Couch to 5k
Couch to 5k is a training lesson series for everyone who is ready to start running even if you have literally NEVER run before. I call it couch to 5k because that is exactly what my intentions are, to get you from the couch to 5k! It is a simple but challenging program that goes 3 days-a-week for 8 weeks! I say simple because it is not hugely time consuming, and challenging because everything that is good, in my experience, is at the very least challenging.
Let me set this up for a second. Just say that there is a certain charity that you believe in where you live. They are going to hold a fundraising 5k race a little over two months away. You decide…”I can do that, it’s only like three miles!” So you go to the site, or call, get your entry form submitted and it hits you,”…can I really run 5k without killing myself? And if so, can I do it fast enough to not finish last?”
There it is, the harsh reality that you’ve been fearing, YOU NEED TO TRAIN YOURSELF TO FINISH THE RACE!
Before your panic button gets pushed like a morse code transmission, take comfort in me, this site, and the resources we can offer.
This is a 8 week program you can do to get yourself up and running!
Now grab a stopwatch, and lets get to it!
Couch to 5k!
Days 1, 2, & 3
After you do some warm up stretches as described in my warming up post, www.get2running.com/warming-up you are ready for your first step of your training. Walk for five minutes, not speed walking and not a stroll. Walk at a speed as if you have to be somewhere, but can’t run because it would draw too much attention.
When you complete this, begin running, 60 seconds. Just a trot, a speed to where you have to run because its too fast to walk this fast. Use your breathing techniques and go for it! If you don’t remember check here www.get2running.com/day-4-breathing/
Next walk for 90 seconds. Keep a speed rate about what you did for your warm-up walk. At the end of this 90 seconds repeat this run-walk cycle 8 times or for 20 minutes.
When you’ve finished that, do a 5 minute cool down walk.
These repeats are going to get increasingly harder as you continue to go through this interval of training. You must keep pushing! You must finish!
If it is your first day…CONGRATU-FREAKIN-
If you’re somewhat experienced, you’ve just finished day one of our 8wk program! Drink some water and shower up.
Couch to 5k week one, you did it! finished week one of the couch to 5k series here on www.get2running.com Now what? Well I have that answer for you right here. It is time to start up week two of our eight week program!
Couch to 5k-WEEK 2, Days 4, 5, & 6
This is going to seem very repetitive to you, but there are small changes every week. All three workout will be 30 minutes in duration and will be a wee bit more difficult than last week. Grab a stopwatch, and lets get to it!
Start this workout as you start every workout by doing a bit of stretching as in the warm-up post here: www.get2running.com/warming-up
Warm-up by taking a walk for 5:00. This walk should be a “driven” walk, or at a pretty good clip, not a stroll, but not a speed walkers pace either. You want to get your heart rate up a little bit before you start you run/walk cycles for this workout.
Don’t forget to breathe! www.get2running.com/day-4-breathing
After your warm-up it is time to run! Take off jogging at a manageable speed so as not to burn out all of your energy as soon as you take off, not good. This run will need to be 1:30, that’s a little longer than your last, and hopefully completely doable. When you’ve finished this 90 second trot, it is time to walk. Stop your watch, reset it, and start your walk time. 2:00 this time at the same rate of speed as your warm-up walk. This will give your body time to adjust to the longer run time and a small window for your muscles to recuperate from it as well.
Ok, that’s it. Do this cycle of running/walking for 6 more sets which will put you at a total workout time of 25 minutes.
Throw down a 5:00 cool down walk when you complete your sixth set and you are finished for the day.
You will be sore, you will be tired, but you will also see progress from last week to this week. Your new distance/time to run will show you how far you can go from day-to-day and week-to week.
Take pride in being able to complete this, and keep going. You only have 6 more weeks of this training and you WILL be able to run a complete 5k!! Maybe not at a break neck speed, but it will serve as a time to beat for your next race!
Couch to 5k-WEEK 3
Couch to 5k-WEEK 3 is ready for you to kill, but are you ready to kill it?
Upon your completion of the first two weeks of your training you have undoubtedly felt the exhaustion, fatigue, and acomplishment. This is not an east task, nor is it something that will come to you as easily as sitting on the couch.
I hope you’ve been following these training sessions as I’ve been posting but now is probably a good time to go back and review some of our training tips/tricks. Some suggestions from me are here www.get2running.com/running-posture To check and see if you are carrying your body right. www.get2running.com/day-two-foot-strike to ensure you know how your foot is hitting the ground as you travel in your runs. Most importantly, don’t forget to breathe www.get2running.com/day-4-breathing Also, don’t forget to keep your Dr. informed as to your progress and or problems to get and keep you running.
