HomeTrainingCouch to 5K

Couch to 5K

The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan
Our beginner's running schedule has helped thousands of new runners get off the couch and onto the roads, running 3 miles in just two months.


The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan

Our beginner's running schedule has helped thousands of new runners get started.


e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page

Related info:
Download Couch-to-5K ® Training Plan Online | ActiveTrainer

By Josh Clark
Posted Saturday, 1 January, 2011

Too many people have been turned off of running simply by trying to start off too fast. Their bodies rebel, and they wind up miserable, wondering why anyone would possibly want to do this to themselves.

You should ease into your running program gradually. In fact, the beginners' program we outline here is less of a running regimen than a walking and jogging program. The idea is to transform you from couch potato to runner, getting you running three miles (or 5K) on a regular basis in just two months.

It's easy to get impatient, and you may feel tempted to skip ahead in the program, but hold yourself back. Don't try to do more, even if you feel you can. If, on the other hand, you find the program too strenuous, just stretch it out. Don't feel pressured to continue faster than you're able. Repeat weeks if needed and move ahead only when you feel you're ready.


A few minutes each week

Each session should take about 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. That just happens to be the same amount of moderate exercise recommended by numerous studies for optimum fitness. This program will get you fit. (Runners who do more than this amount are doing it for more than fitness, and before long you might find yourself doing the same as well).

Be sure to space out these three days throughout the week to give yourself a chance to rest and recover between efforts. And don't worry about how fast you're going. Running faster can wait until your bones are stronger and your body is fitter. For now focus on gradually increasing the time or distance you run.


Run for time, or run for distance

There are two ways to follow this program, to measure your runs by time or by distance. Either one works just as well, choose the option that seems easiest for you to keep track of. If you go with the distance option, and you are not using a track to measure the distances, just estimate. It's not important to have the distances absolutely exact.

Before setting out, make sure to precede each session with a five-minute warmup walk or jog. Be sure to stretch both before and after. Read "Stay Loose" for some suggestions.

Cool Running’s Couch-to-5K ® Program is available for purchase online through ActiveTrainer.com. This online version allows you to easily track your progress online, access a host of easy-to-use training tools, receive daily email reminders & more!
Download Couch-to-5K ® Training Plan Online | ActiveTrainer

The schedule
Bookmark this page so that you can easily return to check on your progress.

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
5 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.
6 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 25 minutes) with no walking.
7 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
8 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
9 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).




 

Search

Facebook

Facebook Logo

Login Form

Active KRRC club members can log in below using the User ID and password you were provided when you joined. If you need a reminder of your user ID or to have your password reset, click here.



Race Events offering KRRC discount

The following races all provide registration discounts to active KRRC members. One of the many benefits of being a club member. 

  • Winterfest 5K
  • Rt 66 10K Race
  • Steps to Hope 5K
  • AshleyCan 5K
  • Pause for Patriotism 5K
  • Warrior Walk 5K
  • Beecher 5K *
  • Sundowner 5K *
  • K3 YMCA 5K
  • Momence 5K
  • Momence 10K
  • Hare and Tortoise 5K
  • AshleyCan 5K
  • AshleyCan 10K
  • AshleyCan Half *
  • Fall Art Stroll
  • Cory Blanchette 5K
  • Tri the Du- Duathlon
  • Kwanis Winter Warmup
  • Zombie Run
  • Firefighters 5K
  • BTBP Turkey Trot
  • Race for Randy 5K
  • Race for Randy 10K
  • Feet for Food 5K
  • Jingle Bell 5K

KRRC Sponsored Races

WINTERFEST 2014

 This is a 2-loop course run on the city streets following the perimeter of Small Memorial Park and the Kennedy Upper Grade School.  Splits will be called at the 1 and 2 mile marks.  The finish will be computerized.  The accuracy of the course is certified by USA Track & Field.  

For more details and a printable registration form, click here.  

For online registration, click here.  


POLAR PLUNGE

On March 1st, the club will participate in the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.  Last year we had 23 people on the team and raised over $4,000!  So, come join us.  More details are available at the Illinois Polar Plunge website - www.plungeillinois.com .  Once you register, you can join the team when asked. It's the Kankaee River Running Club / Legion Post 755 Plunge Squad.  See you there!


RACE FOR RANDY

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Race for Rancy.  All proceeds from this race went to  Club Member Randy Reigel to help with his medical expenses since he suffered a stroke last year.  


  PAUSE FOR PATRIOTISM

Pause for Patriotism - Kankakee, IL

The Pause for Patriotism 5K and 2mile fun walk was held May 18th at 8:00 AMThank you to everyone who participated.   

About This Event

This is a 5K race with multiple age groups with age group awards. It is sponsored by the Kankakee River Running Club and the Pause for Patriotism group. Proceeds benefit both groups.   See the Race Results for this year's results. 


 

Bourbonnais Friendship Festival 5K

The Bourbonnais Friendship Festival and the Kankakee River Running Club hosted  the 2013 Friendship Festival 5K. The race started near the Bourbonnais Municipal Center located at 444 William Latham Drive in Bourbonnais.    The race was very successful and will be back in 2014!  Thank you to all who raced or volunteered.  


Tri the Du 2014

 

Road ID

Click to get your RoadID today.  You should never run without it.