Complete your First Marathon Training Plan

Having completed a half marathon, many runners look ahead to a new challenge and the logical next step is to complete your first marathon. The marathon tends to hold an almost mythical status in that it is long enough to require a serious and dedicated effort and at the same time is within the capability of pretty much everyone. (Though most people don’t believe this). Use our ‘Complete your first marathon training plan’ and too will achieve this iconic milestone.

Much of the same training goes into the marathon as is necessary for the half marathon, but your long-distance runs become the most critical part of your weekly training routine. A good formula for establishing a marathon goal time is to double your half marathon time plus you add ten minutes. So, if you were able to complete a half marathon in two hours, a good marathon goal time would be 4 hours, 10 minutes.

Some training plans out there will encourage you to run 5 and 6 times per week. If you are an experienced runner, that is fine but if your first objective is get around the course in relative comfort then four days a week will be sufficient. Just like the half marathon training plan, a big focus will be your long running day and secondly your speed workout day to build endurance and leg speed respectively.

Food Intake to Complete Your First Marathon

As you increase your mileage, you need to ensure that your body is being properly fueled. Otherwise you will start feeling lethargic and lacking energy and become susceptible to colds and niggle little injuries.

Eat a balanced diet, rich with color. That means, if it is colorful, it is good. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Muscles need glycogen, which becomes depleted over long periods of strenuous exercise. Glycogen is found in carbohydrates. It is a good idea to eat foods rich in carbohydrates, like pasta, the night before a long run and the night before the marathon – often called carb loading. After your long run, a protein rich meal is important as protein is the key ingredient in repairing and building muscle.

 

Hydration to Complete Your First Marathon

Hydration is always important for runners, but it is critical when one prepares for a marathon. Always drink plenty of water, both before (last drink should be approx. an hour before the start, so you don’t get a stitch or have to stop for a loo break) and after your training runs, and throughout the day. A healthy adult should aim to drink approx. 2 liters of water per day. For your long runs, place water along the course, so you may take a drink or two throughout the run. All marathons have water stations. Take at least a sip of water at many of those stops.

 

Stretching Before & After Your Run

Finally, always stretch before and after you run.

For me I start with neck twist, shoulder rotations and work my way down through all the joints until I feel loose. This typically takes 20 minutes. After a long run, you will hurt. Period!. But this is a good pain – its comes from a pain of being active and pushing yourself. Always remember as you get fitter and stronger this will reduce. Besides, the pain from injury and being unable to run is always much worse! After a long run, your muscles contract, so stretching them out is vitally important as you prepare for your next day.

 

Importance of Rest During Marathon Training

As you prepare for your first marathon, you will put your body under lots of new stresses. So the importance of rest days cannot be over stated. Sleep is the greatest secret weapon of marathon training, so ensure you get as much as possible. In between your running days, your body will recover and these are as important as the running days. On these days you should aim to try and stretch for just 10 mins to keep building suppleness into your body.

Now that you know what needs to be done, count 13 weeks back from your marathon and you will be ready to begin the plan. Please note this plan is build around the assumption that you will have completed a half marathon at some stage over the previous 4 – 6 weeks and have a certain level of strength already.

 

Complete Your First Marathon Training Schedule

Week 1
Day 1-3.7 mi. (6K)-Easy pace

Day 2-6.2 mi. (10K)-Tempo Run-Warmup, 8K (5 mi.)-Under 56:00, cool down

Day 3-3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy

Day 4-12.4 mi. (20K) run-2:05

 

Week 2
Day 1-3.7 mi. (6K)-Easy

Day 2-Track Workout-4×800 meters-5:15 for each. 400 meter recovery between each one. 8K total

Day 3-3.7 mi. (6K)-Easy

Day 3-13.6 mi. (22K) run-Aim for near the same pace as last week

 

Week 3
Day 1-4.3 mi. (7K)-Easy

Day 2-Track Workout-Ladder-400 m-2:35, 800 m-5:15, 1600 m-10:30, 800 m. and 400m. 10K total. Try to run as fast coming down the ladder as going up (jog ½ of your last interval for recovery) 10K total.

