide to post C25K running.

I would forget about the Stepping Stones podcasts (link in guide to post C25K running) until you have total confidence in your thirty minute runs, which will vary from individual to individual.

Have some through the woods or along a cliff path and relish your ability rather than desperately chase performance targets at this stage.

Instructor57Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you for your response,

I feel you may have slightly missunderstood me 😬

I like to plan ahead , I like to know what comming and what my options are

On the C25k I downloaded the print out of the whole program as I like to know the details, for me , I'm then more prepared when I do them .

This is not desperately seeking anything .

I understand the benefits of consolidation.

I comfortably ran my first 5k this morning, and that will now be what I consolidate with.

I was mearly looking ahead 😁

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Instructor57

Some routes forward are laid out in the guide to post C25k running which you may well have read.

Until you have defined what your aims are it is difficult to give specific recommendations about routes forward, which is why the consolidation period is useful, to build up a picture of what you might want to move onto in future, without having to be concerned about performance targets.

I am not suggesting that you are desperately seeking anything, but if you read many of the responses to this post from your fellow graduates, many are jumping straight into running further and faster, which they are terming consolidation, and so totally missing the point of becoming comfortable with 30mins/5k before moving on.

Anything that I write as a response to one, is also considering the wider readership and hoping to get that message across to all and sundry.

Congratulations on your first is a milestone.

Keep asking questions and I will attempt to guide you on your way.

Instructor57Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks for that !

I take your point and appreciate your response.

What I am thinking now is to consolidate on the 5k ( is that a fair plan ?)

I actually do understand that the point of consolidation is completely missed , in fact it makes me smile when the post heading is ' Consolidation number x,y or z

And the run is nothing to do with consolidation

I like the look of ju ju magic 10 plan ,

But as I said , I'm thinking in the future once the 5k's are a regular comfortable run .

Sorry if I was over sensitive to your previous response, I appreciate the work you guys put in and thank you for a great forum 👍

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Instructor57

No problem.

Becoming comfortable with those 5ks will lay a great foundation for moving onto whatever you decide upon.

Personally I found moving up to 10k improved my 5k times and overall endurance and it became my favoured distance.

I have only recently regraduated from C25k after nearly a year out with injury and I have spent a couple of months consolidating, at mainly 5k, before introducing some fartlek into one run per week and extending another run to build myself back up to 10k.

Some people like rigid plans but I prefer to have flexibility in my running and work within broad guidelines, such as the 10% rule, to avoid ending up on the IC again.

We are all different.

Instructor57Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Yes, I'm hoping the 5k's become s good foundation !

I wanted to do it on my week 9 run 3 but I thought not a good plan after my recent injury , so I was happy to graduate with the 30 minutes.

I am now feeling less and less effect from the injury , however I have a physio appointment on Tuesday and he is a multi marathon runner so I should be in good hands 😁

That's a great point about the 10 k's improving your 5 k's I get that !

It must have been tough with 12 months out though !

I was going crazy after 16 days and only 8 weeks of running on my legs 😂

I'm pleased you are now running again !

And thank you for your valued advice 👍

So I've graduated, yippee! An I right that I keep going with 3x30 min runs for the next 3 weeks? Should I be trying to "beat" previous times or just going with the flow? Thanks guys x

Blossom-Graduate in reply to Thisoneistrying

There's a post in the pinned posts about consolidation. Doing 3 x 30 mins a wk for three weeks is a great start. Congratulations on graduating!😊

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Thisoneistrying

Many congratulations on your graduation, fellow runner.

This guide to post C25k running may be helpful

Keep running, keep smiling.


Stamina - did stamina this morning. My av pace was 9.05/km 3.38km. I kept with the beat right to the end of the 160 then walked the last five mins, just didn't have the stamina (!) to do 165bpm. So, I must have really little steps. How do I increase stride length? If that's what I need to do to speed up/increase distance?

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Blossom-

Well done but don't try to increase stride length that leads directly to increased stresses on knees and lower legs in particular.

Increasing cadence is the way forward, which is the whole point of the podcast.

Blossom-Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks however I don't understand how to increase cadence?

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Blossom-

If you did the 165bpm you would be increasing your cadence.


Hope this is the correct place to request my Graduate badge. Completed c25K on Thursday 🎉 Thank you.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to ann-54

I see you already have your graduate badge, so no need to redirect you but have you read the guide to post C25k running which explains what consolidation is all about.

