I'm in week 4, going well so far, and was reviewing the program for the coming weeks and was puzzling about weeks 5 and 6, as they deviate from the pattern employed by all of the other weeks, which are the same pattern for all three days of the week.
I'm wondering, if you can make it to the end of week 5, and run 20 minutes straight, why would you would go back to alternating shorter run-rest intervals at the beginning of week 6. Why not a linear progression for those weeks?
Week 5, Day 1: run 5, rest 3, run 5, rest 3
Week 5, Day 2: run 8, rest 5, run 8
Week 5, Day 3: run 10, rest 3, run 10
Week 6, Day 1: run 15
Week 6, Day 2: run 20
Week 6, Day 3: run 22
Week 7: run 25
Week 8: run 28
Week 9: run 30
Also, the jump from end of week 4, with 5 minute long runs, to the end of week 6, with a single 22 minute run, is quite an increase compared to the other weeks. It almost seems like weeks 5 and 6 should actually be 3-4 separate weeks of more gradual linear progression.
I know I can just do whatever I want, and don't have to stick to the program religiously. I'm just curious of the reasoning for and benefits of the non-linear and accelerated progression in weeks 5 and 6.
For those who have completed the program, did you find weeks 5 and 6 "harder" or "odd" or "disruptive" to your previous progress to that point, or did you notice any benefit to the unusual patterns?
I'm toying with the idea of expanding and rearranging weeks 5 and 6 into four weeks, using programs mixed from weeks 5 and 6 as follows:
W5D1, W6D1, W6D1
W5D2, W5D2, W6D2
W6D2, W5D3, W5D3
W6D1, W6D1, W6D1
5(3)5(3)5, 5(3)8(3)5, 5(3)8(3)5
8(5)8, 8(5)8, 10(5)10
10(5)10, 20, 20
22, 22, 22
which seems a more reasonable progression (though still with more aggressive increments than the rest of the program).
And keeping the existing day programs means I can still use the ready-made podcasts available -- just out of the normal sequence.
I'm exactly in week 6 right now. And I can tell, just do the training as it says. I was frightened when I saw the '20 min' run in week 5, and in the end it wasn't that hard. I'm no running specialist, but I think that the program is not linear because it aims at both speed and endurance. So, the run-rest intervals may improve your speed as the long runs your endurance. This way, we should be able to finish the training running 5k in under 30 min.
This is just my experience, as I said, I'm not a professional. This C25K, in my opinion, is simply great - just trust in this training plan and in yourself.
Sounds like a good adjustment to me! I'm actually going to add this in and print it out! Thank you for the doing the work of spreading it out a bit...the last few times I tried to run this I quit right around week 5-6 because the jump is too much. Yes, I am THAT out of shape!
Mamabear to 7 blessings!
I just finished week 6, day 1. I admit I, like you, found it a bit daunting when I looked ahead at about the same place you did, but I did not adjust the program, and made it through ok. I did notice that I slowed down and concentrated more on endurance and form, rather than just making it through the workout. I also noticed, starting in week five, that after starting the second run, after the first walking break, that I felt like I was running sluggish and "out of tempo", so that 20 minute run without a walking break did not seem so daunting after all.
For disclosure purposes, I have a long history of stress fractures, and am getting back into running after two years of Fosomax, and for that reason I have not hesitated to take as many days off between runs as I thought I needed, so in the beginning I was, perhaps running 2x per week instead of three, and even now I probably get in about five runs in a two week period, so I'm really stretching the nine week program out a little longer. Perhaps that has made it a little easier for me to stick to the program as written.