8-Week Couch to 5k Training

This weekend marks the start of my Couch to 5k training program. Just as I entered into the sport of running in 2013 through an 8-week program designed for beginners by Runner’s World, I’m going to utilize another 8-week program this time. Upon researching different apps, I have chosen the free C25K app created by Zen Labs LLC.

The C25K app utilizes a 3-day-a-week workout system to bring a beginning runner from couch to 3.1 miles. I plan to run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and either Fridays or Saturdays each week over the next eight. My goal is to run outside rather than on the treadmill because I have been dealing with shin splints anytime I run on the machine. I will begin tomorrow since it is steadily snowing outside today — on April 17th, Michigan! Come on!

Beginning tomorrow schedules my last day of training on Wednesday, June 10th. Given there are races continuing to happen, my goal is to completely run a 5k on Saturday, June 13th.

There are a ton of couch-to-5k trainings out there, and all are beneficial for getting a beginner started. I like having music while I run, and the C25K allows for playlists in the background of the voiced training alerts. This plan is designed to get a beginning runner from strict walking to running 30 minutes at a slow, relaxed pace. This time frame should bring you to about a 3-mile consecutive distance by the end of the training. I like it because it is a simple program that gradually evolves walking into running.

The name of the game is to be patient and disciplined in order to complete these 8 weeks, and then grow from there! Do NOT rush the process — rushing leads to injuries. Don’t look to set any records just yet; focus on reaching 30 minutes of continuous running.

*Always walk 3-5 minutes for warm-up before beginning the workout, and then another 3-5 minutes to cool down following it. Stretch only after your workout; never before.

I would love to have you join me in this new endeavor. Looking to run a summer 5k? Download the app and train alongside me! Be sure to comment and let me know you’re taking up the challenge too — I’ll be your personal cheerleader as we tackle this hurtle together!

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