Running Program to Go from the Couch to 5 Km in 9 Weeks (C25K)
The couch to 5k plan is available as a PDF, an image and a Word file. I did the C25K running program about 8 years ago. I went from a couch potato to 5K and then eventually went on to a full marathon and a few halves on the way. When I started I could barely run for 1 minute! It’s a great running program for beginners.
The couch to 5K schedule lists how long you need to run each day, whether or not you completed it, and how you felt. It also has a section to write how long it was since the last run, which will help you understand if a run was difficult, etc.
What is the C25K Program?
The C25K running program is a 9-week program designed to bring you from the couch to running for 30 minutes in only 9 weeks. If you run fast enough, then you will be running 5k in 30 minutes but not everyone manages to do this. If you can go from sitting on the couch to running 30 minutes straight, then that seems good enough to me. Your speed eventually improves.
How does it work?
It is based on intervals – alternating running and walking as you improve your fitness. The duration increases slowly.
How far will I be able to run at the end of the program?
It depends on your running speed. The C25K program is supposed to get you running for 30 minutes. If you are running at 10 km/hr then you will run 5k in 30 minutes.
I didn’t run at that speed during the program but my speed improved over the years since then. You should concentrate on the duration during the program and the speed will come at a later stage.
What is the C25K Calendar?
This is basically a 5K running plan for beginners in PDF or Word format. It’s a printable plan or calendar created to keep track of the running program, how much you need to run each day, ensure that you run often enough, and keep track of how you feel each day.
Why did you make the C25K Schedule?
I made this running log for myself and wanted to share it with you. It is a downloadable Word file and you can change it to meet your needs. I found it helpful to see my progress on 2 pages and keep track of how I felt. I got a lot of pleasure each time I marked a run. It makes me feel like I was getting somewhere!
I started the C25K running program about 7 years ago. I went from a couch potato to 5K and then eventually went on to a full marathon and a few halves on the way. When I started I could barely run for 1 minute!
I obsessed about week 5 day 3. I had to run 20 minutes! I never thought it was possible! I spent hours on the web looking for tips on how to get through week 5 day 3. In the end, it was actually possible. We actually made it! I did the program with my neighbor. I think it is important to have a running partner.
I stuck to the program most days (although I did have to repeat some days since I couldn’t meet the target times). I love the program and I never thought I would or could run.
How do you keep track of the time?
I have found that when you keep looking at your watch the time just does NOT pass. I downloaded a great app (that was free) called Runkeeper. It tells me when to walk or run and keeps track of my progress. It also lets you enter your goals (such as to run a certain number of km or miles or to lose weight). I also bought a heart rate monitor which works with the Run Keeper app and keeps track of my heart rate. Today, most sports watches come with a built-in heart rate monitor.
How do you use Run Keeper with the c25K Program?
There might be a better way, but I added the program manually. It only takes a few seconds each week. You go to the “Training” tab. Then you click on “One Offs”. Scroll down until you find “Add New Workout”. Enter a name such as “Week 1”, click on “Add new action” and enter details. Don’t forget to turn the Warm Up and Cool Down on.
Can you do the C25K Program on a Treadmill?
You can but you should increase the incline slightly to replicate the natural incline you find outside. It should be 1%. I prefer running or walking on the treadmill with a good movie, but I do find it easier to run outside. I never thought I would. I never walked or ran outside before I started the program although I had walked on the treadmill on and off over the years. A treadmill is great when it is too hot or too cold to run outside.
Do you lose weight on the C25K Program?
I am not an expert but I can tell you my personal experience. I started the program to lose weight and although I didn’t lose too much weight I felt great. In the beginning, I was very careful about what I ate and I did lose weight. As I started eating more, I gained weight even though I was running a lot more. I burn about 300 calories during a 5K run. If you burn that much 3 times a week then you can lose 1 pound or 1/2 a kg a month! Not much! It is more important to eat less if you want to lose weight with this program. I certainly lost a lot more when I was doing that! I guess there is a reason that they say it is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.