Couch to 5K
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I've been a bit quiet on here recently but have still been running as often as I can.

A running buddy of mine told me that he'll run the same route for several weeks to try and improve his times to see if he is improving or not and I thought this was a great idea.

I've been running to a forest-y area which is 2km from my house. The forest has a golf course to one side and a bridleway through the middle which lasts for a km, then it's a 2 1/2 km run back home. It's a nice route and I've come to love it. I've run it 3 times consecutively in the last week and on the third run, I done a personal best on my 5k of 29:52. I've finally got it below 30 mins, wooo! That was on Tuesday.

I didn't get to run until Friday (yesterday) but because I had the day off from work, I decided to make it a longer run. I've a 10k race coming up in October and the route is practically on my door step so I decided to have a go at doing the route and see how far I could get round before throwing in the towel.

Well, I got all the way round. I managed 10k. I'm still feeling exhausted now but it's a great achievement and I'm so glad I done it.

My 10k time was 1hr 5m 29s which I thought was pretty good considering I had imagined it'd be closer to the 1hr 15m mark. This is a good thing as now, I have a target time to beat. I did stop for a walk a fair few times though. Looking at the pace graph on RunKeeper, I stopped 7 times so at a guess, I walked half a km of those 10km on and off. I want to try and reduce those walking bits but I know I'll still be doing it on the day.

Ideally, my target time for the race will be between 50 & 55minutes. I know I can get it below an hour as I've still got 12 weeks to go but it'd be a great achievement for me to do it in less than 55m.

I am so so grateful for the whole c25k program, this community and the NHS involvement. I've wanted to improve my fitness for so long but to think it took 4 months to go from nothing to completing a 10k run is madness. I'm literally kicking myself as to why I didn't do this sooner?

oh and to make me even happier, I bought a pair of jeans last week in a 34" waist and I've been wearing them ever since... I've not been a 34" since I was about 13 (that's 18 years ago!)

Thank you all for your positive stories, comments, influences and everything to do with this community - it's such a treasure, you're all awesome!

17 Replies

Nice job on all counts :-)

That is a nice little milestone isn't it, getting sub30:00? Sub 60:00 on a 10er is brilliant but you know this is a slippery slope don't you 8-) ? 25 minutes for 5K will be on your mind I bet!

I use my local ParkRun as my 'standard' course for progress, I try and do it once a month to see how I am progressing.

I trust you are sussing out your local parkrun course in preparation for leading the triumphant C25K torch relay around your local park in a couple of months ;-)


ha! sub 25mins is already on the mind!

My local park run is more of a cross country course :(, it's all on grass, fields, uphills and downhills. No 'paths' as such which is a shame because I find it difficult running on grass. It makes things much harder, but I guess that's a good thing to train on.

However, the next nearest ParkRun is either Bromley which I believe AliB1 does or Crystal Palace which a few of my buddies have run previously and that's all paths on a relatively minor gradient. I'll certainly be doing that in August at some point. It's a good idea to use that as a benchmark though. Might make it a monthly thing :)


I'm doing Bromley next week as they normally have pacers (great chance to improve your time) and then off on hols so next one won't be until September. Let me know if you come can cheer me over the line (I'm prob 5/6 mins behind you if I'm at my fastest).


By the way Crystal Palace has a big hill in it! Bromley is flat and a mix of surface...grass & path


Thanks Ali, I actually drove past Norman Park today whilst out with my boys. I struggle with grass though but seeing as it's generally flat, I may just see you down there within the next month or so :) I want to do at least two Park Runs before my 10k in October, which co-incidentally is a week after yours! (eeek!).

But yes, would be great to meet a fellow C25K'er :)


Great post. Well done.


Thank you :)


Nice one and very well done - good luck with the 10K :-)


Great time! Ive been struggling to get out and haven't been running since Tuesday...too much wine last night has kind of put today's plans out unless I feel loads better later....

I am hoping to do my 10k( I signed up for one on 14 Oct - yikes) is do under 80 mins... Am just worried that 2 weeks in France in August isn't going to help my training...taking my gear but not sure how good i'll be at getting out htere!


Brilliant! Really well done.. I ran my first ever 10k today, with 3 minute walking breaks three times and felt as much of a high as when I first graduated from C25K, good feeling isnt it! I was a bit in the doldrums with what my aims were and it was a reminder that there is always a new challenge, it was the quarter distance of a marathon i'll have you know!! :) All the best with your next running adventures!


Well done Bonnie! It is a good feeling doing 10k. I was absolutely knackered when I finished and practically crawled the last 400m! But yes, you're right, it's a quarter of a marathon! None of my family can believe it when I tell them I ran 10k / 6miles.

DId you plan to have those walking breaks? It seems like a good idea that for next time.


Yes, did a planned 1 minute walk break at 20 mins , again at 40 mins and unplanned(!) walk for about 30 secs at 55 mins, saw nearly at 10k and pushed , finished the 10k in 1hr 3 mins (can you tell i also have a new garmin!) It seems easier for me to break it down into planned intervals... psychological I think as 20 minutes X3 feels easier to face than a 60 minute run!


Great idea! You're right., 3 20 minute sessions with a minute break sounds a lot easier than an hour solid.

An hour 3mins for the 10k is a great time too! Have you got a target time you want to beat?


I would love to do 10k in under an hour, have my 1st 10k race in september so will try it out then , but has lots of hills so just to finish about an hour for a first race would feel really good.. seems possible now. Your time was really well done too, esp if you walked 1/2 a km!, I think I will aim for a 10k as long run each week now and see how the timings go, feels pressure off a bit now have done it once...good luck with yours!!


As I am new to this programme, just finished R2WK2, I have just seen this convo. Was just wondering how you are all doing a year on??


Blimey was that a year ago?

Well I'm still running, although not nearly as much as I should at the moment. It takes me a few weeks to get into things when it's so cold and dark outside but once I get my routine back, I'll be back out there 3 times a week!

I've completed several 10k races in the last year, with another one or two planned along with a half marathon in February next year (3 months from now!). I've come to realise that I enjoy running for the joy of running, not the competing part so after the half marathon, I probably won't be doing many official races.

Back in May this year, I really pushed things with a spur from OldNed and managed to run "100k in May", that was a good month. Plenty of 5k's, a few 10ks and over the long 4 day weekend, I done a 14k & 17k run.

Since May, I've done some fun runs, I *loved* running along the sunny beach in Suffolk whilst visiting my in-laws during the summer.

I've also had a few niggles here & there and also suffered from bouts of laziness where I wouldn't run for a few weeks... but on the whole, I'm still running, I still really enjoy it when I do go out and still wish I'd taken it up sooner!


Thanx for the reply Buddy, great to see your still keeping it up. I probably won't have the same problems as you, as I live in Cyprus, and although it gets cold for us, and we have some nasty thunderstorms, it's nowhere near the weather you get in the UK!! And I see from the forecasts, it ain't gonna be any different this year!! I hope you can keep going, through the weather. As for me, although I am new to he programme, I am not new to running, and I have a couple of London medals to my credit from my younger years, so I know where your coming from. However, trust me, it will pay to keep going, I have lapsed for nigh on 20 yrs, and it is very hard to get back into it, but I am determined to do it. I loved being fit back in the day, and I want something of that back. So thanx once again for the reply, and good luck with comps next year!


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