Understanding: Couch to 5k

A week-by-week description of the nine-week Couch to 5K programme

Week one ~ Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week two ~ Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 90 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week three ~ Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then two repetitions of 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking.

Week four ~ Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 3 minutes of running, 90 seconds of walking, 5 minutes of running, 2½ minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running, 90 seconds of walking, 5 minutes of running.

Week five ~ There are three different workouts for this week. They are as follows:
Workout 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running.
Workout 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running.

Workout 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

Week six ~ There are three different workouts for this week. They are as follows:
Workout 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running.
Workout 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of running.
Workout 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week seven ~ Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes running.

Week eight ~ Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week nine ~ Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

Tips on progression

  • The programme is designed for beginners to gradually build up their running ability to be able to run 5K without stopping.
  • The pace of the nine-week running plan has been tried and tested by thousands of new runners, so you can trust the programme.
  • You can, however, repeat any one of the weeks until you feel physically ready to move on to the next session.
  • Structure is important for motivation, so try to allocate specific days in the week for your runs and stick to them.
  • Rest days are critical. A rest day in between each run will reduce your chance of injury and will also make you a stronger, better runner.
  • Resting allows your joints to recover from what is a high-impact exercise and your running muscles to repair and strengthen.
  • Alternatively, you could do Strength and Flex on your rest days. This is a 5-week plan designed to improve your strength and flexibility, which will help your running.
  • Some new runners starting the programme experience calf pain or sore shins (sometimes known as shin splints).
  • Such aches can be caused by running on hard surfaces or by running in shoes that do not have enough foot and ankle support.
  • Always do the the 5-minute warm-up walks as instructed in the podcasts before each run and check that your running shoes are offering good support.
  • For more information on preventing and treating injuries, read this section on sports injuries.
  • You will have good runs and bad runs. Accept it and don’t spend too much time analysing the how and why. Even a bad run is good for you.
Advertisements

One thought on “Understanding: Couch to 5k

  1. Pingback: C25K | Just Nora.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s