Couch To 5k First Timer's Experience - Week Five

Hello and welcome to the latest instalment of my Couch to 5K Series. I’ve just completed Week 5 of the Couch to 5K training plan and only have four short weeks left until I’m finished! Gulp I can’t quite believe it to be honest! How did I go from someone who detested running and would often laugh at seeing the runners out the in the wind and rain….to actually being out in the wind and rain, running!


Yeah, me either to be honest but here I am, getting up early and running around the Stray, like I know what I’m doing! No, but seriously I can’t quite believe I’ve completed five Weeks of the Couch to 5K training plan, that I’ve stuck to it for so long and haven’t been put off by either the weather or the damn busy roads I have to try to cross everyday!

Couch to 5K Week 5


In Week five the Couch to 5K training plan, each of the three runs are different and they vary in the length of the runs each time.

Run 1:

Run 5 minutes

Walk 3 minutes

Run 5 minutes

Walk 3 minutes

Run 5 minutes

Run 2:

Run 8 minutes

Walk 5 minutes

Run 8 minutes

Run 3

Run 20 minutes

So as you can see there are different intervals in each run, varying the length of running each time to eventually ease you into being able to run for 20 minutes – which should be easy if you’ve been following all the previous weeks of the Couch to 5k training plan.

What I like about the Couch to 5K training plan, is how it eases you into running for longer periods of time. I’ve felt very supported throughout, by the ever so lovely Sarah Millican spurring me on at every step and ensuring me that I’m doing the right thing by jogging slowly and taking it at my own pace. Extremely important during the 20 minute non-stop run!

How I'm Feeling After Week 5 of Couch to 5K

I’ve actually still be been enjoying this training plan – despite having to contend with busy roads and bad weather! I must say I much prefer running in intervals – but I think this only because I wasn’t sure I could actually run non-stop for 20 minutes!

I’ve found that by doing this Couch to 5K training plan my overall fitness is improving, as I don’t get as tired when I’m out dog walking with my work wife, walking up the hill in the local Valley Gardens. I used to get quite tired by even walking up the gentle hill, but now it’s very different. This must be doing something right ay?!

I’ve also been trying to challenge myself to run up and over a railway bridge which is just over the road from where I live, as hill training is something I need to start incorporating into my runs, as it helps me build up fitness. It’s not that much fun and I’m always pleased when I reach the top and can run downhill on the other side!

I’ve been noticing that after I finish my runs and have cooled down, that I recover fairly quickly and don’t feel as tired afterwards, as I perhaps thought I should be. I guess my oberall fitness is improving while following the Couch to 5K training plan!

On Sunday night I pulled a muscle in my back/hip area and I really didn’t think I would, or could, recover enough to go for my run on Monday. But thankfully, with plenty of paracetamol, ibuprofen, lying on my prickle mat and rubbing myself in Deep Heat, I was able to get out and go for my run.

I said to myself, I can always slow down, or stop if I need to, but I managed to continue with run two, week five of the Couch to 5K training plan. I monitored the pain throughout but apart from a small twinge, it didn’t cause me any major problems. When I got back I ensured I aimed the nozzle of the shower onto the area concerned, which helped.

Thankfully, by run three of week five of the Couch to 5K training plan I was able to run without pain at all, which helped me to run non-stop for 20 minutes! It’s something to be aware of though because running whilst injured isn’t healthy and could cause me further injury down the line.

My Thoughts Going Into Week 6 of The Couch to 5K

Thankfully, it’s back to interval runs for the first two runs of Week 6 of the Couch to 5K and then the last run is 25 minutes non-stop! I have high hopes I’ll sail through it, just like I did in Week 5 of the Couch to 5K training plan.

With Sarah Millican in my ear, guiding me through and giving out little bits of information and tips to push me that little bit when I need it. I also need to learn that sticking to a route which DOESN’T involve crossing the busy road, that would be great!

I’m also looking forward to making more connections with the runners I meet when I’m out and about. A simple smile, wave or acknowledging nod can give me a little lift if I’m feeling particularly tired.

Another aspect of week six of the Couch to 5K training plan I’m intrigued to see is, how I’ll feel throughout the week. Will I still recover quickly after each run? Will I feel like I’ll be able to push myself a bit further during each run? Will I actually complete run three, week six of the Couch to 5K? These are all questions I’m excited to discover throughout week six and onwards to week nine!

If you have any questions about the Couch to 5K training plan, then please do leave them below, as I may do a Q&A post if I get enough! I’m always happy to answer your questions!

Sarah xoxo

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A 30 something woman navigating life, sharing posts focussing on mental health, midsize fashion, self-care routines and life as a vegan.

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