Couch to 5k plan.

The joy of finishing a race

Couch to 5k for beginners. Get active and fit.

The concept of Couch to 5k has taken the world by storm. So many people think that running 5k is way beyond their capabilities – but with the right training plan, it is achievable by all.

There are various training plans for getting up to the 5k distance, but if you are new to running then I have some top tips for before you even get started.

  • Set Your Goal. Know what it is you want to achieve, and by when. Is the goal simply to complete the distance, or do you want to complete it in a certain time? Write that goal down and put it somewhere that you will see it every day. Tell people what your goal is. The more accountable you are for it, the more likely you are to try and stick to it. If you achieve your goal quicker than expected, that’s brilliant – now write a new goal!

  • Find a Training Partner. It can be someone of ANY ability – but they must be reliable and take your goal seriously. The early days and weeks of training are the hardest. Its too easy to back out of a session if its only you attending, so make plans with a friend. The training will be more enjoyable, and you will soon see the benefits and can celebrate together.

  • Get Some New Training Gear. If you haven’t exercised for a long time, then the chances are you won’t have much in the way of training gear. Some new trainers and running clothes (a well fitted sports bra is essential ladies!) can have a big impact on your progress. These don’t need to be expensive; sports wear can be picked up affordably in supermarkets these days, but you must be comfortable!

  • Celebrate Achievements. However small it may be; celebrate it. Celebrate your first run. Celebrate your first distance. Celebrate an increase in pace. Celebrate hitting your goal. Celebrate setting a new goal. Your friends and family will be proud of you, and you should absolutely be proud of yourself.

  • Don’t Get Knocked Down. There will be bad runs. They are inevitable. Don’t get knocked down by these. Acknowledge it wasn’t the best, then dust yourself off and get back out again as soon as you can.

  • Choosing Your Plan. The following links will all take you to 5k training plans. Read them and see which you think suits you best. Adapt it slightly if necessary to fit in around work/family etc but try to keep as close to the mark as you can.

  • There is nothing wrong with stopping to walk. But try not to, if you feel like stopping then slow down, decrease your jog speed. Don't be afraid to walk especially if you are not used to running or have not ran for a long time. If you do walk, breaks your run into smaller sections. These walk periods will help you run for longer but It will take a bit of willpower to start jogging again.

  • Walking breaks work best if you walk for one to five minutes or set yourself targets in the distance to walk and run between.

  • Finish your run, breath deeply and steadily, stand up tall with your arms above your head. Make sure you do not stop suddenly or lie down. Stretch and cool down, control your breathing and take a drink of water. Feel the rush of endorphins

Get out a jog, get fit and improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Download the app now on Apple or Android devices and share your story with others on the

Couch to 5K Facebook page.

Links and Sources

NHS - Get running

Bupa - running guides

Parkrun 5K

Active - Running tips for beginners

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