This "Club" exists to provide support for new graduates wanting advice and help in formulating their routes forward.


Just graduated today. So now onto consolidation and hoping over the next few weeks the 30 mins will become comfortable with legs feeling like they could do extra time which will eventually mean I actually run 5k.

It will feel weird not have a goal per se for this intervening time but I'll make a chart for a 3 weeks to start with and tick off each run with perhaps some sort of mark put of 10 for difficulty so I'm tracking progress.

I'm glad to be in the gang.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to frozenberry

Welcome to the forum and many congratulations on your graduation, fellow runner.

This guide to post C25k running may be helpful

You have the right idea about consolidation, so have some fun, forget about speed and distance and enjoy your hard won ability.

Keep running, keep smiling.

frozenberryGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you


Hi there IannodaTruffe,

I too am an August consolidator. I am glad I just took the time to read as I have a 10% increase week on week on my mind, whether that be distance or time.

For the last week and 3 consolidation runs I have been running for 30 minutes still, finding I am running with a bit more with pace.... from what you are saying, at this stage I should forget pace and time increase and just keep on running for 30 minutes...

I have a question for you or anyone on here.... if my ultimate aim is to run for 5k without stopping to walk, shall I keep trying to increase pace until I get to 5K in 30 minutes? Yesterday I ran 3.7k in the 30 minutes.

I feel like I would prefer to stay at 30 minutes as it is easier to fit into my day...

Any advice welcome 🙏 😊

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Plattszo

For your consolidation runs just concentrate on your thirty minute runs, especially if that is all you can fit in. This will put miles on your legs, build your strength, endurance and the aerobic base needed for future running. Once you are totally comfortable with thirty minutes you can move on.

The most efficient pace to achieve this is the easy conversational pace, which equates to approximately 75% of your maximum heart rate and this is recommended for 80% of your running time. This leaves you 20% into which you can put extra effort, using fartlek or intervals to develop speed...........but personally, I suggest forgetting the speed work until you have more miles on your legs, after consolidation..

To hit 5k, in all honesty, you are unlikely to achieve that within 30 minutes for quite some considerable time........building speed is a slow the normal route is to apply the 10% rule (or less) to one run per week to gradually get you to 5k. Once you are there you can build on that over time.

frozenberryGraduate in reply to Plattszo

I am about the same speed as you and I know from experience that even after a year of running 5k (years ago) I didn't get much faster. But I did get stronger and more comfortable. I'm going to stick to time increases for the foreseeable to get up to 60 mins eventually then perhaps next summer I might work seriously on pace. Like you half hour works for me so will just be sticking to that for a while.


I graduated today! Not sure how I get my graduation badge 🧐😊

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Getoffmybutt

Many congratulations on your graduation, fellow runner.

This guide to post C25k running may be helpful

To get your badge leave a message here

Keep running, keep smiling.



First of all thanks to all the admin for running this forum and the consolidation clubs

I graduated back at the end of June but just thought I would check in here to update on how things have been going for me and maybe get some advice on next steps as I'm starting to feel a little bit lost and I can feel enthusiasm fading a little bit...

I did say a little...

Since graduation I've been trying out new routes and running 3 times a week, apart from once when a birthday and wedding anniversary got in the way.

The runs have looked as follows:-

week 1 3@30min, 3.7km

week2 1@30min 3.8km, 1@33min 4.1km, 1@35min 4.3km

week3 2@30min 3.8k, 1@39min 4.66km

week4 1@38min 4.5k, 1@39min 4.6k

week5 2@30min 3.8k, 1@40min 4.9k

week6 2@29min 3.8k, 1@42min 5.6km

week7 2@29min 3.8k, 1@42min 5.5km

The 5k milestone was never a big deal for me. I was made up just to be running non-stop for 30+ minutes 3 times a week. I can feel the shorter runs are getting markedly easier these last 2 or 3 weeks but I'm not 100% comfortable at 5k yet. Of course I am happy to have achieved the 5k but am wondering what to do next...

I can just keep on with 2 shorter runs and one longer 5-6k run each week but maybe that would start to get a bit stale?

I hear a lot of noise about ju ju's magic plan and the bridge to 10k. I'd like to go a bit faster but I'm more of a plodder I think.

Any advice welcome


IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Birdlady64

It is clear to see from your stats that you are progressing.

Speed only comes with miles on your legs, so if you took up the Magic plan you would find that your 5ks will become as your shorter runs, much easier and you will probably notice in time an increase in pace without trying.

