Couch to 5K
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Couch to 5K+ : "Stepping Stone"??

I will be the first to admit that I am still weeks away from attaining the venerable status of a C25K graduate. Having just completed Week 5 today, I still have four weeks to learn how to add the spiffy "GRADUATE" label to one's posts.

That said, I have ever been one for looking to the future, and so I have been reading about the short series of newish Couch to 5k+ podcasts. Of the three of them, "Speed" and "Stamina" are rather self-explanatory. However, what is "Stepping stone" training for? I normally think of "stepping stones" as a way to help you through what would otherwise be a difficult crossing from one point to another. In this context, that imagery does not help me understand the purpose of the C25K+ Stepping Stone podcast.

So this may be a stupid question, but can somebody please explain to me what the Stepping Stone podcast is all about? Thanks!

(Yes, I could just listen to it, I suppose... but I'm trying not to leap ahead in listening to these things, taking them on only when I am ready for the workout.)

8 Replies

Stepping stones gives you a beat to run to. I found it came naturally, you start off at however many beats per minute, then it goes up twice during the 30 mins run. Well done for getting started and keep up the good work! :) Once you get your Graduate badge, you are also granted entry into the 5k+ section of the forum ;)


Aha! Thanks for the explanation. Looking forward to trying this podcast out (and meeting y'all in the 5k+ section) in about four weeks time!


Good to hear from someone who has just done week 5. I just completed the 3rd wk4 run and they have gone ok though I did find them tough. Having just listened to wk5 I have to say it sounds like a huge leap up from wk4. Did you do wk4 runs 3 times or more? I'm tempted to repeat wk4 again and make sure I am up to wk5, or do you think I should just go for it?


As surprising as it sounds, I would say that you should just go for Week 5 now. Unlike all the weeks that have come before, Week 5 is three individual podcasts and you do each one only once.

The first is not very difficult -- three runs of five minutes each. You are already doing two runs of five minutes in Week 4, so you won't struggle with this.

The second session is two runs, of eight minutes each. This is an increase, for certain... but not more so than going from 90 second runs to three minute runs (Week 3), or than going from three minute runs to five minute runs (Week 4). So you should see Week 5 Run 2 as a do-able challenge.

Then we get to Run 5.3, which is the single biggest leap forward in the programme. I just did this run yesterday... and had much trepedation as it approached. Even as I started the actual run, I was doubtful about whether I could finish... but I did! And it seems that most people do, too. The plan was designed pretty well and doesn't generally let you do things until you are ready for them. So I would say to go for it! You have nothing to lose.

At the end of the Week 5, Run 3 podcast, Laura does acknowledge that not everyone will complete this challenge in the first try. If you don't she suggests that you repeat Week 5 before moving on. That would also be my advice to you: Rather than repeat Week 4, which we know you can do, try Week 5 next. If you succeed, that will be excellent! If you do not, then repeat that week, rather than the one you know you can do.

Good luck!!!


Thanks for that advice. I will go for it and do week 5.


That's the spirit! Hope it goes well!!


you can use any of the 5k+ podcasts in any order to keep you running after graduation.They all have you running to a beat for various amounts of time. I found stepping stones quite difficult and prefer speed which is shorter intervals but they are all good. (I still haven't managed stamina all the way through!)


Thanks for the reply!

I'm planning to use all of the 5k+ podcasts after I finish the programme. I'm just confused about what the intent behind "stepping stone" is. The goals for "speed" and "stamina" are self-explanatory. "Stepping stone"? Not so much! ;-D


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