Want to get into running but don’t know where to start? Look no further than Couch to 5k; a brilliant guided training plan for complete beginners or those looking to get back into running. The Couch to 5k programme involves running three times a week and will ease you in by alternating walking and running, with the end goal to have you running 5k in just 9 – 12 weeks. We understand that heading out for your first run can be a little intimidating, so we’re answering some of the most common questions asked before starting so you can ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running!
How long does it take?
Each session takes around 20-30 minutes and on average, the entire Couch to 5k programme takes up to 12 weeks to complete if you stick to the plan of running 3 times a week, but you can stretch it out longer if needed – if you need to take a break between sessions, there’s no harm in doing so to make sure you’re comfortable and ready to succeed on your next run.
Where do I go?
Wherever you like! We recommend planning your routes around places you know when starting out, so that you can concentrate on walking/running rather than where to go next. If you’re not feeling confident to head out alone, you could try participating in a Couch to 5k group or even pairing up with a friend and running together. Running can be hard at first, so running with others is great for support if things get challenging.
What do I need to take with me?
Yourself, your phone with a Couch to 5k app downloaded and some wireless earphones is all you’ll need. If you own a smartwatch or fitness tracker, then wear it when running, it can really come in handy to help monitor your progress, heart rate and distance travelled, this isn’t an essential, just a bonus if you already have one. You may also wish to take a bottle of water.
What do I wear?
Whatever you feel most comfortable in – most people find shorts or leggings are perfect for running, paired with a t-shirt/vest depending on the weather. Keep in mind that you will work up a sweat, so don’t wear too many layers or anything too thick. Most importantly, make sure you wear a comfortable pair of trainers because blisters can really set you back…
Where do I put my phone?
Most activewear comes with pockets for this reason – leggings often come with phone pockets situated in the waistband or leg, and look for shorts with zip pockets to keep your phone safe and secure. Failing that, you might want to invest in a running armband or running belt to put your phone in so that you can wear whatever you like without worrying about pockets!
So, now we’ve answered your questions, we hope you feel ready to get outside and start your Couch to 5k training but if you don’t feel comfortable heading out alone – why not join our next Couch to 5k training group starting Autumn 2021?