Couch to 5K
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Could Laura and her music actually be slowing me down?

Despite having graduated over a month ago, I have never actually run Week 9 with Laura, having abandoned her back in Week 6. Nothing personal, I just knew I’d enjoy my running more if I was listening to music I actually loved (or even no music at all). It turns out I was right.

I’m sure it’s great if you spent your youth dancing on the beach on Ibiza, but I had the delight and privilege of bopping around at live concerts to the likes of Bob Marley, the Clash, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones (and many others I was in no state to recall). Laura’s beepity-beep just doesn’t hit the spot for me, I’m afraid – it just keeps reminding me of the Countdown theme – three consonants and vowel, please.

Since I graduated I’ve been happily running for over 30 minutes, three times a week, ending up at the Ladies’ pond for a quick dip, in its increasingly chilly waters. I’ve done Speed and Stamina once each but decided I was happier just enjoying the sensation of running, rather than counting the beats. I’m still nowhere near 5k - the best I’ve done is 4.3kms in 43 minutes on my graduation beside the sea on the Isle of Wight. Although I tell myself I don’t care about speed, every now and then I get a sneaking feeling that I’m a fraud.

So on Monday I decided I would run week 9 with Laura, and even put up with her music, in the interests of feeling like a proper Couch25K graduate.

Off I set on my usual rate, not going too fast because of the ice and mud and slippery leaves. I’m afraid that when Laura told me I’d only done five minute, I gasped, ‘You must be xxxxing joking.’ But I carried on, knowing that I don’t having a problem running for 30 minutes and the five to ten minute stretch is always the bit I find hardest.

But when Laura said there was only ten minutes to go, I realised that I was nowhere near my desired end point. I had to take a short cut to get back to the Ladies Pond, which meant that my run was actually shorter than usual. I had run slower than I do on my own.

Now that is weird.

It’s back to the old rockers for me now. They obviously boost my adrenalin in a way Laura never could.

4 Replies

I agree with you, when I run listening to Laura every record seems to last an enternity and they blend into one another, when I run to my own music I sing along (in my head to busy trying to breathe to actually sing out loud!). I don't know that I am quicker but I certainly enjoy my running more listening to my own music.


When I started out my device I played my music on wasn't reliable so I made a 5k route I would run a n d only check my watch at the half way point. On naughty days when I checked the time for whatever reason it always dragged or seemed harder and lead to the possibility of me taking a short cut to.

Funny how knowing how long we've been running can play on our minds like that!


Isn't it? I love it when I just go into the zone and suddenly realise I'm nearly done.


Its interesting isn't it? I'm the complete opposite. I thought i'd be better running to my own music but i'm not, no where near.

With Laura i can run 5K in 30 minutes but on my own i don't manage it. Ending up neare the 4K mark and puffed out. I think it's because I sing along to my music but manage to zone out to Laura.

I definately find it harder going it alone


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