Have you ever wanted to do a 5K?

If running a 5K is something you’ve always thought you’d like to accomplish, a couch to 5K training program might be exactly what you need.

All sorts of couch to 5K programs exist. A quick Google search pops up tons of websites that offer all sorts of options. Some differences exist between jogging times and rest times, but they’re all pretty similar in nature.

The general concept of each couch to 5K program is the same.

If you’re someone who hasn’t really ever done much running, or maybe you just haven’t done any running in a while, you could definitely start here.

The idea is that you begin by alternating short amounts of jogging with walking. Then you gradually increase the amount of time you spend jogging before you walk.

Most programs are 8-9 weeks, and by the end of the final week, you should be jogging at least 30 minutes straight without stopping.

That’s right! The idea is that in 9 weeks, you could actually be ready to do a 5K!

Here is a typical Couch to 5K program.

Each and every training session begins with a BRISK 5-minutes of walking for warmup.

You could also throw in a dynamic warmup to improve some flexibility and muscular readiness as well.

One thing you should definitely keep in mind is that to finish a 5K in 30 minutes, you would need to keep a 9:39 pace.

So, if you’re not comfortable keeping that pace for 30 minutes, you may need to adjust the program slightly.

Adjusting the program is pretty easy.

After the 3rd or 4th week, determine what your average pace is when you’re jogging. Then, when you start doing your longer runs, adjust the time accordingly.

So, if you average an 11:00 pace, instead of jogging for 5 minutes (1/2-mile with a 10 minute mile pace), jog for 6.5 minutes (1/2-mile with an 11:00 minute pace).

Just adjust the time you’re jogging based on accomplishing the same distance if you were running a 10-minute mile. 

If you’re more of a techy versus analog-type individual…”there’s an app for that.” As a matter of fact, there are LOTS of couch to 5K apps.

The apps are pretty cool, because most of them sync to your music library. They also give you voice commands for when to begin jogging and/or walking based on which day in the program it is.

You really don’t have to keep up with anything as long as you listen for the commands. 

Now, remember, as with any exercise program, make sure your medical professional thinks you’re healthy enough for exercise. Once you’re cleared, go for it!

If you’ve always wanted to do a 5K, or it’s just been a really long time since your last one, maybe now is your time.

Pick a race, and work back 9 weeks. Just get started! You can do it!