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You have finished C25K, now what?

rduhlirrduhlir Posts: 3,605Member Member Posts: 3,605Member Member
As that graduation dates draws closer, and you put more and more miles upon your feet, you start to wonder...

"Where am I going to go from here?"

You have endless possibilities...here are a few of them:

1. Continue on to B210K.

This continues where C25K leaves off. Many will look at the schedule and think, "Wait...I just ran 30 minutes. Why is it making me walk again?" The simple answer, is that walking is another training tool for runners. It is a beginner's mentality that you should run, run, run. Many fail to see one of the biggest reasons you walked in C25K. While part of it was to help you recover, and give you short little breaks of walks, another reason for those walks was to get time on your feet. Take this article from running coach Jeff Galloway:

http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html

He states:
By using muscles in different ways from the beginning, your legs keep their bounce as they conserve resources. When a muscle group, such as your calf, is used continuously step by step, it fatigues relatively soon. The weak areas get overused and force you to slow down later or scream at you in pain afterward. By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity. For veteran marathoners, this is often the difference between achieving a time goal or not.

Walk breaks will significantly speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair. The early walk breaks erase fatigue, and the later walk breaks will reduce or eliminate overuse muscle breakdown.

2. Build your weekly mileage base.

By the end of Week 9, most people are averaging 7-9 miles a week. By building on to that base you are incorporating the beginning runners ultimate speed increase strategy....adding more miles. Did you happen to notice that by the end of C25K you could possibly run slightly faster on the longer running sets than from the beginning (by longer I mean 8 minutes and up). This is because for beginner runners, the longer you run the faster you will end up running.

http://www.davidhays.net/running/buildingbase.html

The website above provides a basic mileage building program that some can easily shift to from C25K.

The two programs above are only a sample of the possibilities that you can do. Remember, don't stop pushing yourself at the end. Strive for more and you will find yourself accomplishing feats you never thought possible.

Enjoy, and happy running!
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Replies

  • likitisplitlikitisplit Posts: 9,542Member Member Posts: 9,542Member Member
    Brilliant! Succinct and thorough.
  • sarahhorrigansarahhorrigan Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    Thank you! This was perfectly timed. I just did my 30mins of running today for the first time and amazed myself by managing it fine. But then I was thinking 'and now what?'. You just answered that for me! Thank you!!
  • jbirkett7jbirkett7 Posts: 36Member Member Posts: 36Member Member
    Thanks for this, I'm going to finish my second C25k next week, because I lost momentum without any clear goals afterwards. These are great options!
  • rduhlirrduhlir Posts: 3,605Member Member Posts: 3,605Member Member
  • rduhlirrduhlir Posts: 3,605Member Member Posts: 3,605Member Member
  • rduhlirrduhlir Posts: 3,605Member Member Posts: 3,605Member Member
    Time to add more....don't ya'll love my posts. Hehe...

    Congrats again to all the new graduates. Sorry there are no physical diplomas and no anthem to march to, other than the screaming cheers of fans that line the finish lines of the races you will be attending. Now that you have passed on from novice to beginner, there are some terms you should become familiar with as you continue on with your training. Whether you chose to do Bridge to 10K or decide to improve your speed on 5Ks, these are terms you will find when you browse the many training plans that are available to you.

    Fartlek> Builds Speed and Pace

    It's true: fartlek is almost as fun to do as it is to say. "Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and consists of bursts of speed in the middle of a training run. Essentially, it's an unstructured interval session, the track without the rules. Fartlek gets your legs used to a variety of paces and in the process gives you an enhanced awareness of your ability to keep up those paces at various distances.

    After warming up, run at an easy training pace, throwing in bursts of speed for various distances throughout the run. Vary the speed and times of the speed sections, from as short as 15 seconds to as long as two or three minutes. Between these bursts, allow yourself enough recovery time to match roughly 2/3 of the effort time. The recovery pace, though, should be faster than the recovery jog you might do during intervals on the track; keep it moving at an easy training pace.

