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Couch to 5K
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How have graduates/almost graduates found weeks 7-9?

A friend argued with me that C25K should only take 6 weeks, and when he looked at my schedule, he said basically week 6 is the end as after that the increments are small, i.e. 25 to 28 and then to 30 mins. Have graduates found weeks 8 and 9 easier or is it really hard to add 3 minutes to runs from one week to the next? I've found week 6 hard, and am hoping week 7 is a bit easier and that I see the pay-off!

12 Replies

Hi Chris; I'd say I didn't find weeks 8 and 9 any easier or harder. I really enjoyed the longer uninterrupted runs as they allowed me to get more into the 'zone' though. Although each increment isn't hard in itself, you have made a big jump to 20 mins in week 5 and I think you're still consolidating that in those last weeks, and there's also the question of speed, which some people can work on during those similar-length runs - though I didn't get any faster at that point personally.

I'm now on Bridge to 10K which interestingly goes back to walking intervals - today I did 3 x 10 mins with a 2 minute walk in between each. I seriously questioned this when I saw the programme as it seemed so easy, but having done it I realised I was running much faster knowing that I only had to keep it up for 10 mins, and even including the walking breaks as part of my run, my pace was my best ever. I don't get back to continuous running for a couple of weeks (although there are longer 'interval' type runs on other days), but I know I'll be much much quicker when I do, due to these short intervals. But I think you need a few weeks getting used to just plodding along for 25 - 30 mins first.

Hope that helps - it's not at all scientific, but that's how I've found it! Oh - and you should find that week 7 is OK - weeks 5 and 6 seem to be the hardest as they're 'transition' weeks, but then it settles down again.


I think the thing I liked most about weeks 7-9 is that as JuicyDee says - "it consolidates" what you've done already.... for me I enjoyed the rythym and the "Sameness" and knowing what to expect. Actually a jump from 20 mins to 30 mins is quite a lot when you think about it!

Good luck!


I've only got one run left before completing the programme, but I have mentally found weeks 7 and 8 harder than earlier weeks. The actual running is fine, going from 25 to 28 to 30 mins is not difficult and isn't hard at all really and it's not a physical thing for me as fitness wise I'm doing ok but the realisation that it's all running and no walking breaks from week 6 onwards I've found a bit hard mentally. BUT - that's what this is all about really, to get us running, not walking.

When I complete I'm going to go back to interval training again but running much faster than the first time, with some longer runs as well, with my own music, so a bit of a mix really. At least that's what I'll be doing until the new podcasts come out.


Week 6 was the killer for me! When I completed run3 of that week I knew I could do the rest. Whilst I wouldn't say week 7 and 8 has been easy, knowing there are no huge changes in running time and the fact that it's all running from W6R3 is a tremendous boost. I couldn't wait to complete that week with that knowledge in mind. Next week is graduation week and I'm already wondering what I'm going to do after that! :-)


Hi Chris

I have found weeks 8 and 9 difficult - again more mentally than physically. The thought of setting of knowing that I have to run for 28 or 30 minutes is the hard bit, even though I know that I can do it.

I find the first 10-15 minutes by far the hardest too.

Week 9 run 2 tonight then run 3 at the weekend. I can't say that I am looking forward to it but I am to finishing then also going to do intervals and some 'fun' stuff with some decent music.


Hi Chris

I agree with all the guys

Also, how many people would actually start the program if it promised to get you running 30 minutes in 6 weeks?

I would have been put off , thinking it would be too intense , but the thought of 9 weeks is much less daunting and more realistic.

This program has really worked for me (just done w8 r2 today) and loads of others....anyhow, whats the big rush? Do 9 weeks safely in a tried and tested way....sorry, that sounded a bit bossy!!!!!


The faster runners will be completing 5k in 30 mins by the end of the programme, which is why it's called C25k. If it ended at 20 mins they'd be running 3.33k which is less catchy ;)

There is a 10% rule in running - it's best not to increase distance or duration by more than 10% a week, to avoid injury. That's why the steps are small even in the later weeks. CV fitness improves more quickly than bone strength, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

I had one or two bad runs in Wks 7 to 9 but I also consolidated and switched to road running. There were sudden shifts forward, there was one run where my pace improved, one where I felt more able to straighten up and look forward, one where my breathing suddenly fell into place.

I'm in Wk12 now and still having good and bad runs, today I improved my pace by 3% and still had some juice left after 30 mins, if I hadn't been practically home I would have made this my 'long run', I'm building up 2 mins per week, on Sunday I will run for 36 mins :)


Have to say I found week 8 the hardest of them all...both physically and mentally! The 9 weeks has worked for me so I'd recommend sticking with the programm


Thanks all! :)

I'm defrinitely sticking with the programme, it hasn't let me down yet and I am in no big rush to move ahead with anything more advanced. I really just wanted to get an idea how people have felt on the last 3 weeks of C25K.

Sounds like I'm not out of the woods yet, but then the pleasure of C25K has been the challenge. I'm very happy to have this time to consolidate!

So - week 7 starts for me tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to getting into the regular dicipline of longer runs and working on pace and distance too : )

And most of all, looking forward to the mental challenge of making it all regular habit! :)


Hi, yes I found weeks 8 and 9 the hardest I think, But probably more of a mental thing I would say. I did find an extra 3 mins a challenge, it doesn't sound much on paper but it was hard work for me :)


I think I found weeks 7 and 8 the hardest - getting used to running the whole time was a bit of a mental battle rather than physical.

Week 9 I was proving it to myself, and pushing for the 5k in 30 minutes - still didn't quite make it (30:28) but close enough.


week 7 done, and seems okay. In fact feel I need to run after 2 mins of cool down. Start week 8 on Monday and looking forward to it, but still find first 5 mins the hardest.

Doing okay for an oldy at 52.


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