Don't you know about the Couch to 5K program ? Why is it so successful? If you want to run your first 5K, you've come to the right place. In the guide, we discuss frequently asked questions and mistakes about the Couch to 5K plan. If you're interested in starting a 5K, check out this workout! It's a fun adventure that takes you from sitting on the couch to running a full 5K . Put on your slippers!

The Couch to 5K plan

Couch to 5K is a race plan for beginners . It was invented or by Josh Clark, a young runner who wanted to help his 50-year-old mother get off the couch and start running. The plan includes 3 races a week with a day of rest between them . It runs at a different time for each of the 9 weeks.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for a new runner is not knowing how or where to start. Often when we try to play a sport, we tend to overdo it, feel defeated, and give up once we start. The Couch to 5K program works because it combines running and walking to gradually build fitness and stamina. In week 1, you run for just one minute. Thus, realistic expectations are established and the challenge is achieved from the beginning.

"Couch to 5K is a free program that takes people from the couch to a 9-week 5K run."

A 5K race is short. It is 5 kilometers, 5000 meters or 3.1 miles.

Couch to 5K versions

Since the system exists, several blogs have talked about it. Typically, we are referring to the generic Couch to 5K program.

How long does it take to complete the Couch to 5K? The duration depends on the program you choose. They can be 6 weeks, 12 weeks or 9 weeks. The original Couch to 5K plan was 9 weeks.

Josh Clark, creator of Couch to 5K
Josh Clark, the creator of Couch to 5K.

How the Couch 5K is made

Here is the summary of the Couch to 5K plan in English:

The program uses the popular interval training (which involves moving at different speeds while running). Specify exactly what to do each day for 6-12 weeks after you start. The best thing about the Couch to 5K is that you know exactly how you should train every day!

As the pace changes, your body will be forced to adapt to different speeds. Your heart and lungs will have to adapt to different hard workloads (and thus become stronger and healthier). As a result, you'll burn more calories and be better prepared for a race than just training at a steady pace. Interval training is amazing. Everyone who wants to improve their running form should use it.

Over a few weeks, the Couch to 5K program will progressively increase the time you spend running and decrease the time you spend walking. You'll get to a point where you can run the 5K without stopping.

What people can do the Couch to 5K?

Couch to 5K is really for everyone. Couch to 5K plan is a free and easy way to get stronger and healthier. You can do this even if you've never run before or just want to be more active. If you have any health problems when you start an exercise program like the Couch to 5K, see and talk to your GP first.

Do the Coach to 5K plan

The advantages that have made the Couch to 5K so popular

Starting to run has many benefits. The first is that it is an easy way to improve your physical health.

It is a simple and straightforward running system

Just print the  Couch to 5K plan PDF or download an app . For the next 9 weeks, do what the program says. Yes, it's true that most of us live hectic lives, but this program tells us exactly what to do. It allows us to follow instructions without having to figure things out ourselves.

Couch to 5K is not a workout to be afraid of!

The program is free (there is also a  cheap Couch to 5K app ). As we have explained, it is very easy to use. Other systems, like P90X and Insanity, are designed to entice people fearlessly into extremely hard workouts. Couch to 5K is for those who are overwhelmed with P90X or Insanity, or afraid to participate in other demanding activities like Crossfit.

Couch to 5K makes you think that it is feasible to train, that you can do it! This is the most important part of any fitness journey:  the beginning .

 Couch to 5K plan

It helps to lose weight

If you're new to exercise and trying to lose weight, you're probably confused about how to start and exercise. Perhaps you've thought about joining the gym, hiring a personal trainer, and doing squats, push-ups, or exercises with weights. The truth is that, for many people, this is often going too far.

Most beginners think that running means losing weight. This is true, but with nuances. Many decide to start jogging around the block, without following a good workout.

We would all love to run 5 kilometers

If you've started exercising, it's a good idea to set an achievable goal . Running a 5K this year is a good starting point. The 5K is a short enough distance that you can cover it with some training, even if you have to walk part or all of the way.

5 kilometer races are usually held . Participating in them is a wonderful activity to do with friends.
People are made for achievement, progress and satisfaction. 5K is perfectly compatible with  people's wishes. When you complete the Couch to 5K , train every week, and see your progress, you feel a sense of accomplishment . You come home with great pride.

The Couch to 5K program in English

If you want to start this running training now, here is the entire program schedule for 10 weeks:

Plan Coach to 5K English part 1


Plan Coach to 5K English part 2

Couch to 5K online routine in PDF

You can also try this other version of 8 weeks. Everything you need is on the table!

Couch to 5K part 1 plan

 Couch to 5K plan part 2

Download Couch to 5K plan PDF in English.

How to start running?

1. Download the Couch to 5K plan PDF or the  Couch to 5K app  on your mobile phone or computer.

2. The best way to ensure you stick to your race plan is to think carefully about how Couch to 5K training fits into your day.

