Week 5 run 2.....couldn't step up!: Bit of a... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Week 5 run 2.....couldn't step up!


Bit of a shock that week 5 doesn't repeat the same run/walk combo X 3 as all previous week's have! Struggled with first run of week, 3x 5 mins but suddenly heard voice say 'run for 8mins now' and thought i'd accidentally pressed wrong week! Didn't even try it as I knew I was end of ability at 5 mins! Why is step up so big? Did everyone just do it???

15 Replies

I must admit that I like to look ahead at the runs so that I can mentally prepare myself for them. It's 2 x 8min, but with a 5 min walk in between. Walking for that long is a good recovery period, and so I convinced myself that it was effectively 2 individual 8 min runs. It's only the same amount of total time running as on W4, just without the walking breaks between the 3 and 5 min runs. Can you slow down a bit more so that at the end of the 5 mins you're not quite so tired? You'll need that slower pace for the longer runs anyway. If you really don't think you're ready it might be worth repeating W4, but you might surprise yourself if you give W5R2 a go at a slower pace.

It jumps up even more , sort of misses out 15 mins snd goes to 20 but they must know what they doing . I’ve done first one of week 8 and having had 3 days off I felt better and managed it , still thinking 30 mins won’t make 5 k though


I always look ahead what is coming up to prepare mentally. I took week 5 and 6 really slow, a lot slower than previous weeks. It was challenging but manageable. By week 8 it was a total game changer, with each run we become stronger. Believe in yourself!


Perhaps read this breakdown of W5 healthunlocked.com/couchto5... then reappraise whether you could have actually managed to complete the W5 workouts, all of which are shorter than W4.


What looks a step-up, really isn't actually. Seriously.

"Didn't even try it as I knew I was end of ability at 5 mins" - WHAT? Why? Are you giving up now? Is 5 minutes the end for you? What about the SIXTEEN minutes you ran last week every time you went out? What about the 2 hours of running fitness you've accumulated so far? You don't think that counts for anything? This is C25K (well, 30 minutes actually), not C2-5min)

Instead, why not EMBRACE the challenge? :-)

TRUST the program and start looking at what you've done so far in a different way.

Remember what the goal is: 3x 30 minutes of continuous running in Week 9. You've done Week 4, so... how would you design the next 5 weeks to get you to 30 minutes?

It's helpful at this point to look at the TOTAL amount of running time that you've done and are about to do.

W3R1 - 9 minutes

W3R2 - 9 minutes

W3R3 - 9 minutes

W4R1 - 16 minutes (SIXTEEN!) - that's a whopping 75% increase!!







W4R2 - 16 minutes (AGAIN!)

W4R3 - 16 minutes (again!) - you're a running monster!

W5R1 - 15 minutes (1 minute less!)

W5R2 - 16 minutes (you've done this before - surely you can do this again?)

Here's a reply re: Week 5 I made recently - I hope it helps:


PS. Yes, millions of people around the world have "just done it" :-)

PPS. Just slow down - make sure you're jogging nice and slowly, and you'll be fine. You have NOTHING to fear!



AlMorrGraduate in reply to John_W

Interesting regarding the running time from week 3 to week 4, when I was doing C25K almost 3 years ago I had to do all the runs from memory from my laptop as the Smartphone I had at the time did not have enough "memory" for the C25K app, I got through all the runs and weeks correctly except week 3, I made a mistake with that week by extending another 5 minutes to my runs, hence 14 minutes, so for me the week 4 runs were only 2 minutes longer, not 7 minutes. I now have a new Smartphone with the C25K app on it.

I read the breakdown article that IannodaTruffe sent and it really helped me to mentally get my head around the “step” up - the 5 min break is plenty long enough to recover - try it again - honestly you will and can do it - particularly when you see the breakdown on what you’ve already achieve !! but agree with everyone - I personally prefer to no well in advance what the plan is - it helps me mentally prepare ! And again, quoting everyone - Trust the plan - most of what you experienced today was a mental hurdle to overcome - keep at it and you CAN do it ! I completed my W5R3 today !

jmozz in reply to Ch89692

Thank you for this! I did indeed go andcrwD the breakdown and although it sounded v logical I think I struggled so much with 5 mins counting down every second that when I heard 8 mins....my brain said 'no way'

jmozz in reply to Ch89692

So yes you are absolutely right- it's a mental block! Thank you for understanding

Ch89692 in reply to jmozz

It’s something I’m struggling with massively !! so the articles here are really helpful 👍 so if you can go out focused, positive with a smile - the physical aspect of the run will take care of itself - BUT - don’t beat yourself up if it’s still too hard, you can always take a step back and start that week again until your ready 👍👍👍

jmozz in reply to Ch89692

Thank you! I'm feeling thoroughly told off by some for my mindset and I'm thinking they're probably right . As I'm literally pushing second by second to reach 5 mins the step up to 8 freaked me out!

Is there any way you can distract yourself from the time? I prefer not to have a clock visible so that I'm not counting time down, and instead try to look at the scenery, enjoy my music etc.

At the moment I'm on treadmill as told to isolate by T&T and it shows the time second by second so maybe it will be easier when I'm outside. Thank you for this!

Kfmac in reply to jmozz

I cover the time distance etc up with a towel on the treadmill so you can’t see the clock counting down! It’s much less distracting and it’s a nice surprise when each run is over!😃

RennurGraduate in reply to jmozz

Rule of thumb is - if it hurts: stop; it it aches go slower.

Unfortunately only you can judge the difference. But in essence, Week 4 is the physical challenge. Week 5 is the mental challenge.

Tell yourself you just did a practice run for Week 5!

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