Couch to 5K
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Did anyone find they progressed more quickly than expected?

This is a genuine question and I don't mean to sound big headed but I did my week 5 20 minute run the other day and found it really comfortable. I was amazed really given my fitness levels at the beginning of the programme and struggling with the 1 minute runs. So today rather than start the week 6 podcast, I just repeated the twenty minute run and carried on through the warm down bit aswell so in fact ran for 25 minutes..... and again felt comfortable; I am sure I could have done the full half an hour.....which isn't scheduled until week 9. Has anyone else found this happening? Not sure what to do about the programme really, it would have felt like a backward step doing the week 6 runs..

8 Replies

I did week 6 run 1 this morning after having a fairly comfortable 20 min run the day before.

I too was tempted to just go out and run 5k.

Managed to 'stay calm' as Laura would advise and stick to the schedule.

At the end of the day in 3 weeks we'll be graduating so I decided to stick to the well worn, tried and tested schedule that has worked for so many.


I am sure it helped me to get through W5R3 by arranging the route so it was mainly gently downhill...

When I switched my MP3 player on this morning expecting to do W6R1 I hadn't put the week's podcasts on!


Repeated W5R3 but without using last week's route; got through it OK, very pleased.

I will stick to the programme, it's worked well for me so far.

The obvious question is what your starting point was like? If you are younger than me (I'm 54) and not carrying much excess weight (I need to lose about half a stone) and have a sports background (even if not in running) I'm not surprised you have found it straightforward.

Remember the programme is pitched to include as many people as possible, for the majority it will be fine but a minority will find it either too hard or not that challenging.

It's good it's worked so well so quickly for you


I stuck to the programme.

I am older and over weight too.

And yes I found it easy. I have to say that it's a clever programme which is designed to be easy. Which is why I'm following B to 10k (when I'm feeling better)


I am giving serious thought to jumping from week 7 to week 9 and onwards from there very soon. Not because I am finding any bits of it particularly easy or anything, but because I have the target of a half marathon in mid May and time is becoming an issue (14 weeks to go!!!)


On the day of the 20 min run I ran with my sister with the plan to walk the same distance back to the car. She decided to carry on running and left me walking, but after 5 minutes I was a bit bored and thought I would run for a few minutes, I ended up running for another 20 mins (brought me right back to the car, considering the 5 minute warm up walk on the way out) and I was quite surprised!

I did consider just doing my own thing from there but the idea of a programme like this is to prevent injury and build strength also so I thought it would be best to be cautious and carry on with the programme. The whole programme through I did run more often than 3 times a week. I usually ran every other day, but also ran a couple of days in a row often enough if I felt like it, therefore I think I finished the programme in just over 7 weeks.


Like didntrunthat I worked on the basis of every other day (which is perfectly within the programme, just as much as 'three times a week' - although running two days in a row isn't and I didn't) It took me weeks and weeks to get through Week 1. I thought when I had completed Week 1 that for me C25K would be at least a 9 month endeavour rather than 9 weeks (and I was happy with that), but as I was able to complete every podcast every time (not saying it was easy), I did it in 3 months, which was way, way faster than I had thought, and I ran 5K much sooner after graduating than I thought (in my case running 5K means running for a long time!) But I still find that Week 1 podcast really tough.

I feel there is a lot of value in that return to intervals - you only have to read the blogs to see what a salutary experience it can be. The aim of the NHS C25K programme is to fit you to keep up running for 30 minutes three times a week - it's about health (mental as well as physical) not about sport. Of course, as is evident from the blogs, many people do make running their sport as a result of NHS C25K.


I completed the 20 minute W5R3 yesterday also and did the W6R1 this morning. I kno I should probably have taken a days rest but I felt pretty good after yesterday, having never run for 20 minutes in my life before !! I'll have a rest day tomorrow and do W6R2 on wednesday. I think it's better to follow the whole structure of the program rather than get too cocky too soon, imo !.


No. I found W5R3 very difficult and only finished because I couldn't face retrying another day. W6R1 was ok but on W6R2 I finished up on the point of collapse in the street about 3 minutes before the end. Despite taking it steadily and adding some indoor work in the gym I can still only manage about 12-13 minutes continuous run outdoors 3 months later.

Was reading about a 'cardio resistant' gene and wondering whether i'm one of the people who is not going to get the benefits of cardio exercise, though other benefits of regular exercise are still to be gained apparently. Will be seriously cross if after 6 months serious exercise my blood sugar and blood pressure are not significantly reduced at my next check up!


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