Couch to 5K
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How long was it until you enjoyed running 5k?

It's been a few weeks since I graduated the C25K program, and I'm still running regularly which I'm really pleased about. However, I don't know if it is just my specific route (mostly downhill/ some flat for the first 15 mins and mostly uphill / some flat for the second half), but when I get to about 20 minutes, I go from feeling pretty good to sapped of energy. I always push through to the end and don't feel half as puffed out at the end as I used to upon finishing, but I just wondered if anyone can give some insight into how long it might take before I will able to comfortably run 5k without knackering out three quarters of the way through :)

Thanks :)

6 Replies

From the first time I enjoyed it - after I stopped, of course. The feeling of being utterly exhausted and having done something I'd never done before was just great. Admittedly the runs themselves can be a slog but the knowledge that I'll have that sense of achievement at the end keeps me going.

I think it's not the best mindset to hope for it to ever be easy. If you keep running, you will eventually find it easier to do a certain distance at a certain speed. But if you don't increase the distance or speed you'll also stop improving. Someone or other said, "It never gets easier, you just get faster!"

You could also try eating complex carbohydrates an hour or so before your runs (rice, wholemeal bread, etc.) if you think you are consistently running out of energy.


I wholeheartedly agree with mdec! 7 months into it and I have yet to have a fun run! :-) The sense of achievement and challenge keeps me going! :-) Gayle


It never gets easier cos you just push yourself more each time :)


As soon as I started mixing up my runs and included a long, slow run into my weekly schedule. I did this as I was increasing my distance, but even if that is not part of your agenda you can still do some runs at an easy pace.

An 'easy' or slow run should be run at 60-70% of effort, or a conversational pace, ie you should be able to have a proper conversation, rather than just grunt one word answers!

I run at this pace for my long, slow runs where I'm gradually increasing my distance, but I also do some 5 km runs at easy pace, if, for example, my weekly routine has been knocked off and I'm running on two consecutive days.

I do my easy run at about 1:30 mins per km slower than my usual tempo run. This calculator gives you information about the different types of runs and gives you an idea for how fast to try:


As well as swanscot's 'easy' runs, which is very sound advice, maybe try to find a route with the uphill at the beginning instead? And take that bit slowly. The pace of the c25k programme does rather encourage us to expect to get faster/further every time we go out, and we need to do some consolidation sometimes, before we move on.

Maybe go out and find a gentler route just once, to see what it's like. My parkrun has a very steep bit near the beginning, which is very tough, but after the middle it's gently downhill or flat, and although it's still hard work, there is also some enjoyment in there too! I don't think I'd like it much the other way round.


I'm with swanscot - mixing up the training means one run a week where I can drop my pace which for me equals more enjoyment. We're all different though and lots of people on here enjoy the exhilleration of speedwork.

Totally agree with Greenlegs about the need for consolidation - that was certainly true of me, rather than pushing hard for the next goal.


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