Log in
Couch to 5K
69,006 members101,300 posts

5k+ Speed podcast

(More first impressions from the post-C25k brave new world)

These podcasts are great! Maybe I got a bit bored with just running for time in the last few days of the programme (when they felt like a bit of a slog), but mixing it up makes these a lot more interesting. :)

Running to a beat seemed OK in the previous podcast, Stepping Stones, but there have been hints that the Speed podcast was harder or more difficult, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I set off with iPhone in hand, fiddling with MapMyRun (to measure the walk-run-walk distance for 5x50 stats) and then starting the podcast - then also getting Runkeeper ready (to share run details with with my daughters). Plus of course setting the Garmin to find its satellites. (I'm fairly sure that Cape Canaveral needed less computing power to send rockets to the moon than I do going for a jog.)

Anyway I'm trying to find the pace for the warm-up walk as I am going, iPhone in hand, and Laura counts out the beat. In Stepping Stones it had been 1--2--3--4 and I'm expecting 1-2-3-4 in a speed podcast. It comes out 123412341234. Bloody hell, I almost fall over trying to walk like a demented Chaplin before I realise that it's impossible and I must have pressed the little 2x button on the touch screen - stupid machine. Panic over and it's back to a reasonable, not particularly quick, pace.

Then into an easy 5 minute warm-up jog at 155bpm before the 6 repetitions of 60 seconds @ 165bpm with 60 seconds recovery @ 150bpm.

Initially 165bpm seemed quick, but it soon felt good, and easy to follow (once again stirring up old memories of what running was like once). By contrast, slowing down to 150bpm was awkward and quite difficult. I found myself trying to slow my stride in the air, waiting for the beat to catch up, and then the footfall was heavy. But after a few repetitions, it got a bit easier all round and it was possible to make the transitions reasonably smoothly. Running for just 60 seconds at the faster pace didn't seem particularly hard, but would probably have been pretty tiring if done for longer, so the recovery times worked well.

But then that was it - just starting to get to grips with it and it was over! All the running done in about 17 minutes - and Laura was waving me off on a warm-down walk already. Well, I can take rejection as well as the next man (ie. badly) so I ran the warm-down walk just to show her (and even that seemed shorter than 5 minutes). Then walked for another 10 minutes (to get the distance for the 5x50) feeling slightly short-changed. ;)

I'm enjoying these podcasts a lot.


6 Replies

This sounds interesting... I haven't done the speed session yet, having concentrated on Stepping Stones or doing 30+ minutes using Laura's week 9 podcast, and now Stamina on my last two runs (although there was a 10 day break in between) as I wanted to make sure I was running the 5k distance wise; and it seems a bit of a waste to get ready and sweaty for only 17 minutes!

I may try Speed on my next run tomorrow, then carry on to complete the distance for 5x50 at my own pace. :-)


I have to admit I like the Speed session - it's useful on the occasions I need a shorter run because of time pressures, and despite its lack of length, I always know I've done it!

I absolutely agree that the 150bpm recovery runs feel so uncomfortably slow at first - somehow they're almost harder than the quick bits, until I eventually get used to their pace (usually about the second to last one!).

I'm clearly not as fit as you though - the idea of running the extra five minutes at the end has never occurred to me! ;)


Nice to see a comment on this, I am planning to start it soon so found it a very good read.

hope you settle in to it ok. :-)


Ha - loved the technology bit :D But you've started me thinking and I need to go and do some research now - I wanted Mapmyrun to tell me about my intervals the other day but all it gve me was my average speed per mile - which, given that I was walking for 5 mins and running for 5 mins, came out to about 16 minutes per mile.

Anyway, I enjoyed Speed. I knackered my ankle, but this was because of my failure to understand simple instructions, I think. I tried to speed up by lengthening my stride instead of running faster - does that make sense? I still felt like I was running faster, but actually it was less punchy. Sorry - I'm rambling here :D

I've discovered that my default bpm is around 160, so like you the 150 felt very slow. However, I managed with the 165bpm which was encouraging!

I'll definitely do this one again. The podcast I struggled with was Stepping Stones, but that was because i found the beat very hard to hear on the music, especially as Laura talks more on that one. But it's lovely to hear her dulcet tones again!


I tend to use RunKeeper for audio feedback, but MapMyRun is much the same - and in Settings/Voice Feedback you have a whole array of options (don't choose too many or the wretched woman never stops interrupting - too much like real life for me!). If you want her to tell you the distance covered ensure that 'Total Distance' is on, and then qualify that by selecting a distance in 'Interval'.


Thank you very much - there's a whole new world of settings I didn't know about before your comment :O I'm sure I'll get it right next time now!


You may also like...