Couch to 5K
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How far I'm actually running?

Hello everyone, I just completed the 3rd installment of week 8 of the Couch to 5K plan, and for the first time decided to try out using a pedometer. At the end of the run though, I checked it and was slightly dismayed to see that I had apparently run only 1.29 miles... Even though I am a consistent runner and had completed the run with (relative anyway...!) ease. This might be an obvious question, but it surely should have been more than that? The pedometer is second-hand and I wore it attached to my leggings underneath a big chunky hoodie. Could any of these factors have affected it? Or did I really only run less than a mile and a half?!

Like I said.. Feel a bit silly asking this question! But am I right in thinking that by this point in the programme it should have been much closer to 5k?

Thanks in advance for the help! Just a bit disheartening that's all!

7 Replies

Don't be disheartened! It seems as though most people don't manage 5k within the 30 mins you do in week 9. People usually finish the programme and then try to increase their speed gradually until they can do 5k in under 30 mins. I'm about to start week 7 and in 22 mins I did just over 2 miles.

Have you got a phone with GPS? That might be more accurate. Or you could use a website like walkjogrun to plot your route if you can remember where you started and stopped running.


Apologies for switching between miles and km, I'm part of that awkward generation that's had to learn both!


Pedometers are very in accurate for calculating distance. Iwould suggesting using one of the many freely avaialable mapping programs to calculate your distance eg mapmyrun. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.


I used this one before getting a Garmin.

Put your address in top right and then enter your route - lots of clicking necessary but it's fairly accurate. And it does miles and km.

But distance doesn't really matter, the main thing is you're out there running. Plenty of time to get quicker after you've graduated and that's not long now :-)


Have you calibrated the pedometer to your stride length? That can make a big difference. (Might be tricky if it's second hand without instructions. I remember doing it for my one, but can't remember how!) That could make a lot of difference, apart from them not being all that accurate anyway - though I think they're not too bad if you are walking or running at a consistent pace.


I think you'll be really surprised when you get an accurate ish log of your route. I've just tried the geo distance link above and it roughly tallies with the way I usually map.

I graduated just a couple of days before new year and I'm currently managing 5k in somewhere between 32-35 mins. I'm really not fast - but steady.

You'll find the 5k+ runs really good for speeding up - I can feel it already after a week.

So give yourself a big pat on the back for getting this far and just concentrate on graduating then you can build stamina and speed. After all you've got the rest of your life to do that ;)


If you have a phone with GPS you can use and app like Endomondo or Mapmyrun. They are reasonably accurate and give you a profile of your pace and the slopes on the run as well as the route.

Otherwise Google maps has a measuring tool. You need to click on 'maps labs' on the lower left, then check on the measurement option.


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