Couch to 5K
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Should I move on to Week 9?

I did W8R1 this morning and, though I would never say it was easy, it was certainly one of my steadier runs. Although I had the usual 5 minutes to go mental block, I think I could have quite happily gone on and run the extra 2 minutes.

The course has been good to me so far and, despite having some dreadful runs, I have managed every one from day one and never had to repeat one, so part of me wants to stick with the programme, but the other part feels ready for the extra 2 minutes.

As I don't take a watch with me on the runs and don't like to carry on running through the cool down walk, it's not something I can decide upon last minute, as I would need to listen to the correct weekly podcast to do it.

Would any graduates have any advice about the step up from W8 to W9 and would they advise to skip the last two W8 runs, or stick to the programme?

8 Replies

By that stage of the programme I was running to my own music so the timing wasn't exact to the second anyway, but I think as long as you don't increase by more than what seems to be the magic number of 10% per week, you should be okay. Which means not more than 2-3 mins more per week - that's right, isn't it, I'm rubbish at counting?!? :-)

So you should be fine no matter what you do. Why not make yourself a playlist of 28-30 minutes, do your own thing with it another 5 times, and that's you graduated? :-D

And even after graduation be careful no to increase too much too soon. A lot of people including me have ended up on the sidelines doing that. The main consolation is the prog's a whole lot easier second time round!


Thanks Mitts. I think I may give week 9 a go on Thursday - I can always drop back a week if needed.

I'm in the same boat regarding pushing too hard after completion. Last year I started mid-January, ran 10k without walking in March and hobbled a half-marathon in May. The 10k was fine, but I didn't run again after the pain of the HM, so have had to start it all again this year. Between the 10k and the HM, I only managed one 5k run, so definitely went too hard, too soon.

Mind you, I didn't find this forum last year, so I'm already a step ahead!


I too was using my own music by week 8 and timed my runs with a watch. I ran 30 mins from Week 8 run 1 onwards and somehow those last two 'bonus' minutes were easier, since I know I could stop if I wanted as I'd already done Laura's times. But I still completed the 6 runs required for Week 8 and 9 ie, 27 runs in all, before I claimed to have completed the programme.


I did consider using my own music, but I must admit, Laura's coaxing is a real benefit to me and I'll miss her when she's gone :0)


I'm a real advocate of sticking with the programme as prescribed.

I think for the sake of one week it would be good just to consolidate at each time and then move on.

It made it more rewarding for me as I'd actually completed the programme in all its glory!


I'm in week 8, did the second one today, and I did keep going at the end, to do 31 minutes, just to see if I could really. But I think I really need to do all 4 remaining runs before I'll feel that I've graduated - although I now know I can keep going for 30 minutes, it's still pretty tough, and I'm hoping that by the end of next week it will be a teeny bit less tough, so I won't just decide - I've done it now, so I can stop!

And I might not want to keep going up to 30 for my next run - knowing I don't 'have to' makes it more likely I actually get out and do it at all! In fact, I probably won't do any extra on that one, now I know I can do it.

And anyway, how come all these week 7 people are trying to get past me to the finish line! He he!


I ran for longer than I should on week 8 the first run but still did the other two runs. Why? well because the programme said so and I wasn't going to have spent 8 weeks hard honest work to blow it all in the last few runs. Your nearly there now just do the next two and then your on the final week. Good luck, well done and we'll look forward to seeing a Graduate badge beside your name next weekend. :)


I think I'll carry on from where I am then. I'll just take my trusty Garmin and, if I feel up to another minute or two at the end, I'll go for it. It would be a shame to get so far and then do my own thing.

5 runs left!


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