    It's a good idea to pick out a landmark -- a tree or a fire hydrant or a bend in the path -- where a speed section will end before you start picking up the pace. In other words, you have to know how far you are running for each section. Because the idea is to keep up a constant pace until you reach that landmark, it is important to pace yourself at the beginning. Don't tear off so fast that you can't keep up the pace through the end of each speed section.

    A fartlek session can be as easy or as difficult as you wish to make it. Use fartlek for anything from a light recovery run to a grueling workout. As always, however, start out easy. Your first fartlek sessions should contain distances and paces that you feel comfortable with and that you feel you can gradually increase in future sessions. A twenty to thirty-minute fartlek session should be adequate for most runners. There is very little reason for them to go as long as an hour.

    Intervals> Builds Speed

    The track. While most elite runners get their start there, the great majority of runners came to the sport by way of local roads, sidewalks and forest paths. For the average runner, the track seems all too intimidating, almost scary. Fact is, though, the track is not simply the domain of the elites. Any runner at any level can improve her performance with a little help from the 400-meter oval. This is what intervals are about.

    Interval sessions are the most formal of speed workouts in that the distances and target paces are precisely fixed before you run. The idea is to run a series of relatively short repetitions over distances from 220 yards to one mile, with rest periods of slower running in between. Because of their very nature, intervals involve a shorter period of effort than your usual run of, say, 45 minutes at a steady pace. This allows you to run much faster than you usually do, adapting your body to higher demands and your leg muscles to faster turnover. Over time, you become more physiologically efficient.

    Because of the clearly measured distances, the track is an ideal place to do intervals, but some may find the never-changing scenery to be, well, maybe just a little dull. In that case, you should feel free to do your intervals on the road, using permanent landmarks to measure distance.

    The various distances, as you might guess, are each best suited to runners with specific goals. The 220-yard run (1/2 lap, or 200 meters) is best for short-distance training (5K and under) to improve speed. The 440 (one lap, or 400 meters) helps improve overall conditioning at slower paces, and at faster paces is good final race preparation. The 880 (two laps, or 800 meters) is used to develop speed when training for races 10K and under and to condition form and pace when training for longer races. Finally, the mile is used most often to train for longer races, from 10K to marathon, to help improve pace judgment and overall conditioning.

    Tempo Runs> Builds Speed and pace

    This is hands-down the least complicated variety of speedwork. There are no distances to keep track of, no split times to remember, no hassles. All you have to do is run faster than your usual training pace, somewhere right around your 10K race pace. Unlike most speedwork which consists of relatively short bursts of high effort, tempo runs call for a single sustained effort. The result is that your body learns race economy: running at a fast pace for relatively long periods of time. Tempo runs will give your top speed a boost, too. By running nearly at race pace, your body becomes accustomed to running close to its upper limit (though not exceeding it). In doing so, you actually increase that upper limit, and you become gradually faster.

    After your usual warmup routine, run at your easy training pace for at least ten minutes. Then pick up the pace. As mentioned above, this speed should be right around your 10K race pace (around 80%-85% of maximum heart rate, if you use a heart rate monitor). The time, distance and pace of your tempo run, as with all phases of your running, depends on both your ability and your goals. For the distance you choose (3 and 5 miles are popular tempo distances), find a pace that is not so fast that you cannot sustain it for the distance, but not so slow that you do not feel challenged toward the end. Tempo runs should be tough, but not impossible. Depending on how you feel on any given day, how much spring is in your legs, and how far you are running, your tempo pace may vary from session to session. That's fine. The consistency that counts is the pace within each session. Try to keep your speed level for the full length of each tempo run.

    Don't worry too much about figuring out the exact distance of your tempo run. It's really not terribly important. Three to six miles is probably a good range. The one value of knowing how far you are running, though, is that you are able to gauge your improvement over time. Still, this is easily done by doing most of your tempo runs on the same route. You may not know the specific distance, but you can still compare your times for that same fixed route.

    Hills Build Strength

    People often times think that the hills are what give you speed. Which yes, hills can help you with speed, it actually increases your strength. This in turn gives a stronger push off from the ground and can result in quicker turn over. Hills are another form of interval training, and each hill should have a form of recover after it. For example, you run a 200 yard hill at 5K pace, then walk back to start and repeat for however many times your training calls for.

