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Couch to 5K
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Beginner's running pace

I just started the couch to 5K and I haven't seen anything on the sites regarding the pace at which I should start. The podcast encourages a "brisk" walk. I have short legs but I used to be a fast walker. I am doing 2.5mph walking, and for my runs, I raise it to 3.0 so I'm doing what she calls an easy jog. I'm amazed that I can even run for a minute, so I feel like this is right for me for now. Am I walking fast enough? What do others do?

5 Replies

A number of us on this forum do a juffle which is a cross between a jog and a shuffle. lol. I found getting the pace right was hard and even now with week 9 starting my pace is around 8.33 mins/ km which would give me 5k run in about 42 minutes - so I am not fast!! So don't worry about your speed at this stage just keep moving and aim to be able to run for 30 minutes at the end of C25K. I hope this helps.


Just do what feels right for you - as you go through the programme you'll automatically get a bit faster but the aim at first is to run for 'so many' minutes. When you graduate you'll have time to work on your speed - if you want to. Most people only make the 5K in 30 minutes after graduation.

I think too that's the disadvantage of a treadmill - you can see exactly how fast you're going. Outside you can just do what feels best! Not suggesting you run through wintry woods in January - just don't worry about your speed! :-)

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I think it's deliberately left up to each person to find their own speed. My mother-in-law's idea of a brisk walk is a slow meander to me, whereas I have to run to keep up with my hubby's brisk walk. When I first used the treadmill (around week 6) my walking was at 4mph, but now (post-graduation and some speed work) that's increased to 4.8mph for the warm up and cool downs - but I'm tall with long-ish legs!

So, simply put - run at the pace that's right for you. If you get to the end of the run and think 'I could have gone further', then maybe try going slightly faster next time. But don't push yourself too hard adn risk injury or disillusionment.


"Most people only make the 5K in 30 minutes after graduation." - and some of us doubt that we will ever go that fast - and don't much care either!

My running to start with was slower than my walking, but it worked for me, and now my running is a bit faster than my walking, but not much. But I am running, and I am much fitter than I was just 5 weeks ago, and that's what matters to me. (Plus I haven't, touch wood, had any injuries - from what I've read, the commonest reason for injuries in new runners is starting off too fast, before their bodies have adapted to the new stresses and strains of running.)

Your age, gender, fitness before you start (whether you've done much walking, your weight, whether you smoke) all makes a huge difference to the pace that is right for you.

If you can't talk while you're running, you probably need to slow down. Or if it hurts. You can't really be too slow - the slowest possible run still takes more effort than sitting down!


I'm 30, weigh just under 9 stone, 5'3 and new to running! Very very new.

Im on week 4 and I set the treadmill to 2.5 for walking and 3.5 for running


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