Stepping Stones - is it only me that found it bloody hard?!!

Stepping Stones - is it only me that found it bloody hard?!!

I'm a recent graduate and have been keeping up with the suggested three x 5K runs per week for the last three weeks but this morning I decided to try the Stepping Stones podcast because the name sounded fun and nice with some lovely gentle 'zen' potential!

No such luck! I actually found it really challenging, very nearly TOO challenging. I had to shout 'COME ON!' to myself which frankly is embarrassing in public and in the last minute I felt like I might be sick (pure class).

I've never tried to run the 5k's particularly fast but I've measured the distance and my route is definitely 5k long and I hit all the targets in the W9 podcast so I've not been doing a super gentle version.

Obviously I will carry on as I know from the C25K programme the more you do the easier it gets but I was a bit surprised at just how hard it felt so wanted to see how other people have found it?

Maybe my completing the C25K programme was all a dream and I've just gone from Couch to Stepping Stones in one run...yes that would explain it...

25 Replies

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  • Well done on completing stepping stones, and yes your right it is a hard workout. Try Speed its short and sweet but includes short fast bursts which will really help with your over all fitness and strength. Good luck and well done.

  • Thanks Oldgirl, I'll give that a go. Glad you agree it's a hard work out! I quite like the idea of 'short and sweet' for those mornings where I've got a bit less time to exercise. Thanks for the tip!

  • If you are short on time use speed so long as you put lots of effort into the fast 1 minutes bursts it will pay off big time. You can when you get used to it add 10-15 minutes steady jogging on at the end. Good luck

  • Thanks, great advice - it's nice to be able to mix things up a bit so one doesn't get bored! I'll give your suggestions a go...

  • I love the Speeds one, it gives you an incredibly good workout but it doesnt involve the mental torture of the full thirty minute runs.

  • I agree that it's hard, but I did enjoy upping the pace, it brought back the feeling of achieving something following that post-graduation 'what now?' feeling. Although perhaps I'm talking about the stamina podcast?!

  • Yes I know what you mean, it was nice to be guided along a new challenge - I've been recommended the Stamina podcast too so I'll give that a try on Monday :-)

  • Not tried it yet but Speed was bad enough today. Good to have a challenge though.

  • Ooh yikes! not tried Speed yet. I think I'm gonna give Stamina a whirl on Monday, like you say, it's good to have some new challenges :-)

  • Hmmm, I found Stamina the hardest of the 3 C25k+ podcasts. I relived W1R1 with the fast burst at the end, was chanting the old mantra "I can do this" with what was left of my breath.....did it but it was really challenging! Good luck.

  • Well I'm just all round relieved to hear that you all seem to agree that they are more difficult than the W9 runs! Good old running mantras. I often tell myself that 'I know I'm not going to give up so I might as well enjoy it rather than mentally protest all the way along'!! I shall keep my 'eye on the prize' that at some point I'll notice that the C25K+ podcasts have become easier and therefore I'm progressing. Thanks Sooz

  • Yes it's hard. I haven't done one of the new podcasts for a while but find them far harder than a 5k run.

  • Good to know wilmacgh! Knowing that makes me feel more like persevering with them (far more so than if everyone was saying they were dead easy!!) Thank you :-)

  • They definitely feel like a new challenge to me! 'Sweet' is not the word I would use to describe Speed... Am probably sounding like a broken record on commission but Pyramid 180 from Audiofuel is another one - slightly different as the voice tells you "walk if you want to" between sprints and the sprints build up in length and speed (at the peak faster than Speed) and then work down the other side, and it is shorter overall.

  • I like the concept of 'walk if you want to'! Might give Pyramid 180 a try!

  • Yes I agree with you and Sooz that the 'walk if you want to' option sounds good! I'll have to hop over to Audiofuel and take a look - thanks :)

  • Improved my (once a week) long one of 10 minutes. 2 weeks ago I covered the 10K in 1 hr and 26 minutes with 3/1 ( 3 minutes running / 1 minute walking), however, yesterday i decided that I would run till my body could bear it and I was quite happy with my self when I covered the same distance in 1hr and 16 minutes. Still too slow though, so this week I am planning to use the Cto 5k advance podcast. Which one have you started with ? Stepping stone, stamina or speed ?

  • I've only tried 'Stepping Stones' essentially you do a 5min warm up walk then run the first part at 150 beats per minute (bpm) then the next part at 155bpm and then the last 5 mins at 160bpm followed by the 5 min warm down walk (you're running to the beat of different music tracks). As you've run 10K's you'll maybe find it okay but I've stuck with 5k runs and at a steadier pace than than the Stepping Stones so it really pushed me. Will try the others as I go along. It'll be interesting to see what you think of them - come back and let me / us know!

  • I tried the stepping stones once, and it was the first time in the C25K that I didn't finish a run, for me it was too big a leap between Week 9 of the original series and the Stepping stones. I'm concentrating on running for 30mins three times a week and will have to come back to Stepping stones later, not finishing it really knocked my confidence. I have heard consistently good things about the Speed podcasts though, so that might be my next step.

  • Thanks TaoRouTing - that's exactly what made me post on here, because, like you I felt a little demoralised at finding it such hard going. However as the general consensus seems to be that most people have found it hard, I feel a lot better about trying it again and seeing it as something to work towards rather than something I should find 'easy' first go. So, let's neither of us feel knocked by it! Onwards and upwards :-)

  • Onwards and upwards indeed!

  • I listened to the first 10 minutes of stepping stones today while I was sorting out a playlist for running, as I graduated today, and it scared me! :-o I shall follow the advice you've been given and perhaps try speed and stamina first

  • Hahaha! Not sure whether listening 'ahead' is a genius plan or terrifying!! Stepping Stones is 'doable' but tough - I made it but had to dig deep!! I might try stamina or speed tomorrow. Good luck!

  • I love your photo for this blog ! :-)

    I'm too scared to try Stepping Stones yet !

  • Thanks sfb350! I've now run Stepping Stones twice - it was possibly a bit easier but the last 5 minutes I find hard because you're running a bit faster. Practice makes perfect I guess (go on give it a whirl!!)

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