Couch to 5K
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Struggling to get beyond Week 6. Help?

I completed Weeks 1-5 with no problem. Wk5R3 was difficult for me but I did it. However, I have been attempting Week 6 for 2 weeks now and I'm not even close to achieving it. I went through the three workouts last week while having to take more walking breaks than it advised and this week I didn't feel ready to move on to week 7 so I've been attempting to run 2.25 miles with no walking and have had to walk a few times each attempt (unsuccessful). During week 5 I was out of town and the roads were very flat (I have a moderate amount of hills where I live) so I don't know if it was because of that or because I kind of switched from running on the timed schedule to running on the distance schedule. Is this normal to hit a wall like this? Does anyone have a suggestions to achieve this week and continue with the program? I'm feeling really defeated right now :( Any advice would be really appreciated :)

5 Replies

It sounds like maybe you've hit a mental block. Since week 5 went so well why don't you go back and do it again. That way you can build your confidence again. Then try it well you feel better.


Why did you switch to the distance schedule from the timed schedule? Can you switch back? The timed schedule calls for you to run for 25 minutes in Week 6 run 3 - and it doesn't matter how far you go in that time. This allows you to go as slow as you need to complete the 25 minutes and you can increase your speed in later weeks.


That's really good advice, AnnaDJ. I never thought of that I think it would help- thank you! Swanscot, the reason I switched was because I am a slow runner and was afraid that I wouldn't be running a 5k when the program was over. What schedule have you used? I've been going to this one: I ran 22 minutes today as it says to do for Week 6 run 3 and I actually completed it so I think you're right that I should just switch back to the timed schedule!


As Willowfae says, most of us here on the NHS Choices community use the NHS C25K programme. The title C25K is really just a catchy title and what it does in fact is take you to running for 30 mins and many people reach that without reaching 5k at the time. That comes later - after graduation - when people talk about a second graduation when they run 5K - maybe in 40 mins. Some also like to aim for a 3rd graduation when they finally reach 5K in 30 mins!

However, if you are fairly fit before starting, it is possible to reach 5K in the 30 mins using the programme. If you find the 25/28/30 minute runs relatively easy then you can focus on aiming to run a '6 min kilometer' to achieve 5K in 30 mins.


Most of use use the NHS programme as that is what this community was set up for. The emphasis is very much on time rather than distance. I've just looked at the one that you are using and it is similar to ours but does seem to put more of an emphasis on distance.

Our programme is designed to get you running for 30 mins, not necessarily running 5k in 30 mins. The subsequent podcasts can help you build up the time.


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