Graduated C25K today! -- slow, so what to do next?

In the 30 minute runs of week 9, completed today, I have progressively increased distance for each of these final 3 runs, but still am a little under 4K for the 30 minutes. Do you think it would it be advisable to stick with the week 9 plan and work on distance or continue on to B210K or similar? Thanks for any suggestions. BTW, I am a 63 yrs old female, run barefoot (well, Vibrams) because of some spine & knee orthopedic issues that kept me from running at all until I mastered barefoot. I would love to progress to a half marathon some day just to finish, as it is unlikely I'll be setting any speed records :)

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  • The bridge podcasts on this site have a speed podcast for this purpose.

  • Congratulations on graduating! I went back to the start and did a few runs of slow jogging for the 'walk' portion and faster runs for the 'jog' portion. This speeded me up a bit, but the other option is the c25k+ podcasts. I hope it goes well.

  • Thank you. Great idea!

  • Good to see another 60+ runner. I too have only recently started running. The barefoot thing interests me. How does that work on sharp stones,etc? Very interesting.

  • In my experience, once adept with the technique (takes months for the muscles, tendons, etc to get strong enough, especially if you are used to a heel strike- ouch!), the body protects itself. There is very low impact on spine & joints. Lets just say you land very softly on your feet at all times. I do wear vibram five fingers (like a glove with a thin rubber sole) because I don't want calloused feet. It is said that coverings of any kind are unnecessary, the body knows.

  • I'm really interested in this.

    I'm a 54 year old male with at least half a stone to lose. I also have somewhat hypermobile joints. I use a motion control shoe and add orthotics to help with all this.

    It's fascinating that you've found that less appears to be more when it comes to running footwear, how did you come up with the idea? Do you use the five fingers shoes for anything else?

  • I think you've answered your own question. It's distance your after, not speed, so just move onto the bridge programme.

  • You could move straight on to B210K, or maybe spend a few weeks working on speed - whichever you feel inclined to do, really :) Obviously, if your ultimate aim is a half marathon, distance is importane - but on the other hand, the quicker you run, the less time it takes to get through the distance. So personally I'd probably spend a bit of time working on speed, then go back to increasing distance and stamina.

  • Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your input. It seems like I might benefit from continuing the 30 minute runs for a few weeks, working on speed, fitness, distance & conditioning, then moving on. On the heart rate monitor (Polar RCX5) during those 30 minute runs, I am in zones 4-5: very strenuous to near max sustained & it is not yet truly comfortable. The idea of going back to early weeks & doing speed work is great & I'll give that a go, too.

  • Hi Genome911 I'm an older runner like you and will be 63 this year so it seems there are more like us joining in every week, well done. When I graduated the C210K programmes were not on the go so I just added more time onto the 30 minutes. My first 5K took 35 minutes, I then started trying to go faster by doing some interval training. Very basic, I used lamp posts and ran after my warm up from one post to another at a much faster pace, also lengthened my stride. Then back to a normal jog for about 2 lamp posts, I would repeat this for as long as I could. Then did a steady jog of 10 minutes to finish. I was very surprised to find I was running 6.5K in no time at all. The longest I've run to date is 10K which took me 1:06:26 which I was pretty chuffed with.

    I also did some hill training which realy built up my strength and stamina. I think the secret of success is variation of runs, so mix up your running that way you won't find yourself getting bored. Good luck and I really hope you do you 1/2M, so please keep us posted on your progress.

  • Amazing progress- Thanks for the great ideas. What you did sounds a lot like Laura's couch to 5K+ variable programme (interval + speed + stepping stones), so since it worked for you, I am now trying it. My distance has magically increased already!

  • " spine & knee orthopedic issues that kept me from running at all until I mastered barefoot"

    Really interesting - I'm currently reading Born to Run, so I was really interested to hear that barefoot/vibrams works so well for you. I'm quite tempted to try before I get too used to the flashy shoes I bought in week 1, though maybe I'll wait until the weather warms up a bit. I was reading the section last night all about why Nike started making cushioned shoes. Ugh. Frustrating. The most interesting quote was about how the more expensive the shoe, the higher the injury rates...

  • Interesting, yes? And not really intuitive but it seems to work. BTW, in the winter (no snow, just in the cold), I wear the Injinji "toe socks" with the vibrams and that system is pretty wonderful IMO. Sadly, for winter I bought some very expensive shoes (Newtons) at Christmas that are supposed to simulate the midfoot/forefoot barefoot landing, but I simply can't run in them. The soles are just cushioned enough that I hit the ground with enough more impact that I have knee and hip pain. So sad.

  • That's very frustrating! Very odd that more cushioning gives more pain, isn't it? Human bodies are darned clever things.

  • Haha, indeed. I guess our muscles and connective tissues are meant to work instead of padded and immobilized! Hope you enjoy Born to Run- the Tarahumara must be interesting folks.

  • I hadn't hard of that book, just ordered it off Amazon, the summary looks fascinating

  • Bet you enjoy it! I did anyway - really interesting, if a bit hyper-magazine-style writing. Do come back and blog about it when you've read it!

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