Day 3-3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy

Day 4-15.5 mi. (25K)-2:32

 

Week 4
Day 1-4.3 mi. (7K)-Easy recovery run

Day 2-8×400 m.-2:30 pace.200 m. interval in between. 8K total

Day 3-3.7 mi. (6K)-Easy

Day 4-13.6 mi. (22K) run-Aim for faster than Week 2

 

Week 5
Day 1-3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy recovery day

Day 2-3×1600 m. intervals-10:25 each. 800 easy jog between intervals. 10K total

Fri.-3.7 mi. (6K)-Easy

Sun.-18.6 mi. (30K)-Steady pace-Complete the workout

 

Week 6
Day 1-3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy recovery run

Day 2-4x 800 m.-5:10 each. 400m jog in between. 8K total

Day 3-3.1 mi. (5K)-Very Easy

Day 4-Run a half marathon time trial to test your fitness

 

Week 7
Day 1-3.1 mi. (5K) easy

Day 2-3x1600m.-10:20 each

Day 3-3.7 mi. (6K)-Easy

Day 4-18.6 mi. (30K) run-Aim for faster than Week 5

 

Week 8
Day 1-3.7 mi. (6K)-Easy

Day 2-8x400m.-2:20 each

Day 3-5 mi. (8K)-Easy

Day 4-12.4 mi. (20K)-2:00

 

Week 9
Day 1- 5 mi. (8K)-easy

Day 2-4x1600m.-10:20 each-800m in between. 10K total

Day 3-3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy

Day 4-20.4 mi. (33K)-Complete the workout and you can complete a marathon

 

Week 10
Day 1- 3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy

Day 2- 6×800 m.-5:10 each- 400 m. in between-10K total

Day 3- 4.3 mi. (7K)-easy

Day 4-15.5 mi. (25K)-2:27

 

Week 11
Day 1-3.7 mi. (5K)-Easy

Day 2-2x3200m.-19:40 each-10K-Total

Day 3-3.1 mi. (5K_-Easy

Day 4-18.6 mi. (30K)-Aim for your fastest time

 

Week 12
Day 1-3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy

Day 2-6.2 mi. (10K)-Tempo Run-Warmup, 8K (5 mi.)-Under 55:00, cool down

Day 3-3.1 mi. (5K)-Easy

Day 4-9.3mi. (15K)-Steady, relaxed pace

 

Week 13
The work has been done, now in the final week before the big day it is time to ensure your body is fully rested. Do nice easy stretches every day to stay loose and perhaps 2 x 6K runs at a nice easy/steady pace. I normally go for a massage early this final week to flush out any knots or tightness in my legs and back.

Final thoughts before you complete your first marathon.

  • On the morning, you will be pumped with adrenaline, but remember to stay calm.
  • Do not go off hard with everyone else. Stick to your race plan.
  • Make sure you have plenty of charge in your watch for tracking your time.
  • Know what you will wear to the start line. It’s important to stay as warm as possible till the off (relevant to cooler marathons).
  • Do not experiment with new gels for the first time on the day of the race.
  • Lastly and MOST importantly enjoy the occasion.

Here are a few additional tips for getting ready for your first marathon.

Half Marathon Training Plan

Half Marathon Training Plan

Welcome to your half marathon training plan. The half marathon has become one of the most popular race distances. Many runners see the half marathon as the next step on their way to eventually running a marathon. Running at least one 5K and/or 10K race is an important first step in building up to your half marathon training plan.

Running is a sport of setting goals, and then setting out to achieve those goals. This plan will consist of “Easy” days, where you will run for a prescribed number of minutes at a very easy pace, “Fast days,” where you will attempt to achieve target times, which will help to strengthen your legs, increase your stamina, and prepare you mentally for your race, and “Long distance days,” which will prepare you for covering the half marathon distance.

