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Couch to 5K
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I found W8 really tough :(

W7 I amazed myself. Yes it was not easy but each run got that bit easier and W7 R3 not knowing the area where my parents live I did almost entirely on an incline. I felt well up for W8 as its 'only 3 minutes' more. R1 physical exhaustion and wobbly legs, W2 nausea around the 20 minute mark (a short sleep incline) and R3 was just such hard slog and for the first time I didn't enjoy it and asked why I'm putting myself through it.

I have well managed osteomalacia (rickets) and quite advanced oesteoarthrits in my hips. It's taking me longer to recover and I notice a couple of mild side effects now I'm running further

W9 R1 tonight. I know I can do it and am looking forward to graduating but physically I wonder if I'm about at the limit of my abilities. I'm covering about 4K

in 28 minutes.

I was so looking forward to Park Runs and building up to 10k over time

7 Replies

I too am finding week 8 quite hard (though I don't remember an easy week to be honest). Clearly the longer runs are more physically demanding and they push this relatively unfit body along at a pace that almost hurts at times. And the cumulative strain of running every other day can mount up.

But, and it's a big but, if you look back 8 weeks and remember how difficult it was in week 1 and how hard reps of 30 seconds were then, running for 28 minutes now is a massive step up.

I think the body takes time to adjust and buid up (or rebuild) muscle and strength, so we need to manage that to achieve our goals. I'm covering about 4.5 k in 28 minutes (as of an hour ago), so I don't expect to make 5k in 30 minutes next week (if I can manage 30 minutes) - but I hope that I'll be able get there eventually when I build up stamina and my leg muscles a bit more.

Once the final week is done successfully (hopefully) I'm going to try and consolidate what I've achieved and concentrate on doing 5k more comfortably, and then perhaps a bit quicker. It'll come, I'm sure.

Anyone who gets to 8 weeks in the programme has come a long way and achieved a lot in quite a short time, so I think it may be too early to define our limits. I hope so at least.


You have done amazing to come this far and I'm sure you will graduate fine. Why not think about having 2 rest days between runs to see whether that helps recovery? I have done this when I've been really tired and it has made a huge difference to the next run. Worth giving it a go. Not suggesting you do it everyday but if it helps your joints it's worth a try. After today, I'll be into w8. Had a horrible w7r1 but feel like I'm back on track after r2 was better. R1, I nearly fainted and couldn't even do the cool down!! Good luck. Let us know how you get on :-)


Well done and yes, I agree, these last few uninterrupted runs are tough. Rest, rest, rest... after all, it's not a race to complete the programme within the shortest time possible, as I'm sure you know.

Your pace is quite fast, at least by my reckoning: 4 K in 28 minutes = 5 K in 35 minutes. Amazing! Easily good enough for parkruns. :D

I think you'll find very few people actually get to running 5K in 30 minutes by the end of the programme... It's about getting off the couch, not running a four minute mile after all, so do what feels right for you.


Hey you have done brilliantly to get this far, so don't be so hard on yourself. Your time is pretty damn good too. :-) So chin up lady you are doing just grand. :-) Look back to when you started to where you are now!

I found week 7 impossible the first time round so had to repeat it, I've found week 8 pretty tough too but so far have just about managed to the end of each run. Me personally I'm aiming to be able to run 30 minutes straight non stop, I will work on my distance and speed once I can do 30 mins comfortably.

Happy jogging and good luck with your next run.


As others have said, 4k in 28 minutes is pretty fast - probably a bit faster than the average for graduates, so you're doing really well. I read somewhere recently that it can take months for the legs to adapt to running (in fact I think someone put a reference on here recently to 'beginner' runners as anyone running for less than a year), so being able to do parkruns looks to be well within what you'll be comfortable with in a few weeks (or less).


I love this comment - gives me hope that my legs will get there (and hopefully the rest of my body) even if it takes a year. :-)


Thank you all so much for your support. I did W9 R1 tonight - it was a struggle... My struggles used to be mental demons. Now it's aching calves and hips but I notice I'm hardly out of breath after the first 10 minutes.

We've all come so far and well done to all of you too

When I've graduated I'm going to drop the programme for a while and just 'go for a run' until I'm doing 5k comfortably

Thanks again and good luck all x


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