Let me add some background context to my running. I am extremely slow. I usually only go 2 miles during the 30 minute podcast. I am quite heavy,183 pounds at 5' 4" tall, and I have not run any sort of distance since I was in the military nearly 30 years ago. I am a project manager by profession so I am used to planning ahead. This is something that I found helps me to be prepared for the next week's run, and have been doing it since the second week.
I ran Week 4 Run 1 yesterday, and although I did not find it to be easy, I was totally up for the challenge. I credit my readiness to adding extra running to each session. Each day that I run I do the podcast twice, because I run on a trail that doesn't loop so I re-do the run on the way back.
In week 2 I just wouldn't stop at the end when Laura said I could, and go about another 30 seconds to a minute. But starting in week 3, it goes more like this. On my first run, at the end when Laura says I can stop I continue to run until the end of the first cool-down songs is completed. That's usually another couple of minutes added to the run, and leaves a few minutes for the cool-down.
On my return run, since I am already warmed up, I start to run as soon the warm up music starts after Laura has finished her introduction. I run until the end of the first warm-up song is finished. Again, this gives me a couple more minutes of running, and I still have a few minutes of walking before I start running and walking on the podcast's schedule. At the end of podcast, instead of ending my run when Laura's says I can, I keep running until I can go no further. So far, that's been about an additional three minutes. Then I take as much time as I want on the cool-down.
I must stress that it is very important that you have the best tools possible when running. I use a very good pair of running shoes, Saucony Kinvara 2. They are lightweight, provide a lot of cushion and support, and promote a more natural running step instead of the heel-strike step with traditional sneakers. Thus, my knees are not nearly as sore as when I wore my old shoes. Over here in the U.S. most stores have them on sale, because the Kinvara 3 has just come out. I always wear very comfortable shorts and a top that wicks away the sweat. I am in Atlanta, and it's nickname is Hotlanta. So, even at 7 a.m. it can be quite humid. Oh, don't get me talking about the mosquitoes!