Why is W5R3 harder than W6R1?: I was surprised... - Couch to 5K

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Why is W5R3 harder than W6R1?


I was surprised that week 5 run 3 made me go for 20 minutes (managed it, just barely) and was relieved that week 6 run 1 asked for a 5 minute run, a 3 minute walk, an 8 minute run and then a 3 minute walk and a final 5 minute run.

Why is week 5 run 3 more difficult (20 minute straight run, with no walking)? Am i missing something?

Tomorrow I do week 6 run 2. I never thought I'd make it this far but there you have it :-)

9 Replies

I don't know the science behind it, but perhaps it is designed to give you an extra "rest" day to consolidate. I remember thinking the same myself at that stage.

All I would say is stick with it it works.

Best of luck with the rest of your runs.


I thought it looked easier, too. As I'm about to do W6R1 today, I'm glad to hear that it feels easier and it's not just a trick!

Good luck with W6R1. Tomorrow I do W6R2, which is 10 minutes and then 10 minutes. I did W5R3 with my husband so I hope I can manage to keep going alone...

Keep running!


Well , after completing w6r1 this morning, I can say I found it a LOT tougher than the twenty minute run. I think it was possibly a mental thing as, on Sunday I knew it would be tough and was happy to finish, whereas today 'should' have been quite easy.

Whatever it was, my legs are not happy with me right now!

I'm sorry to hear that! The body (and mind) are strange things...perhaps it is all about expectations. I find, though, that sometimes exercising just feels right and sometimes it feels like the worst thing on earth!

I do W6R2 tomorrow evening, so I'll let you know.

Well done for completing it, and good luck for the rest.


It just is! Just a week ago I was bemoaning that after being on a high of doing 20 mins, W6 was back to shorter runs and I was asking the same question - why? However, I had sense to listen to words of wisdom from more experienced C25Kers and went with the flow - and today I completed 25 mins, not easily but able to do as Laura asked a pick up the pace in the last minute. So, just go with the flow...

in reply to pinkhat

Thanks for the insight. I do W6R2 tonight and am gearing up for that mentally. I like that Laura says to have faith in the plan because I sometimes fret about my abilities instead of just being calm and going with the flow!

I'm nervous about the 25 minute run, though, i have to admit. I will hopefully tackle that on Friday evening.


Don't know but it works. Keep with it and you will be running 5k. Throughout the 9 weeks the distance runs were my milestones. Still remember doubting myself moving from week 1 to week 2. Dreaded run 3 week 5. Kept with the programme and completed. It gets easier to do the distance runs. I think the shorter distances improve your stamina and recovery.

Still struggle with the first mile but can run 10k now.

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