Taking up running or exercise can seem daunting and scary. Especially if you feel out of shape, unfit and intimidated by others.
BUT it doesn’t have to be…
Everybody has to start somewhere and there isn’t much better than your very own Couch to 5k Programme. But what exactly is it? How does it work, how do I benefit and is it the right exercise programme for me? These are all very common and understandable questions. So, let’s find out.
WHAT IS COUCH TO 5K?
Couch to 5K is essentially running plan for absolute beginners. It is designed to safely get you from doing no running to running a distance of 5k (about 3 miles) in 8-10 weeks.
The plan involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest in between, and a different schedule for each of the 8-10 weeks.
HOW DOES COUCH TO 5K WORK?
The biggest challenge new runners face is not knowing how or where to start.
The most common mistake people make is to overdo it. Ultimately, they feel defeated and give up.
Couch to 5K works because it starts with a mix of running and walking to gradually build up your fitness and stamina.
For example, week 1 involves running for just a minute at a time, this makes the challenge feel achievable right from the start.
WHO IS COUCH TO 5K FOR?
Everyone! Whether you’ve never run before or if you just want to get more active or returning from a long injury.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
- Improving your physical health.
- Running requires little equipment
- Running regularly will improve the health of your heart and lungs.
- Running can help you lose weight, especially if combined with a healthy diet.
- Increase bone density in some people, which can help protect against bone diseases like osteoporosis.
- Running regularly can relieve stress and can combat depression
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
There are many apps and websites that can help you get started which work great for some people. They guide you through each run week by week. You can do it with friends or individually. You can do it wherever and whenever you want. Just choose a route and off you go. However, I have found that they do not work for everyone as they are not individualised and can rush you too much. They are not able to change things to either push you on quicker or make it easier. Everyone is at their own level and needs to progress at different rates so don’t be afraid to repeat steps until you are confident to move on.
The Couch to 5k Programme is a fantastic introduction to running and a new lifestyle. I have seen so many people, who never believed they actually could, go through the process and it really has changed their lives.
Do let me know if you start struggle, need a little guidance or just some reassurance that you are doing the right thing.
Go for it!
AC Running and Fitness