Couch to 5K
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Just finished C25K....what next?

Well I did my final run of C25K today. It was a grueller but I'm proud of myself for sticking with it cos it wasn't easy! I really did like the structure to my workouts and how it made me focus so I think I'd be wise to continue with something similar rather than going back to my usual ways of overdoing the gym and classes etc.

I have thought about doing the 10k app but not sure if it might be a bit much. I have really struggled with the last couple of runs and as I do my runs on the treadmill I don't think I could face running for more than 30 mins at a time on it and I don't want to go out just yet. What do most people do after c25k? Any suggestions?


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After i graduated I found it quite hard to get focused without the structure of C25K. I just continued with 5k runs for a while as they suited me about 30 mins so didn't take too much of my precious time. However I did find after a while I needed some more focus and enter a 10k race which meant I had to do the training. I purchased a treadmill in December but it is very difficult to run for more than 30 minutes and stay sane. So whenever I can I do go out and pound the tarmac which I really do love. It has really focused me and I have upped my mileage loads but it has taken a lot more of my time. I'm glad I didn't do it straight after graduating but where I was able to comfortably able to run 5k after graduating, I can now comfortably run 10k. My 10k run is on Sunday - my next question is where do I go from there?

Do I enter another and try and beat my time?

Do I have a break?

Do I up the anti and go for the half marathon?

It's a non stop decision but I am hooked so will run whatever.


Congratulations on finishing the program! It isn't easy but that what makes us all so proud of our achievement! Don't forget to ask for your graduate badge - there was a post from the admin person here (sorry - forgot his name right now) a day or two ago and you just reply to that and ask!

So to life after week 9 - well - as Morningglory said you can keep trying to improve 5K. Or for a little more structure try downloading the C25k+ podcasts - there are only 3 of them called Stepping Stone, Speed and Stamina. With all of these the new element is that you run in time to the beat. Many people find Stepping Stone slow the first time - I found that I enjoyed it more the second or third time. Speed is exactly that - faster, interval training (think week 2 or so but running faster and slower). It is shorter than the others so great if you have less time. Stamina is pretty tough for most people. I graduated in November, managed to complete it twice then had some breaks for illness and snow but still haven't quite got back to that level.

Those have kept me going for a while - certainly improved my distance and speed since week9. Many people then go onto 10K training - that sounds a bit much for me so I'm going to keep going with other podcasts. Swanscot (here) has suggested one by Podrunner that I'm going to try tomorrow for the first time.

I hope that gives you some suggestions that will work for your own time and situation. Hope you can try the great outdoors as well soon - I think it will add a new dimension to your running :-)

Do let us know how it goes.



Well done on completing C25K. Send a message to LoraHU to get your graduation badge.


Congratulations on graduating - yes, do go and ask for a 'graduate' badge next to your name!

I finished two weeks ago, and haven't set myself any new challenges yet (though I am entered for a Race for Life 5k in June, but I know I'll be able to do that already, as it's a flat route). I've just been enjoying doing a variety of runs - slower longer ones and faster shorter ones. I've also had a go at a parkrun route (not on a parkrun day yet though).

It's very satisfying to already be able to see an improvement in my pace. Oh, and I've had a go at a couple of hills, and have been surprised to find that I rather liked them as a challenge. So I'm not thinking of aiming for 10k at the moment - maybe some time in the future, but for now, I just want to get more confident and a bit faster. Plus - enjoy running, and lots of reading about running too.

My best runs have all been in the last two weeks. :)

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Hi guys,

I only just registered today soI don't know my way around yet or how to get this graduation badge. I think I may take a look at some of these other C25K programs. Do you have to download them to your phone to use them or is there a written format to follow? Most of the time I'm running I don't have headphones in....I just listen to gym music. Also, I use an ipod shuffle so I don't think the apps/podcast or whatever work do they? I am not really up to speed with that stuff.

My next plan was to do a Parkrun but i'm scared if I'm honest. I don't think I'm ready since I haven't actually run the whole 5k in the 30 min run. I reach it by the time I've completed the warm-up and cooldown walk but it puts me off entering the parkrun just yet. I think I need to run more comfortably and at a longer distance. Also, the parkrun route is hilly which is a big worry! I used to run outside all the time but I found it aggravated my asthma at this time of year so that is the main reason I don't want to go outside yet.

My next run would be on Saturday so I may have a go at 30 mins again or do shorter runs/re-cycle of the weeks where you run for up to 10 mins and walk for a few mins in between. I think that will also help. Decisions decisions! Thanks for all your input :)


I think the webpage for the NHS Couch to 5k + has breakdowns of the extra three podcasts

If you're wanting to improve your speed before trying a parkrun, you could just add some quick intervals (30-60 seconds, even) into your running every few minutes. It's very tiring, so I'd do that as part of a shorter run than your usual 30 mins. Make sure you do keep up the longer runs at least once a week, too, though.

I re-did weeks 6-9 earlier this year after graduating last November, having done a few weeks of speed work in the meantime, and it definitely paid off. I still find 30 mins hard work, and 35 mins is about my limit without any walking breaks, but I'm improving and managing to sustain the increased speed... Now I'm trying to set up a pattern of speed run/comfortable pace/long (slower) run for my three weekly runs, in the hope that I can work on both speed and stamina without sacrificing one for the other!


Excellent well done on graduating x good work x

I to wasn't to sure which route to take x I tried consolidating the 30 mins first and introduced the plus podcast. I can now run up to 10 K as a total non runner . Parkruns are great my PB is 39:49 not brilliant for me fantastic great atmosphere ad sons come along to x

I now do three runs a week

1 tempo run

1 interval speed run

1 long run increasing 10% every week

I find this great and working well as average pace is slowly increasing x

Good luck let us know how you get on

Catherine x


This is all fab advice, thanks guys I really appreciate it. 39:49 is good. I have been doing a 12 min mile pace on treadmill for 30 mins. Sometimes a little quicker but not much. Can't imagine me getting around the Parkrun non-stop though with it being hilly. I think I'd be happy with 45 mins if I could manage that my first time. I'm going to try it on Saturday. I'd already registered in Jan so this morning I printed off my barcode. What have I got to lose??


Hey all,

Just stumbled upon this forum today while for "what next" after completing C25K. Glad I did!

I finally finished the Program, after two unscheduled breaks (due to travel and sickness).

I actually completed it two-times over, because I was over zealous in trying to lose weight. So instead of 3-days per week, I installed the app on two phones and did 6-days per week (i.e. running everyday's plan twice every week).

Yes, it paid off handsomely in terms of weight loss (I was 102 kg when I started and 88 kgs now), as well as, surprising my own self, as I NEVER expected I'll be able to complete C25K.

However, I live in the Middle East and there aren't many opportunities to run in the open (weather is extreme at both ends). So I have completed the plan almost entirely on the treadmill.

I'd like to know what kind of "adjustment" issues did you face when you ran on a jogging track in the park? Does my pace increase or decrease? What things to look out for?

P.S. How to get the graduation badge?


It’s been my experience that running on a treadmill does not fully contrast to a true run on a track, road course or trail .... it’s better than sitting on the couch, but not quite the same


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