Couch to 5K: How long does Couch to 5K take?

Taking up running can be a daunting prospect but the Couch to 5K is designed for complete beginners. The aim of the plan is to help people get started and eventually work their way to running five kilometres.

How long does the Couch to 5K take?

The Couch to 5K is a nine-week plan for new runners.

The plan was developed by Josh Clark, who the NHS says “wanted to help his 50-something mother get off the couch and start running”.

There are three runs a week in the Couch to 5K plan, which also includes rest days and a varying schedule each week.

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According to the NHS, the plan works well because “it starts with a mix of running and walking to gradually build up your fitness and stamina”.

Anyone can take up the Couch to 5K but any if you have any health concerns then discuss it with your GP first.

To get started, simply head to the NHS website and download the podcasts that will guide you through the Couch to 5K plan.

The Couch to 5K app is also available on iOS and Android devices.

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Couch to 5K plan

Week 1

For your 3 runs in week 1, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 1 minute of running and 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2

For your 3 runs in week 2, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 1-and-a-half minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3

For your 3 runs in week 3, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 2 repetitions of 1-and-a-half minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking.

Week 4

For your 3 runs in week 4, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 3 minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 2-and-a-half minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Week 5

There are 3 different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking and 8 minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

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Week 6

There are 3 different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week 7

For your 3 runs in week 7, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running.

Week 8

For your 3 runs in week 8, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week 9

For your 3 runs in week 9, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

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