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Couch to 5K
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New Year, New Programme

Happy New Year, everybody! I hope all you lovely people had a truly spectacular start to 2013!

Following a late NYE party last night (and a long lie in this morning), I celebrated the new year by starting the Bridge-to-10K programme. I began Couch-to-5K in late August and finished in mid-October. Then, for the past two and a half months, I had been consolidating my accomplishments -- participating in a few local ParkRuns, buying & breaking in a proper pair of running shoes, working through the 5K+ podcasts, and (most importantly) breaking through the magic 5K-in-30-minute mark!

With my 5K time down to 28:36 by mid-December, I decided to start working on the Bridge-to-10K plan with the start of the new year... and that's precisely what I did!

I am immensely grateful to Samantha -- whoever and wherever she is -- for putting together this series of podcasts. It helps to have a familiar feel to this new programme, for continuity's sake. That said, I really do miss Laura, AudioFuel, and the NHS series. Samantha gets oodles of points for trying... but it is clearly an amateur's project, rather than the well-produced NHS Couch-to-5K podcasts. Ah, if only they had continued on to make a second series!

(Back when I started Couch-to-5K and was regularly cursing out Laura for her incessant cheerful optimism, I never thought I would someday miss her words of encouragement and constant companionship!)

In any case, I dutifully made my way through Week 1 Run 1 today. For those who are not familiar, Week 1 starts with the ever-present five minute warm-up walk, then takes you through four intervals of running for ten minutes and walking for one minute. At the end of the 43 minutes, I had gone 6.55 km... which makes today my longest run yet. Okay, it wasn't continuous, but we'll get there in just a few weeks.

It sounds like there are quite a few C-to-5K graduates here who have recently started the Bridge-to-10K plan! Excellent! I will have to keep an eye out for the "bridge to 10k" tag so we can follow and encourage each other as we progress!

I'm really excited about this! I'm really looking forward to the next six weeks -- should be much fun!

22 Replies

All the best with that, Matt - I think it's beyond me at the moment, but you never know!


Thanks, much! I'll be updating as I go along... and if you change your mind and choose to join in the fun... well, the more the merrier! :-)


Hi Matt, happy new year to you! I'll be starting this at the weekend, so we can support each other. It will take me longer than you as I think I'll only do the podcast weekly though and do 5K+ speed and a 5K for my other runs, but it would be good to virtually cheer each other on!

Oh and I broke the 5K 30 mins barrier at the end of Dec, woop!


Oh, hey, that's AWESOME! What a great way to end your Couch-to-5K year! Congratulations!!

I had missed the good news in the end-of-year holiday rush, as I wasn't online here much between Christmas and New Years... but I've read your blog entry now and posted the cheering it deserves!

I'm glad you will be joining in the Bridge-to-10K, too! Sounds like a lot of us are starting it. That's great -- it will be nice to have a similar virtual support network for 10K as we enjoyed for 5K!


Definitely! it will be great to have so many graduates all doing it at the same time as we all know how important the support on this site is for progress and New Year is just the time to start such a thing!

How are you finding going back to intervals?


Hee hee! Yes, that whole "stopping" thing was a bit odd! Still, I appreciate the rest, especially since I had been taking it easy with "Stepping Stone" for a couple of weeks.

If I stick with the current plan of one run every other day, I should finish in early February. After all, Bridge-to-10K is significantly shorter than C25K. The thought of running twice as far as I've been doing in just one month from now is somewhat intimidating. Still, we made it this far, right? It used to the that C25K w5r3 was the most frightening thing ever... and now I use it when I want to do only a short run (i.e., when breaking in my new shoes or when recovering from injury). :-)

Looking forward to running with you some more in 2013!


Ooh it is quite scary when you put it like that! I think you're right though, we were amazed at our progress to 5K, building up to 10 should be fine!

Right you've inspired me! Speed podcast tonight (as I'm short on time) and I'm going to give Samantha her first outing on Friday!


Excellent! Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

Don't expect the same production quality... but Samantha's podcasts do get the job done. You may even recognize some of the music! ;-D

(And, yes, Speed is lovely for when you've only got time for a quickie!)


Ahhh! Matt, you've left me behind. If only I hadn't injured my knee I would be up there with you. I have saved the link for B10-is that the same?

Sounds good to me-would it be ok to go straight into following injury do you think, or should I start with C-5K week 5 as planned?

A very happy new Year to you Matt and all the Family :-)

And-keep on Running :-)

Colette x


I managed to tear a muscle in mid-December, so I had some of the same concerns as you about starting the Bridge-to-10K on schedule (i.e., from New Years Day). Whilst recovering, I continued to run... but used "Stepping Stone" to prevent me from going to quickly (which is what caused the injury in the first place).

My final run of 2012 was Week 5 Run 3. After nearly two weeks of "taking it easy", with Laura and AudioFuel to keep me in check, I wanted to see if I could manage a free run without re-injuring myself. Went for w5r3 to keep it short, just in case the news wasn't good. It all went fine, so I launched right into the Bridge-to-10K yesterday.

My advice to you would be similar. If you can manage a 20 minute free run, then you should be okay for Week 1 of B210K. It's four runs of ten minutes, so if you can run continuously for twenty, this shouldn't be a problem for you. If the twenty minute run feels like a bit too much, maybe scaling back to C25K Week 5, as you suggest, may be the better way forward.

Good luck! And I will look forward to reading about your own experiences running in the new year! :-D


Hi, where can I find bridge to 10k? Think I need to move up a notch now.


Check out this link: tinyurl.com/b6bzz6t

It will bring you to another post on this forum, from about a year ago, that will send you to the files themselves. They are available for download from Dropbox. Hope you enjoy... and happy running! :-)


Thank you for your advice Matt, and for getting back to me so quickly :-)


You are most welcome... and good luck! Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!


Where can i get the samantha podcast please!!!!!!!


Go here: tinyurl.com/b6bzz6t

This link will bring you to another post on this forum, from about a year ago, that will send you to the files themselves. They are available for download from Dropbox. Hope you enjoy... and happy running! :-)


After reading your blog Matt I think it's now time to give this a go too! As 2/3 of my runs are in the evening I don't like to wear headphones for safety's sake so I have written down all of the 6 weeks and will use the timer on my watch instead and see how this goes.

Best of luck! Sue


Excellent! I'm so chuffed to see how many of us C25k grads are embarking on the next challenge now! That is so cool!

Can't wait to read your blogs to see how well the Bridge-to-10K plan works out for you!

Meanwhile, today is a rest day... but I am quite excited to get out running tomorrow for Week 1 Run 2!


Well done Matt. Good luck with the new programme. Sadly for me as I have been very delinquent I am right back at week 1 with C25K but feeling optimistic that this time I will complete the programme.


That's okay! In the end, the failures don't matter -- just the successes! I didn't finish Couch-to-5K on my first attempt, either. *shrugs* Doesn't matter now that I've done it, though.

Good on you for starting again! And best of luck with the new attempt!


Hi Matt,

Thanks for the link - I was having problems finding one that worked for me. Now the podcasts are downloaded all ready to go when I've got some strength back in a couple of weeks.

First I have to get back up to where I was (3 weeks off coughing) - so it's back to 5k+ for a few weeks - but hopefully I'll be able to move on soon. It'll be great running with all the virtual buddies again :-)


Awesome! Good luck with the recovery... and I'll be looking forward to reading your B210k blogs when you're up for it. I really enjoy doing this [virtually] with a whole bunch of other people. Really makes a difference!


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