Couch to 5K
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jumping from week 3 to 4

Hi all, I have completed the second run of week 3 - so it is 5 min walk, 90 sec run, 3 mins run, 3 min walk, ( on this part I struggle my legs want to buckle under me but i have never stopped)5 min run. I have looked ahead to week 4 and to be honest it sees too much of a jump, running for 3 mins etc and 5 mins, I feel im not going to be able to do it, should I do week 3 again or try to carry on?

How did you all find it please. I run very slow.

5 Replies

Starting around week 4 through week 6, the program appears to ramp up considerably. I was skeptical when I went through it, and thought perhaps there was a mistake or something. Surely they CAN'T expect me to do that?! The truth is, the program is almost magical in its ability to push you just hard enough, but so you can still do it. If week 3 was hard, but you still managed it, go on the week 4. In the very worst case, you will be unable to finish and you can choose to do week 3 a bit more. But it is more likely that you will surprise yourself and do just fine.

Two tips:

1) Try not to psyche yourself out. That might mean just not looking ahead, so you don't have anything to worry about. Or it could mean changing "I don't know if I can do it" to "I bet I can do it, and I am going to prove it." It can be scary to face the new challenges, but you will be totally amazed at what you achieve.

2) If you can, schedule two days off between ending one week and starting the next. Running M-W-F or T-Th-Sa (or some similar pattern) will do it. It gives you an extra day's rest before tackling the new, bigger challenge. It's totally optional though, so don't stress if you can't work it.

Good luck!


I also thought that week 4 seemed like a big jump up from week 3. You feel like you've only just managed to get through week 3 and, from that perspective, week 4 looks pretty impossible. And the you do it. Alaiyo is absolutely right that the programme is almost magical.

I have always only ever left one day between runs (until this week) and I managed week 4. I would say that you don't even have to believe you can do it. Just try it. And when you've done it you can look back and see that the previous three weeks were exactly the amount of preparation you needed to achieve that.


I'm week 7 and had never run (or done anything much) before I did C25k. I too have felt daunted by the apparent 'leaps' forward that seem to be there from one week to the next, but I would say try and carry on - don't worry about your speed, if it's too hard, slow down a bit. Better to keep going at a ploddy pace than stop, I think.

I'm week 7 and have found some runs much harder than others, but have stuck to the plan and have not failed to complete a run yet. And I run slowly too. I used to struggle through the 1minute run at the start of the plan, and now I can run 25 minutes without a break. I'm going to get through to the end, then work on my speed gradually after that!. Laura keeps saying on the podcasts that if you have kept to the plan you should be ready for each stage - and that's been my experience so far despite what my brain tells me on occasions!

Go for it. If you find you have to repeat a run, it's no failure!


Trust the programme, littlejan. it really does work. It's easy to think of staying on each level until our bodies find it easier, but it isn't wise. Slow down the running if you are really finding it tough but try to keep walking briskly during the walking parts. The walking is an essential part of the programme so don't be tempted to use it just as resting time. It's improving your stamina and helping your running. Keep a good walking pace on "rest" days too. Walk briskly with the dogs, kids, to town, work etc and you'll find it really works. I bet you do manage week 4 and we're all looking forward to hearing how you get on.:)


Thank you for all your comments and advice, I will carry on to do week 4 then, will let you know if I manage it, but I know some of you say if you cant manage to run all the time then its not a failure, but in my mind I would feel I have let myself down.


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