Couch to 5K
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W8R3 DONE! 5K in 31 minutes 50 Seconds,personal best so far, but why aren't I happy??!!

Yeahhh!! I have just completed my W8!!

I want to try completing the 9th week and graduating before the end of April. As I have written before, I have my hand surgery on 30th so I got to finish this before that. Well, I don’t HAVE TO, but WANT TO graduate by 30th!

I did a morning run on Saturday (my morning runs are not the best), that was my W8R2 but the MP3 gave away due to low battery! I realised that I was so depended on the music because I just stopped running for 5-10 seconds and then started again but could not run without the music! So I walked back the rest while running a bit and walking a bit. I was not very happy because it was the last 10 minutes! I tried again on Sunday morning and that was good, did usual 5K under 34 minutes. I was so determined to do today too after work. I ran my 28 minutes, but nothing more. I see some of my fellow runners do W8 and run a bit more but I find it too hard to run that ‘bit more’! I feel so tired at the end but get the life back when I do the warming down walk. When I come home, I do few stretching exercises for about 5 minutes.

I know it is not the speed as Laura says but the distance, but I do a bit of ‘speed’ as much as I can do (not much though!!) because I want to finish the Race for Life that I have signed up to do in July under 30 minutes as my personal goal. I think I did my personal best today by running the 5K in 31 minutes 50 seconds. Never run that fast before. I should be happy but I feel a bit disappointed because I really had to push myself to do it. Am I being silly?? Am I not really fit as I should be?? Should I feel tired?? Please tell me!! Any advice, suggestion, comment is very much appreciated! Many thanks!

14 Replies


Stop there a second. Your times and distances are brilliant. Be chuffed with what you're achieving, cause I would be. I'm doing W8R3 tomorrow and have found it tough getting to the 28min point but that's when I up my speed. Slow n steady is working for me, it was definitely my mantra on Sunday as I ran with a Pinot grigiot infused hangover.

Still a few runs to go, your fitness will adapt with every run so just let it happen. You're motivated which is great, just don't let it drive you crazy!


Thank you Twedders….appreciate your comment! I remember how excited I was when I finished 20 minutes running first time, was it W6? I was simply ecstatic! Then I run for 28 minutes and I should be very happy, but the excitement is not there anymore. I just wonder whether I expect more from myself and put myself down a bit..or what!

Goodluck to you for your running!!!


" I just wonder whether I expect more from myself and put myself down a bit..or what! "

That sounds about right! :)

You are doing absolutely brilliantly - but you've set yourself a very high bar to get over with that 30 minutes. Honestly, you're very close to it, and many of us would be delighted (not mention flabbergasted!) to be doing so well. Be kind to yourself! Your sponsors would be really happy you're doing so well - they wouldn't want you to get all self-defeating just because you're 6% slower than you want to be, would they?

If you get to the 5-in-30, hurrah, but if you don't, is it really so very seriously bad? Really? Disappointing, yes - but maybe you're more likely to achieve it if you're being nice to yourself? Don't forget that by running pretty-much 32 minutes, you are doing 4 minutes more than the week 8 expected amount, and you're really pushing yourself. Wanting to do that and feel chilled is asking quite a bit!

Hugs - I'll be nice to you, even if you won't! :D


Hi greenlegs...thank you very much for your hug!!!! And for the comments that you have made, advise given..!

My sponsors really don't pressurise me to do 5K in 30 minutes, it is me who want to do it, and then I will feel that I have achieved something. You remember how excited I was when I did my 20 minutes non stop run? I was sooo happy for myself..but then when I do the 28 minutes, it did not feel as excited as it should be!

I did not run all 32 minutes, I ran 28 minutes and the rest is walk (4 minutes) and completed my 5K in approximately 32 minutes. I would be excited when I can complete my 5K in 30 minutes.

Now today I decided that I will be nice to myself, as you said, and I did not run, gave myself a rest! I will run tomorrow, it will be my W9R1!


blimey, you are amazing...... stop...take a breath and realise what you have awful lot. stop thrashing yourself and bask in the glory...well done xxxxx


Thank you juicyju..I should be nice to myself now..have a rest and relax is what I am going to do today..

Goodluck to you for your runs!!