The plan will recommend 4 running days per week. If you are only able to run 3 days a week, cut out one of the easy days.  On the days in between, a brisk walk will keep your muscles loose. And, always stretch for at least 10 minutes, both before and after your workout. Finally, drink lots of water in order to stay hydrated.

Whatever your pace may be, part of your goal-setting should be a target time. On Day 2 of Week 1, you will establish your target time based on the time you can run for a 5K or 10K race. If you already have a target time that you want to run, then just repeat your Day 1 run for this week.

Now, let’s proceed with your half marathon running program.

Good  luck!

 

Week 1
Day 1-Jog a very easy 3 miles (5K)

Day 2-Establish a baseline, in order to determine your fitness level. Let’s say you have run your first 5K in a time of 34:00, or a 10K in 1:09, an 11-minute per mile pace. The following plan will work from that 11-minute pace. If your race time was 10, 12, or 15 minutes per mile, you can adjust your baseline from those times. Today, try to run 3.1 miles (5K) at an 11:30 a mile pace. This is called a tempo run. It is the type of run that makes you work hard, but not as hard as you do in a race. Jog for about 3 minutes to warm up prior to the run, then jog for 3 minutes to cool down after the run

Day 3-Run for 30 minutes at a relaxed pace

Day 4-4.3 miles (7K) In a time of around 51:00

 

Week 2
Day 1-Run for 25 minutes-relaxed, easy pace

Day 2-Tempo Run-Jog for 3 minutes; run 3.7 miles, (6K) in 42:00; jog 3-minute cooldown

Day 4-5 mile (8K) run-Aim for around 59:00


Week 3
Day 1-30 minutes-relaxed pace

Day 2-Today you will run a speed workout. In a speed workout, you run shorter distances at or faster than your race pace. Speed workouts increase your lung capacity and strengthen your legs. Also, they are excellent confidence-boosters. Find a local track, or a flat road. Jog for 3 minutes, then run 1600 meters, four times around the track, (1 mile) in a time of 11:00. Then, slowly jog twice around the track for 800-meters (½ mile), then try to run another 1600 meters in the same time, or a little faster. Finish with a third mile, aiming for 11:00. Complete the workout with a 3 minute jog cooldown.

Day 3-Legs may be sore-Jog for 20 minutes

Day 4-6.2 mile (10K) run. No designated time. Run a steady pace.


Week 4
Day 1-30 minutes-relaxed pace

Day 2-Another speed workout. Today, after your warmup, you will run 800-meters (½ mile) four times, jogging 400-meters (¼ mile) between each. Aim for a time of 5:25 for each 800-meters. Finish with a 3 minute cooldown

Day 3-25 minute run-relaxed pace

Day 4-6.2 mile (10K) run. 1:12

 

Week 5
Day 1-30 minutes-relaxed pace

Day 2-5 mile (8K) Tempo run. Aim for 57:30

Day 3-30 minute run-easy pace

Day 4- 7.4 miles (12K) 1:27

 

Week 6
Day 1-30 minute relaxed pace run

Day 2-Same speed workout as Week 3, except try to run 4×1600-meters (1 mile) at an 11:00 pace

Day 3-20 minute easy run-Tired legs from the speed workout

Day 4-9.3 miles (15K)-Run a steady pace


Week 7
Day 1-25 minutes of running at an easy pace

Day 2-3 minute jog, 5 miles (8K) tempo run, under 57:00

Day 3- 25 minutes of running at an easy pace

Day 4-11.2 mile (18K) run. Steady pace. Finish the distance.


Week 8
Day 1-20 minutes of running at an easy pace

Day 2-6.2 mile (10K) Tempo run-1:12:00

Day 3-25 minutes-easy running

Day 4-20K run. Finish the distance. Confidence building run.

