I'm doing the time but am I doing the distance!?

I have been working my way through the Couch to 5k podcast which is brilliant but while my time is increasing I am not convinced I am actually running (well more slow jog if I were to be honest!) far enough. I don't want to push myself and then fail to complete the session but I have a feeling I am being too cautious - what if at the end of the week 9 sessions I find that I can run for 30 mins but it is not 5k? Its more Couch to 4k!


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24 Replies

  • I had exactly the same concerns as you.

    Please remember it is important to run for 30 minutes non-stop....that's your first goal...you can increase time/distance/speed gradually when you have finished the program.

    At about week 6 I was running very slowly indeed but as you get fitter your pace naturally increases ....but it doesnt matter if it takes you 40 minutes to cover 5k as long as you are running and not killing yourself!!!!

    Keep going and just remember how much progress you have made already :):)

  • Excellent I am not alone!

    Brilliant advice thank you :)

  • Excellent I am not alone!

    Brilliant advice thank you :)

  • Definitely not alone. Im with you and quite a fair number of other people have posted to the same effect. Am waiting for the new podcast, which is supposed to be out in May, which helps to improve speed,

    I hoping to enjoy my running more if Im running faster- its all a bit steady and pedantic at the moment.

  • I didn't realise that a new podcast to help improve speed is coming out - that could be exaclty what I need otherwise I am worred that I may drift a bit and become demotivated and stale once my time with Laura is at an end and I am left to my own devices! :)

  • That exactly how I feel. Am trying the bridge to 10k app on my ipod but am beginning to feel I need something extra to keep things interesting. Am looking at gyms, walking football and possibly tennis at present.

  • I've looked at the parkrun website which has free 5k runs in parks throughout the UK every saturday morning at 9am where they time you. When I feel a bit more confident I might give it a go.

  • I've tried the prototype 'C25K Plus' and it was very good (though I wasn't mad about the 'club' type music...more of a heavy rock girl mahself :-) ). It was just challenging enough and there are going to be a further 2 that get faster and faster (eek!!).

    And if it's any consolation, when I graduated my distance for 30 mins was about 3.7k. I then upped my distance gradually to 5k but it still takes me 40 mins or so. Doing a 10k at the end of May and expecting to do it in an hour and a half (by which time everyone else will have gone home :-) ).

  • Don't worry I run slow ( all the runners out for a jog pass me), but I am achieving my goal of 30 mins and completed the programme today.

  • Congratulations on graduating :)

  • Congrats burstcouch! Job well done.

  • Well done!!! :D

  • See my recent blog post, just tried to run too fast to get more km's and it totally backfired, left me with a stitch and not enjoying the run. Lesson learned: run at your own pace and enjoy it, the distance will come with time. In the meantime feel happy that you're out and running at all... that's often what I consider to be my greatest achievement!

  • Thanks for that. Read your blog post - really helpful. I think I am trying to run before I can walk.....if you'll excuse the pun!! :)

  • Don't worry about speed at this time. Initially it's all about running for the set time and speed / distance will come later. I'm still waitng for the speed to come - I can do 5k but it takes me approx 39 mins and I'm a month post graduation...so you are not alone worrying about speed! :)

  • That's nothing - I did the Sport Relief Mile last month and was so slow that I got overtaken by someone dressed as a banana! :)

  • One of the occupational hazards!! I got overtaken by Scooby Doo when I did mine :-)

  • making me giggle...a guy at work did the London Marathan and he was telling me about the hazard of being overtaken by people in fancy dress.

    The fact that you did it is awesome!

  • So glad it's not just me! I have just completed week 3 run 3 & manage just over 4 km. Feel that I am really slow :-(

  • In my case it's more like Couch to 3.5k - my main aim at the start was to improve my fitness and do 30 mins of exercise at least 3 times a week. Now I've graduated and got the bug I'm thinking about Race for Life in July and am getting frustrated that the distance is not improving quicker, so am thinking of doing some Park Runs now. Maybe the trick is to do 5k, however long it takes, and try to get the time down, rather than the other way around.

    The new podcasts will probably be good - I did the trial one and did run further using that than the normal week 9 podcast.

    I'd echo the comments above - complete the programme first and don't worry about speed - the last thing you want to do is get an injury and put yourself out of action for a bit.

  • All brilliant advice - thank you! :)

  • I'm doing a mixture of both...30 mins and see how far I go and then on one of the other runs do 5k and see if I can do it quicker than before.

  • In fact the 10k programme I'm following more or less does this - it's a mix of times and distances on different days. Some of the times are quite short which encourages you to up the speed. We will get there!!!

  • I, erm, don't usually rack up quite 3k. I'd hate to suggest anyone models themselves on me (and admittedly I mostly run on rough ground) but since someone mentioned 'doing the double' I have realised that I have the bonus of a ready made target beyond the programme. I can do 30 minutes, next target 5k... and then maybe, maybe, maybe 5k in 30 minutes, the triple.

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