Couch to 5k-week 3 days 7, 8, & 9
Couch to 5k-WEEK 3 is going to be harder than last week, and decidedly harder than the first week. Keeping it simple as always yo will need to set aside 30 minutes for these workouts. Water and a stopwatch are all you need past your essentials. Don’t forget to stretch a little and put in your mind that this is going to be a bit tougher, but you WILL get through it in one peice.
So let’s “Git Er Done!” Sorry…
Here it is:
Warm-up walk as you have for the past six workouts, 5:00, not crazy fast, but a steady clip.
Jog for 1:30, swing your arms, check your posture, and breathe
Walk for 1:30, long cleansing full breaths
Jog for 3:00 now, keep in mind that this is the longest time you’ve had to run so use all of your “tools” while you run so you don’t tire out before the end of the 3:00
Walk for 3:00, that wasn’t so bad now was it?
That’s the set cycle, after the 3 min walk start back over with the 1:30 jog and repeat the set for a total of 4 times, or 25 minutes. At the end of the sets it is time for your old friend…5:00 cool down walk. That is it for this week, there is no more. I mean there is no more for this workout, two more days of this and you’ll be halway home, your first 5k is a short few weeks away!
Week 4 couch to 5k days 10, 11, & 12
Today it is time to start couch to 5k week4!
You’ve done week one, two, and three and you’re ready to go on to our couch to 5k week 4 workout. This week is still hard, but if you have been doing YOUR work, it is likely that you will be more challenged than worried.
Do some Warm-up stretches and lets move your body. www.get2running.com/warming-up This one is going to take you 31 minutes, it will be more intense so get ready! Stopwatch…check Music…check Water…check (have it close by, you might need it) So it is that time! Warm-up walk for five minutes, you know how fast, now go. After you walk, start running and go for 3:00. Yup, 3:00 of running IN A ROW!! The good part is that you get to walk for 1:30 so it’s not that bad.
Don’t forget to breathe! www.get2running.com/day-4-breathing Ok, I lied ha ha ha!! Now you have to run for FIVE MINUTES, do it! DO IT, DO IT!!!
Walk for 2:30 breathe, walk, breathe. Slow your heart rate with long deep “Full lung” breaths. You may be ready to quit by this time, but you don’t quit when you’re tired, quit when you’re finished!
YOU ARE GOING TO FINISH THIS!!
It’s time to run again, 3:00 this time, and yes this will get easier because you’re walking for 1:30 next. Finish your walk and then run for 5:00, you are that beast, that machine, push a little bit more than the last time, and you’re home free.
Now that you’re beat! 5:00 of walking and that is it, YOU DID IT!! Two more times this week and you’ll be ready for the fifth week!
Couch to 5k week 5 is upon us. Why? Well because weeks 1, 2, 3, & 4 are so last month, literally! When you think about it like that, it truly is inspiring to know that you’ve gone from not running at all to running for five minutes straight, that’s a big deal. But wait, there’s more to come this week!
Beginning the couch to 5k week 5, you need to know that there are some coming changes from day-to-day during this weeks work. Week 5 has three different workouts in it, one for each day. Day 13 will last for 31 minutes, 31 minutes for day 14, and 30 minutes for day 15 to conclude the week. Don’t forget to go back to the lessons and brush up on the basics, warm-up stretches, breathing, stride, foot strike, and most importantly…posture.
Now here’s how it breaks down.
Couch to 5k week 5-Day 13
Warm-up walk for 5:00 knowing the speed and pace to set for yourself is crucial so as to not get going to fast before you run and possibly burn all of your energy before you even get through the first rotation. After that, it is time…run for 5:00. You will need to slow your heart rate by walking for 3:00. That is your cycle! Repeat this one more time with a 5:00 run at the end and then you can do a cool down walk and day 13 is in the books! 31 Minutes and out!
Couch to 5k week 5-Day 14
For day 14 you are actually going to be able to start clocking some distances. You’ll start as always with a walk, I don’t think at this point I need to explain why, but 5:00 of it. Running this time is for 3/4 of a mile, or 8:00!! That’s right, 8:00 of running IN A ROW!! Walk as you did for your warm-up for 5:00. 8:00 more minutes of glorious running followed shortly thereafter by a cool down walk of 5:00. That is it, that is all. 31 minutes total, 16 minutes running, 15 minutes walking. DONE!!
