Am I kidding myself about actually running? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Am I kidding myself about actually running?


I don't think what I do counts as running, sometimes it's barely jogging. Perhaps I have taken Laura too literally when she says a light jog / keep it steady. At the moment I don't think I could complete the runs if I did them any quicker but maybe I'm deluding myself that I'm actually doing the programme!

I have speeded up a bit, I know, as I've run the same route a few times and get to different points at the same time. I guess if I used a GPS run app I might have some more objective information!

I think (it's all approximate) that I take about 8 minutes to run (jog) three quarters of a mile., did a about mile and a half last Friday when I did the 20 min run for W5R3.

23 Replies

Sounds o.k. to me. Just run at the pace that suits you. Think about possibly speeding up later.

GPS app would be good if you have a smart phone. There are free apps you can download. I use Nike+ Running.

it's all about building the stamina to continue for 30+ minutes so don't worry about speed. Have you tried mapmyrun website which may give you some routes near where you live with the details of the actual distances so you don't have to guess? Run as slowly as you need to complete the podcasts and Laura will invite you (in about week 6) to speed up if you feel like it, but no pressure! You can improve your speed at the end of the 9 week programme by using c5k+ podcasts :)

no youre no t kidding yourself! if youre getting further each time i would carry on as you are. maybe try upping the pace in the last few minutes if you feel able. im in a similar position but im worried that if i go too fast i will get too tired!

I found having the program helped see improvements and by the time i finished it i had had to increase my route a bit. ive used map programs to draw my route on them (as happierswimming mentions) and i know how far i have travelled. (im not at 5k in 30 min - more around 4-4.2 k)

good luck x

Just do it without technology! If you stop walking... a bit more're running! That's it.

Do exactly what Laura says.

Finish the 30 minutes after No/ 9 get graduate badge and then start to think about your distance :)


If you aren't running then neither am I, as I'm pretty sure we go at a similar pace! But when I completed W6,R3 today I knew I was a runner. :D My Nintendo DS 'Walk With Me' pedometer knows when I've been 'jogging' and that always boosts my confidence. Have you got a NDS? I got a second, new 'game' (it's not really a game) for someone else for £5 recently, so well worth buying. It's nice to have someone notice that you've been jogging, even if it's only an electronic someone. ;)

If you find running harder than walking at the same speed, then clearly you are doing something different. Could you run for 20 minutes as easily as you could walk it? I started reading John Bingham's book for beginners this morning (I read the whole first section before I went for my run!) and one sentence particularly caught my eye. "Slow and steady is the quickest way to run further and the optimal way to develop your aerobic-endurance system." He goes on to point out that it's also the best way to avoid injury. To me, this said that I've been doing this the best possible way. I'm sure you are too. I want to run faster, but I'm going to settle for an occasional burst of speed until graduation, because i'd rather run injury-free.

i've just said that same thing to my hubby. i'm w1r3. i'm definately not walking and that's all that matters to me! i'm not going to be hard on myself as at least i'm not at the couch stage anymore :)


I agree with Legion`s second paragraph.

I beat myself up about speed a couple of weeks ago and was a bit demoralised.

I came on here and read some of the posts from other tortoises. I find this forum is great for a bit of encouragement and motivation.

I`ve decided to mix my runs up a bit.

Over the week I try to do one slow 5k, taking me 55minutes and then one or two shorter, 20 or 30 minutes a wee bit quicker. I also have a ten minute hill very near home for when I`m feeling brave.

Think back to week 1 and look at how far you have come.


Don't worry at all about speed - the only person you need to compare with is yourself. It's all about doing a little bit more each week and earning to pace yourself so you can finish each run. You can worry about speed after you've finished the program - IF you want to.

The important thing is that you're making progress - so you're not kidding yourself at all. You're doing great !


