You might have heard of the current fitness craze that is known as ‘Couch to 5k’, it is a brilliant 8 or 9-week running program (depending on which app you choose) that has been set up to get us off the couch and out running. What’s great about it is that it is designed to be achievable even if you have never run before, or if your fitness levels are low. In this article, we will run through some of the things you need to get started and give you an idea of what to expect from Couch to 5k.
Running is a highly beneficial activity. In addition to strengthening your lungs, preventing high blood pressure, and giving you strong leg muscles, it is also a great tonic for your mental health. Being out on the open road and getting those endorphins flowing is highly conducive to improving your well-being and reducing stress.
“Our running shoes have magic in them. The power to transform a bad day into a good day; frustration into speed; self-doubt into confidence; chocolate cake into muscle.”Mina Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl
Top 5 tips to get started with Couch to 5K
Before hitting the couch to 5k treadmill, here are some tips to get started:
1. Choose the right ‘Couch to 5k’ App
You will notice that there are a lot of apps out there offering Couch to 5k, some with your favorite celebrities delivering the instructions, so make sure you have a look at some couch to 5k reviews before selecting the best one for you. One of our favorite is The Zen Labs Fitness C25K which is great for getting started, improving fitness, endurance, and motivation.
2. Sign up for a 5k race
There is nothing better to spur you on than to have a target. Signing up for a 5k race in your area is a great idea to encourage you to keep going.
3. Get yourself some good running shoes
Make sure you have some comfortable footwear that is lightweight and provides good support. No need to spend loads but make sure you get the right pair for you.
4. Wear something comfortable
It sounds obvious but the last thing you want is to be too hot or too restricted when you run. Select something breathable and flexible to ensure your comfort.
5. Keep hydrated
Make sure you have a water bottle to take with you on your run as you need to replenish your water supplies after all that sweating!
What is the couch to 5K running program?
The app you select will deliver the Couch to 5k program via a podcast which paces you gradually. You will undertake 3 runs per week which will see you walking mostly at first and then building up to a full 30 minutes of running non-stop. Here we outline what you can expect from an 8-week running program (based on the Zen Labs Fitness C25K app).
|#1||For each run this week you will warm up with 5 minutes of fast walking and then interchange 1 minute running with 1.5 minutes walking for 20 minutes.|
|#2||Up to the next level, in week 2 you will warm up again with 5 minutes of fast walking and then interchange 1.5 minutes running with 2 minutes walking for 20 minutes.|
|#3||Into week 3 things get stepped up a gear and you will build up to running for 3 minutes non-stop.|
|#4||Week 4 will see you doing your first 5-minute run – but don’t worry you get plenty of walking breaks in-between!|
|#5||In week 5 you will be doing 3 different runs and will gradually build yourself up from an 8 minute run up to a full 20 minutes of running.|
|#6||By week 6 you will be a running pro and will see yourself running for 22 minutes without stopping.|
|#7||Your three runs in week 7 will start with a 5 minute walking warm-up and then 25 minutes of running.|
|#8||Week 8 is similar to week 7 but with a gradual increase – 28 minutes in the first 2 sessions and then a full 30 minutes running on day 3.|
With a decent app and some enthusiasm, you will soon be flying through the Couch to 5k. We wish you the best of luck!