Couch to 5K
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Bridge-to-10K: Week 1 Run 3

It took forever to get motivated for today's run. I had planned to go out once the afternoon chores were done, which was at about half past three. Seemed like a good plan, as I would be able to do most of the run in daylight. One distraction led to another, however, and the next thing I knew, over two hours had passed! Whoops! Started my run (in the dark) at 5:45 this evening... which is later than planned, but still far earlier than the previous 1am run!

After my last run, I wrote about how Week 1 of the Bridge to 10K was turning out to be much harder than expected. After all, if you can run for 30 minutes, why should four 10 minute runs be so difficult? I mulled it over and I now think it may be a repeat of the "Week 6 effect" in Couch-to-5K. Many people write about how w6r1 is really hard -- indeed, more people seem to have problems with this run than with the dreaded w5r3. It sounds like people are so psyched up after a twenty minute run that they think a 5-8-5 interval will be easy... and, thus, don't pace them selves ideally. By trying to go too quickly, w6r1 can actually be harder than its predecessor.

I didn't actually have this problem during Week 6... but I get no credit for avoiding it. It was all the warnings on this site that cautioned me to go slowly for w6r1 -- thanks, everyone! However, I may have fallen into the very same bear trap with Week 1 of Bridge-to-10K.

Anyway, back to today's run. With the thoughts outlined above held firmly in mind, I am pleased to say that today was a much less difficult run than the last one. Also, as it was the final Week 1 run of Bridge-to-10K, I decided to get some statistics on my running (and walking) speeds. I don't have any fancy-schmancy GPS watches to help me out. The only running kit I have invested in to date is a good pair of running shoes -- and even that was only bought after I finished Couch-to-5K _and_ completed my first ParkRun! So all my statistics are worked out after the fact; I simply remember where I was after each running or walking interval, then put together a map on Once I know the times and distances involved, I can work out the various speeds.

Overall, I ran 6.83 km in 40 minutes today, making this my longest run yet. That works out to an average speed of 10.25 km/hour (or about a 9:22 per mile, if you prefer).

Looking at the individual 10 minute intervals, I ran 1.63 km in the first interval, 1.74 km in the second interval, 1.75 km in the third interval, and 1.71 km in the fourth interval. This surprised me somewhat!

The slightly shorter distance at the end makes sense, as my last leg was over a slight incline. But the first ten minutes is noticeably slower than the other three -- in fact, it is the only one with an average speed below 10 km/hour! I would have expected the first run to be at least as fast as the others, as I should be pretty fresh coming straight off of a warm-up walk! Odd. Has anyone else had this experience with taking some time to get up to pace?

I was also surprised by my walking speeds. In each of the three 1 minute walking intervals, I covered about 125 meters. That's an average speed of 7.5 km/hour! (Or, if you prefer, 4.7 miles/hour) That's a pretty brisk walk! An average walking speed is about 3 miles/hour, and I tend to be a slow walker (about 2.7 - 2.8 miles/hour). What's more, I always feel as if my walking intervals are _very_ slow walks, as I feel tuckered out from the running just before. Hurm. Guess my impressions on this were completely wrong!

Anyway, that is Week 1 done and dusted! I am very happy that this run was both faster _and_ more satisfying than the one that came before. It lets me finish the week on a high note... and let's me look forward to starting Week 2 on Monday!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Happy running, all!

19 Replies

Thank you for posting your progress Matt. I'm still trying to work up the nerve to start the 10K program. I never dreamed I could do the 5K, so I know its possible. Just getting the mind to cooperate with the body can be a challenge! :-) Gayle


Yes, that's exactly it! Since the Bridge-to-10K is such a short programme (only six weeks), I should be running for a continuous hour by early February. That's pretty intimidating, when you consider that how close that is! (Eeeep!) But, as you say, there was a time not so long ago when 5K seemed nigh-impossible (let alone 5K in under 30 minutes!), so I just have faith and stick to the plan!

I hope you join us soon! There seem to be a lot of people starting the Bridge-to-10K with the new year. Join the fun -- the more, the merrier! :-D


Steve and I started our 10K training today! :-) Gayle


AWESOME! Go you!! :-)


All very interesting! I'm still on c25k, but find reading about what goes on afterwards really fascinating, especially all the pace breakdowns.


