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My Couch to 5K Training Plan

19 May

I started running two years ago, some 18 years after high school when I ran track. I have remained somewhat active through my 20s and 30s, but I wasn’t in very good cardio-vascular shape until I started running. A friend told me about a “Couch to 5K” training program where you can go, quite literally, from sitting around on the couch to running a 5K (3.1 mile) race in 10-12 weeks. I found a training program online and tweaked it a bit. I know a number of people who have found success doing this, so if you are interested in becoming a runner here is a good training plan to get started.

Important Tips for New Runners
1) Buy a good pair of running shoes
2) Wear a digital watch with a stopwatch feature to monitor your time
3) Drink plenty of water before you run, especially if you are training in the summer
4) Stretch before you run to prevent injury
5) Always end your run with a cool-down walk (and warm up with a walk in Week 12)
6) Do not worry about your speed (pace) or distance, just focus on the time you are running or walking
7) Feel free to repeat a week if necessary, but don’t skip a week
8) If you are struggling to breath on a run try to inhale for three steps and exhale for two; slow down if necessary
9) Don’t over train, your muscles need rest days to repair and rebuild, so rest in between your sessions
10) Depending on how hard you push yourself, it may take 4-6 weeks before you do not feel sore after your run/walks

THE TRAINING
Each week in the training has (1) a run/walk interval, (2) the total number of intervals to do in one session, and (3) the number of sessions to do each week. The intervals are to be done consecutively without a break. Only do one session a day. Week 5 and 8 may present the most challenge. Week 5 is the first week you will be running more than walking. During Week 8 you will be running/walking four days a week instead of three days a week.

Week 1: 25 minute walk :: One interval (25 minutes total) :: Three sessions

Week 2: 6 minute walk / 1 minute run :: Four intervals (28 minutes total) :: Three sessions

Week 3: 5 minute walk / 2 minute run :: Four intervals (28 minutes total) :: Three sessions

Week 4: 4 minute walk / 3 minute run :: Four intervals (28 minutes total) :: Three sessions

Week 5: 3 minute walk / 4 minute run :: Four intervals (28 minutes total) :: Three sessions

Week 6: 2 minute walk / 5 minute run :: Four intervals (28 minutes total) :: Three sessions

Week 7: 2 minute walk / 8 minute run :: Three intervals (30 minutes total) :: Three sessions

Week 8: 2 minute walk / 9 minute run :: Three intervals (33 minutes total) :: Four sessions

Week 9: 1 minute walk / 10 minute run :: Three intervals (33 minutes total) :: Four sessions

Week 10: 5 minute walk / 20 minute run / 5 minute walk :: One interval (30 minutes total) :: Four Sessions

Week 11: 3 minute walk / 30 minute run :: One interval (33 minutes total) :: Four sessions

Week 12: 33 minute run :: One interval (33 minutes total) :: Four sessions

After Week 12 you should be ready for your first 5K race.

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Life

 

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One response to “My Couch to 5K Training Plan

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