For lots of people, their first foray into running may well be with a couch to 5K (C25K).
This is a fantastic way of introducing yourself into running but it can be a little bit of a stretch for those folks who’ve never exercised previously, or have fallen out of the exercise habit.
The question then becomes, how do I get fit enough so that I can actually start the C25K?
Well don’t panic, I’ve got an answer right here!
The plan below starts you off by walking. It’s a simple and straightforward way of ensuring your body, muscles, joints, bones, etc become used to the type of movement that you’ll be doing whilst running.
The speed you walk is of course entirely up to you, but I’d suggest not pushing too fast too early on, by all means try to go faster if you feel like you can, but if you feel niggles developing, or it feels uncomfortable, just slow back to your existing pace.
Have you got the right footwear? Have a look at my comprehensive beginners guide to running here:
As with all training, if you feel pain – stop. And if you suffer existing medical conditions or have other concerns then do speak to your Doctor or medical practitioner before starting.
Walk your way into that C25K
New to exercise? Do this first:
|1||Walk 5 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 5 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 10 minutes (If it feels ok)||Day off!||Day off!|
|2||Walk 5 minutes||Walk 5 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 10 minutes (If this is too much slow back to 5 and repeat week 1)||Day Off!||Walk 5 minutes||Day off!|
|3||Walk 10 minutes||Walk 10 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 15 minutes (If this is too much slow back to 10 and repeat week 2)||Day Off!||Walk 10 minutes||Day Off!|
|4||Walk 10 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 10 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 10 minutes||Day Off!||Day Off!|
|5||Walk 15 minutes||Walk 15 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 20 minutes (If this is too much slow back to 15 and repeat week 3)||Day Off!||Walk 15 minutes||Day Off!|
|6||Walk 20 minutes||Walk 20 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 25 minutes (If this is too much slow back to 20 and repeat week 5)||Day Off!||Walk 20 minutes||Day Off!|
|7||Walk 25 minutes||Walk 25 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 30 minutes (If this is too much slow back to 25 and repeat week 6)||Day Off!||Walk 25 minutes||Day Off!|
|8||Walk 25 minutes||Day Off!||Walk 25minutes||Day Off!||Day Off!||Walk 25 minutes||Day Off!|
|9||Walk 30 minutes||Walk 30 minutes||Day Off!||Run 1 minute (If this is too much slow back to a walk)||Day Off!||Walk 30 minutes||Day Off!|
OK so that should bring you to a point where the Couch to 5K is a reasonable next step.
- Don’t worry about stepping back a week or two, it will consolidate your fitness and reduce your risk of injury
- Check out my beginners guide to running here and make sure you’re ready to run http://focusedperformance.co.uk/complete-guide-new-runners/
- Any pain – stop and get it checked out, pain left to develop can result in injury which will set your progress back even further – read my ebook on Running Injury Free here www.focusedperformance.co.uk/injuryfreerunning
- Walk (then run!) with friends, it’s super motivational and great fun!
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