Couch to 5K
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Back after a long lurking absence - stamina versus speed

I'm a graduate who has been lurking for a couple of months.

I qualified on the 21st July and then on the 23rd managed to pull something in my calf and was out for the count for several weeks. Then holidays got in the way. I gradually got back into the swing of things and now I'm venturing onto C25K+.

Having abandonned Laura and gone solo I've really quite enjoyed the freedom of simply running at my own pace with no music. I 've managed 5k quite nicely several times now and my speed isn't too bad. I managed 5k in 32.5 minutes, so then thought, "what next?".

This past week I've finally downloaded and had a go with the stamina and speed podcasts. I'm hoping to get fitter and go for longer runs and head up to 10k.

The first go at stamina was really quite hard, particularly at the beginning of the session. I've always had a struggle getting into it and letting my breathing come easily, so my first 5-10 minutes usually have me wondering if I'm going to be able to carry on. Then I get second wind and it all goes relatively smoothly. I hadn't looked too carefully at the length of the podcast, so got quite a shock when Laura tells you to up the speed for the final 5 minutes. At that point I was getting ready for my warm down walk! Anyway, I made it, red face and all and felt exhilirated.

To my amazement I had run for 6.4 kms - for the first time! I'm going to carry on with the stamina podcast at least twice a week.

Today I did the speed podcast. It felt quite short. Anyone else feel they should be doing more? The strange thing was that I actually went at a slower speed than for the stamina podcast. I'm wondering why I should bother with it if the stamina one makes me go faster? Any suggestions from anyone? I shall try the stepping stone one in a couple of days - any clues as to how hard it'll be?

Oh, and it's great being back with the bloggers!

10 Replies

IMHO Stepping stones is easier than Speed which is easier than Stamina.

I found that after Speed I wanted to (and did) carry on for the full 5K, but I did get PBs,

I think it is best to mix them up, I'm going to have another go at speed after doing Stamina for the 2nd time this morning, then I plan to go for a solo flight at the weekend, possibly along the Thames path (if a can leave the dog behind)


Thanks for the tip. It sounds as though stepping stone might not be too helpful - or am I becoming dangerously confident? I read other blogs where people felt that stepping stone was too slow. I'll give it a go next though. I hope you enjoy your run along the Thames, it sounds great.


Hi Nevertoolate. My 'wobble' came the week after I graduated and everything went wrong - i think it was a case of being too pleased with myself for graduating! I tried ditching Laura and running on my own but couldn't really cope alone so found myself repeating W9 and not knowing where to go next. 5K+ was recomended - hence Stepping Stones this morning. It's a basic 30 minute run - starts at quite an easy pace (may be too slow for you?) , it ups the pace after 10 minutes, and again after another 15, and once more for the final 5 minutes. Even by the end it's not too bad - I guess it really is a 'stepping stone' from W9 where, as long as you keep going for 30 minutes you can run as fast or as slowly as you like, to making you think more about pace and consistancy. I'm probably going to repeat it a couple more times this week and then look at Speed and Stamina. I've also downloaded 'On the Beach' from Audiofuels so might try that as well. Oh, and it's good to have you back!


Stepping stones in easier than the other two. I only did it once.

Stepping stones: 10 minutes at 150bpm, 15 minutes at 155bpm, 5 minutes at 160 bpm (bracketed by walks as usual).

I'm currently doing both Stamina and Speed once a week. However, since I'm training for a 10K in a few weeks time, I run a wee bit extra after the end of the podcasts. Doing Stamina last week I ran for a total of 50 mins, and I think I kept going at about the 158 bpm pace. Today when I did my intervals run using Speed podcast, I ran 9 x 60 second intervals at 165 bpm. I made my own version of Speed, by splicing two podcasts and chopping them so the 7th interval follows on after a 1 min slow run, after the 6th interval. This way I have 12 speed intervals, but am not doing all 12 just yet! I stopped after 9 today and followed this with a 10 mins slow jog up the hill back home.


Just to add, I'm also doing one long, slow distance run each week. the lsd run should be done at 60% effort or 'conversational pace'. I'm increasing this distance by 10% each week (and should hit 10 km this week). I use my own music for this run, using shuffle on my mp3 player.


Conversational pace? That'll be walking for me. I am just one gigantic mess from start to finish.


Thanks both of you. I'm soglad to be back amongst people who are as mildly obsessed as myself! The stepping stone sounds just like the stamina one but at a slower pace. You may be right Padre, it may be too slow for me (I can't believe I'm saying this!). How can a 51 year old who hadn't run in 33 years before April this year, be thinking she can run fast? Thank you, thank you, thank you Laura and the good ol' NHS. And all you blogging friends too!

As for splicing and cutting my own music, I'm afraid I'm not up to all that swanscot. I wish I were more computer savvy but I'm not. I was interested by what you said though, because I feel ready to start creeping up to 10k. I've been running pretty regularly since my calf got better but aimlessly. I think I'll try stamina and speed once a week each and then a longer run freestyle without music for the third session. I might make 10k by the end of the year.



I have been readin all your comments and want to say that I dont like the new podcasts as I dont like having to count as I run, if anyone finds out what else I could do could you let me know. I graduated end of Aug and feel lost now.


How about a parkrun? Any held near where you live? I graduated at the same time as my twin (Nevertoolate) but we live in different countries so not easy to run together! I needed something to aim for and don't fancy the new podcasts either (mind you I've only listened to them - not actually run!). But I've run in two parkruns and it is a great next step. At your speed you'd be fine - it's wonderful being part of a large mixed crowd of people all getting out there together on a Saturday morning. Have a go!


Hello Littlejan. I know what you mean about the counting - I find that however kindly meant, Laura makes me miss a step everytime she counts. I'm concentrating so hard on keeping in step that I have to do a little dance to keep in time with her. However, I did the stamina run yesterday again and I found it a good way to push myself. It was harder than the first time (!) but I felt better for having struggled that bit more.

All you have to do is run to the beat, so maybe you could make your own list of music with the beat she suggests. You start with 150beats per minute for 10 minutes, then increase to 160 bpm for 20 munutes abd then finish with 165 bpm for 5 minutes. I think I have that right, but need to check again. There's a web site that gives you lists of songs and how many bpm for each - can't remember the name at the moment.


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