    Long Run Builds Endurance

    This is the one thing that scares beginners the most. They get into a training routine and then see a dreaded 6 mile run at the end of the week. People forget that they can walk in this and that the pace for this is easy. This should be at the same speed as an easy or recovery run is at. Your long runs are what build up your aerobic endurance. The long runs help you to create a long distance stride and allow you time to practice using any gadgets you get. For example, you bought a new jogging bottle...do not use it race day without having practiced with it first! Same with water stations....you can practice running and gulping, especially if you are like me and either end up with a shower or end up drowning as you inhale at the same time you try to swallow. Yeah, yeah, laugh it up.

    There you go, a short and easy break down of what all those things mean when you see a training routine. Ultimately your biggest tool that will help you improve will be distance and time. The longer you run the better you will get. Enjoy and happy running!
  • timeasterdaytimeasterday Posts: 1,368Member Member Posts: 1,368Member Member
    Good info! Today I do my first interval session and then some hill climbs on Thursday. After that it's a short run on Saturday followed by a long run on Sunday. That'll be my weekly pattern for the next two months, building up a little each week.
  • fitpleasefitplease Posts: 657Member Member Posts: 657Member Member
    Moderator, please pin this thread. This is good stuff! Thanks!
  • rduhlirrduhlir Posts: 3,605Member Member Posts: 3,605Member Member
    Intermediate 5K Plan

    This is for those who already run regularly and are looking to impove time.

    Week One:
    Monday: 3 miles plus 5 X strides
    Tuesday: Rest
    Wednesday: 4 miles plus 5 X strides
    Thursday: Rest
    Friday: 4 miles plus 5 X strides
    Saturday: 2-3 miles; 15 minute core workout

    Week Two:
    Monday: 3 miles plus 5 X strides
    Tuesday: Rest
    Wednesday: 4 miles with 2 X 5 min at SS intensity; 15 minute core workout
    Thursday: Rest
    Friday: 3 miles plus 5 X strides
    Saturday: 5-6 miles, plus 15 minute core workout
    Sunday: Rest

    Week Three:
    Monday: 3 miles plus 6 X strides
    Tuesday: Rest
    Wednesday: 4 miles with 3 X 5 min at SS intensity, 15 minute core workout
    Thursday: Rest
    Friday: 3 miles plus 6 X strides
    Saturday: 6 miles with the last 15 min at SS intensity, 15 minute core workout
    Sunday: Rest

    Week Four:
    Monday: 3 miles plus 6 X strides
    Tuesday: Rest
    Wednesday: 4 miles with 2 X 10 minutes at SS intensity, 15 minute core workout
    Thursday: Rest
    Friday: 3 miles plus 5 X strides
    Saturday: 6 miles with the last 15 minutes at SS intensity, 15 minute core workout
    Sunday: Rest

    Week Five:
    Monday: 3 miles plus 4 X strides
    Tuesday: Rest
    Wednesday: 3 miles and 15 minute core workout
    Thursday: Rest
    Friday: 2 miles
    Saturday: 2 miles plus 3 X strides
    Sunday: Race Day

    Intermediate Plan Key:
    Weekly Mileage: Expect where noted, weekly mileage should be run at perceived effort (PE) of 6 out of 10 (10 being the fastest as you could go).
    Strides: After completing the run, run hard for 20 seconds and recover with easy jogging or walking for 45 seconds.
    Core Workout: Do a series of basic exercises to strengthen core muscles and improve posture.
    SS Intensity: Intervals at Steady State Intensity should be run at a PE of 7 or 8. Do five minutes of easy running between SS intervals.

