From The Couch To 5k: Is the Running Program Right for You?

Getting into a running program can seem stressful. Many worry they won’t be able to just get up and run. You don’t have to be a marathon runner on the first day. If you’re beginning your journey, the Couch to 5k running program may be perfect for you.

Going From Your Couch To A 5K

The whole program is based on the thought you can go from lounging on your couch to sprinting a few miles with the help of interval training. This person may hate running. They also may enjoy to work out, but don’t know how to run a race. If you want to hit the pavement in nine weeks, this is it. When you run a 5K, you’re running 3.1 miles. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you can become a great runner with this program.

Here We Go

The Couch to 5K plan is a structured plan with interval training. This means you run for about 30 minutes each day, three days a week. Of course, at the beginning of the plan, you won’t be running the full 30 minutes. The thought is after you’re done with the training, you’ll be able to run over three miles without stopping.

The Schedule

When you begin this program, it’s best to block out about 40 minutes for three days a week. Take a day in between to rest. Throw in time to do some stretching and walking before and after the plan. The actual training will last approximately 30 minutes. This means you walk a bit, then run a bit. You don’t have to start out in a sprint. You start out walking for longer periods of time than running. You increase your running time as your body catches up with you. It might sound easy. This is because this running program is meant to make great results for you.

The Environment

You can complete this program wherever you wish. You can go to the track, a treadmill or your neighborhood sidewalk. The only thing you truly need is to complete the intervals within the program. No matter where you chose to do the program, you can meet your goals if you follow the steps.

The App

You don’t have to do all of this work yourself. You can rely on a community of other runners. You can easily download the The Couch to 5k app. This app is full of all kinds of tips and tricks. You even get cheerleaders helping you along the way. You also get to groove to music while you run. The app makes it easy to track your workouts. You stay accountable by being able to share your progress with social media. You have a graph that shows your progress along with your average pace and distance.

Does It Work?

This all may sound too good to be true. It is, if you don’t follow the program. If you listen to the program step by step, you will be a success. There are many online threads of success stories. People worked with their trackers and shared their own motivational tips to help them get from the couch to running a few miles. The program should help you increase your pace, increase endurance, lose weight, and actually enjoy a run.

Couch to 5k Tips

  • It’s important to stay realistic with any workout program. Set your expectations before you begin.
  • Make sure to buy running shoes that fit your foot. The wrong shoes will rub blisters, make your stance wrong, and/or make you uncomfortable for your entire run.
  • Remember that you have days where you won’t feel great about your running. It’s okay to have bad days.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you’re slow at first.
  • Cheer others on. When you’re starting out, this cheering will help you tremendously. The apps have a strong support system. You get past the tough struggles that keep you from running hard that day.
  • It’s crucial to take rest days seriously. You may feel excited to hit the pavement, but your muscles won’t thank you. Take recovery and rest days seriously so you can help prevent injury. You also will help yourself not burnout.
  • Take the time to slow down. You might want to get your workout done in a hurry, but it isn’t worth it. Work towards your endurance instead of trying to get through it quickly.
  • You can go at your own pace. Some people repeat parts of the program. This is fine. If you get behind, jump back on the horse. No one is going to punish you for taking a rest to regain your strength.
  • Your warm-up and cool-down are two of the most important parts of the program. Don’t skip them. All you need to do to get ready for your training is walk and stretch. Don’t jump into a full sprint without warming up.
  • Don’t run into a figurative wall. When you get bored running in the same places, switch it up. You might lose motivation if you get bored.

Get Going

Getting up off the couch is the first step. Learning to run a few miles can be tough at first. This Couch to 5k program can help beginning runners get the hang of it. Get involved and get motivated. You can do it!