Couch to 5K
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Do we really need to go back to the running/walking stage after completing wk5 R3?

I have just completed Wk5 R3. In fact, I did run 3 again yesterday just to make sure it wasn't a fluke! Wow! I'm sure those of you who have reached this stage and beyond can understand my complete joy and amazement that I could actually keep running for 20 full minutes! :-)

Anyway, I notice the first 2 runs of week 6 go back to the running/walking cycle again and my question is this:

Is it important to go back to this program as it's designed and if so, Why? My feeling is repeat wk5 run 3 another two times tomorrow and Thursday and then join in with week 6 run 3 on Saturday. I feel as if I could manage it without too much difficulty but I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. Is this ok to do or should I stick with the plan? I'm a little curious as to why it steps back a little.

6 Replies

People often report the 'easy' first run of Wk6 is the hardest, perhaps because they are still recovering from the first continuous run the week before. I think people also often (on purpose, or unconsciously) run the intervals in Wk6 a little faster than their 'distance' pace. This is a recognised training approach to improve pace over longer runs. In fact if you are training for a 10k or HM in training plans there are still runs with intervals, not just longer and longer runs. So it's worth sticking to the programme as designed, simply because it works.


Ummm... what you're suggesting is pretty much what I did, simply because I'd missed some weeks due to illness and I wanted to extend my time before doing Sport Relief. The verdict? Well, I got through it OK, but to be honest, the joy went out of running for two or three weeks as I was really pushing myself.

If I could go back and do it again, I'd stick to the programme - and enjoy it!


Since im only on WK2 R3 im not realy qualified in answering your question, but all i would say is that this program is tried and tested and there must be a reason for this, may be to slow you down as you have just leeped over the 20min hurdle and feel invinsiable, and you may crash and burn if you continue at that pace then you may loose all mental and physical well being and quit?slowly slowly catchy monkey


As sarahspangles advice, stick to the programme, doing the split run at beginning of week 6 is not as easy as you'd think after the 20 min success, the programme is building stamina, recovery rate, muscles, teaching your body new ways of working so I'd let the programme do it's thing


Well I stuck with the advice to keep to the program and did just that. I didn't like it one little bit! Having managed to run for 20 minutes last week it feels quite weird going back to running/walking again. It's not as easy as you think is it? I can understand why people say weeks 5 and 6 are the worst. Got the same feelings of dread about run 3 this week as I had for run 3 last week. That little voice of doubt that questions if you'll be able to manage it without stopping. But, I'm damned if I'm going to be beaten so I'll keep on running until I drop before I give up! Someone call the paramedics for me just in case I'm discovered in a heap on the ground! Lol!

Almost looking forward to week 7 knowing it's all running from there onwards and once I've managed to do it once at the end of this week I will know I can do it again......... and again......... and again!!


I'm sticking with it too did w6r1 yesterday and found it harder than expected and am doing w6r2 tomorrow looking forward to an early morning start.

Good running :-)


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