Couch to 5K
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Stepping Stone - 2nd session and not sure I should be slowing down my natural pace. What is your experience?

This time I tried really hard to slow down to the pace Laura suggests, at least for the first part of the run, and I struggled. Am not sure if there is a point in me trying to run slower than I am comfortable and capable of.

When we upped the pace for the first time I found it easier but it was still that little bit slower than I am capable of. It's only when we increase to the final pace in the last 5 minutes that I hit my natural pace and those last 5 minutes are the best part of my run.

Not sure what to do; stick with stepping stone, do my own thing or look at one of the other programs. I do like the music and fewer time checks which seem to make the run go more quickly, but I am not sure I am getting anything from stepping stone. Will try at least one more time but doesnt feel like its right for me.

What do others think?

7 Replies

Oh wow. It's not too slow for me; you must be way faster than I am.

But if it's not right for you, then why do it? At the beginning of the intro Laura does say it's for people who feel they are running too slowly - that's definitely me, but presumably not you.


I still feel I am running slow, everyone overtakes me and I dont think I have ever over taken anyone yet :-) Will try again Friday and then maybe try some of the others in the post 5k program. I dont do very much over 5k as I take really small but maybe fast(ish) strides so might be good idea trying to lengthen my stride and stick with her pace, at least for this stepping stone element.


It definitely sounds too slow a pace for you chusan51. It was too slow for me too, even at the fastest bpm so I abandoned all the c25k+ podcasts and moved on to B210K and used week 1 of c25k to do my own speed podcast (I run normally in the walk bits and sprint in the run bits). I'm not fast at all, my best 5k time is just over 29 minutes, but the pace of stepping stones etc was still much too slow for me. There's no point you running slower to match the pace as the whole point of the podcast is to get people who are running slower than that, faster!


I abandoned Stepping Stones after 1 go too. If I were you I'd try Stamina and Speed if you haven't already and then make your own routine of runs. Quite a few people do one of each plus a longer run to your own music and alternate them. Or you can use the timing in Speed but run at your own pace, or use one of the C25K like NewbieRunner says. It depends where you're heading, really. 10K? Or improving your distance in 30 mins? Or just having fun out jogging :-)


Try stamina and speed. I used stepping stones and found it ok once I'd got to grips with it. This is about correcting posture, breathing and getting you to shorten your stride, not about hiking up the speed so much. I found I got on with it ok, but there again I am not interested in fast running ir how far I have run, as long as I complete the programme. I run at my pace that suits me. Everyone is an individual, but I suspect you will prefer stamina to speed, as again you have to listen and put into action what Laura is asking you to do. I found it good to have to do this, but others may not-all to do with choice really.


Thanks everyone for the helpful thoughts. I'm going to move on to stamina tomorrow and to prepare already listened to the podcast. 35 minutes of running!!!! Am I really up to that yet? My legs turn to jelly when Laura says slow down at 30 minutes. Guess we will find out tomorrow. Will post an update if I have the energy to type.


HI Chusan 51 - I've been reading this with interest. I only graduated last Sunday but have now done Stepping Stones twice. The first time I found it very hard to go slow enough for 150bpm, better at 155 and good at 160. I did my best to comply though and found that I ran a much shorter distance than before (so about 4k rather than 4.5) but it was relatively easy going and recovery was no problem.

Today I had to make a detour to my usual route and ended up doing most of the first part uphill. Much easier to keep to 150 :-) I also conciously tried to take longer strides to keep in time with it. Don't know the distance (due to detour) but it wasn't a "long" run for me - again quite comfortable though. I'm thinking this is still good for me as a consolidation and prevents me from overdoing it as I nearly did last week (by starting too fast and almost not managing to finish).

To be honest I'm a bit scared of both speed and stamina due to their names but I'll give them a go soon - probably stamina on Sunday. 36 minutes sounds very long though! What I will try and do when I have time is make a playlist of my own very much like stepping stones but at 155, 160 and 165bpm. I think what to do next depends on your target. I would like to get to 5K and then bring the 5K time down towards 30 mins if that's possible (don't know due to age, general ability etc). I'm not interested at the moment in longer distances - 30 mins 3xweek suits me fine.

Sorry for long answer but do let us know how stamina goes tomorrow!


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