Athletic Running Tips

How To Start Running: Couch To 5k

“There is an expression among even the most advanced runners that getting your shoes on is the hardest part of any workout.” – Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon

As you can see, even the top runners find it hard to lace up and get out the door. You just need to get started and everything else will follow.

Today I’m going to show you how you can go from no running at all to being able to run 5km without stopping.

You guessed it. There’s an app for that.

There are a few to choose from, I’ve chosen the Couch to 5K app by Active Network for $4.49 (Australian dollars). I tried a free version but the pop-ads drive me crazy.

Even if you have never been very good at running and normally struggle to run for more than a few minutes, the Couch to 5K app is the ‘go to’ app if you want to slowly build yourself up to doing a 5km run without stopping.

I’ve made a short video for you to see what the Couch to 5k (C25k) app looks like:

Ready? Let’s go! As you open up the app, notice that the GPS is enabled which will map your run and save it to your training log.

To turn the GPS on or off go to Settings > Workout Options >Enable GPS. While we’re in the Settings you can change a few other things like your Trainer ( I have Constance) or whether you want to train in kilometres or miles. To change to kilometres select “Use Meters” and to use Miles, turn off “Use Metres”.

Overall the Couch to 5k app helpful and it will get you going on a training plan. The instructions are clear although the change overs didn’t always come through on my earphones when I was listening to something else. This meant that I got my jogging and walking out of sink which totally threw my stats.

If you’ve done some running in the past, you will quickly outgrew the program. It doesn’t adjust to your fitness level so you could either skip to more challenging workout or, on the other hand, you might need to repeat workout days.

The other thing that I felt it lacked was what to do on the off days. Perhaps a few exercises or stretches so that you can start to build activity as part of a daily routine.

To sum up, although the app isn’t entirely perfect, the Couch to 5K program works. The beginning is nice and slow which is perfect for complete beginners. You start to enjoy your time out more and more and before you know it, you’re running!

Here is a Couch to 5k printable training log for you to put on the fridge and mark off all the days you’ve done.

If you decide to download the app, try out Day 1 and let me know how you go in the comments below.

Good luck! I know you can do it!

Running Tips

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