Monday 13 July 2020

Couch to 5K | Week 5

We’re another week on, and I’ve now completed my fifth week of Couch to 5K! This week was very different to all of the previous ones in terms of how the different runs were laid out. In previous weeks, I’ve had to do the same run three times over, but for this week each of my three runs were very different to each other. When I read ahead to see what I’d be doing I was a little taken aback. In my previous week, my longest run was 5 minutes, which is the same as the first run of this week, which is fine.

However, for my second run of the week the app wanted me to run for 8 minutes straight which looked like a good progression from the 5 minutes a day or so before. For the third run of the week however, there was only one running section, which was to last a whole 20 minutes. Being four times as long as the run at the start of the week I felt that this was a pretty significant jump to be made in just a few days

As much as following the instructions of the app has served me well so far, it felt like it was perhaps too big of a jump, and rather optimistic. So with that in mind, let’s have a look to see how I got on last week;

Run One

This was running increments of 5 minutes at a time, which I’d done a little of in the previous week so felt somewhat prepared for. My chest felt quite bunged up before I left thanks to my hay fever so I made sure to take my inhaler before I started. I needed it a few times throughout this run, but I’m pleased to say that I could run for five minutes non-stop and still feel reasonably comfortable.

I did the same thing as last week in terms of changing my route around to make sure I wasn’t running up the incline and remained on reasonably flat ground, which I feel was a help.

Run Two

For this run I needed to up my running time to 8 minutes at a time. I know it probably doesn’t sound like much, but you can really feel the difference between running 5 minutes to running for 8. Especially if you aren’t used to it.

Being conscious of this I made sure to have a reasonable lunch and eat a banana around mid-afternoon in an attempt to make sure I had a reasonable amount of energy in my system ready for my run. I feel like this made a reasonable difference when I was out because I managed the whole 8 minutes (twice) without too much of a struggle. Pacing has always been the biggest problem for me, as I constantly feel like I want to sprint but I managed to keep a pretty stead speed for the duration of my running on this day, which I think it a large factor to me being able to complete the full duration.

When I finished this run I still felt like I had a reasonable amount of energy so I ran for an extra mile, taking my total to just over 3 miles.  

Run Three

As I mentioned earlier, the third and final run for week 5 was the one I was kind of worried about. Progressing from 5 minute running sections on the Monday to a full 20 minutes with no breaks by Friday with only an 8 minute section on the Wednesday to bridge the gap felt like it would be too big of a jump. I guess progression doesn’t happen in the comfort zone, and the app hasn’t let me down so far.

Just like with the second run I made sure to eat well during the day so that I was well fuelled. I knew that 20 minutes was too long for me to keep turning around so I ended up just doing laps of the field which meant that there was the odd uphill section included. I didn’t actually manage to run for a full 20 minutes without stopping, but I did manage to only have two periods where I slowed down and only for about 10-15 seconds each. So whilst I didn’t manage the whole think in one go my breaks were very short – and my first one was after almost 12 minutes of running, so I was quite pleased.  

That same week I managed to get out for another run on the Sunday. It was just a slow, lazy run, especially given that I went out in the middle of the day so it was still very warm, plus I hadn’t eaten yet so was running on empty. It wasn’t my fastest run, but it wasn’t my slowest either, and the fact that I was out in the first place is testament to how well this process is going.


Before I started C25K the idea of going out for a run for any length of time just wasn’t in my remit. So the fact that I’m not only going, but also going more than I need to shows huge process in my mind-set. I’m now entering week 6, and officially have less to go than I’ve done. It’s flown by, and at the moment I’m really glad I started.  

Have you ever tried Couch to 5k?


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