Go From the Couch to 5k!

Thinking of making the transition from the couch to 5k? Follow the 'couch to 5k' training plan provided below to easily transition yourself from the living room to the very real, energizing and rewarding life of running.

First of all, we applaud you and hope you find that you've come to the right place with the right tools to help you make that happen. What you'll find here is a beginner's program designed to get you up and running right from scratch. All you really need to complete this program besides of course the will to start, is a watch and running-type shoes. If you are completely new to running, I urge you to take some time to also read through some of other pages, in particular the running tips page as well as the running form page. The great part about being a new runner, is you've yet to form many of the elements that make up bad running form that long time runners find so hard to change.

The following couch to 5k program is 6 weeks in length and allows your whole body - legs, heart and lungs - the opportunity to very gradually get used to the sensation of running. This is achieved through a walk/run method based on time which is why you need a watch or at least a timer of sorts. Something with a digital face would be preferable so that you can easily check your walk and run times. To start, you don't HAVE to run out and buy an expensive running watch. A watch is an invaluable running training tool, but you can get the job done to start with a much less expensive yet effective tool that you can use when you are following a run/walk program, is a 'Gymboss'. The reason for this is the Gymboss allows you to set intervals of different lengths, such as a 4 minute run, followed by 1 minute walk interval. Additionally, you define how many 'sets' of the 4 and 1 you would like. So if you're going out for a 45 run, you can tell the unit to cycle 9 times! The end of your workout will be signaled by double beeps. They are so easy to use, very light, the beep is loud and they have a belt clip. I absolutely love mine, which I use for my strength training sessions. You can grab one here:

The program is 3 days/week commitment and you'll notice also a day with 'XT' which means cross training. This is to allow for the time to take part in some other team or individual sport that you regularly enjoy.

The absolute best way to go about the program is to pick a goal race such as a local 5k to end your program with. This will provide you with a deadline for your goal as well as a very motivating purpose to stick to your program!

Once you've successfully gone from your comfy couch to 5k finish line, I hope you'll be back to meet your running goals for more help with your next big goal.

*Here is the downloadable pdf version of the program:

Couch to 5k Program

Enjoy and congratulations on your decision to complete a 5k and taking the first step of a journey that I know will change your life!

Return to main Training Programs page.

Go to Home page.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.