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Beginners Guide to Running

Couch to 5K - Your Guide to Beginning Running

First off, you may be asking, "exactly how many miles is a 5K?" A 5K is 3.1 miles. Simply Running are 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 disillusioned, 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' programme outlined here is more a walking and jogging programme. 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 programme, but hold yourself back. Don't try to do more, even if you feel you can. If, on the other hand, you find the programme 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.

Some new runners starting the programme experience calf pain or sore shins (sometimes referred to as Shin Splints). Such aches can be caused by a sudden increase in training, running on hard surfaces and/or wearing old or inappropriate footwear. The correct footwear is the most important thing to get right and we at Simply Running are happy to help with this along with any help and advice on your training.

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 programme 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.

Before setting out, make sure to precede each training session with a five-minute brisk warmup walk.

Remember, you will have good runs and bad runs. Accept it and don't spend too much time analysing the how and why. You were still out there, and even a bad run can be good for you.

5K Training Schedule


Week

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

1

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

2

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

3

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

4

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

5

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.

6

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 22 minutes) with no walking.

7

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

8

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

9

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).