    Runner's World Complete Guild to Running
  • rduhlirrduhlir Posts: 3,605Member Member Posts: 3,605Member Member
    Couch to Half Marathon

    Week #1 Mon: 2A Tues: Off Wed: 2A Thurs: Off Fri: Off Sat: 2A Sun: Off Total: 6
    Week #2 Mon: 2B Tues: Off Wed: 2B Thurs: Off Fri: Off Sat: 2B Sun: Off Total: 6
    Week #3 Mon: 2C Tues: Off Wed: 2C Thrus: Off Fri: Off Sat: 2C Sun: Off Total: 6
    Week #4 Mon: 2D Tues: Off Wed: 2D Thurs: Off Fri: Off Sat: 3E Sun: Off Total: 7
    Week #5 Mon: 2F Tues: Off Wed: 2F Thrus: Off Fri: Off Sat: 3G Sun: Off Total: 7
    Week #6 Mon: 3G Tues: Off Wed: 3G Thurs: Off Fri: 2F Sat: 3H Sun: Off Total: 11
    Week #7 Mon: 3H Tues: Off Wed: 3H Thurs: Off Fri: 3G Sat: 4I Sun: Off Total: 13
    Week #8 Mon: 3H Tues: Off Wed: 2 Thurs: Off Fri: 3H Sat: 4I Sun: Off Total: 12
    Week #9 Mon: 2 Tues: Off Wed: 3J Thurs: Off Fri: 2 Sat: 5K Sun: Off Total: 12
    Week #10 Mon: 2.5 Tues: Off Wed: 3J Thurs: Off Fri: 2.5 Sat: 5K Sun: Off Total: 13
    Week #11 Mon: 2.5 Tues: Off Wed: 4L Thurs: Off Fri: 2.5 Sat: 5K Sun: Off Total: 14
    Week #12 Mon: 2 Tues: Off Wed: 3 Thurs: Off Fri: 2 Sat: 5M Sun: Off Total: 12
    Week #13 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 4N Thurs: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 6O Sun: Off Total: 16
    Week #14 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 4N Thrus: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 6O Sun: Off Total: 16
    Week #15 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 4N Thurs: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 7P Sun: Off Total: 17
    Week #16 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 4N Thrus: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 7P Sun: Off Total: 17
    Week #17 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 4N Thurs: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 8Q Sun: Off Total: 18
    Week #18 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 5R Thurs: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 8Q Sun: Off Total: 19
    Week #19 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 5R Thurs: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 9S Sun: Off Total: 20
    Week #20 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 6T Thrus: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 9S Sun: Off Total: 21
    Week #21 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 6T Thurs: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 10U Sun: Off Total: 22
    Week #22 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 8V Thrus: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 10U Sun: Off Total: 24
    Week #23 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 6T Thurs: Off Fri: 3 Sat: 12W Sun: Off Total: 24
    Week #24 Mon: 3 Tues: Off Wed: 3 Thurs: Off Fri: Off Sat: 2 Sun: 13.1 (Race) Total: 21.1

    INSTRUCTIONS
    A: Warm up with a 5 minute walk, then jog 30 seconds and walk 60 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles.
    B: Warm up with a 5 minute walk, then jog 60 seconds and walk 90 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles.
    C: Warm up with a 5 minute walk, then jog 90 seconds and walk 90 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles.
    D: Jog 90 seconds and walk 60 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles
    E: Jog 90 seconds and walk 60 seconds until you’ve gone 3 miles
    F: Jog ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 2 miles.
    G: Jog ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 5 more times for a total of 3 miles.
    H: Jog ½ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 3 miles.
    I: Jog ¾ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 miles.
    J: Run 1 mile, rest 3 minutes – repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 miles.
    K: Jog ¾ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 4 more times for a total of 5 miles.
    L: Run 1 mile, rest 3 minutes – repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 miles.
    M: Jog 1 mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 5 miles.
    N: Run 2 miles, rest 3 minutes – repeat 1 more time for a total of 4 miles.
    O: Jog 1 mile and walk 1 minute until you’ve completed 6 miles.
    P: Jog 1 mile and walk 1 minute until you’ve completed 7 miles.
    Q: Jog 1 mile and walk 1 minute until you’ve completed 8 miles.
    R: Run 1 mile, rest 2 minutes – repeat 4 more times for a total of 5 miles.
    S: Jog 1 mile and walk 1 minute until you’ve completed 9 miles.
    T: Run 2 miles, rest 2 minutes – repeat 2 more times for a total of 6 miles.
    U: Jog 1 mile and walk 1 minute until you’ve completed 10 miles.
    V: Run 2 miles and rest 3 minutes – repeat 3 more times for a total of 8 miles.
    W: Jog 1 mile and walk 1 minute until you’ve completed 12 miles.
  • mamabear272mamabear272 Posts: 268Member, Premium Member Posts: 268Member, Premium Member
    I use Zen Labs C210K trainer. It is exactly the same as their C25K trainer for the first part but continues to a 10K all in the same app. I'm loving it and I have somewhere to go after C25K. My intent is to increase speed and endurance from this.
  • likitisplitlikitisplit Posts: 9,542Member Member Posts: 9,542Member Member
    The Runner's World beginners page has a lot of great info, including plans to increase distance and speed after you are able to run 5k:

