Couch to 5K
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Completed Week 9 a few weeks ago- but still no 5k :(

Hi everyone,

I graduated a few weeks ago but I'm still not managing to do 5k in 30 minutes and it's really getting me down as I feel I work so hard on a run and then don't make it. My average is around 4.5k in 30 minutes (which of course is an achievement considering a was exercise-phobic before I started C25K) but I can't help but feel I haven't really made it yet.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I would appreciate tips on how to improve. I run three times a week for 30 minutes.

11 Replies

Hello, I am still not running 5k in 30 minutes, although I have now run longer than 5K continuously. Don't worry, I think this is more often the case. Perhaps you could extend your running by a few minutes each week, so 3 runs at extra minutes and then add a few more minutes the following week - that's what I've done. It's a great feeling to then hit the 5K. I'm now seeing my times improving, although it depends very much on the terrain, whether flat or hilly and if on road or park/track or trail. These things slow you down a lot.

Have you tried doing any of the 5K+ podcasts? I've been doing the speed one just once a week, which has helped (it's a very short session, 30 minutes including warm up/cool down walks, so handy if you are in a rush). I tried stamina today, that was good too, that would help you perhaps? You run at set bpm for 10 minutes then different bpm for 20 minutes and then another speed for the final 5 minutes. Definitely worth giving them a go!

Good luck and chin up, what you are experiencing is 'normal' frustration when you graduate. You are doing great already, just think, a few months ago you weren't running at all!

Happy running :-D


Thank you for your words of encouragement!

I tried the 5K+ podcasts but I found they didn't make much difference and I'm much happier running to my own music!

That's a great idea about adding minutes on, I hadn't even really considered that was an option! At the moment my runs feel like a race against the clock so adding time on would probably take that feeling away.

Thanks! :)


Vixie offered great suggestions! I am nowhere near a 30 min. 5K and I graduated in Oct. I added minutes after graduating instead of concentrating on speed. I'm hoping as I continue to build stamina, I will naturally increase my speed. Either way, I'm pretty tickled to be running at all since exercise has never been high on my list. I am looking at doing a 10k by my birthday, I'm not even going to guess how long that will take me!!! ;-) Gayle


Based on everything I have read here and elsewhere, I would suggest to focus on stamina and eventually the speed will come gradually. Add minutes/distance to your run gradually (maybe try B210K). Depending on your age, 5k in 30 minutes might be a reasonable goal, or it might be a tough goal. I seem to average around 43 minutes for 5k, two months after graduating, but my goal has been to run steadily for an hour rather than run quickly. At the end of the day though, 30 minutes of running, even slow running, is better than 30 minutes on the couch, so be encouraged by the fact that you have done that and will surely continue to. As a friend of mine said, being a runner, any kind of runner, puts you in with a good crowd and sets you up for a healthier life.


Have you got a link to B210k? I'm looking for a new challenge since graduating as I am also having the same problem as Hello_run.

I run on a treadmill so I can up my speed but I don't have the stamina to keep up 10kph for the full 30mins.

It probably didn't help that my friend came with me and she does triathlons :/.

Good luck, and keep at it.



It is a free iphone/ipad app ... basically the second half of C210K. As I do not have an iphone I copied it out onto a sheet of paper. Basically it is 2 or 3 periods of running with 60 second walking breaks, each level done three times a week just like in C25K, along with the usual 5 minute warm up and cool down.

It starts with 4x10 minutes, then goes on to 3x15 minutes, 3x17, 2x20 (an easier week!), 3x18, 2x25, 2x27, 2x30 and finally the full 60.

I modified it a bit: I did the first attempt with 90 or 120 second walking breaks, then dropped down to 60 second breaks the second try, then I tried the whole thing without breaks the third time; I also ran every other day rather than 3 times a week. As it has been very cold lately I reduced the warm up/down walks to 3 minutes each. I just completed this programme having graduated C25K in early November.

For January I have decided to run 3 times a week: one track session to try and learn about pacing, one hill session to push myself, and one long jog with no goal other than to keep going for an hour. I am lucky to have a park with a 400m track just 1km from my home and also some gentle slopes in the vicinity.

It's getting light ... off for my run now!


this sounds really good. I know a few people have done a similar thing using week one and two of C25K but instead of running for 60 seconds and walking for 90, they run fast for 60 seconds and then have a recovery jog for 90, so if you don't have the device for the app, that would be an alternative, perhaps (although genevan seems to have found a good way around it!). I was thinking of using week 1 in a similar way, will let you know how/if it works if I do


I graduated in July and also haven't managed the 30 min 5 k. As others have said it is better to concentrate on running for longer than you speed. There are a number of B210k app out there both for Android and I phone or you can just Google 10 k training plan. Also Google treadmill workouts I have found some really good workout from 20 mins to an hour that take the boredom out of running on a treadmill.


Oops, made a mistake above as I was doing it from memory. Here is the correct version. All the walking breaks are one minute long.

week 1

4x10 minutes 3 runs

week 2

3x15 3 runs

week 3

3x17 3 runs

week 4

3x18 3 runs

week 5 is

2x22 1 run

2x25 1 run

2x30 1 run

week 6

3x60 3 runs (no walking breaks!)


Vixie is right on the money!!! I think that many of us are a bit short of 5K in 30 minutes. I graduated s few months ago and the only time I have been able to complete a full 5K in less than 30 minutes is when I have entered an organized running event with others. I am convinced that it is the young ladies all decked out in tight spandex tights that has me running quicker at those events, but alas, they are much fitter and tend to race off without me anyways!! :-)

I think that Vixie was right about just adding a bit of time to the runs and working up to the 5K distance. After all what is more important, getting there fast or getting there at all?

You are doing great things for yourself with these runs!! Keep your head up!!

Keep Running!! :-)



I just thought I would update you all and let you know I ran 5k for the very first time today! It took me just over 35 minutes and to be honest I really didn't even notice the extra 5 minutes.

Thank you all so much for your advice, I think I will run 5k a few more times then try one of the 10k training programmes.

This is why I love this forum- if you feel yourself getting a bit disheartened and losing motivation there are so many kind people to offer advice and encouragement :) Thank you!


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