8 Week Couch to 5K Training Plan

Couch to 5K Quote:
"Most people don't plan to fail: They fail to plan."~ John L. Beckley

If you are new to running or haven't run in a while, a couch to 5k training plan can be one of the best ways to help you get started correctly. The idea is to ease into it gradually. 

What many "couch potatoes" fail to understand is that their bodies have become accustomed to an inactive lifestyle and are not prepared to take on a physical activity like running. By using our 7 Week Jog & Walk Plan, you will gradually progress from couch potato to a person who is confident and ready to run that 5k!! 

Click Here to View Our 7 Week Jog & Walk Plan


Couch to 5k Tips

  • Keep a Journal - It is a good idea to keep a running journal. Once you start keeping a journal, make sure look back now and then to see how you are doing. Whether your goal is to run a 5k in a competitive time or to lose weight, a journal can be a smart way to go. It can also be used as a motivational tool.
  • Healthy Diet - This is real important. As a runner, if you want to improve your performance, eating a healthy diet is critical. Proper nutrition and hydrating can help you to keep your energy levels high and also help you to stay motivated. Good nutrition is a vital element to your overall athletic success. 
  • Set Mini Goals - By setting small goals that are achievable every week or month, you have a good chance of keeping your focus at a high level. Setting goals can be a tricky thing, you want to set goals that are high but attainable. Once you reach a short-term goal you can always set another.

  • Strength Training - To prevent injury it is important to train your entire body. Strengthening all of your different muscle groups will increase your total-body strength. Adding some core and strength training exercises will make you a lot stronger and help to reduce chance of injury.

  • Proper Sleep - Getting a good night's sleep is vital as you train for your 5k. Sleep will allow your body the time to repair and rejuvenate itself and will help your overall conditioning and athletic performance.

Strength Training for the Runner


Couch to 5k Training Plan

Ready to train for that 5k? As you follow this 8 week couch to 5k training plan, Try and stay on the schedule as much as possible, it is also extremely important not to ignore the rest days. The rest days are there to allow your body ample time to recover and are a vital part of the plan.

Try and run at a comfortable pace where you are not breathing too hard. Of course, you can switch the days that you run so that it works with your personal schedule.


WeekMonTuesWedThuFriSatSun
11
mile run
Rest1
mile run
Rest1.25
mile run
1.25
mile run
Rest
21.25
mile run
Rest1.5
mile run
Rest1.5
mile run
1.5
mile run
Rest
31.5
mile run
Rest1.75
mile run
Rest1.75
mile run
1.75
mile run
Rest
41.75
mile run
Rest2
mile run
Rest1.5
mile run
2
mile run
Rest
52
mile run
Rest2.25
mile run
Rest2
mile run
2.25
mile run
Rest
62.25
mile run
Rest2.5
mile run
Rest2.5
mile run
2.5
mile run
Rest
72.25
mile run
Rest2.75
mile run
Rest3
mile run
2.5
mile run
Rest
83
mile run
Rest2
mile run
Rest3
mile run
RestRace Day


Pick a 5k Race

Alright!!! The body is getting stronger and better conditioned. It is time to pick your race. Choose a race that coincides with your 8 week training plan. After you sign up for the race, make sure tell all of your friends what you are doing. That is one the best motivator's out there... A little self-imposed pressure never hurts, and who knows, maybe a friend or two will join you.



Race Day

To me, 5k race day is a reward in itself. This is what you have been working so hard for. There are many obstacles and challenges for many of us to reach goals like running a race like this and it can be an extremely rewarding day, so... ENJOY!!!

Race Day Tips:

  • Get there early - Don't get there right before the race and have to rush. You should leave yourself enough time to pick up your race package from a race official and still have time to use the bathroom and other things.

  • Start out slow - By starting out slowly, you can make sure that you are running at a proper speed for yourself, and hopefully find a couple of other runners going at your tempo.
  • Inclines - Don't be surprised to find the running terrain on the 5k course extremely hilly at times. Make sure you slow your pace on these hills unless you did a lot of incline training before the race.

  • The Finish - Like I said, doing this race can be a reward in itself and you should enjoy the moment. Try and stick around for a while after the race and share your experience with the other runners.


Other pages that might interest you:



I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum



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