 

Week 9
Day 1-30 minutes of running at an easy pace

Day 2-Speed  workout-6×800 meters-5:20 for each, jog 400 meters in between, 3 minute cool down

Day 3- 25 minutes of running at an easy pace

Day 4-6.2 mile (10K) run


Week 10
Day 1-30 minutes of running at an easy pace

Day 2-20 minutes of easy running

Day 3-15 minutes of easy running

Day 4-Your half marathon race

As you build your mileage through the half marathon training plan, it is important to ensure that your body is adequately fuelled for the added stresses and also getting the required rest between runs. To most marathon and ultra runners, sleep is the secret weapon of training, so make sure you get yours.

Happy Training.

10K Training Plan

Simple 10K Training Plan for Everyone

Welcome to your 10-Week 10K training program. The 10K is a popular race distance and it is the logical next goal that many runners set after they have run the 5K distance. As with any running plan, completing the 10K distance requires both patience and perseverance, but you can do it.

Running is a sport of setting goals, and then setting out to achieve those goals. This plan will consist of “Easy” days, where you will run for a prescribed number of minutes at a very easy pace, “Fast days,” where you will attempt to achieve target times, which will help to strengthen your legs, increase your stamina, and prepare you mentally for your race, and “Long distance days,” which will prepare you for covering the 10K distance.

The plan will list three running days per week, but feel free to add a fourth day of running if you feel up to it. On the days in between, a brisk walk will keep your muscles loose. And, always stretch for at least 10 minutes, both before and after your workout. Finally, drink lots of water in order to stay hydrated.

Whatever your pace may be, part of your goal-setting should be a target time. On Day 1 of Week 1, you will establish your target time from the time you achieved in your 5K race. If you haven’t raced, go out and run a 5K on your own, establishing your base time from there. This simple fact, gives you a measurable target, which is great for helping you stay motivated.

Now, let’s proceed with your 10K running program.
Good luck!

Week 1
Day 1-Establish a baseline. On your first day, try to determine your fitness level. Let’s say you have run your first 5K in a time of 34:00, an 11-minute per mile pace. The following plan will work from that 11-minute pace. If your race time was 10, 12, or 15 minutes per mile, you can adjust your baseline from those times. Today, try a 2 mile (or 3K) at an 11:30 a mile pace. This is called a tempo run. It is the type of run that makes you work hard, but not as hard as you do in a race. Jog for about 3 minutes to warm up prior to the run, then jog for 3 minutes to cool down after the run
Day 2-Run for 25 minutes at a relaxed pace
Day 3-3 miles (5K) In a time of around 48:00

Week 2
Day 1-25 minutes-relaxed, easy pace
Day 2-Tempo Run-Jog for 3 minutes; run 2 miles , (3K) in 22:40; jog 3-minute cooldown
Day 3-3.7 mile (6K) run-Increasing your distance capacity
Week 3
Day 1-30 minutes-relaxed pace
Day 2-Today you will run a speed workout. In a speed workout, you run shorter distances at or faster than your race pace. Speed workouts increase your lung capacity and strengthen your legs. Also, they are excellent confidence-boosters. Find a local track, or a flat road. Jog for 3 minutes, then run 1600 meters, four times around the track, (1 mile) in a time of 11:00. Then, slowly jog twice around the track for 800-meters (½ mile), then try to run another 1600 meters in the same time, or a little faster. Complete the workout with a 3 minute jog cooldown.
Day 3-Run 4.3 miles (7K)
Week 4
Day 1-30 minutes-relaxed pace
Day 2-Another speed workout. Today, after your warmup, you will run 800-meters (½ mile) four times, jogging 400-meters (¼ mile) between each. Aim for a time of 5:25 for each 800-meters. Finish with a 3 minute cooldown
Day 3-Run 5 miles (8K)

Week 5
Day 1-30 minutes-relaxed pace
Day 2-3 mile Tempo run, same as week 2, aim for 22:00
Day 3-5K-Faster than your race. We are basing your training at an 11-minute per mile pace, so for this run you want to aim for approximately 33:00. You can adjust your time according to your 5K race pace

