Couch to 5K Training Plan

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

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