3. Plan your route. You may want to look at a map and plan your route first so you can focus on the race. There are plenty of good websites to help you with this.

4. Think safety. If you're running outside, keep in mind that wearing headphones can reduce your attention to your surroundings. Be very careful around other pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles. When running in the dark, make sure you can see where you are going and that other road users can see you. Consider running on paths with adequate lighting or wear reflective clothing.

5. The most important piece of your gear is a pair of running shoes .

Will the Couch to 5K plan help me lose fat?

Users who have tried this running program usually pursue several goals: running 5 kilometers for the first time, losing body fat... Here you will see some answers to the most frequently asked questions. 

Yes. If you really complete the entire training program, you will achieve a 5K run . This exercise system will also help you lose weight and stay healthy. Perhaps it will also help you look much better without clothes.

We want to explain the truth about Couch to 5K  (and about programs like P90X, Insanity or others). It works and will help you lose weight if you do the following things:

• You really complete the entire program.
• You correct the bad habits of your diet.

Is Couch to 5K good for fat loss?

Don't make mistakes!

Couch to 5K will not work for you to lose weight if you make the following mistake: you complete the program well, but you do not make the appropriate adjustments in your diet

Many people gain weight after starting an exercise routine and completely lose heart. Why happens? Because sitting at the table and nutrition  are 90% of the way to fat loss If you run a mile but then load up on extra calories "because you deserve them," you'll gain weight. It's not that your metabolism is slow, really. You are actually consuming too many calories. This is the number one common mistake. If you don't change your diet, a running program won't help you lose weight!

Look at things this way: your diet is really what will help you lose the fat. Exercise is just a fun companion to help diet. Without it, the exercise will not work.

Couch to 5K is not specifically designed to help you lose weight or build a sculpted body. Also keep in mind that this is a temporary program that lasts for a certain number of weeks until you run the 5K. If you want Couch to 5K to be successful in the long term and help you lose weight, you have to create a consistent long-term exercise habit. You must change the way you think about food.

You enjoy the trip and wait to do your daily exercise. You also need to exercise the right way to create the body type you want! And eat well. This is priority number one. You can't beat a bad diet, even if you're doing the Couch to 5K plan. We know well that nutrition is a really challenging, complicated and controversial topic. There are too many diets! Ketosis, the paleo diet... We advise you to print a list of healthy foods in PDF and stick it on your fridge.

Are you fit enough to run the 5K?

An important thing! Just because you want to run doesn't mean you have to start. Sometimes running can be a fast track to injury, frustration, and misery! Ask yourself a question: are you physically fit to run?

If you're at or near your ideal weight, it's a good idea to start a running program. Now, if you're overweight, you may not want to start a running program yet. Running 5 km before having adequately prepared the body is a mistake. What's more, running immediately, without first controlling your body weight, can damage joints and ligaments or cause you to fall to the ground.

You shouldn't go running overweight

What can you do?

To get started, focus on maintaining a healthy diet. Establish a daily walking routine and follow a beginner strength training routine . For example, a bodyweight circuit for beginners. This will give you a solid foundation of power, core strength, and stamina.

There are several reasons why you should focus on strength training and nutrition before heading out for an hour run:

  • • When you start to lose weight, the stress on your joints, organs, bones, etc. decreases.
  • • During strength training, the ligaments, which hold the body together, become stronger and better prepared for the impact of running.
  • • When you improve your running form to reduce resistance and impact on your entire body, your body learns to work more efficiently.
  • • As you get closer to your goal weight, you can start to increase the intensity. For example, you can go from walking to running. With proper running technique, you will stay healthy.

Remember: if you are overweight, these tips are not to discourage you, but to get you up to speed. We advise you not to run until you are physically prepared for it for your safety. If you think you're a little overweight, you're better off doing low-impact activities that will strengthen your body (and not lead to injury).

Do you really like to run?

Do you like to go running?

You know what bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman once said: "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift heavy weights." I mean, everyone wants to be fit and look good, but no one wants to work hard for it. Yes, we know that getting in shape is hard. If it was easy, we'd all look like superheroes.

In places like the United States, 70% of people are overweight and more than 30% are obese. We return with what concerns us: the 5K system . Do you really like to run ? You may find yourself in one of the following three situations:

• You like to run and want to do it.

• You don't like running now, but you wish you would start liking this activity.

• You don't like to run and never will.

"Everyone wants to run a 5K, but a lot of people don't like to run" (this is another Ronnie Coleman quote).

Running 5 miles is a great accomplishment , a fun and worthwhile goal, but it's just one of thousands of ways to "get in shape." Some people like to feel like they're in pain or pushed beyond their limits, and that's great! However, everyone else makes another mistake: they force themselves to run, even if they don't like it!

