C25K Graduate

It’s official. I’ve finally done it. I’ve graduated from the C25K program!

It has taken me 15 weeks and 1 day, but I can now run 5K without stopping, and it feels amazing!

Like many others, when I first started the program, I could barely manage to run for sixty seconds. I was puffing and panting and wheezing all the way, but once I got that first run under my belt, there was no stopping me. It felt great to be out there on the street, along the seafront or in the park, knowing that as long as I was doing what the program told me to do, my body would be adapting and strengthening itself to be able to cope with the next step up.

Of course, along the way, there was injury, illness, exhaustion, missed weeks and even repeats, but the one thing that kept me going was that I knew that no run I ever attempted would even come close to being as hard as that first one. And today was no exception.

My final run of C25K should have happened yesterday, in fact, it should have happened months ago, but life gets in the way sometimes, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I had planned to do my first 5K Park Run yesterday, but after a very busy summer at work we decided to hit the pub at 5:30 on Friday. With good company and half-price cocktails, I didn’t get home until 1:00 am, so there was no way I was in any condition to run at 9:00 am. So I went out this morning instead.

Even though I’d missed Saturday’s Park Run, I still wanted to run the route. I’m used to running on the flat so the hills of Hove Park were going to be a challenge. And they were. But it was nothing I couldn’t handle. The C25K program had prepared me well and I completed the run in 33 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s an average pace of 6:37 per km (10:39 per mile), and my best yet!

W9-2013-09-29

My next goal is to run 5K in under 30 minutes but I’m not sure how to go about achieving that. If you have any tips, advice or know of any good follow up programs that focus on improving pace, please share in the comments.

And, if you’re doing C25K, keep up the great work. The training doesn’t always go as planned, but you can do it and it will be worth it in the end.

Have a great weekend!

5K Splits-2013-09-29

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23 responses to “C25K Graduate”

  1. jamhunt says :

    I’m no professional at running, but I know what works for me. Adding in speed work outs to your weekly regime. There are plenty to chose from online, but I guess as a base doing 400m intervals at the speed you would like to race at, start at 4 or 5 intervals and add 2 or so extra intervals every week during your speed session. There are heaps of variations out there, this is what has worked for me 🙂

    • theblogrunner says :

      Sounds great. There are loads of variations out there, but most seem to start with 400m intervals and adding a couple on each week as you say. Cheers. 🙂

    • azmattmorgan says :

      Totally agree! I read somewhere that you should only do speedwork if you want to improve. It’s important to warm up and cool down with the shorter/faster intervals, otherwise you run the risk of injury.

      • theblogrunner says :

        I definitely overdid it with my first speed work session – no injuries, but completely exhausted for a couple of days after. Still, we live and learn. 🙂

  2. Lucy @ Lucy On The Lookout says :

    Awesome, congrats on finishing the 5k, I remember the feeling when I first completed 5k, it is so amazing because I wasn’t sort of sure if I’d ever get there! In terms of increasing speed, I find hill sprints useful, for a quick example:

    http://lucylookout.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/leave-your-lungs-at-home-lets-eat/

    Are you tempted to run further too :)? That was my next challenge,getting to 10k and then doing a race!

    • theblogrunner says :

      I definitely need to practice hills, so hill sprints sounds like a good plan. Thanks for the tip. 🙂
      I’m thinking of doing 10K eventually too, but for now I just want to get a good time on the 5K.

  3. couchtorunning says :

    Congrats! I’m starting week 6 of the program and I can’t wait to 5k min stop

  4. shazruns says :

    Congrats. Intervals are the only way to get faster or fartlek where u run fast between lampposts oh and to do Parkrun weekly that us huge incentive

    • theblogrunner says :

      I read about fartlek recently and it sounds like a lot of fun! I guess I just need to get some kind of schedule or routine in place to put it all together. Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  5. artisticsharon says :

    Woohoo, Congratulations on finishing the program!! And at a good pace too! I think you’ll find that when you run during a race with other runners your pace will pick up. One other thing to try to improve your pace is to Chi Running; the theory is to run at 90 steps per minute (I use a metronome app on my phone) and change your lean and the length of your stride to increase your pace. I posted some details on earlier this month (too bad I haven’t incorporated into my workout yet 😦 ).
    http://artisticsharon1216.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/pleasantly-surprised/

  6. Hokkaido Gaijin says :

    Congratulations on finishing the C25K program, what now?? Nest milestone 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra the skies the limit..

  7. Amy @ The Deviated Runner says :

    HUGE congrats! That’s awesome!!
    I still can’t run the full 5K, but sprint exercises(speed trials) are a great way to improve time. I’ve noticed a huge change in my speed since starting cross training and sprints. Good luck!

  8. Paul Hope says :

    Parkruns a must. Great camaraderie, support and friendships made while pounding the park. I used Swindon Parkrun to build up my pace (But haven’t reached my PB again that I earned 18 months ago), and club runs for distance. Keep a pace that you can still talk with, and you will find plenty of people in the run that are also chasing their own distance, non walking, getting faster, further targets as you are. If you haven’t read my introduction before, you will see that I was a complete non runner 2 1/2 years ago, and now as a 47 year old asthmatic will be able to add the London Marathon to my medal tally. Keep it up. Great reading too.

    • theblogrunner says :

      Thanks Paul. I’m really looking forward to the Parkrun this weekend. While I do enjoy the solitude of running, it will be good to run with other people – not quite the London Marathon, I know, but maybe I’ll see you there in a couple of years. Best of luck with the training. 😉

  9. ruechat says :

    Congratulations on finishing!! A fantastic achievement 🙂 it’s been really cool following your progress & I look forward to reading about more running adventures!

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