Couch to 5K
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Week 6 Run 3...New flat route or old hilly route?

After I completed week5 run 3 last week, I must be honest it did knock my confidence a little. Don't get me wrong, I felt elated to have run the 20 mins non stop and I realise my achievement but I only just managed it.

The route I run does include a couple of tricky hills, a long slow burner and a short steep one as well as a decent downhill stretch. I chose this route as I figured it gave me a good all round challenge whilst giving me some downhill relief as well.

Whilst running the intervals this has been OK as the walks have often coincided with parts of the 'uphills' (not all unfortunately!), but running the full 20 mins meant I had to run all the hiils for the first time. It really took it out of me.

Would I be better choosing a flat route for the longer runs or should I stick with the hills knowing there is no gain without pain!? or in other words, is it better to finish the run more comfortably on a flat route so as not to knock my confidence again.

4 Replies

Given that from w6r3, it's all non-stop runs, why not alternate? Maybe once a week do the flat run, so that you can enjoy how easy it is, but keep to the hilly one for a tougher workout for the other two. Or the other way round. :) One thing about hills is that they're a great way of showing you how much you've improved as you find yourself running up a bit that previously you've had to stop and walk...


Would you feel as though you are cheating going for the flat option?

Though then again, you have 3 runs of 25 minutes next week to play with hills. Go where the fancy takes you, I've plotted out routes in my head before going out but then ended up going a different way depending on light, traffic, time etc when I've got out there.

p.s. it would be the long slow burner that did for me, short sharp uphills are much preferred.


Maybe I'm a bit weird but when I was having what I thought was a really slow run I got frustrated so turned and inserted a hill into my run (until then I had stayed on the flat and done an out and back turnaround at halfway); it took a few times before I could run all the way up but now it is a regular feature - and I did a pirouette at the top on my grad run!

This week I then went the opposite direction to put in a longer steeper hill and my challenge will be to get good enough to run up that one with no walking!

It seems there is no flat run near me, I notice all the various inclines now when I am walking or even driving (have to run by the roads when my shifts mean I run outside the park opening times).

I would use the hills as a challenge but there is no right answer! Happy running! :-)


Thanks for the advice guys. I'm just planning a new flat route at the moment for tonights run. I've been running the same route throughout the plan so I figure it's about time I changed the scenery anyway. As RainbowC suggested I may well alternate my routes or have yet another route up my sleeve for the weeks to come.


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