Think of the  Couch to 5K  as a science experiment:

"I guess following the Couch to 5K program will help me run the 5K. I also think I'll enjoy the process and how I feel after the race. I'll enjoy running the 5K and the accomplishments of running the 5K."

It's just an experiment to see if running is a form of exercise you want to do consistently for years to come. If 2 weeks of Couch to 5K make you miserable and hate it: great! You just found out you hate running. Now, you can be free and never run again. This does not make you a failure.

Your experiment produced a result that you can now use as a basis for future training. The Couch to 5K plan experience is an experiment to see if you like running. You have not failed! You've just stumbled upon a type of exercise that doesn't work for you.

On the other hand, if you discover that you love running and the good feelings that this activity leaves you: fantastic! Now you can make running a part of your regular exercise routine. Combine it with a good nutritional strategy and you will build the physique of a runner. You have already found something that you can do for the rest of your life.

If you want to prove something to yourself, Couch to 5K and then decide if you want to continue with this strategy. Don't make the mistake of doing it just to lose weight if it makes you miserable. If this is your case, stop and don't run! If you don't like running, choose another exercise that you really enjoy instead. Don't do it because exercise helps you lose weight, but because you like it. It's a constant reminder: "I'm making healthier choices, so I should probably eat healthier."

If your goal is primarily to lose weight, we recommend a beginner bodyweight routine that you can do at home. Combine it with a healthy diet. If you start to implement these changes in your life, you will see results without even having to use the treadmill.

Tips for doing the Couch to 5K

Although the Couch to 5K program  specifically explains how you should train, it's still missing some important things (like technique!). If you've already selected your 5K training schedule, be sure to stick with it!

Tips for doing the Couch to 5K

• You can search for a friend . Tell someone about it and get them to train with you. A friend can be the best motivation to start the Couch to 5K. When you both get into the habit of running, it will hurt more not to run than to go for a run.

• Warm up before and stretch after . Don't do static stretching before you run. Better, warm up your muscles with active movements. Do a dynamic warm-up before going for a run. Continue with light jogs, raising your knees and warming up your muscles with movement. After the run, stretch.

• Try to make running your first activity every day . Get in the habit of running first thing in the morning, when life hasn't gotten in the way yet. Put your alarm clock or phone on the other side of the room. Prepare your running shoes by the door. You have to reduce the steps between you and the new habit you are trying to create.

• Complement the race with strength training . You can do 1-2 strength training sessions a week (on non-running days). These sessions will help you burn fat, build muscle, and avoid injury. You can train even with your own weight.

• Don't overcomplicate your life with shoes at first . Wear the shoes you like to start creating a habit right away. Later, you can invest in the best sneakers. Before you buy new shoes, make sure you like the activity. Go for a run for a while. The same goes for "running clothes." Don't let clothing be a barrier to entry. The first thing is to start and make sure that the activity is liked. Do this before spending your money on things you won't use.

• Sign up for a race or commit to running with buddies . This will make you have a commitment and not make an excuse. You will have the pressure to meet the objective with your teammates. Don't abandon them!

• It doesn't matter how long it takes to complete the tour!  It doesn't matter if you arrive last to the finish line. The important thing is that you finish what you started. That is already a huge achievement!

• Later, he joins a running club . The more people around you doing what you want to do, the better. Date runners who have more experience than you. You're the average of the five people you interact with the most, so you might as well start dating faster, healthier runners.

• Ultimately, hire a trainer . In addition to having a group of friends or colleagues, a coach who follows you and your progress on a regular basis can be a blessing. Good personal trainers help many people to make running a habit!

Better avoid injuries when you go running 5 km

If you don't learn to run correctly, you are doomed to injure yourself from excessive wear and tear. This nullifies the whole reason you started running in the first place! Using bad running form is a big mistake! When you run, you put hundreds of pounds of pressure on your joints and ligaments with every step. This problem is repeated thousands of times during training and competition.

It is not surprising that almost every runner has many stories of injuries that they have had to deal with. Running can be a brutal activity and capable of wreaking havoc, even if your running mechanics are good. With poor operating mechanics, the results are difficult.

Pay attention to your running technique . Otherwise, things will go wrong! You could get plantar fasciitis and stress fractures, torn ligaments, and sharp pain all the time. That is not what we want. We will explain the proper technique for running. If you already have good running form, you can skip this section ( we recommend sticking around anyway). Learn 5 ways to avoid injury when doing your Couch to 5K .

1. Look for support in the ankles

Correct ankle position when running

Support yourself on your ankles and maintain a straight line from the ankles through the calf and up to the head. If you stand in one place with your ankles slightly forward, you should feel as if you are about to fall forward.

When you start running, gravity will help you move forward. A proper ankle tilt keeps the body flat and loads the muscles in the correct and efficient manner.

