Couch to 5K
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Week 6 and Week 7

I've been getting a bit behind updating the blog, and doing the runs for that matter! A new job, a new country and a lot of snow haven't been the most conducive to C25K. But I decided at the start I would make a blog at least once a week, because I saw very few that went all the way from week 1 to week 9. There were plenty that started and didn't finish (or at least lost interest in recording their progress), and a lot of graduates' blogs that only started appearing in their later weeks. So to those who come after: here's some proof that it can be done! I think Greenlegs and Fingalo have done rather the same thing in a more entertaining way, but never mind.

I finished Run 1 of Week 7 today, which is the same as Run 3 of Week 6. The whole of Week 6 was strangely hard. Why would I struggle with 2x 10 minutes when the 20 minuter of Week 5 was behind me? I still don't really know, but it seems like a common experience, so I'm not worried about it. Week 7 presents a new challenge: since every run of this week is the same 25 minuter I'm no longer reminded how long I've been going by the interval for the earlier days. No more "Day 1, you've just finished your first 5 minutes!" - it's nothing 'til half way and then nothing 'til the last minute. For a little while in the last 12.5 I drifted off into a sort of trance, wondering if I would ever again know of a life where I wasn't trudging always onwards.

But I did, and I look back with some amazement that I was failing 1 minute intervals less than 2 months ago. The program really works, and at this point I think I could probably make the 30 if I wanted. I'm not going to try, because I didn't trust the program when I thought it was too hard and I was wrong, so I'm going to trust it implicitly even though I think it's too "easy". But I no longer seriously doubt I'll be a graduate in the stated 9 weeks, and that's a long way to have come.

Where then? Well, I'm still jogging painfully slowly. My speculative long term goal was 5k in 25 minutes - I haven't been measuring the distance lately but I'd be feeling happy if I'm under a 45 minute pace. That doesn't seem terribly slow for recent graduates but it's bad in general and a long way from where I want to be. So out of idle curiosity, has anyone bridged this kind of gap in speed? What approach did you take? I think this will be many months of work ahead, and I certainly don't plan to stop running once C25K is behind me.

5 Replies

I enjoy reading everyone's blogs - but especially like long ones like this, so thanks!

But what is this bit? " That doesn't seem terribly slow for recent graduates but it's bad in general" Bad is a rather strong word! Are you really saying that slow running is BAD?! :P

Hmmm? (I'm not taking this personally you understand, actually I think it's quite funny!)

I would be absolutely delighted if I could do 5k in 45 minutes by the end of this week!

Surely what matters is that you are running for an extended period of time? The distance that you cover depends on your age, gender and fitness level. If your current fitness level gives you 45 minutes - you've got loads of scope for improving it. If your current fitness level gave you 25 minutes (maybe you're young, male and already fit - otherwise that's a pretty optimistic time I'd have thought?) - the downside is that it'd be much harder to improve on it!

And what about enjoyment? - too much focus on pace can turn it all into a chore instead of a pleasure (ok, sometimes big chunks are a chore, but if none of it is pleasurable, we're much less likely to keep on after graduation, I suspect.)

Anyway, I hope the new job and new country are to your liking! :)


Of course running 4mph is far better than running 0mph!

But I compare myself to the times at my local running club and maybe that group is just really good... I don't feel very confident to meet other people and go running unless I'm somewhere not right at the back, and I'd really like to join a club at some point.

25 minutes is of course very good. I am a young male (although very unfit!) so I think I can achieve it but I know that is possibly a year or more of work. I am not giving myself unrealistic expectations or trying to denigrate peoples' achievements (including my own!). It's been a huge feeling of satisfaction to get from Week 1 to running continuously and I continue to enjoy that. I'm certainly not going to give up over times.


Ahhh, we have a master of sweeping generalisations. I started on this forum at the end of October last year and I found a lot more than a "few" blogs that told of people's experience during their journey on C25K. Some of them are short, some are long but that is the beauty of them as they each tell their own journey.

As for distance I think Greenlegs summed it up well: I am not bothered whether I do 5k in 30 minutes or 45 I am just happy that I am now able to run for at least 30 minutes without needing an ambulance!!!


I didn't find too many that went all the way through; of course we started at different times so maybe we just read different blogs. Anyway at the start I really struggled, so it was excellent to read the few where people said they also struggled at the start and then be able to follow them through to completion. Again I am not trying to insult people who didn't do this - it's perfectly understandable that some people only find the site part way through their C25K, or lose interest in posting updates, etc. But I thought it would be nice to at least have a record of my own progress the whole way.

And I know what you mean about not needing an ambulance - I was always someone who didn't really think it was possible to run for 20 or 30 minutes. Running for me meant a couple of seconds to catch a bus and then being totally exhausted afterwards!


well done for getting this far.

I am at the same stage as you (well one run behind) I haven't quite worked out my pace/time for 5k yet but think it would be roughly 40-45mins at the mo - am going to time my week 7 runs using endomondo app minus the warm up walk to get a better idea.

I think my aim is to get to the running for 30 mins mark and then look at the speed/stamina podcasts that the other grads have mentioned. I am also planning to start doing my local Parkruns once I have graduated - focussing intially on getting round the 5k and once I can do that concentrating on improving the time.


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