Couch to 5K
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5x50 tracking query

Can someone in authority answer this query please, I am a real dumbo :0

If you run, walk, cycle you put in the actual distance covered and the time - yes?

Someone on the community forum mentioned that they were putting in their 30 min swim as 5K, but that can't be right surely? The tracker has swimming as an option, and for sure I don't swim 5K in 30 mins :) Don't you put in the actual distance for swimming just like other linear activities?

I thought that the "5K equivalent" was for things that don't propel you forwards, like fitness circuits or aerobics or pilates, where you put in a nominal 5K per half hour of alternative activity.

If I've got this wrong then I need to claim a few more Ks for my walks ;)

8 Replies

This is what is on the 5x50 website, hope it helps :D


We appreciate that your preferred activity may not be one of the four listed. As the main aim is to be physically active every day for 50 days, you can count 5km OR 30 minutes of an alternative activity towards your challenge target. For example, a 30 minute swim OR a 30 minute aerobics class OR 30 minute row would count.


Well I'm not someone in authority (I don't think there's anyone from 5x50 on this c25k site), but, this is how I understand it. Could be wrong though!

I think it's a bit blurred to be honest! When I decided I'd do the challenge, I thought the idea was that 30 minute equivalents would be counted as that - 30 min equivalents, not actually as 5ks (though I hadn't thought about how that would be done). I was going to run for 30 minutes - my equivalent of 5k, as I'm not speedy, and it would take me as much effort as a faster person doing it in 5k. But I'm not so sure now that I'd feel right about logging that as 5k - I think I'll probably make it up to the 5k equivalent with something else, if I do a shorter run. Or just only log 3 or 4k for that day, knowing that I've done the equivalent. But others may disagree. I'm sure strong arguments could be made either way - but does it really matter all that much?

I suppose the original plan was just for actual 5ks, and then it got widened to include alternatives, some of which don't fit in all that well. Cycling seems a bit like cheating, for example, as it's easier to do 5k on a bike! But to swim 5k is a huge undertaking! So that's why some of the alternative exercises use 5k equivalents - but I don't think anyone would suggest it's terribly scientific.

But, hey, it's just a challenge to get us being more active, and I can say it's doing that for me already - so far (partly because of the recording thing) I have actually covered 5k (run, walk, run, walk) which is more than I thought I'd be doing, and I feel ok for it too. Maybe it doesn't really matter too much about the finer detail? Perhaps next year they'll find a way to log it that's a bit less confusing.

Meanwhile, let's just all get fitter and enjoy it. :)


thanks for these answers - I just didn't want to be putting in more Ks than I was entitled to :) or less for that matter ;)


It was me who put 5km in for a 30 min swim. The actual distance swum was 550m so not even close! Somewhere on here (think it's in questions) one of our team referred to getting an e-mail from 5x50 saying that this is the correct thing to do. Sue (SBG356's) thread says the same thing. I think this is the only way the organisers can make meaningful distance stats for the challenge. Hope that helps - Ann


That was me... asked them about 30 mins Strength & Fitness. Their Simon Murrison said any 30 min equivalent should be entered as 5 km.

I'm currently entering cycling/walking/running as is (though I make sure my C25K sessions end up as 5 km overall, what with the warm-up and cool-down walks); everything else = 5 km, provided I've done 30 mins of course. :-)

If you have any queries, contact Simon:

As Greenlegs says, " it's just a challenge to get us being more active".


When you look at the FAQs on their web page it seems to suggest that if it is one of the main 4 activities - running, walking, jogging or cycling - then you do it for 5k minimum and record the actual distance covered; other activites can be counted as 5k if that is what is covered in distance OR 30 mins; either seem acceptable for other forms of activity. Clear as mud eh?! :)



Hi all

I agree so far with the essence of what has been said. Frankly, if I swam for 30 mins, I would have needed medical assistance. This for me is too hard.

I just logged a 35 minute squash session as 5km for the same reason. I could not face a run as I walked nearly 11k last night, so went with the squash. I expended 514 calories in the time, so it was hard enough to "claim" the 5km.

I will bike it tomorrow and easily do over 12km in the same time. So I am also ambivalent about the whole thing. I would always run and walk to the 5km (for me over 30 mins) and then cycle for 30 mins at least (of course with more km). The other stuff is what stops us all getting injured and gives variety, but 30 mins if averaged between a bike ride 12 km, a walk 4km and a run 5 km is 8km and over the 5km.

Basically this is hard and if we do 30 mins of any exercise we should count it!

Does this help or am I ranting like a crazy person?


I don't think that's ranting! I'd like it to be a bit more straightforward too, but maybe we're just overthinking it! I think 30-minutes would be a better basic unit than 5k, but that would mean changing the name of the challenge. It would make it more accessible for beginner exercisers though, I think, which is presumably who it is really aimed at. I quite like "30x50".


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