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Race season is now in full force! Races are so great. Not only do they give you awesome motivation to get out the door and train, but they are so fun! The start line is always so exciting. There are so many runners at all running levels talking and getting ready. During the race you are really only competing against yourself (unless you are one of the top runners, of course) but you have hundreds or sometimes thousands of people around you. The finish line has the feel of sweet success with everyone relaxing and socializing.

543473_3981316413258_920624670_nMay 2012 Race for the Cure 5k (with my pregnant belly)

If you are thinking about getting into running or you are very new to it, a 5k is a perfect starter race. They are very laid back and it is a great base distance to work towards. At 3.1 miles, a 5k is long enough that you get a decent cardio workout in, but short enough that you can train for it without having to commit a ton of time. It is also a good base distance to have if you would like to work up to other higher distance races like a 10k, half marathon, marathon, etc.

Today I want to share a couch to 5k plan that I wrote for one of my friends. This plan is definitely for beginners. It is written with the assumption that you are not able to run up to a mile without needing to walk, or ideally, not running at all. If you find that you need it to be more challenging, make the walking time shorter and lengthen your running time. You can also use it as a speed work guide if it is not challenging enough. This would mean that for the running time, you would run at a pace above your comfort level, and at the walking time, you would run at your comfortable pace.

Remember, training is not suppose to be easy. Don’t get discouraged when you have bad days, we ALL have them, and sometimes, they can last more than one day. Push through and remember, for every bad day, you have TONS of good days! Let yourself enjoy running and even if you really don’t at first, you will learn to crave that feeling of the “runners high”!

My plan is 8 weeks long but you can definitely do it in a shorter time if you need to. Just move up on the schedule a little bit more each week. Also you can change up the days if you need to, just try to space out the days you run.

Week One:

Monday Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute-repeat 10 times
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes-repeat 5 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes-repeat 5 times
Sunday Rest

 

Week two:

Monday Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes-repeat 4 times
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes-repeat 4 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes-repeat 3 times
Sunday Rest

 

Week three:

Monday Run 7 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 3 times
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 3 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 3 times
Sunday Rest

 

Week four:

Monday Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 3 times
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 10 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 2 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 10 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 2 times THEN run for 5 minutes
Sunday Rest

 

Week five:

Monday Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute-repeat 3 times
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 3 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 12 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 2 times THEN run for 5 minutes
Sunday Rest

 

Week six:

Monday Run 12 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 2 times
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 3 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute-repeat 2 times
Sunday Rest

 

Week seven:

Monday Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute-repeat 3 times-THEN run for 5 minutes
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 12 minutes, walk 2 minutes-repeat 2 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 18 minutes, walk 30 seconds then run for 5 minutes, walk 30 seconds, run 7 minutes, walk 30 seconds
Sunday Rest

 

Week eight:

Monday Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute-repeat 2 times
Tuesday Crosstrain
Wednesday Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute-repeat 3 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Crosstrain
Saturday Run 20 minutes, walk 30 seconds to 1 minute, run 10 minutes

Find some races in your area and sign up ASAP to get you motivated! Good luck and have fun!

-Jaeme

 

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