Is the “Couch to 5K” a Good Program?

What is the “Couch to 5k” program? Is it worth a try? Read guest fit mom blogger, Hillary Jones’, opinion of the Couch to 5k program.

Fit mom, Hillary Jones

I used to run all the time. I loved it! I hit a point about a month ago where I hadn’t run in a while and I have been seriously missing it. I always wanted to try and run a 5K and eventually do a half marathon (I’m not ambitious enough for a full marathon just yet, but maybe someday!). I’m a very competitive person and I have found that competition keeps me striving towards physical exercise. Since I haven’t run in some time, I decided to do a Couch to 5K program that is 8 weeks long. It is a very easy program and easy to stick to. Here are the basics about it:

  • You run 3 days a week for about 25-35 minutes.
  • Each week changes the amount of running and walking until you reach week 8 where you can run the full 5K.
  • Begin each session with a 5 minute warm- up (brisk walk, jumping jacks, walking lunges, etc., whatever gets you warmed up and your heart rate going) and finish with a 5 min cool down and stretching. Drink plenty of water!!
Week Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
1 1 minute run, 1.5 minute walk- repeat 6 times 1 minute run, 1.5 minute   walk- repeat 8 times Repeat day 2
2 1.5minute run, 2m   walk, repeat 4 times,1 minute run, 1 minute   walk, repeat 2 times Repeat day 1 1.5 minute run, 2 minute walk- repeat 6 times
3 1.5 minute run, 1.5 minute   walk2.5 minute run, 2.5 minute   walk- repeat 2 times1.5 minute run, 1.5 minute   walk Repeat day 1 2 minute run, 2 minute   walk3 minute run, 3 minute   walk – repeat 2 times2 minute run, 2 minute   walk
4 3 minute run, 2 minute   walk4 minute run, 3 minute   walk- repeat 2 times3 minute run, 2 minute   walk 3 minute run,  minute walk5 minute run, 3 minute   walk – repeat 2 times3 minute run, 2 minute   walk Repeat day 2
5 5 minute run, 3 minute   walk6 minute run, 3 minute   walk5 minute run 5 minute run, 3 minute   walk8 minute run, 5 minute   walk5 minute run 8 minute run, 5 minute   walk8 minute run
6 10 minute run, 5   minute walk10 minute run 10 minute run, 3   minute walk10 minute run 15 minute run, 3   minute walk5 minute run5 minute cool down
7 20 minute run 20 minute run 25 minute run
8 28 minute run 30 minute run 35 minute run

I actually have an app ($2.99 for the full version on iTunes- worth every penny) that is great for the Couch to 5k program because it lets you play music and interrupts the songs to tell you when to run or walk. I’m starting week 4 this week and in addition to running these 3 days, I’m going to add in some gym time and some of Amanda’s amazing Backyard Boot Camps. (Have you done any yet? Seriously… I was sore for THREE DAYS after the first one I did!! I didn’t even do it 5 rounds like she suggested! They’re amazing- kinda like her). I hope to be a running machine in 4 weeks time! I hope you find some inner strength to get out there and enjoy this beautiful summer and make it some wonderful memories! As always, thank you Amanda for your encouragement and fitness information. You are changing more lives than you realize!

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2 thoughts on “Is the “Couch to 5K” a Good Program?

  1. Kristie says:

    I’ve tried running countless times before and never could force myself past the 15-20 minute mark. I really think my problem was starting too fast instead of allowing my body (and mind!) to build up some tolerance. I started the couch to 5K program early this year and ran my first 5K late April. It definitely worked for me! I printed out a schedule like the one above and crossed out every day I completed. That felt great! Unfortunately, summer vacations have cut into my running schedule, so I need to build back some tolerance again 🙂

    • Amanda Tress says:

      Hey Kristie! So glad the couch to 5k program worked for you too! And that’s awesome you ran your first 5k in April. Congrats! Any more races coming up in the near future? Once you have the running bug, it’s hard to get rid of it 🙂

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