Couch to 5K
54,855 members87,356 posts

Run slower for longer? Or faster for shorter?

Hello, newbie here *waves*

This is my third attempt at C25k (the first two times I fell and broke bits of myself so have had to go indoors now - please don't tell me it's not as good, I know it's not, but I'm just not confident of running outside).

I've just - about an hour ago, finished Week 3 run 1. Until this run I've felt like I've been going relatively briskly, but today I just couldn't so reduced the speed down. I just wanted to ask really, should I be trying to maintain a steady speed, or is it OK to slow down and speed up as feels comfortable. Logic tells me of course it is, but I wanted to check with people who know more.

Also, (and I promise this is the last thing I'll bug people with) at the point when the person says - now walk for 5 minutes and cool down - I felt like I could do another one, so I did another minute and a half before doing the 5min cool down. I've not done something stupid have I?

Thanks in advance


6 Replies

Hi Penjy, this is a truly excellent programme and the plan really works BUT... and I think you'll find thousands of posts here saying the same thing.... STICK TO THE PLAN, especially before graduating. I'm on W7R3 tomorrow and yes... it has been really tempting to do just a bit more BUT the body really needs to experience those recovery times, especially for all that lovely fat burning process to work :-)!!!

This is a plan that REALLY does work and the, I believe, 521 Graduates who have been tireless with their advice would all say that until you've graduated just stick to the plan and stay healthy. As far as pace goes, just go at a regular pace you can maintain. Your build up of a regular pace will eventually stand you in good stead as you get to the longer runs when you WILL have an opportunity to pick up speed.

Seriously, this forum is full of posts by people who have been tempted to do a bit more and ended up needing serious rest time. Honestly Penjy, the time flies by and soon you'll be a graduate with more knowledge of what your body can take over time and length. Just give it a chance to communicate with you about what is a steady comfortable pace right now and stick to the timings Laura gives you.

Really sad that you've lost your confidence outdoors but wonderful that you can still enjoy the benefits on a treadmill, lucky you now that winter's here :-) !!!

Good luck Penjy , Sara :-)


Hi Again Penjy... look at Saruma's blog today about crashing and burning for exactly the same reasons you're talking about ... Hope this helps, Sara :-)


Slower for longer! You need to build up the stamina to run for 30 mins and get your body conditioned to it. You're still getting used to it at week 3. Some people jog at a pace only marginally faster than walking. Worry about going faster once you graduate. I now do 3 different runs a week. A 1-2 hour slow long run on a week end. A 20 min interval pyramid run (Short sprints with jog in between) on tuesday and a 30-50 min tempo run (How fast you'd run in a 5 or 10k race) on a thursday.


Agree with all the above. Don't worry about speed for now just work on building up the stamina. The rest of your life is available for working on your speed and building up distance. At the begining my 'run' speed was barely faster than my 'walk' but it felt different and harder and that was enough. It's not a sin to run on a little bit if you feel like it but do be careful not to overdo things and injure yourself by pushing too hard. You've got buckets of determination to keep on trying after two setbacks and I have no doubt you will graduate with flying colours! BTW treadmills have their good points - I got so cold and wet today that it took me until 4pm to warm up properly and I finished my run at 10.30! ;-)


I felt the same as you, after a few weeks I found I recovered much quicker and wondered if I should do any more. I stuck to the plan regardless and graduated this week.

It's a shame that you don't want to go outside but doing on the treadmill is better than not doing it at all. I'm going to move some of my runs inside during the winter months. Just take it slow and steady, I always manage to set off to fast so I have to slow down and then I try and speed up again when I feel better. I guess I am still learning about pacing and am hoping over time that I get better. My best run so far was when it was wet and the leaves were slippy so I went quite slow at the beginning to get my confidence up, felt ok during that run !!

Good luck with the next few weeks, let us know how you get on ;-)


I agree with all the comments.

Stick to the system-you will hear this a lot from me!!! If you do you will Graduate with no time off for injuries-promise. As you have Laura say-this is not about speed, but about stamina and endurance, so running fast does not enter the equation-plenty of time to learn all that once you've Graduated. Listen to Laura-this system has been devised to achieve in 9 weeks-and there is no doubt that you will. I have belief in you, now you have to believe in yourself and you're half way there.

Oh, and the 'F' word does not exist on here (Failure, Failed etc.). No one fails, because everyone tries.

Yes, it would be better to run outside, but you have a reason to be inside, and you have the trained people to help you if you go mad and do too much in one go :-).

Good luck on your third attempt. I must say I admire your tanacity in coming back for more :-)

Good luck Pen and Keep on Running :-)

Colette xx


You may also like...