How do you know it's 5k?: I am only at week... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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How do you know it's 5k?

TeaAye profile image

I am only at week 5 and am jogging unbelievably slowly. When (more like if) I get to the 30 minute run, how do you know it's 5k. At the rate I run, it may well only be 3k.

I get the time thing; Laura tells me when to start and stop. But I really don't understand the distance. How do people know they do 5k?

Sorry for being so stupid

15 Replies
RainbowC profile image

If you use a smart phone to play the podcasts, there are a range of apps which can be used to track the distance and route covered. Or some people have a Garmin GPS watch-like bit of kit which does the same thing, :)

RainbowC profile image

Meant to say, for a slightly lower-tech version, you can use sites such as MapMyRun or Walk Jog Run (might have got that name a bit wrong!) to plot your route and it'll tell you how far.

Lowest-tech is the good old map and bit of yarn to measure your route!


Malcy profile image

Or, if you run along public roads, you can use your car speedo (it'll read a little "optimistic" so not entirely accurate, but the electronic devices are also only approximate)

You could count lamp posts? I think I read somewhere that these tend to be about100 metres apart. I wouldn't put money on this technique though ... smae with measuring the length of your average pace then count the number of paces in your run. Again, fine in theory until you lose count half way through.

I haven't been very helpful, have I?

Barbyk profile image

If you have a park by you and they do a 'park run' that is 5k and you could follow the route...

WillowFae profile image

The thing to remember is that despite the name of the programme it is NOT all about getting you running 5k in 30 mins. It is about getting you running non-stop for 30 mins.

gingernut49 profile image

I use the free Runtastic app on my phone, which is also my mp3 player. It's difficult as I start it off when I leave my house, so I'm also counting the ten minutes of warm up and cool down also but I suppose 5km is taking me about 45 minutes at present including the warm up and cool down walks.

Technochoc profile image

I use to plan routes, I used this to get up past 5k, but I now generally run adhoc routes and use cardiotrainer app on my Android phone. :)

vixiej profile image

I love my garmin :-)

I got addicted to this running game so was bought a garmin to encourage me, which i love. It took me 36'26" to run the parkrun 5k yesterday. I know 30 mins for me is not enough to do 5k . So really when you can keep running for 30 mins you are well on the way to 5k but don't worry about the distance just keep doing the time and remember speed doesn't matter.

YOU are doing it, ENJOY.

p.s. find a Parkrun near you, they are great some go very, very fast others not (I'm not last). They are very friendly.

Mini13 profile image

Hi TeaAye,

While agreeing to all those above, I thought of telling you how I calculated my distance:

I foundout post codes of the places that I will be passing on my route and went on Bing Map and found out the distance from one post code to another and added them. I could do it easily due to the fact that I pass a friend’s and then a school and then our medical surgery and back home. It is all approximate though. I calculated it to be 5.2km and then when I measured it again in the car it was 4.9km. Close enough though. I am in my 8th week now so I will invest on a Garmin now which could give me more accurate distance I suppose. I did not do 5K circuit from the beginning, I am not sure 100% sure when I started to do it but I think it is around 3-4 Weeks.

Good luck to you for your runs!

TeaAye profile image

Thanks folks.

I run in my local fields when I can so I don't think many of the above apply; great ideas though.

At the moment I am not worried about fact just finishing the programme seems almost impossible. But I keep seeing posts about people running distances and was interested in how people knew how far they had run.

I will just be thinking about time...if I can make 30 minute runs three times a week when I manage to finish the programme then that will be fine for me.

There are no park runs where I live but I am fine embarrassing myself without company for now. Eventually I may see if any of my local cities have anything like that but all the people that I see out running where I am are on their own.

Thanks curiosity is satisfied ;0)

greenlegs profile image

If you have google earth you can zoom in to your fields and mark out where you've run to find out the distance - that's what I used to start with (and then bought myself a Garmin gps watch which is the best toy I've ever had!).

Or this site: - you can zoom in and draw your route out and it calculates the distance for you (and will draw a little graph showing how steep the route is too, if you want).

I got my 5 year old to cycle the route I run, so we could measure it on his bike computer!

LandRoverMad profile image

I use You can sign up for a months trial. but you can also just use the map measurer tool without registering and will tell you the distance.

After using the map measurer tool a couple of times I decided to sign up for the one month trial. I think that I will probably pay the £20 for a one year subscription at the end of the trial period. It has all sorts of logs that you can use to track your runs, weight etc.

Check it out and compare it with some of the other suggestions and just choose the one you like best.

Jim_Gray profile image

Your smartphone will track your movement and map your run using built in or free apps. Smart watches are getting cheaper and cheaper too. I loved running the program with Apple Watch as a quick glance told me the distance run, my pace over the current 1km and my heart rate (which came down over the cto5k program).

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