Couch to 5K

The Little Engine Than Could

Today was week 9 run 1. At the end of each week for the past few weeks, I have done a longer run than the podcast requires, so my most recent run was 48 minutes (in order to - almost - reach 5K). Consequently, today was intended to be a fairly easy, short recovery-type run. (Is that an oxymoron? Who ever thought someone could "recover" by running!?)

A few days ago, my partner J joined me on a normal-length run, and I totally botched it. He is so much faster than me, and I didn't pace myself properly at all. Instead of running the planned 25 minutes, I only managed about 14 before giving up and slinking home. He came out with me again today, partly to cheer me on, and I was a little nervous that I might not stay focused enough.

But everything went great. I finally actually showed him I could run for 30 minutes. Before that, he had only seen me run 8 minutes or less. And I stayed on target for my graduation.

No major accomplishments this run. No crazy improvement in speed, or learning how to fly or anything. But it was a good run, and I never really considered not going just because it looked gloomy out. There was a pack of "proper runners" who passed me a couple times as I was finishing and walking home, and I felt a small kinship with them. Sort of a "that will soon be me" kind of feeling.

I am content with that. "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"

11 Replies

Good work! Glad this run was a lot better than the last one :)


Thanks! It was fun.


Well done. I am so glad that J went with you and encouraged you round.

You definitely can!


Yes, I am lucky to have him cheering me on. I know that not everyone gets that - and I am grateful.


Well done! Wow you are running for 48 mins! Thats fantastic. I have a race for Life in about 3 weeks and I need to build up my times I think! I can run 30 mins now but nowhere near covering the distance. You have spurred me on ! :)


Chances are excellent that you are at least a bit faster than me, so the length of time you need to run to reach 5K will probably be shorter. In preparation for your Race for Life, you could try what I have been doing. Regular 30 min runs 2x/wk, and a longer run 1x/wk, to build up endurance for the 5K distance.

To determine how long you need to run, you can choose a distance goal (I will finish this route of 4.5K or whatever) or you can figure out your normal pace and calculate how long it should take to do 5K. Remember you will be going a bit slower if you are running a longer time.

Then break it up into goals you think you can manage. Do you need to add 10 minutes in total to your run? 15? Try adding 10 minutes to your next long run, and then 15 or so to the one after that. Plan for it. Make sure you eat a bit an hour or 2 before your run - empty stomachs make longer runs hard. Make sure you go at a slow, easy pace that doesn't wind you. However long it takes is okay, just go slow enough you can keep it up. Avoid the temptation to speed up for the "last 5 minutes" of the 30 minute podcast during these runs, you can choose to speed up for the last couple of minutes at the very end if you like.

This should help with the transition to finishing a 5K distance, rather than running for 30 minutes. I personally need a couple "short" 30 minute runs in between to recover, so don't feel bad if you do too.

On the week of your race, you can "taper" by running gently for 30 minutes only, or even 20 minutes. With a well-rested body, the run will be easier for you. Good luck!


Thankyou so much for this info :)


What do you mean 'when you are a proper runner'? You are a proper runner, you ran for 48 mins, thats amazing, no one says what speed you have to go but you were running. Its great when you see other runners, I have found I now wave and smile if I pass them coming the other way and most of them acknowledge. Also, funny how before I started the programme I never noticed people jogging/running. Now when I go out I notice people everywhere, the whole country is at it :)


Thank you :) Yes, I am surprised how the world suddenly filled with runners I never saw before. I usually smile and wave at walkers/runners coming my way, although this particular group didn't notice me. (We were on opposite sides of the street both times.)

It is cool to be part of such a popular activity. Lots of opportunity for new friends.


Well done, you deserve to feel proud of that ! :-)


Thank you. I do feel good!


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