2. Pay attention to your cadence

How to improve cadence when running

Cadence is your stride rate , or the number of steps you take per minute. It may seem strange at first, but shorter strides put less stress on your legs. When running at a light, conversational pace, your cadence should be at least 170-190 strides per minute. This will probably increase as you start to run faster; this is normal.

Various studies have shown that raising your heart rate and taking more steps (around 180 steps per minute) offer many of the benefits of barefoot running. These benefits are less impact on the legs, better running efficiency (running faster with less effort), and a reduced risk of injury. You will feel like you are taking many more steps than normal. This is because you may have had poor running form before. Now you'll be fixing it!

3. You have to step on the ground at the right time

How to step on the ground when you run

When your foot lands on the surface and makes contact with the ground, it should be under your body and not in front of it. Combining a fast pace with slightly forward ankle angles will distribute the impact of your footfall evenly and effectively.

Beginners often overlook this aspect of running form. Instead of focusing on where the foot is in relation to the rest of the body, they focus too much on running with their front foot. If you don't land in the right spot first, a strike to the middle or forefoot will only do more damage. A good mental guide is to simply think of "putting your feet" in a straight line under your body . There is no way to reach out or stretch out your leg in front of you. If you practice this mental trick, your foot will land almost directly below your center of gravity. You will distribute your weight evenly and safely.

4. Land on the middle of your foot

Stepping with the midfoot when running

This isn't as important as landing below your center of gravity, but it offers many benefits. This tip will help you avoid many injuries. Landing on the midfoot reduces impact and prevents a hard heel strike during your run.

You can't entirely blame heel landings for injuries and label them "bad." Even the best athletes hit their heels against the ground when they run races! It's not all bad, especially if your weight is on your foot immediately after heel strike and not directly on the heel.

Focus on maintaining a higher cadence by landing low to your body, rather than aggressively striking your heel. Try to land with your foot flat on the ground, rather than with your toes pointed up.

5. Make the arms swing in a symmetrical way

How to correctly move your arms when running

Don't wave your arms wildly while you run..., maybe, while you dance (maybe). Certainly don't do it during a 5K race . The ideal swing is to bend your arm to about 90 degrees and swing it from front to back (not from side to side).

Imagine that an imaginary line runs down the midline or midpoint of your body. Your hands should not cross this imaginary line while running. Bring your hands together loosely (don't make fists!). If you want to use your hands to gain momentum, move your elbows instead of your hands.

When you embrace these changes to your running form, you'll feel more comfortable and your risk of injury will quickly decrease. For extra points, learn to run smoothly and quietly . It is not allowed to stomp the ground hard. This becomes increasingly difficult as you get closer to 180 steps per minute.

A few more things to keep in mind:

• Keep your back straight and your chest up. No loitering.

• Look several meters in front of you and not the other way around. Don't look at your toes.

Both are simple guidelines for maintaining athletic posture and good running form.

Come back here and read this running tips section a few more times. We know you have to think about it a lot when you run, but it's incredibly important. If you get the chance, have someone record your run , then watch the video to see how it goes.

Have you finished your Couch to 5K run yet?

If you've already finished your full 9-week workout, we're proud of you. You have a gold star! What do you have to do now?

After successfully completing your first 5K , you may be wondering what to do next. Are you running again or not? Many new runners love the feeling of a race; getting a number, the pre-race motivational speech, the cheering crowds and crossing the finish line. Oh, and the post-race beer and food, which will taste better than ever. When the excitement has subsided, you need to do something.

You have three options :

1. Run Faster : Go for another 5K. Keep training and try to beat your previous race time.

2. Run more : You may want to run a longer race, like the 10K, or try a half or full marathon.

3. Pick a different activity : Going from the couch to a 5K won't help you. Temporary changes will produce temporary results.

We have not given you the fourth option, which everyone usually chooses: "sit back on the sofa." You should never lie on the couch doing nothing again! Otherwise, all your hard work and training will be for nothing!

 Couch to 5K Training Guide

Summary of Couch to 5K

• Running 5K could be a great way to lose weight. This is totally dependent on your diet, which is literally true of all exercise programs. 

• Couch to 5K could be a great program for you, depending on how much you like to run and what you hope to get out of the program. 

• Make sure you're fit enough to withstand the rigors of running! If you are very overweight, always get in shape before stressing your knees and joints with thousands of running steps.

• Make sure your running technique is solid. This will save you years of pain and injury. 

• Recruit a friend or invent a way to be responsible so that you really complete your race!

• Who cares about your race time? Your goal should only be to finish the race. Once you have run the race, decide if you want to continue running or choose another activity.

Is there a Couch to 5K app?

Good, now it's your turn. We'd like to hear about your experiences with the Couch to 5K and whether you enjoyed completing it. You've made it? What challenges did you face along the way? Share it with us!

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