Couch to 5K
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Bridge-to-10K: Week 2 Run 2

Seems like every time I turn around, more of us are starting the Bridge-to-10K plan! Last time I checked, there were half a dozen of us (mostly October 2012 grads) starting around the new year... and more have joined since then!

That's excellent! I really loved the community mutual support during Couch-to-5K, and I was afraid it would be lacking for this next adventure in running. So glad to have been proven wrong!

Tonight, I did the second run of Week 2 -- again, three 15 minute runs with two 1 minute walking intervals to break them up. A lot of us have been saying that the 1 minute walks feel faster than they did in Couch-to-5K. I decided to check up on that... and it turns out that this is because there are no 1 minute walks in Couch-to-5K! The shortest walking break is 90 seconds, and some are as long as 5 minutes! No wonder these breaks feel shorter -- it's because they are!

Like last time, I compiled the stats for the three running segments. They are remarkable similar to Week 2 Run 1 -- I guess I am nothing if not consistent! Here they are:

Run 1: 2.54 km in 15 minutes (last time was 2.51 km)

Run 2: 2.60 km in 15 minutes (last time was 2.53 km)

Run 3: 2.52 km in 15 minutes (last time was 2.60 km)

Adding up the three runs, I get a total of 7.66 km in 45 minutes of running. A marginal improvement over w2r1, where I covered 7.64 km. Even so, the average speed rounds to the same value: 10.2 km/hour.

For those who prefer to view speed in other units, that translates to an average speed of 6.4 mph. Even running in a 20mph zone, I don't have to worry about being stopped for speeding!

Using other measures still, this is an average of 9:24 per mile... or 5:52 per kilometer. Not particularly fast, but not too pokey, either! This part of the training is about distance, not speed -- something that Laura used to remind us about frequently (and Samantha never mentions). I'm trying to keep that in mind but, even so, I'd like to stay above 10.0 km/hour if I can. This way, I'll naturally be at a 10K run when I reach the 60 minute mark in Week 6. So far, so good!

Five runs down -- thirteen to go! Yet it seems like I just started Bridge-to-10K running last week! Oh, right, that's because I did. Wow, this plan flies by so quickly!

Next -- and last -- Week 2 run coming up on Saturday. Till then, have fun... and keep on running!

29 Replies

Well done, Matt!! I had to giggle when you explained why the one minute walks seem so short!! I think I even slapped myself on the forehead and said, "Duh! Why didn't I think of that!!" It sounds like you are doing great!! Keep it up!!

Keep Running!! :-)



Thanks... and same to you and Gayle, too! I'm so chuffed to see how many of us grads are "kicking things up a notch" (to use Laura-speak! ;-) )

Talk to you soon. Am off to bed now. Have a great night... and happy running!


Good work Matt!! I'd love to start Bridge-to-10k with you and the others but at the moment I'm still working on doing 5k in 30 minutes. I'm embarrassed to post my current time but I feel this is going to be a very long road... It's great that so many of you are going forward to the next step. Good luck with your last run of week 2 tomorrow.


I think you're making the right choice to focus on getting that 5K in 30 minutes before moving on to 10K, Esprit. Indeed, that's exactly what I did, too!

At their core, C25k and B210k are both about running for longer -- their focus is on endurance, not speed. Which is all very well and good... but sometimes you _want_ to focus on speed! Doing it "between plans" feels like the right time to me.

Don't feel embarrassed, though! You're a Couch-to-5K graduate, which is something to be proud of! Rock on! ;-)


With distance comes speed, with speed comes distance i.e. if you know you can run for an hour covering say 8k you know that if you've only got time for a 30 minute run then you can push a bit faster and get in more than the 4k. Conversely if you know you can do 5k in 30 minutes then you can feel sure that if you've got lots of time if you slow down you can keep going for longer. Or that's how I see it anyway.

But for me it's the actual physical amount of time I can give over to this, fitting it in between work and household chores and going to the gym and meeting up with friends (I've tried to get them involved, but so far no joy).


*sigh* Yeah, I hear you on the "time" thing!

I don't know if you've read my recent posts, but two of my last four runs have taken place at one o'clock in the morning! Not by design... but after work, household chores, social activities, and other hobbies (like bell ringing), well it can sometimes be much later than expected!