Oh my goodness, dear Mini, please be kind to yourself and content with your achievements to date - I believe there have been umpteen graduates not completing 5kms within the scheme's weeks, but they've graduated for doing the 30 minutes jogs. You have done both by week 8! I've done the 30 min runs but am not yet close to 5kms and I'm planning to finish on Friday. I'll build up speed/distance afterwards. You have time to do the same: 3 runs with a day rest between each - you can be done at the weekend too! Possibly you're too tired at the moment - 3 attempts on 3 consecutive days... And quite likely some worries/niggles about your operation?! Give yourself the little breaks which Laura suggests and some time to relax and prepare for the 'finals' and your hospital appt next week. Your fan club here sends you best wishes and will look forward to celebrating your graduation and a happy, relaxed return to your running after a successful operation. Take care, Linda x


Thank you very much Linda, as I said to greenlegs, I really did not run all 30 minutes, I only ran 28 minutes and the next few minutes walked. Anyway I am going to listen to everyone here and give my body a rest and a relaxing day today. I will do the run (W9R1) tomorrow.

I found out that there is a park run in our local park on Saturdays to run 5K, I am wondering whether to do that on Saturday.

Thank you for your good wishes for the surgery too!

Good luck to you for your runs! We are finishing and becoming graduates at the same time..wish we could have had a graduation party afterwards!!


As others have said you've done brilliantly. Good to have a personal goal but the fact you've posted this means you've stopped to think a bit about it. In terms of Race for Life, the "race" is about something a lot bigger that a 5k run. If you've not done it before you will find it's an event with tremendous atmosphere but definitely not a competitive one. More practically it's not a timed race and with a big crowd it can take some time to cross the start line so you will need to time yourself.

If you are determined to go for the 5k in 30min target, I'd suggest your local Parkrun which is timed and a great event to be part of or find a timed race like some of the Bupa Great run series.


Many thanks wilmacgh for your kind comments..this is the first time I am doing Race for Life. I am doing it for a dear friend whom I lost (and missing dearly) to lung cancer. I have already hit my target of collecting £500 and wanting to do the next one as well- to run 5K under 30 minutes. Both goals are what I have set for myself, no pressure from anyone.

I just told Linda that I found out about the park run in our local park on Saturdays, I might do that on coming Saturday as you suggested.

Goodluck to you for your runs too!!


Don't be worried about 'dependency' on the music. Why do you think Olympic athletes always get their Personal Bests in major competitions? They're competing against someone or something. With our music, we're competing against it. If the pace is right (for us) it will pull us along just as surely as a crowd cheering. Why do you think gyms have all that awful piped musak? For exactly the same reason - people do better when they have the music in the background pulling them along. Why do shops and factories have music in the background? Because workers (and shoppers) perform better.

You ARE right - there is a strong connection between the brain and music - there's loads of work going on right now looking at the use of music to unlock the minds of dementia sufferers. I'm sure it's possible to become addicted.

But that's not exactly a problem is it? OK, so what if it is a performance enhancing drug? It's going to be a while before they have C25K doping tests!

Take care, enjoy. And when you've graduated you'll be able to load up your MP3 player with your own selection of mood improvers!




Thank you Graham, and thank you for the nice words about music..I love to listen to music when I cook, but never got used to listen to music when I go on bus/coach/train etc...Then for running it helps immensely as you said. Laura’s music is not the best when it comes to later weeks but I am still listening to her and would like to listen to her until I complete the C25K and then maybe I will down load my own music to listen to when I run. Any suggestions on how to find good ‘running’ music?

Good luck to you for your runs Graham!!


You are doing great. Remember as Laura says some runs are better than others and there is often on rhyme or reason why. I had three really bad runs a couple of weeks ago and was getting really down with it but since then I have done some longer/faster runs that felt easier so that has got me going again. If you are struggling try varying your route, go back to an old route you liked, or repeat a run to get your confidence/enthusiasm back. Maybe go out at a different time of day...

I too had the battery death problem a couple of times but managed to keep going to the end of the run. I now try to run with just one headphone in so that I am getting used to hearing myself (breathing/feet etc) and the world around me. I have also done a couple of runs with no music but as I'm using the music to keep my pace this is tricky...


Many thanks ktaylor217, I think it is a great idea to vary the route, I honestly getting bored with the same old route now for the last few weeks, and I have to crogo through a little town with a little pub and few restaurants that keep their tables and chairs outside since the weather is nice, so it is a busy place. I rather run somewhere else now. I have measured this route as 5K so did not want to change. My Garmin will be with me soon so I will know the distance I will be running and I will be able to run anywhere!! I have only 3 more runs to do to complete this so I will make it somehow and then it is all different routes! Thank you!

Some say that they prefer to run without music, but I think I would love the music on. I try to keep my ear-phones on by wearing a head band but then when it is warm my ears get too warm to wear the head band covering ears. Any suggestion about keeping ear-phones without them falling? I have one of those 'sports' ones but still they are very easy to fall!

Good luck to you for your runs!!


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