I just started the C25K program in June and i am currently on W4D3 [actually, im on my second round of week 4 as i had to repeat it]. I have absolutely no experience with running and i was hopeing someone could enlighten me on what my speed setting should be during my jogging periods. I have been setting the speed to 5.0 during my jogs but am having a hard time during this particular week and i think i need to bring my speed down.
I realize everyone is different, i just want to get an idea of what other people are doing.
I vary between a jog at a setting of 4 and at a setting of 5, although I have been known to use 6 once in a while if I'm feeling very ambitious . I'm even okay with starting at 5 and downshifting during the jogging period, or going the other way. In real life, when you're running, you don't have that belt forcing you to stay on pace, and so unles you are doing the program to become a super competitive athlete, I don't think it matters. If you are feeling you're having a hard time staying comfortable at 5 then bring it down to 4. I think I read somewhere that a lot of us beginners start out too fast, and find we should really slow up, build strength and lung capacity and THEN work on speed. If you are like me, this is hard to do, because I am very impatient. But I would honestly rather run for a very long time comfortably, than hurt myself and wind up unable to run and enjoy it. Hope that helps!
C25K Training begun (Treadmill) 6/1/10); restarted 7/11/12
First run OUTDOORS - Club Fun Run 1.75 mile circuit time 26:06:72 on 7/29/10
Proud C25K Grad, 8/7/10
College Park Cares 5K Sponsored by Vecna Technologies, Inc. 9/25/10 44:04.4
Fell off of the regular running routine, experienced the DC Derecho Disaster, and now aiming to get back on track!
Jug Bay Run for Wildlife 5K 11/3/12
You should set the treadmill to whatever speed has you running at a pace that lets you speak (or sing, I suppose) in short phrases. If you're getting short of breath, that's a sign you're going too fast. If you're able to talk non-stop-stream-of-consciousness style, you need to speed up a bit.
Think in terms of military cadences: short phrases that can be chanted/sung in one breath. They're about a half-dozen words (give or take) per line. If you can run while doing something like that, you should be just fine.
When I first started out, I was jogging at around a 13 min/mile pace (that would translate to about 4.6 mph). You need to run at whatever pace feels comfortable for you -- don't get caught up in what others are doing!
Keep in mind that some days will be easier than others. You might be able to crank out the run portions of the program at 5.5 mph one day, then you might find yourself struggling with the next workout at 4.8 mph. Everybody has good days and bad days when running. The key is being consistent over time. Stick with it!
Congratulations on your progress and good luck with the rest of the program!
2012 Race Schedule
Providence Marathon (4:48:55)
Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)
Chicago Marathon (October 7)
As others have said the setting it "should" be set to is a speed that enables you to have a possibly slightly winded conversation with someone if they were running with you. In my opinion the *real* goal of C25K is to get someone to to the point they can run 5K - whatever the speed is. C25K gives someone a framework to get them into a habit, show (experience) that there will be good days and bad days, and even on the bad days we tend to feel the good-tired afterward. It also hopefully is motivating to see how, what once was hard, becomes easier with persistent effort.
Especially when starting out, but even for some after they're established runners, speed is not important. This is one of the things I love about this sport/hobby - people can pursue it and get out of it a wide variety of things.
Good luck and keep it up.
P.S.: The treadmill is invaluable - but don't forget to run outside, too, if your schedule and environment allow.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan