Couch to 5k

I ran in public again yesterday. The sun shone on my face, my legs felt good, and I was breathing loud enough to scare the groups of young boys in football training. After about half an hour of running and walking, I was probably like a Pantone 1788. It was a great reminder that getting fit and healthy doesn’t just mean losing weight, but improving my physical fitness too.

Earlier this year I ran the Resolution 5k in Edinburgh, a route that ran up, around and back along Cramond Foreshore, which was a nice route because a) it was flat and b) the last couple of kilometres faced towards the bridges, which is one of my favourite views out of Edinburgh. On the other hand, the fact that the route looped back on itself meant that the quickest runners (including a couple of my workmates) passed you on their way to the finish line while you were just starting out.

In preparation for the last 5k I tried to up my fitness with interval training on the treadmill and outside. But I was lazy, then I panic trained, and then I got shin splints. They were so intensely painful and made running  (sometimes even walking) difficult. I stopped all my training a week before the race and despite my workmates/running partners telling me to man up, decided just to walk it. In fact thanks to the week off training my legs actually felt fine on the day of the race, so I combination ran/walked, and finished the 5k in 36.58 minutes – not award winning, but I was so pleased to finish it running.

This blurry photo shows a very triumphant-feeling me on the very last stretch.

Following that I naturally stopped all forms of exercise.

And so, months later, when the same workmates have suggested the Bupa 10k in October, I am again trying to get fit enough to run a 5k. But this time, I’m going to do it properly. I have good supportive trainers, I’ve bought a sports bra that doesn’t make me feel like I’m wearing the tightest Elizabethan corset to jog in, and I have a schedule.

The couch to 5k method below is all over the Internet and many people seem to swear by it. So, here goes. This weekend I will begin week 1, workout 1. I will, I will, I will.

Week

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

1

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

2

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

3

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of:

  • Jog 90 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of:

  • Jog 90 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of:

  • Jog 90 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes

4

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 2-1/2 minutes
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 2-1/2 minutes
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 2-1/2 minutes
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes

5

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 5 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 8 minutes
  • Walk 5 minutes
  • Jog 8 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 20 minutes with no walking.

6

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 8 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 5 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then:

  • Jog 10 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Jog 10 minutes
Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 22 minutes with no walking.

7

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 25 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 25 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 25 minutes.

8

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 28 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 28 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 28 minutes.

9

Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 30 minutes. Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 30 minutes. The final workout!Brisk 5 min warm-up walk, then jog 30 minutes.
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3 comments
  1. That’s brilliant you’re doing all this – I’m starting Roller Derby this Sunday and have been trying to be all healthy and gym going in preparation! Your pantone swatches made me laugh – I totally go Pantone 185 in the gym!

    • Haha thanks my Sister of the Pantone! It definitely feels good to get in shape properly (not that I’m there yet, but I’m on the way!) How was the first training session this Sunday? I hope you’re well stocked on bags of peas and arnica cream!

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