My regime since I regraduated in May was three 5ks per week up until a couple of weeks ago, when I introduced some fartlek on one run per week ( when I feel like it) and extended one other within the 10% rule, which is my long (weekend) run to build back up to 10k initially.

Question yourself about what you might want to be achieving in a year from now and use that to create some short (perhaps weekly) targets, some medium term and long term aims, which will inform what sort of training you need to focus on.

Birdlady64Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you. Such words of wisdom from you as always..

I'm pretty chuffed with where I am tbh considering I have never ever run before now. I may well try the magic plan if only for the structure of it.

My one fear has been getting injured so have always been reticent to push too hard. I was involved in a car crash some years back and ended up being diagnosed with chronic bursitis of the right hip and ITB syndrome. Things have been a lot better for quite some time now but I never want to go back there.

Your return to running is an inspiration to us all


I am soooo happy! I graduated today! I am 56 and have never run, I love it ! Consolidation next!

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to JoTed

Many congratulations on your graduation, fellow runner.

This guide to post C25k running may be helpful

To get your badge leave a message here

Keep running, keep smiling.

chrissie589Graduate in reply to JoTed

Very Well done JoTed...That’s Amazing!⭐️⭐️⭐️


First consolidation run today, slow and steady, seemed rather strange not listening to Laura, but then also quite freeing, I enjoyed a 25 mins run on a usual circular route, mainly as my partner only had 30 mins before work to look after the kids and if I tried something new I may have not got back in time, I'm hoping to try a few new routes and after reading all your links about pacing etc, I'm going to aim to do an extra 10% a week on 1 run after this week's runs, and try the podcasts. I've got into a great routine going every other day first thing and I want to keep it up!

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Ln_art

Well done.

Make sure you are fully comfortable at 30 mins three times a week before adding any other challenges..........that is what consolidation is.

Have fun.


I graduated two weeks ago and have stuck with three runs a week listening to 70s and 80s dance tunes on my head phones (whatever gets you there). However, I run on a treadmill and I am very slow. When I finished week 9 I was running at 6.1kph which I've stuck at. Given your advice about 10% increases, should I add 0.2kph every week to gradually increase my pace? I tried the stepping stones podcast today but it was too much for me at the moment. I'm pleased to be running three times a week for 30 minutes to be honestand don't really have any goals at the moment.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to EssKayDee

Please don't try to add to your pace in increments like will soon get dispirited when it becomes impossible.

The 10% is referring to duration or distance which is a very different matter to pace. When you increase either distance or duration you do it at an easy conversational pace, which is the pace that you should be running for 80% of your runs.

Consolidation is about becoming relaxed and comfortable with 5k/30 mins before attempting to work on speed or further distance.

I like to say have some fun, but running on a treadmill would be like some kind of mediaeval torture to me........can you not run outside?

EssKayDeeGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

As a very unfit 54 year old, I was cautious and wary of injuring myself so put the treadmill in front of big windows looking into our garden. It's been lovely watching the changes in a way I probably wouldn't have otherwise. But I suppose I'm feeling the limitations now because I can't really progress other than speed. I will have to be brave and head outside. I don't have any gizmos to tell me how fast or far I'm going but I'll muddle through. Thanks for your advice.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to EssKayDee

You don't need any tech to enjoy running outdoors. You will be amazed how invisible you become as a runner and you are more likely to get positive responses from anyone who does see you than anything negative.

You should be proud of your achievements and taking control of your future health prospects, so what does it matter what others think.

Have some fun.

TortoiseRegretsHareGraduate in reply to EssKayDee

I sympathise with the wariness of being outside: I ended up getting a cap with a big peak, in the hope that no one would see me, and worried about twisting my ankle on a kerb or tripping over a tree root in the park. But as I progressed through the programme, none of that happened, I saw lots of people who looked like me (no spring chicken, very slow...) and I started to really love being outside and running. Consolidation is becoming a journey, with mostly around 30 minute runs, a few with intervals, a few shorter, a few longer - but with a focus on enjoying myself. Take the plunge, observe the world beyond your garden, where you can sit after your run, with a nice long cool drink.