In fact, I was supposed to do the run from this post (w2r2) on Wednesday, instead of Thursday. However, after work and then an evening theatre trip to Stratford-upon-Avon... well, I just didn't have a run in me by the end of the night.

I've started thinking ahead to how I can maintain 10K and improve my speed when I finish the Bridge-to-10K plan in about a month. Ideally, I would run 10K three times a week... but that's about 70 minutes for each workout. Harder to squeeze into blocks of time than the 40 minute 5K workouts, and just more time overall. Eventually, I'll probably pick up another plan and train for a half-marathon... but, in the interim months, how does one keep up the fitness and improve?

One thought is to do the 5K+ Speed podcast once a week, then 5K once, then 10K once. This would have the advantage of continuing with the weekly ParkRuns, for the 5K run. Or perhaps 10K twice and Speed once would be better? Or maybe Speed + Stamina + 10K? I guess I will experiment to find out sometime in February! :-)


Ha, great blog and great times as usual! it's fab you can "kick it up a notch" in terms of time and still keep the same speed, that's impressive!

In terms of the minute breaks, I think in my mind I was comparing them to the speed 5K+ slower jogging intervals, which certainly felt longer than these walking ones! I guess it is to do with the distance covered in these respective minutes, or maybe because of the warnings you get from Laura, but not Samantha (30 secs to go etc) Anyway, so much of this running lark is in the mind....


*grin* Thanks, RT! I'll happily take compliments from you... particularly when _I'm_ still busy being impressed by your 40 minute run earlier this week!

You are so right about how much of this running stuff is all in the mind. When I'm doing these longer runs, I feel tired faster -- like in the first five or ten minutes, which should be a piece of cake! I know then that it's mental, anticipation of how much more there is to do. Not much to prevent those thoughts, so all I do is ignore them and keep on running!

Once we're done with this Bridge-to-10K stuff, I'm looking forward to a good old fashioned ParkRun. With greater endurance achieved, I'm hoping I can pour on a little more speed for the 5K and still not burn myself out. Should be fun!!


I graduated last July but I run early morning on unlit country roads so outdoor running has been challenging over the last month or two due to inadequate light to run early morning so it has had to be two on a weekend if possible, plus the weather, ice and enormous puddles everywhere making it unsafe! However, getting back into it again now (well at least until it snows) and would like to aim to be ready for a 10k challeng in August (I am a bit of a tortoise - but get there in the end). I keep seeing "Bridge to 10K" and "Samantha". Can you tell me where I can find this programme to download please.


Sure! You can find them on Dropbox, with the link here:

Good on you for getting back into the swing of things! You'll find yourself part of a very enthusiastic group of aspiring 10K runners, who will happily encourage you and cheer you on!

Glad to have you joining us! Happy running!


Good run Matthew, as usual!! :)

With me, I dont think I was comparing the walking breaks to C25K but it was just that the recovery minute seemed to zoom by and seemed more like 30 secs!! :O

Its lovely to see so much interest here in this programme and whatever method is used to get there its good to know their are others out their aiming for the same thing!

Enjoy your run on Saturday; I am out tonight to finish week 1 - hopefully before the snow!! ;)





Ah, sorry, my shock got the best of me! What I had meant to say was this:

"Thanks! And it sounds like you're doing quite nicely yourself, wrapping up Week 1 tonight! It's great to see how many more folks are joining in the fun! I think maybe our enthusiastic chats about B210k is encouraging more people to 'kick it up a notch' with us! Hooray!

Now, though..... what's this worrying talk of snow? *gulp* '


Snow showers coming to the south east apparently over the course of the weekend so may hit Oxford but then again we may all be lucky and avoid it.... fingers crossed!



Eeep! Fingers crossed, indeed!

I've got a nice day out planned for London tomorrow... with Week 2 Run 3 planned for either before or after. Snow is definitely not welcome in either of these plans!

Thanks for the warning!


South East London, snow currently being forecast for Monday evening. Just in time for me to use my new grippy things for my shoes (that I bought last last year and haven't been able to play with yet!) on Tuesday morning's run.