Week 6
Day 1-30 minute relaxed pace run
Day 2-Same speed workout as Week 3, except try to run 3×1600-meters (1 mile) at an 11:00 pace
Day 3-5 miles (8K) Aim for a faster pace than in Week 4
Week 7
Day 1-30 minutes of running at an easy pace
Day 2-3 minute jog, 3.7 miles (6K) faster than your 5K race pace
Day 3-5.6 mile (9K) run
Week 8
Day 1-30 minutes of running at an easy pace
Day 2-4 mile Tempo run-44:00
Day 3-6 mile run
Week 9
Day 1-30 minutes of running at an easy pace
Day 2-Speed workout-4×800 meters-5:20 for each, jog 400 meters in between, 3 minute cooldown
Day 3-6 mile run
Week 10
Day 1-30 minutes of running at an easy pace
Day 2-20 minutes of easy running
Day 3-15 minutes of easy running
Day 4-Your 10K race

Couch to 5K Training Plan

Couch to 5K Training Plan – Lets Go!

Depending on where you are on your healthy running journey, you have possibly used our couch to 2K already and are now out of that big comfy seat in the corner of the room and starting to enjoy getting outside. As I said previously, if you have someone to join you during these early stages, it is great. Nobody will feel like going out all of the time, so being able to motivate each other is really important as you don’t want to let them down and you don’t want to let yourself down. 

Nobody can get fit for you. Only you can control and achieve what you want to achieve. 


Couch to 5K – What is it?

The whole “Couch to 5K” movement only started back in 1996 in the US as a way to help get people moving. 5 kilometres, 5000 metres or 3.1 miles is within the capability of pretty much everyone, you just have to decide you want to do it. In our couch to 5K training programme, we are going to assume that you have got out of the couch and you are now moving with a more focussed purpose on creating a more healthy you, at least every second day. 

There are quite literally thousands of plans and schedules out there with people promising to get you to 5K in 3 – 6 weeks, set you splits, target times, heart rates etc etc, While that is all possible (for the most part its a load of crap, where you end up demotivated when it doesn’t work) , for newbies to running, a slow and steady approach is the 100% guaranteed route to achieving your goal and ensure you enjoy the journey along the way. So we focus on getting you over that finish line in 10 weeks! ….. And before you skip this page and say Oh God!!!… well yes you can do this. 

Before we get into the actual programme itself, here is what we want you to achieve

  • Get a sense of achievement and self worth.
  • Achieve micro goals every week. 
  • Enjoy yourself.
  • Over 10 weeks aim to loose just 1.5 lbs per week. That will amount to just over 1 stone or 6.8Kg lost in a healthy proactive manner. We will also focus on a healthy diet too, but that will be a separate article.  
  • Get to know other people that are out there on their running journey too. (your local community is your ultimate supporter and is rooting for you to succeed – wait till race day to appreciate this). 
  • After you have completed your first 5K race, you can look in the mirror with a medal around your neck with pride.  
  • Feel encouraged to continue one step at a time. 
  • 5km equals approximately 30 minutes steady jogging – that is your target. 
  • And remember, the guide below is just to provide direction and focus, if it is too little on some weeks, you can move forward or if its too much, just repeat the previous week until you are happy to move forward. 
  • If you are just starting fresh and have not done any exercise in a few years, then getting a medical check up at the outset is advisable, especially if you are 40+ years of age.

2 Keys to Success in a Couch to 5K

  1. Be consistent – to achieve your goals and form new healthy habits, you must be consistent.
  2. Slow & steady – the main reason a lot of people drop out of jogging is that they do too much too quickly. The only time that is relevant, is how long you are doing your sessions, not how fast it takes you to cover the ground.

