With everyone having to adjust their work and social lives there is a lot of uncertainty. It’s difficult to say how things will be next week, let alone next month.

In times like this it can be helpful to focus on what you can control instead of all the things you can’t. Thankfully, your goals, training and diet are one of these such areas.

With gyms closing left, right and centre there has never been a better time to learn a new skill, set a new goal and do something different. In this article, we’ll cover a detailed couch to 5k plan to level up your fitness and keep you sane in these trying times.

The Benefits of Running

Running is something most people want to do but most never get around to. However, with the UK on lockdown and everyone working from home, getting out and staying active has never been so important.

So, whilst you’re increasing the distance between you and your neighbours this is the perfect time to close the distance between you and your goals.

Running is one of the best ways to do this, as it’s free, accessible and can be done solo. Not to mention it can help.

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Assist fat loss and weight control
  • Build leg strength and stability
  • Boost confidence

So, what better way to make the most of this situation than improve your fitness and hit a new goal with a done for you couch to 5k plan.

Your Coach to 5k Training Plan

Couch to 5k is a well-established training plan that’s designed to take your from 0k to 5k in 9 weeks. Each week has 3 workouts that you can do whenever you like but it’s important to have a day’s rest in between each one and do the plan in order.

Week 1

In week 1 you will do the following workout 3 times:

  • Start with a brisk 5-minute walk
  • Then alternate 1 minute of running with 1.5 minutes of walking
  • Stop when you reach 20 minutes

Week 2

In week 2 you will do the following workout 3 times:

  • Start with a brisk 5-minute walk
  • Then alternate 1.5 minute of running with 2 minutes of walking
  • Stop when you reach 20 minutes

Week 3

In week 3 you will do the following workout 3 times:

  • Start with a brisk 5-minute walk
  • Then alternate 1.5 minute of running with 1.5 minutes of walking – do this twice
  • Then do 3 minutes of running followed by 3 minutes of walking

Week 4

In week 4 you will do the following workout 3 times:

  • Start with a brisk 5-minute walk
  • Then do 3 minutes of running followed by 1.5 minutes of walking
  • Then 5 minutes of running followed by 2.5 minutes of walking
  • 3 minutes of running followed by 1.5 minutes of walking
  • Finishing with 5 minutes of running

Week 5

In week 5 you will do 3 different runs:

  • Run 1: A brisk 5-minute walk followed by 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and then finishing with 5 minutes of running
  • Run 2: A brisk 5-minute walk followed by 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking and finishing with another 8 minutes of running
  • Run 3: A brisk 5-minute walk followed by 20 minutes of running with no walking

Week 6

In week 6 you will also be doing 3 different runs:

  • Run 1: A brisk 5-minute walk followed by 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and then finishing with 5 minutes of running
  • Run 2: A brisk 5-minute walk followed by 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and finishing with another 10 minutes of running
  • Run 3: A brisk 5-minute walk followed by 25 minutes of running with no walking

Week 7

In week 7 you will do the following workout 3 times:

  • Start with a brisk 5-minute walk
  • Then run for 25 minutes

Week 8

In week 8 you will do the following workout 3 times:

  • Start with a brisk 5-minute walk
  • Then run for 28 minutes

Week 9

In week 9 you will do the following workout 3 times:

  • Start with a brisk 5-minute walk
  • Then run for 30 minutes

Congratulations you’ve just completed your first 5k run.

Remember:

  • Always do a 5-minute warm up and short dynamic stretch before you start running, followed by a cool down and stretch after your run. This is important to help prepare your body for exercise and avoid injury
  • It can be beneficial to include 1 – 2 lower body strength workouts per week, particularly if you’re new to training/running to help your body adjust to the demands of running – squats and glute bridges are ideal, keep it simple.
  • The plan is a 9-week plan, however, if you want to repeat 1 or more of the weeks for any reason you can extend the duration of the plan.
  • It helps with plan adherence and motivation to work out on the same days each week. Doing this will make exercise a habit.
  • Don’t expect every run to be easy or feel amazing, it’s normal for some to be good and some to be bad. Accept this and focus on being consistent.

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