I’m a new graduate and went on my first consolidation run yesterday. I didn’t like the idea of running without Laura so I downloaded the C25k + Stepping Stones podcast. In the preamble she talked about running at 150bpm etc up to a burst of 160bpm for the big finish and I thought it sounded a bit challenging and was preparing myself to find it too fast for me. I’ve been running at my own pace (goodness knows what it was) and listening to my own music whilst following the app. However, I was delighted to find that 155bpm seems to be my natural pace as I settled into it quite easily. The 160bpm at the end was pushing myself but I managed it! I’m really chuffed and although I’ve been running for 9 weeks it’s was really good to know that my running has got stronger and I’m clearly better than I’m giving myself credit for!

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Purpleish

Well done.

I would mix your runs up and not do the podcasts on every run.

Consolidation is about becoming comfortable with 30mins/5k before moving onto speed work, so I would recommend not overdoing those initially, although they may provide you with some variety.

PurpleishGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you, great advice. I’ll do as you suggest and not use the podcasts for every run - I’m guessing they’re good to use as a measure of your progress over time.


Hi folks, I finished C25K mid July and after a holiday have now finished 1st week of consolidation with 3 x 5K runs. I did try next stage in a C210K app but found 40 min of running with only some 1 min intervals very difficult and I only managed it 1 out of 3 attempts.

Consolidation is key and I’ll give it another few weeks of 5K and re-evaluate. Another key step for me will be to run outside, apart from W9 runs 2 and 3, all runs on treadmill and only went to track as I put my foot through the running board, which I’ve now replaced.

Great hearing everyone else’s stories, really inspiring 👍👍

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to kev9154

I think you have realised the value of bolstering your ability and confidence by consolidating prior to pushing on to 10k.

When you are ready you may find that the Magic plan over on the Bridge to 10k forum is better structured for new runners, as it mixes up different runs, all of which will build your running body without pushing too hard. Whichever route you use, it is wise to keep weekly increases within the 10% rule.

You must have a mighty high boredom threshold.......a running track is only marginally better in my view to a treadmill. Head out to somewhere beautiful, get off the roads and have some fun careering through the woods or along a cliff path. Running should be fun.


Hello, hello! I had my 6th consolidation run today. Definitely a bit of space creeping in between my runs but still managing 2 a week - just! After a run I feel I would really like to run again the following day but I’m mindful of injuries (and also fundamentally lazy) so I resist and have a rest day and then the desire wanes somewhat. I guess this is maybe the start of the running addiction I’ve heard about? Who knows but I’d like it to be the case.

Anyway, I’m delighted to be running 30 mins. Have pushed up by 10% to 33 a couple of times but still some way off 5k. I’m already thinking I’d like to hit the 60 minute mark but know I have a way to go yet so will continue consolidating through August. Thanks for the support 👍

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Yellowshade

We are slaves to our hormones. Many people do not realise that endorphins is short hand for endogenous morphines that our bodies produce along with endogenous cannabinoids.......most of us become run junkies, but it is still worth sticking with rest days as a new runner.

Carry on thinking about what you want to get from your running in the next year, then create some targets and formulate your training regime around that.


1st consolidation run done. Enjoyed the coolness of the woods...last 5mins I really had to push as several small hills but completed. HAPPY 😃

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to AliK0871

Nothing beats running through the woods.

Sounds great.


I’ve just done my second consolidation run. I didn’t take my tracking device which was a bit annoying, but I got round without having to check my watch and just enjoyed listening to a story. In the last 5 minutes I felt I had a little extra in my legs so put in a burst of speed. My aim is to get to running 5k, I’m currently on 3.5k.


Leaving your tracking tech behind is not a bad idea for consolidation, when you don't want to get hung up on for fun!


I have just completed Week 9 Run 3 and graduated

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to chrissie589

Many congratulations on your graduation, fellow runner.

This guide to post C25k running may be helpful

Keep running, keep smiling.

TortoiseRegretsHareGraduate in reply to chrissie589

Well done and welcome to consolidation chatter. I've found loads of interesting advice and ideas on these forums (I graduated early June).

It's been hard running in this heat, but I have managed to get out, for very slow 30 minutes, first thing in the morning before the day hots up: no intervals, no goal, just to get out for a run. But I do like the idea (in IannodaTruffe's response to CDolly, 12 days ago), of having a goal for every run. I hadn't thought about that for my "just do 30 minutes" runs, when I'm not doing the Garmin course, but it's a good idea. I still have the occasional "this is too hard" stuff going on in my head: having a goal for the run will be a way of diverting that voice in a positive direction.

Some light rain this morning - that was delicious.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to TortoiseRegretsHare

Well done for getting out there.

With an aim for each run, lo and behold the running is no longer aimless and it does help with determination to complete a given task.

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