    http://www.runnersworld.com/the-starting-line

    Additionally, there is a supportive community of beginners and experts for any questions you might have. The Newbie Chronicles, by Mark Parent are inspirational gold as well.
  • bttrthanevrbttrthanevr Posts: 615Member Member Posts: 615Member Member
    I need more time to digest this...but this thread is gold!
  • jmelindyjmelindy Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    So GLAD i found this group and thread!
    Just finishing C25K ( yes it feels great!)
    but my problem is speed
    at the beginning I took some advice to go as slow as I needed to, and I now am jogging ( I feel fraudulent calling it running )
    at a very very slow rate. so slwo i can't even say it out loud!
    So time to pick up the speed, want to do a real 5k in the fall and don't want to be the one closing and locking the door at the end lol
  • likitisplitlikitisplit Posts: 9,542Member Member Posts: 9,542Member Member
    You are running. Don't doubt yourself. You will pick up speed the more you run. Newbie gains are awesome. I think I went from 15 minute miles to 12:30s in a couple of months after C25k. I then dropped another minute before summer got started and I got slower.

    Don't worry about your time. I finished my first 5k in 40 minutes. Bttrthnvr finished faster, was dead last, and MEDALED in her age group (and she's only 38). However, her town seems to be filled with really competitive runners. Most 5ks/fun runs are about 25% walkers, so you should be fine as long at a finish time isn't posted (for instance, the half marathon I'm doing closes the course after 2 and a half hours so the marathoners have room to come through.)

    If you want to start working on speed, a great strategy is to train for a 10k (and to join us over on the Bridge to 10k message board).
  • ryansgirl101302ryansgirl101302 Posts: 38Member Posts: 38Member
    Thank you! I just finished the 9 weeks in July and have just been running 3x weekly. I am glad I joined this group! hope it helps to keep me motivated!
  • AglaeaCAglaeaC Posts: 2,057Member Member Posts: 2,057Member Member
  • AdobeTreeAdobeTree Posts: 49Member Member Posts: 49Member Member
    I started C25K in April and took three months to get semi-ready for my first 5k. My first time was 47 minutes and I did another one last weekend at 44 minutes. :happy: I almost quit running after the first one because I didn't have any goals set for afterward. This time I recovered quickly and I've already started the Gateway to 8K....Problem is, I can't find any 8K races. I looked on the websites for Runner's World and Active but didn't see anything. I enjoy running and want to keep up but I'm not convinced I want to spend the time training for super long runs.

    I thought about just working on improving time...but I think my body is built for long and slow rather than fast and short.
  • bttrthanevrbttrthanevr Posts: 615Member Member Posts: 615Member Member
    Congratulations on beating your PR! You should shoot for 10K. Really, what's one more mile after you can run 5? There are lots of races at the 10K distance (at least in my area). I know what you mean about long and slow...I feel the same way about myself, so I am currently working toward 10K. :-)
  • likitisplitlikitisplit Posts: 9,542Member Member Posts: 9,542Member Member
    Google 8k races, you can pull up stuff that's on Active that you can't find with their search. But, really, an extra mile is 15 more minutes at the most.
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