Before any run, I am a believer in doing light stretches to prepare your body for moving. This is especially valuable if you haven’t done ‘active movement’ in a long time. The target each week is build up your running 3 times per week and then on two other days aim to get out for a walk of 15-30 mins (does not have to be a brisk walk. This is about forming a habit of getting out)

Light Jogging Distance Guide

3 mins = 400m
5 mins = 800m
8 mins = 1.2K
20 mins = 3.2km
25 mins = 4Km
28 mins = 4.8Km
30 mins = 5 k

 

Week 1
Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start (completes your warm up).
Run for 60 seconds, walk for 2 minutes. Approximately 20 minutes in total.

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 60 seconds, walk for 2 minutes. Approximately 20 minutes in total.

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 60 seconds, walk for 2 minutes. Approximately 20 minutes in total.


Week 2
Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times for 20 minutes in total.

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times for 20 minutes in total.

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, then run for 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.


Week 3

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, run for 3 minutes followed by a 2 minutes walk. Repeat twice.

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 4 times.

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes.  Repeat 4 times.


Week 4

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 5 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times..

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 5 minutes. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 5 minutes. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat 3 times.


Week 5

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start .
Run for 7 minutes. Walk 90 seconds. Do this twice. 

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 7 minutes. Walk 90 seconds.  Do this twice. 

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 7 minutes. Walk 90 seconds.  Do this twice. 


Week 6

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 9 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this twice. 

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 9 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this twice. 

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 9 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this twice. 


Week 7

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 11 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this twice. 

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 11 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this twice. 

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 13 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this twice. 


Week 8

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 13 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this twice. 

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 13 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this twice. 

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run for 15 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this twice. 


Week 9

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run 20 mins, no walk. 

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run 20 mins, no walk. 

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run 25 mins, no walk. 


Week 10

Day 1:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run 25 mins, no walk. 

Day 2:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run 28 mins, no walk. 

Day 3:
5 minute brisk walk to start.
Run 30 mins, no walk.

Congratulations – You’ve done it

Couch to 5K congratulations

Couch to 2K Training Plan

Couch to 2K Training Plan

Welcome to our “Couch to 2K training plan. The fact that you are on this page, means that you, like the quote above are done with accepting conditions as they are and you are taking responsibility to improve your health – well done you. Also, chances are that you are new to running or that you haven’t done active sport for a few years. And you know what, that’s okay. The most important thing to know is that you are not alone on this journey.

Starting out, you are probably full of doubts saying to yourself, what am I doing here? I am too old, too unfit, too overweight to be doing this. Well, they are all the worst excuses. It is because you might be getting a little older (we all are – I am 50 at the time of writing), are unfit or are overweight that you should be investing in a little “me time”.

Before you start, here are a couple of things you should do.

  • Do you have someone that is up for joining you in the journey of getting healthier? (Having a health buddy will help keep you both on track).
  • Answer this honestly. Why are you doing this now? The “what” might be to loose weight, but the “why” could be to get up the stairs without being out of breath or to be able to play with the kids out on the green? On the days you don’t feel like going out, you need to remind yourself of your “Why”.
  • Write down your “Why”. Then say it to outloud to yourself in the mirror every morning. You are now making a pact with yourself. (Dont say it in your head, you must speak it)
  • Lastly, depending on your level of health/weight/inactivity in recent years a medical check up is generally recommended to ensure there are no underlying conditions (most people won’t need to do this, but it is definitely worth considering).

Here we go

This plan is designed to get those with no fitness to actually jog 2K (1.2 miles) in a safe and healthy manner.

