Couch to 5K
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Who’s afraid of the big bad W5R3?

Don’t be. Just adopt an “I can do this” attitude and go at a slightly slower pace than normal.

I set out yesterday facing a harsh north wind, with a niggling thought that I’d done myself some injury during my W5R2 a couple of days earlier (strange pains in my left thigh… though muscles working fine). That ensured I went slowly. Up and down I went (my route is an undulating one) listening carefully to Laura, my own breathing and the music.

Had found my pace after about 5 minutes. My mind started to drift… thinking back over the past 5 weeks and each new challenge. It really is mind over matter at this point. Looking back, I think the hardest run was actually W1R1. Just getting off the couch and out the door was the hardest challenge. Followed closely by getting my breathing under control and not giving in while running those first few 60 seconds (not to mention getting seen by the neighbours, especially on the way back, huffing and puffing and with a face like a beetroot). Seems a lifetime ago now.

Anyway, the 20 minutes ended just as I was coming round to the last stretch, along the main road leading into town. Since ours is a very small town and most people know each other by sight, if not personally, word has now got around that I’m running… Meaning that I feel that I must be seen to be running, so I continued running until I got to the bottom of the steep steps back up to the old town centre. Even managed a final 10 sec sprint (well sort of). Another 3 minutes’ running for a grand total of 23 minutes!!!

So, anyone reading the entries in this c25k blog before attempting W5R3 should not worry too much about the 20 minutes thing. Yes, it is a milestone, but the interval training over weeks 1-5 has prepared us for it. It is indeed more psychological than physical. Just have confidence in your ability and pace yourself.

Read the W5R3 blogs posted AFTER the event for inspiration and encouragement and use those posted immediately BEFORE (and especially the comments to these) to help psych yourself up.

On to W6R1 tomorrow. But first, I’m going to start the NHS Strength&Flex this evening. DeliaItaly, Platypus23 and piggyland1 are you still on for it? I’ll be blogging directly on the S&F blog.

15 Replies

Way to go. I think maybe we are over the hump? Good luck for your next run. I do mine week6 run 1 on Monday. :-)


Thx. Doing it tomorrow unless thigh plays up. Think it might be a trapped nerve. Please, dear God, not the sciatic nerve... have learnt to live with that in the right leg.

Anyway, congrats to you too and here's to week 6.


Try and have a good rest day today, have you tried a heating pad? I dont know if it would work or not but worth try.


I'll bear it in mind. For now, hot baths and warm running bottoms seem to do the trick.


:-) Hope it's better soon.


Very well done! Your advice to others about this run is spot on. Enjoy week 6 and take it slow; too many get tripped up after the euphoria of running for 20 mins.......

Hope your thigh problem doesn't materialise into anything serious.

Happy running!

Sue :)


Thanks for the support and I'll bear in mind what you say about week 6. I've noticed several people express their surprise about it, getting caught out.

Just done my first Strength & Flex session: strengthandflex.healthunloc...

A real eye opener. Pity that blog's not so popular as this one.


Well done!


Thanks, and good luck with your longer runs.


Fantastically done! Hope the thigh business sorts itself out.

Yes, you're past the halfway now. Enjoy week 6 (slow and steady to start with and you'll be fine). :)


Thanks, really appreciate your support.


What a lovely uplifting post and spot on! Its so nice to hear about everyone running in their own surroundings, and how varied we are in location. What a beautiful place it must be to run in Italy. Sometimes deep freeze gel works better than heat, it did for me anyway, I guess it depends on what it is that is giving the ache. Hope you rest it and feel better soon


Thanks k6daisy. Did the first session of Strength & Flex yesterday and... surprise! Something must have clicked back into place. Felt much better today, so went for my week 6 run 1 as planned.

Italy's great at the moment... early spring. Even went out without any rain gear today. Give it a couple of months or less and we'll all be afraid to go out due to the heat.Then I'll be envying all of you in the UK.

Still, better Europe than India (CouchCarrotI believe) and Australia (Platypus 23) at the moment.

S&F blog: strengthandflex.healthunloc...


Well done! It's a great feeling isn't it?

Think I will have a look at the stretch and flex thing. Might join you on that. My physio says I have tight hamstrings and calf muscles so maybe that will help.

Viki :-)


Give it a go... I'm the world's worst sticker-to-exercise-regimes... yet with a personal trainer like Laura in my ear I feel this time I can do it.

As a c25k graduate (i.e. a fit person) you could always just do the exercises that suit you best.


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