Hurray for us tortoises! When I started I don't think my 'run' was actually any faster than my 'walk'. But it did feel a lot harder to me so I knew I was getting fitter. There's no right or wrong way to do the programme and no correct speed. Some people even walk it all at first, faster and slower walking and then come around again to do it jogging. Some graduates have used the W1 podcast for interval training - fast running and jogging. The important thing is you are off the couch and getting fitter so Go you! TJFlute is right, the most important thing is to build up to running/jogging for 30 minutes. Plenty of time later for worrying about pace and distance. There's room for all the the great C25k tent. :-)


I am about to go out on Week 5, Run 3, so came on here to get some encouragement and you certainly did it once again! Thank you so much to everyone for their posts here. I CAN do it and as slowly as I need to.



Hi there,

Don't doubt yourself, moving at all is awesome, and it takes time to build up the strength and fitness to run and increase your speed. I am using the couch to 5km programme after losing my fitness. I used to run years ago, and it took a good year to get up to a respectable speed. But I was in the best shape of my life after a year.

Keep going!! Consistency is the key.

MrsBirdsnestGraduate in reply to Hidden

Thanks for your comment mcintoshk. As a graduate I've fallen into the trap of suddenly expecting to develop Mo Farah speed now I've graduated! I'm now learning to accept that it will take time (i.e.'a good year') to go from 30 min slow jog to 30 min run.


Thank you, everyone. You have reassured me hugely. It's amazing how you can be demoralised by a chance comment, just another example of the self-doubts that we all have to wrestle with during the programme. Equally, those doubts and demons can be dispelled by supportive and helpful comments from fellow C25Kers. Cheers!


Don't worry about it! The other night I went out to do Week 8 Run 1 in the pouring rain round my local town centre - which was deserted, needless to say. As I ran past one shop window I made the mistake of looking, and caught my reflection. Well! I was running slightly hunched over, because I was trying to keep the rain out of my face, and I honestly looked as though I was pushing an invisible zimmer frame very, v-e-r-y slowly :)

And I still say I'm running, because it's so much more than I could do when I started at Easter. Keep it up - you'll get there!


Thanks, Anniemurph, that made me giggle. I am sure you didn't look like that! We are very severe on ourselves! I am thinking of changing my blog name to Ms Blobby after looking in the mirror straight after a run.


Running is a different movement to walking - one of the reasons it has different benefits (and risks!) I haven't looked lately but certainly for most of C25K I wasn't running faster than what many would regard as walking pace (and indeed I started running partly because I was having trouble doing sustained brisk walking! I find it easier to stay loose enough when running (note: easier, not easy)


I am worrying about the same thing. But then I think that even though my running is slow it is definitely a different movement to my walking. I'll have a long time to build up the speed I guess.


I thought I couldn't 'run' any slower than I usually do but I proved myself wrong today. ;) Made to the end of my run though (and beyond) and that's the biggest factor to me. I may be slow, but all those people sitting on the couch are still slower! :D


I honestly couldn't run for 60 seconds without thinking I was going to collapse when I first started the programme. I agree that It's about being able to run for 30 minutes and the speed will come later and I listened to Laura telling me to keep to a light jog throughout all the podcasts. The result was that I never failed any of the runs even though some of them were really tough and I graduated last Saturday. Good luck xxx

SoozzGraduate in reply to welshwoman56

Thanks, this all makes me feel more confident. Congratulations on graduating, Welshwoman! It's all so amazing, want to tell everyone about C25K!


Thank you so much, I've just done W9 R3 but I'm scared to say I've graduated, it doesn't feel like I have, more like I've huffed and puffed and shuffled along for 30 minutes. I did 4.5K but that included the walking sections, 38 minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if my run is slower than my walk!

I think that no speed parameters are given during the run because everyone should do it at the pace they feel right. You could try to push yourself harder maybe when you do run 2 or run 3 of the week, but pushing too much could be counter productive, as if you get too tired or worse you hurt yourself your confidence will just go down and you won't be willing to run the next run.


I am a tortoise but I just do what Laura says to the letter. I trust in her to get me round and she does! There is one week, can't remember which, but Laura tells you when you can call yourself "a runner"! That's a great moment I can tell you. LOL

I ran the second run of Week 9 yesterday and I was barely lifting my feet off the floor at one point but kept plugging away and I finished it. Roll on Friday when I finish the course.

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