Please remember, as with any exercise regimen, you should get your physician’s approval before beginning.
Couch to 5K ® | Beginning Running
First off, you may be asking, “exactly how many miles is a 5K?” A 5K is 3.1 miles. We’re here to help you achieve your goal of beginning to run your first 5K. Too many people have been turned off of running simply by trying to start off too fast. Their bodies rebel, and they wind up miserable, wondering why anyone would possibly want to run in the first place.
You should ease into your 5K training plan gradually. In fact, the beginners’ program we outline here is less of a running regimen than a walking and jogging program. The idea is to transform you from couch potato to runner, getting you to begin running a 5K or 3.1 miles and on a regular basis in just two months.
It’s easy to get impatient, and you may feel tempted to skip ahead in the program, but hold yourself back. Don’t try to do more, even if you feel you can. If, on the other hand, you find the program too strenuous, just stretch it out. Don’t feel pressured to continue faster than you’re able. Repeat weeks if needed and move ahead only when you feel you’re ready.
Start Your 5K Training | A Few Minutes Each Week
Each session should take about 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. That just happens to be the same amount of moderate exercise recommended by numerous studies for optimum fitness. This program will get you fit. (Runners who do more than this amount are doing it for more than fitness, and before long you might find yourself doing the same as well).
Be sure to space out these three days throughout the week to give yourself a chance to rest and recover between efforts. And don’t worry about how fast you’re going. Running faster can wait until your bones are stronger and your body is fitter. For now focus on gradually increasing the time or distance you run.
Get your workout guide here! Impact Couch to 5K Workout Plan
Run for time or run for distance
There are two ways to follow this Couch to 5K ® training program, to measure your runs by time or by distance. Either one works just as well, choose the option that seems easiest for you to keep track of. If you go with the distance option, and you are not using a track to measure the distances, just estimate. It’s not important to have the distances absolutely exact.
NOTE: When using the mobile app, you must follow the plan by measuring your runs by time. Although it tracks your total distance with GPS, you cannot measure your runs by distance on the mobile app.
Before setting out, make sure to precede each training session with a five-minute warmup walk or jog. Be sure to stretch both before and after.
Cool Running’s Couch to 5K ® Program is available for purchase online through iTunes or the Google Play Store. This mobile version allows you to easily track your running progress online, access a host of easy-to-use training tools, connect with your friends & more!