Ooooh, nice! You came prepared -- well done!

Looking forward to hearing how the grippy things work out. Write about it after?

Good luck! :-)


The forecast is telling me it's more likely that I will get to give them a go! I'll let you know how I get on if I do.


Well done Matthew-keep the blogs coming. Yes-we were forecast snow. Awoke to a bright sunny morning. Just been with hubby to check out Debenhams sale-you just can't get the same flavour online! :-)

Ahhh! So wish I could run-but patience is a virtue, so they tell me. I will never catch you up though, boo hoo :-(.

i still use the timing, not the speed I am running as an indicator. I know, for instance, i have run 5K in the time Laura takes us through the week 9 pod. Is Samantha not the same then?

Oh why won't admin listen to our pleas?

Keep on Running :-)



You'll get there, Colette! Good on you for being patient and allowing yourself to heal properly.

Samantha is something like "Laura-lite". Nothing but telling you when to run and when to walk. No tips for improvement, no reminders to breathe. No "you're halfway through this five minute track" and no "last minute -- why not end on a high note". And certainly no reminder to "savour the moment" when all the running is done.

Yeah, I would have loved a 10K series from NHS and AudioFuel, narrated by Laura. But I guess they consider that to be more about running then general fitness, which takes it away from the core NHS mission. Or something.

Glad you liked the blog! I'm trying to write something about every run, for a retrospective and also to show the waves of newcomers (there seem to be more every day) what it is like! :-)

Can't wait until you can join us again!! I'll be looking forward to it!


You are right about the pods being more about running than general fitness, and as you say it then detracts from the NHS Mission to get everyone fit! Really cannot understand their thinking. I was the first Practice Nurse to introduce a lunchtime run for the patients once a week. They all (the doctors, that is) thought me mad and said no-one would do it. First couple of times out-only me. Then one, two, 1/2 a dozen, then a mass all running. Not fast running, as some were elderly, but all moving at their own pace. A lot of my colleagues started their own in other surgeries, and so it spread. This, I think, is an off shoot from that, but their idea of it is to get people running, then leave them to their own devices. Not a good idea, as a proportion of them just won't run again. The Park Runs do help, but I really think that should look at what they have done-do you remember the hallabaloo when the membership reached 200+?-and have a rethink. Only problem is HOW to get them to do that.

Job done-not interested-is what I am getting back from them.

Laura was supreme in saying just the right thing at the right time. She has done this programme herself, and knows the way to encourage forward.

Off soap box now, lol!! Keep up the good work with the blog-you're doing a fantastic job, and so easy to find with the Header on the emails :-).


Very interesting background. Yes, Laura's comments and encouragement do make a huge difference to the motivation to keep going. I'm really surprised just how much so - I wouldn't have believed it would make any difference at all, from a recording, but it really does help.

And stopping running after 9 weeks is hardly the idea for fitness!


Please pass on your comments to admin greenlegs and see what response you get. Will be interesting if they are as passive with you as they have been with all of us-you never know you just might be THE one they listen too.

This is my fifth attempt to reply to you-wouldn't go through! Gremlins are watching :-)

Colette x


Well, I'll try, but the response to questions about the 'run on your heels' comment didn't achieve much, so far anyway. I do understand how hard it is to make changes to systems though. Daft isn't it?!


Absolutely! They started off splendidly, then lost interest. They told either Matthew or James-can't remember who now- that C-5K is just to get people running-then what, one may ask?


But - who is 'They' and who pays them and what are they paid to do... and do they have any clout to suggest things that might actually make a real difference? It doesn't necessarily mean they don't want to do it. (Speaking as someone in that sort of situation in my job. It is very frustrating. I try being creative, and trying to persuade those who could make a difference, but if they don't want to know, it's pretty tricky.)


'They! are the very people who decide on the pods and content of the running programme-they run the show in other words. They have said categorically that they don't want to do it-there part is to get people running.




Well done Matthew. Been out of circulation this last week - new term started and all that, though I have kept up with the B210k. Your distances are moving up really nicely and headed in the right direction. It is all about stamina and endurance. I'll share more thoughts on my blog later when I've got some work done today. Cheers! James


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