Couch to 5K
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Week 5, the big jump

Hello all

I did w5 r1 yesterday, all good, managed it well and recovery was quick. As Laura says, this week is all about a mental challenge as there are three different sessions. Now, w5 run 1 seems like a walk in the park compared to the big jump of 5 mins to 8 in the next run, and then,(yikes)from 8 mins to 20 In the third session!

I'm really asking for some experiences of how you all managed those mental and physical hikes in the amount of time running in week 5. Up until now, the training has guided me in gently, with increases of a few minutes and less walking etc...I'm determined to remain positive that I CAN do it, but the little demon on my shoulder is sniggering in my ear and saying " don't be so silly, that's impossible!" :-)

8 Replies

Can't answer your question as I did W5 Run 1 this morning but feel exactly the same as you do so am glad you asked this question!


Like you, I was worried about how I would cope wiht a full 20 minute run but, when it came to it (last Monday), it was easier than I expected. The podcast alerts you every five minutes so that helps to pace yourself.

I felt a great emotional achievement at the end of the run. Today, I'm starting week 6 run 1 and am actually disappointed that it alternates walking and running - I really want to get onto another full 20-25 minutes run!


I think all of us build the 20mins to be much worse than it is in our heads. Just make sure that you are well rested beforehand (says me who did it after a night of drinking haha) and keep a slow pace. I know it seems daunting but I find the best tactic is just keep going and don't focus on how much further you have left, concentrate on your breathing or have a daydream and before you know it, it'll be over!

Honestly every single person is shocked after they manage it but really the programme has prepared you and you do have the stamina for it. And you will feel great afterwards. Best of luck :D


I concentrated on breathing in for 4 steps and out for 4 steps and that seemed to help me get through.


The main thing is that if you feel tired, just slow down. It's not that you are running that much longer overall, more that it's longer before you get a walking interval. I repeated the last two runs of Wk 5 to make sure I consolidated that progress before I asked myself to do more.


I did the 20 min yesterday, and if I can do it, anyone can! I didn't believe all that people said about "you can do" etc, and my podcast went off, but I just thought well, run for as long as you can, then it gets closer and closer and you don't want to stop, suddenly it comes to an end and you can't stop grinning! its definitely true that you are trained up to it, you have done everything asked of you so far, so just trust yourself, and good luck! will watch out for your success post!


How I approached it was by thinking to myself after doing w5r1 that I'd done 15 minutes running, in total although not in one block and that if I could do that, then I could do 16 minutes in total, which is w5r2. After doing that one I thought that it was only 4 more minutes to do the big 20 min w5r3.

The leap from running 5 mins to 8 mins isn't that bad and then the leap to 20 mins sounds much worse than the reality.

Hope that all makes sense! Basically I trusted in the programme and also the people on here who had achieved it before me.

You can do it!! :)


Thank you all for your replies, you really have boosted my confidence and belief in myself. I'm doing r2 tomorrow and will report back ;)


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