The Couch to 5K (C25K) is a beginners running plan originally created by Josh Clark in 1996 but it has some problems, with a rather steep ramp, and some odd overcomplex workouts....so not everyone can manage it. Here we carefully plan an improved, much more subtle gradual step up to a 5k by training three times per week from pretty much zero, so we guarantee you will find this easier. Also 12 weeks is a much more realistic time period.
The daily duration stays the same (30mins) but the intensity gradually increases. So you will be walking or running almost exactly 30 minutes a session, three days a week, but over time it becomes wholly running, not walking. Keeping 30mins per day helps establish a routine for beginner runners but keeps it very manageable if you are time-crunched.
Each week has threee workouts and planned rest days. Think of the weekend run as your longer effort.
Each workout usually start with a 2-5min warm-up walk and the main effort is either intervals (alternating walking and running) or a longer run. Slowly the rest periods are reduced but this is entirely normal!
Don't worry about your running/jogging speed initially
You can move (replace) any days/days-off to any other day of the week
Where a session has multiple activities (intervals) go easy at first but try and finish strong
Initially, run for time (eg 5mins) but at the end you can run against a set distance
By all means run in a group but try and stick with your pace and plan or else you will crash
Keep in mind you will improve if you slowly do more each week
Don't worry if you don't hit the target every time, if necessary you can repeat the session or even the week
If you feel like you cannot progress, repeat the current week, then move on
THIS PLAN IS BASED ON EFFORT (RPE)
We applied the 1-10 effort scale so you know how hard to go (aka RPE / Borg scale)
Level 1: Like I I'm watching TV
Level 2: I'm comfortable and could maintain this pace all day long
Level 3: I'm still comfortable, but am breathing a bit harder
Level 4: I'm sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
Level 5: I'm just above comfortable, am sweating more and can still talk easily
Level 6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
Level 7: I can still talk, but I don't really want to. I'm sweating
Level 8: I can only keep this pace for a short time period
Level 9: This is too hard, I need to stop any second
Level 10: This is impossibly hard
5k is not as easy as people say, but I am sure you can do it if you train.
Good luck from the FFT team!!
ps. any questions feel free to email us on email@example.com
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