Couch to 2K Training Plan

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.

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