Couch to 5K
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How fast should I be going?

I've just completed Week Five (which I can hardly believe, as I couldn't run for one single minute before I started). I still find the runs very hard - I pray for the end on every single run and for Laura to tell me to slow down to a walk. But there's the problem - I 'run' so slowly that its barely above a walking pace.

I'm going to track my distance properly with either mapmyrun or endomondo (I haven't done it yet because I'm frightened it might demotivate me) but I reckon I covered just under two miles in 20 mins (W5R3). As I run further, I'll probably slow up even more so I think it'll be under 6mph by the time I reach the end of Week Nine. Does that matter? What speed should I be aiming for?

Good luck to everyone out there. We CAN do it !

5 Replies

Speed is only relevant in so far as it relates to you. If the pace is comfortable, then it's a good pace. Over 10 weeks I've run at speeds ranging from 3.6-4.4 mph, depending on what part of the programme I was on and how I felt. It's better to slow down and complete a run than to go too fast and run out of steam. By my standards, you're going fast! At 6.2 mph you would run 5K in 30 minutes, which is very good going. Not many people cover 5K in 30 mins by the end of c25k. Good luck for the rest of the programme. :)


Don't worry about how fast you or anyone else is going at this stage. The main aim is to be able to run for 30 minutes. Once you have graduated you can then concentrate on one of two things. If you haven't reached the 5K of running and I stress here that very few people do manage this then you have that to aim for. The other option is to build up stamina and improve on your speed by doing some interval training perhaps.

I graduated in May and still cannot do 5K in 30 minutes, I doubt that I ever will as I'm very small and have lived a bit longer than most people who take up running as a past time. I have concentrated on reducing my time and have improved it by 3 minutes but have also extended my distance to 10K. You have to listen to your body and go with what suits you. But for now I would just enjoy the programme, map out your routes which will give you a rough idea on how close you are to the 5K mark. Good luck.


This website allows you to age grade your times. I'm somewhere around 39% for women my age - 61% of 49 year old women can run faster than me, but 38% can't! My predicted time for 5k at the pace I run now is 42 minutes.


What a brilliant find. I'm also about 39% for my age but as you say there are about 38% who are slower. Phew at least I'm not the slowest.


And the blessing is that each birthday cuts you a bit more slack.


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