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I'm doing the Couch to 5K program and am on week 6. It says you can run for time or distance. But on the training schedule, you have to be running a 10 minute mile to keep up with the distance (if you're running for time). I'm a very beginning jogger and I can't run a 10 minute mile, more like a 13-14 minute mile.
So my question is if I follow the time amounts for the training, I'm not running as far as the people who follow the distance amounts. I know I can just run longer so that I'm meeting the distance, but then I'm not running for time, I'm running for distance. I can't run any faster right now. What are others doing?
The program is designed to get you running either 5k or for 30 minutes. If you run it for distance, you'll be able to cover 5k by the end. If you run it for time, you'll be able to run for 30 consecutive minutes. Both are great accomplishments. Since you're running for time, it's okay that you don't cover the same distance as someone else.
When I did the program, I ran for time for the first six weeks, then converted over to distance for the last three. That was important for me because I was scheduled to run a 5k race shortly after completing the program and I wanted to be sure that I could run the entire way. Week seven is the first week that all the runs look the same, so that was a logical place to switch from time to distance.
Ultimately, do whatever works for you. It doesn't matter if you don't run quite as far as others. You're still out there moving your body and teaching it how to run.
Good luck with the program!
2012 Race Schedule
Providence Marathon (4:48:55)
Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)
Chicago Marathon (October 7)
Thank you for your response. I'm just a little concerned because I'm signed up for a 5k in a few weeks and I really hope I can run the whole distance. I like how you switched to distance after week 6. I'm going to give that a shot. Thanks again!
I finished the program by time and then just switched to adding distance for the next couple of weeks until I was up to 5k. I found that the increases in the last couple weeks of the program were relatively easy for me.
Started C25K 4/14/11, finished 6/23/11
Allen Stone 5k 7/16/11 (32:59)
Started B210k 7/20/11, finished 8/31/11
McDonald's Richmond Half-Marathon 11/12/11 (2:05:29)
Shamrock Half-Marathon 3/18/12 (2:09:43)
Monument Ave 10k 3/31/12 (no goal -- just hoping I'm still walking after the half)