Couch to 5K
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Only went and did it - 20 minutes running

After my terrible run on Wednesday (week 5 run 2), I had decided not to even attempt run 3 yet, and went out yesterday with my own music instead of the podcast, thinking I'd try and do 10 minutes twice, with a walking break in the middle, as a way of building up to it. So I set off, walked for 5 minutes and then started running.

Once I was going, it felt okay to begin with, so I started thinking maybe I would attempt the full 20 minutes after all. And once I'd made up my mind, I was very determined to actually do it. I didn't look at my watch (I dug out an old Garmin yesterday from a previous running life) until 14 minutes, when I was starting to struggle, and I was pleased I'd managed that. But then it got hard. Really hard. The last 4 minutes I was checking the time constantly, and it was only the thought of how annoying it would be to quit having done 18 or 19 minutes that kept me going.

So I made it, but as with the previous run, I feel I pushed myself too hard. I felt really ill at the end - dizzy, light-headed, I was worried I might even pass out. The 5 minutes walk at the end was a struggle again.

When I got home, I uploaded the data from my Garmin. My average heart rate across the whole session was 174bpm, which seems very high for a slow jog (and including ten minutes of walking). Just after I stopped running, it peaked at 196bpm (which is the highest heart rate I've ever recorded, beating 195 a few years ago). That's a higher maximum heart rate than you'd expect from someone my age, which isn't a problem in itself, but what is a problem is hitting my maximum heart rate as a result of very slow jogging, rather than all out sprinting. My average pace over the 20 minutes jogging was a very slow 14:30 minutes a mile (that's about 4.1mph for those who measure speed rather than pace), so it's not like I was going too fast.

I'm looking forward to getting back to intervals next week, but I need to think about what I'm going to do for the 3rd run of week 6, and then going forward. I might aim for 20 minutes again instead of 25, and see if it's any easier after another week of intervals. And then maybe repeat week 6 and do 25 minutes the second time around. I'll have to see how things go this week - I've read on here a lot of people unexpectedly struggle with week 6 run 1.

6 Replies

Well done Svenena, that's a great achievement! :-) I've also noticed a lot of people struggle with W6 R1, so like you I'm cautious about it, in some ways I find interval running harder so won't be surprised if I struggle. Best of luck for Week 6!


Well done for completing the 20 minutes, I'm a time watcher too if I've got the access to it! Good luck for your next run!


Thanks notbad.

I forgot to mention that I weighed myself yesterday morning, and have so far lost 7lbs since starting C25K (alongside calorie-counting).


You've made it so far so continue to trust Laura and your own body, which has always responded to the demands you have made on it so there's no reason to suppose it's going to let you down now. Make sure you are running on a really flat route (treadmill, canal towpath) so you don't worry about your heart rate. Heart rates vary widely and a better indicator of fitness is the time it takes to go back to normal rather than the number it reaches. I'm sure you'll find you can do 25 minutes next week if you use the week 6 intervals to increase the speed of your walking so that the run is just a little faster. The brisk walk is going to build stamina. Breathe steadily and keep going. Good luck :)


Well done you! I just started W5, so hope to attempt the 20 minutes next week. Like you I'm worried about pushing on into W6 and not having recovery intervals, but we've coped with the programme so far haven't we?


Oh heck, I struggled with wk5 run1 and not looking forward to tomoz,run2. I nearly killed myself yesterday and know I'm not going to be magically fit by wk6! Great going svenena!


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