Finished week 9 in gym how to master outside... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Finished week 9 in gym how to master outside running...

Happymel profile image

Hi All

I have just completed week 9 and have been doing all the runs in the gym to build up my confidence

I finished week 9 yesterday averaging around 7.8km per hour

I want to now try & run outside

I dont have a running buddy & not sure how to pace myself. Shall I start with shorter runs on grass or pavement? How soon can I expect to be doing 5k in half an hour which is my ultimate goal ( weekly park runs)

Also which is best tracking app?


10 Replies
IannodaTruffe profile image

Many congratulations on your graduation, fellow runner.

To run outside, just do it and don't beat yourself up if you find it tough to start with. Start off much, much slower than you think you should be going as pacing is always tricky for those transitioning to outdoors. Just see how far you manage. Grass is gentler on joints than tarmac or concrete.

I use Runkeeper because it allows you to create your own interval runs.

Many people never achieve 5k in 30mins, but don't try to run fast on every run. Slow running builds stamina and endurance and should be 80% of your running time.

This guide to post C25k running may be helpful

To get your Graduate Badge leave a message at this month’s Graduation Badge Post, which you can find in the Pinned Posts here

Keep running, keep smiling.

VeganDave profile image

I find it easier to begin running on a pavement or tarmac path, perhaps around a park rather than grass, but this is my own personal preference. Grass grows and hides uneven patches. Focus on your breathing and pace. Regarding pace, I check my cadence now and again.

Cadence is counting your pace, or steps per minute, and I do this counting every time my left foot lands on the ground beneath me for 30 seconds. I then multiply this by four to get the number of steps for both feet over one minute. A good figure to aim for is between 160-170 steps a minute, and you can practice this during your warm up walk.

I find I don’t listen to music, or podcasts or even a story book that some runners listen to as I like to look at my surroundings and nature all around me. Also, I have to cross a main road and several side roads and I like to hear the traffic.

I have yet to find a running friend as I wouldn’t be able to keep a conversation going when running and I want to focus on how I run and my own pace, but again, this is my own personal preference at the moment

Above all, find somewhere you enjoy running 5k around where you feel safe and enjoy running and enjoy your runs! 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Happymel profile image
Happymel in reply to VeganDave

Ok great, thanks so much Will try tomorrow 🤞

Magellan profile image

Hills are a thing for outdoor runners that often don’t feature in treadmill running. If you aren’t used to hills then even a gentle slope can be tiring. If you find yourself running up a slope that’s hard, look for every cul de sac that seems a bit flatter along the route and go along them and back to give yourself a break. Resist the lure of speeding up lots if you get to some downward slope, instead use the downhill as an opportunity to recharge your batteries before the next uphill. And if possible, load the first half of your route with uphill so that the second half can have more downhill.

Expect to go far slower at first, even if it’s all flat. No, I said that badly: TRY to go far slower at first. Uneven pavements and obstacles and other people are going to slow you down anyway, but until you’re a bit used to uneven pavements and kerbs and stuff, you’ll be at less risk of injuries if you take it very gently. If you are short sighted and run without glasses, as I do, I would recommend walking your route first.

If you can do 7.8kph you probably did 3.9km in your half hour run. I managed 3.15km in my final c25k run, in March last year. I cracked a 30min 5k on New Years Day. If you are keen to get to 5k in 30mins I’m sure it’ll happen, but don’t push too hard. If you enjoy running enough to do it regularly and to try different things – like outdoor running, trail runs, or longer runs – your 5k time will start to improve all by itself. Paradoxically, plenty of slow runs are necessary in order to improve your speed when you do an occasional fast run.

Happymel profile image
Happymel in reply to Magellan

Thank you -great advice !

John_W profile image

Does your average of 7.8 kph include the 5 minute warm-up and cool-down walks ?

Happymel profile image
Happymel in reply to John_W

Errh no ..I tend to do those at around 6.5kph and then when jogging go up and down between 7.5 and 8.5 for a bout 5mins each time....Tend to do total distance of 4.5 km including 5min warm up and down...

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Happymel

OK. Let's do some simple maths.

5k in 30 minutes is the equivalent pace of doing 10k in 60 mins, i.e 10kph. So that's your target, at least on the treadmill... being comfortable doing 10kph for 30 minutes, gets you to 5k.

How to get there from where you are?

1. Consolidate for the next weeks - get comfortable to doing 30 minutes but do NOT push your pace. Keep it nice and steady.

2. Want to go outside? Great, but be prepared for it to feel a bit more difficult than the treadmill on your 1st run - the same effort and speed will take more more energy. You'll soon get used to it though.

3. Running for longer times will get you fitter and ultimately help your pace. So... aim to lengthen your 3 runs or just 1 of them by a little bit each week - look to Weeks 7, 8 and 9 for how to do it. Add a few minutes at a time. You 'll be amazed at how quickly the distance will build up and how comfortable you'll feel running for 1 hour.

4. To help improve your speed, have a look at the 3 excellent supplementary C25K+ podcasts: Speed, Stamina and Stepping Stones.

5. Strava is an excellent tracking app. I'd also recommend a dedicated GPS running watch eg a Garmin, Polar, Coros etc. You can get decent Garmins in the £100 bracket.

Happymel profile image
Happymel in reply to John_W

Ok thanks -sounds good --will let you know how I get on

nowster profile image

What I'd suggest (in addition to what others have said) is to introduce yourself to outside running gradually by doing one of the early weeks of C25K with the walk breaks just to start with (week 1 or 2 perhaps).

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