Couch to 5k week 5-Day 15
For this, the third day of week 5, we will be killing it for 30 minutes total. Warm-up walk must be completed then, if you are ready, if you’re up for it, this is big, please remain seated, I hope you’re not scared…RUN FOR 20:00!!! This should be close to 2 miles! When was the last time you did that on foot? When you finish your 20 minutes in the sun, you’ll be very ready for your 5:00 cool down walk. BAM!!
Week 6 coming soon to a road near YOU!
Week 6 couch to 5k
Week 6 couch to 5k is upon us, and it is time once again to hit the road. there are lots of ways to say this, but I hope that you’ve been keeping up with your mileage so that you can see how far you’ve actually come.
Week 6 couch to 5k, day 16 is 34minutes in duration and is a lot of work, so get going and start with your warm-up walking for 5:00
Don’t forget breathing, stride, foot strike, and posture while you run. You’ll be running for 5:00, then you’ll walk for 3:00. Run again for 8:00 this time, and when you finish you’ll walk for 3:00. One more run for 5:00 and then your cool down walk for 5:00.
Week 6 couch to 5k, day 17 is 33:00 and you WILL be running more today than you have so mentally prepare yourself for the workout you’re about to do. Warm-up walk for 5:00 and then take off running for 10:00 or 1 mile. Walk for 3:00 or a quarter mile. Repeat your mile run again for 10:00. Then a cool down walk for 5:00. Now, when I say 1 mile or 10:00, I mean if you’re running further than 1 mile in ten minutes, then you need to run for 10 minutes. You are doing very well, and probably running more than just this training regiment1 If that is the case, I salute you!!
Week 6 couch to 5k, day 18 DISTANCE DAY!!
Warm-up walk for 5:00 when this is over, YOU WILL RUN FOR 22:00, AKA 2 1/4 MILES. No walking, run the whole time, own it!! 5:00 cool down walk and week 6 couch to 5k is done. please email me at email@example.com and tell me about your progress, I look forwaard to hearing all about it.
Couch to 5k weeks 7 & 8
Couch to 5k weeks 7 & 8 is very simple and should almost come as second nature to you by now. You know how to do a warm-up walk, of this I’m sure. When you complete your warm-up walk it is time to make the rubber hit the road.
It is now time to run, and when I say run, I mean run. 25 minutes worth, creating some serious distance between you ad your starting point, covering some serious ground and maintaining a great pace. You’ll do this for all three days of week 7 with your cool down walk for 5:00 afterwords. Keep your pace somewhere around 10:00 per mile for the first bit and decrease the pace time gradually. Don’t be a slouch about it! Form and posture, form and posture, form and posture, are extremely important EVERYTIME YOU RUN! Breathing, foot strike, stride, music (or not), hill techniques, and your overall health for the day are all extremely important for all of your running workouts.
Now, there is a small question looming in the back of your minds, if not I’ll put one there…Why did you title this post “Couch to 5k weeks 7 & 8?” Simple answer is that both weeks are very similar, with one exception. the run times are a tad bit longer.
That being said, warm-up walk for 5:00 at the normal clip. Then instead of 25 minutes, you are going to go for 28:00. That is getting close to that illusive 3 mile mark with a total mileage of around 2.75 miles. By this time you should feel like there is more left in the “tank” when you finish your 28 min run. This, along with the cool down walk, is the cycle for days 1 & 2 of week 8. You MUST resist the urge to go that little old 1/4 mile and save it for the third day of week 8.
Now you are ready to complete the 8 week program on day three. Culminating in one last training session here we will have you draw on your past experiences with running and look how far you’ve come. You have literally gone from your couch to running a 5k! Ok, start off with your warm-up walk for 5 minutes then hit it. 3 miles or 30 minutes at a comfortable pace ever so slightly decreasing the pace. Once you have finished this you are ready for your first 5k!
You MUST REMEMBER that it is going to be natural for you to blast out of the start on your “Race Day” just because of the excitement of all of your friends, and the new people you’ll meet there. Try your best to seperate yourself from them and run YOUR RACE! No matter your time, you are there to finish, and finish running at that! Do your warm-up walk before, and maybe even a few quick little runs so that you can work out any nervousness you might have going in. Stretch, not a lot, but some, and prepare yourself for your first race. Give yourself 30 minutes (same time as your last day of training) and push to finish it under that time!
YOU CAN DO IT!!