Couch to 2K Facts

  • There will be days you dont want to go out. That’s normal.
  • You will at times feel a little achy. That’s normal.
  • You will sometimes feel you are not making any progress. That’s normal too – remember consistency is king.
  • You will feel frustrated maybe even a little embarrassed at times. Good news, that too is normal.
  • One thing we want to do is minimise the risk of any small pulls or strains, so before starting out, it’s important to do a small stretching warm up. (Remember, your body may not have done this in a few years, so we want to slowly remind it that you are taking back control).
  • No 1 rule of stretches – do them slow and steady and NEVER fast and jerky.
  • Starting out on your 2K journey, aim to walk 4 – 5 times per week, aiming for about 30 minutes. Depending on your level of fitness, start with just walking at a comfortable pace in your first week or two. Then over your next two week slot, walk at a pace, where it is just a little difficult to talk (if you can’t walk & talk comfortably at the same time – you are making your lungs work harder).
  • If you feel you are okay with the walking, you can bypass the above and go straight to the next stage. Before getting into the run, do these following stretches which are designed to start moving the muscles in the body in a positive way in order to slowly increase flexibility. There are quite literally hundreds of moves we could do, but we are going to focus on keeping things simple right now.

Easy Pre-run Stretches

  1. Neck (10 stretches each side)
  2. Shoulders (10 reps (reps = repeats or repetitions)  each side)
  3. Hip twist (10 reps each side)
  4. Hamstring (10 x 3 seconds reps each side)
  5. Calf stretches (10 x 3 seconds reps each side)

 

After your walk/run, when your body has warmed up, you should aim to do the following exercises. These will contribute towards improved flexibility, mobility, reduce the risk of any strains and ultimately allow you do more as your physical health slowly starts to improve

Easy Post-run Stretches

  1. Neck (10 stretches each side)
  2. Shoulders (10 reps each side)
  3. Hip twist  (10 reps each side)
  4. Hamstring (10 x 3 seconds each side)
  5. Calf stretches (10 x 3 seconds each side)
  6. Calf raises (10 reps each side)
  7. Half Plank (5 seconds followed by 5 seconds rest, when this is comfortable go to 10 plank and 10 seconds rest)
  8. Bridge (10 reps)
  9. Squats (10 reps)
  10. Balance on 1 leg (Depending on how comfortable you are start with 5 seconds on each ankle, then 10 seconds then 20 seconds each side) Look to increase the time each week.

Extras
Exercises 1 – 5 focus on light stretches, while exercises 6 – 10 focus on increasing your strength. If you are feeling up to it you should then aim to do section 6 – 10 a second time on week 3 & 4.

 

Couch to 2K Running Plan

Week 1
Steady – brisk walk – 30 mins (you should feel warm and slightly out of breath)
Steady walk
Steady – brisk walk including 30 sec jog
Steady easy walk
Steady – brisk walk including 2 x 30 sec jog
Weekend – stay moving family walk, cycle

Week 2
Steady – brisk walk inc 1 x 30 sec, 1 x min jog,  1 x 30 sec jogs
Steady walk
Steady – brisk walk including 1 x 30 sec, 1 x 1 min, 2 x 30 sec jog
Steady easy walk
Steady – brisk walk including 1 x 30 sec, 2 x 1 min,  2 x 30 sec jog
Weekend – stay moving family walk, cycle

Week 3
Steady – Walk 200 – 400 metres, 3 x 1 min, 1 x 2 min, 1 x 1 min jog, walk home
Steady walk
Steady – Walk 200 – 400 metres, 3 x 1 min, 1 x 3  min, 1 x 2min, 1 x 1 min, walk home
Steady easy walk
Steady – Walk 200 – 400 metres, 1 x 1 min, 1 x 2 min, 1 x 5 min, 2 x 1 min,  walk home
Weekend – stay moving family walk, cycle

Week 4
Steady – Walk 200 – 400 metres, 1 x 1 min, 1 x 3 min, 1 x 8 min, 1 x  2 min, 1 x 1 min,  walk home.
Steady walk
Steady – Walk 200 – 400 metres, 1 x 3 min, 1 x 11 min, 1 x 3  min  1 x 1 min, walk home.
Steady easy walk
Steady – Walk 200 – 400 metres, 1 x 1min, 1 x  15 min , 1 x 1 min cool down, walk home – time for a treat.
Weekend – stay moving family walk, cycle

Congratulations – you have completed your first 2K and can call yourself a runner.