Thanks -- I'm glad you liked!

After Couch-to-5K, people choose different options. Some stick with that, which is fine -- running 30 minutes three times each week is _much_ healthier than sitting on the couch! :-) Others go straight into the Bridge-to-10K, while some work with the three 5K+ podcasts to improve their speed.

I was part of the last group. I finished Couch-to-5K in mid-October, and decided to spend a couple of months consolidating before moving on. So I participated in a few ParkRuns, I bought and broke in a pair of proper running shoes, and I worked on my speed until I could run 5km in under 30 minutes (personal best is currently 28:36).

That took about two months, and once it was all done, it seemed like the right time to move on to a new challenge -- Bridge-to-10K.

Congrats to you for moving along in Couch-to-5K! Where in the plan are you?


You are so much quicker than me! My fastest 5k was over 35 minutes - but I'm getting better and i did run 2 of b210k week one today, extended it to 4 miles and cut a minute off my time :o)


Start of week 4 - but I've really got into the whole idea of running, which is sooo strange for me. I was always totally bottom of the class in anything to do with sport at school (except swimming, but that was because we did a lot of swimming outside school).

One thing I've gathered from this group - school sport (at least in the past) has been responsible for making so many people become anti-sport! Which is somewhat bizarre. (I'm a teacher too - though hopefully not one that has put children off sport - I've even been a pe subject coordinator which was hilarious, but I really enjoyed getting all children engaged in being active with things like multisports and skipathons.) That was off on a bit of a tangent.

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Matt, could you let me know where you got your B210K plan, I have seen lots of different versions of this and am just weighing up the options myself.


Sure! Click on this link:

That URL will bring you to an older post on this site; that post, in turn, brings you to Dropbox, where you can download the Bridge-to-10K podcasts produced by Samantha Murphy. These podcasts follow in the same model as the NHS Couch-to-5K series. They aren't the same level of production quality we've learned to expect from the NHS and Laura... but they get the job done. This was clearly a labour of love by an enthusiastic amateur, and I'm grateful that someone took the time to put this together!

Right now, it seems a lot of us grads are using the new year as an opportunity to move on to 10K running. Come join us! The more, the merrier! :-)


Well done Matthew, you are definitely faster than me! I think your reasoning on the W5 R3 syndrome could be right though I did the first run of this yesterday and just went at my normal speed but still found it hard... :P

I think we are encouraging others to join this too which is great. Sue


Thanks, Sue!

About the speed: What can I say? I have Janda/James as my inspiration... and, according to his blog, he covered 7.46km in the 40 minutes of Week 1! Compared to him, I'm just a slowpoke! ;-D

Seriously, though, it doesn't matter if you cover 7.46km, like James; or 6.83km, like me, or whatever amount. The important thing is getting out there and running! Once you can do sixty minutes of continuous running, there will be plenty of time to focus on getting the speed up to wherever you want it to be.

So congratulations to YOU for starting your Bridge-to-10K! And, yes, there do seem to be more and more people joining this wave, which is fantastic! Hooray!


P.S. Although I'm sorry to hear you also found this a challenging run, I'm glad to know it's not just me. It sounds like this unexpected difficulty is just a normal part of Week 1 -- nothing you or I are doing wrong! Stick with it -- it does get easier! (Let's see if I'm still saying that after Week 2 Run 1 tomorrow! Eeep!)


Yes shelleymcb commented on my blog about this yesterday and said she just couldnt get the last 10 mins run done even after 4 attempts but then moved onto week 2 and it went fine after that so that is encouraging to hear...

Good luck for tomorrow!


Great to hear your progress Matthew :-)

Colette x


Just read your post whilst looking for details of the plan.. now feel inspired to give it a go. Well done, it sounds great.😊


Well done you x


Could you tell me where you found the bridge to ten k app? I cant find it! Thanx


Have looked on Youtube for ‘virtual C25k ‘ so I can run watching tv (without a treadmill). Look up ‘rundownunder’ and ‘Pahla Bower’. I haven’t tried yet!


Sorry meant this for another thread!


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