Making Your Way to 5K
By Hannah Nolan
The Remembrance Run couch to 5K Plan is the perfect plan to get you up and running from a basic level of fitness up to the 5k distance. Set over 8 weeks it is a nice gradual build up which is great for those wishing to move from walking to running. The plan offers simple and short training sessions (30 minutes or less) that can easily be slotted into your schedule – but will steadily improve your fitness and leave you feeling fresh and full of energy! An ideal programme to help the complete novice get from the couch to the road and well on the way to achieving their first 5k race!
Weeks 1 – 4
The first 4 weeks will start off with walking which will incorporate just a few small jogging sections, to get your body up and moving quickly and easily helping you build a basic base level of fitness! Warming up with a specific time walking and then alternating walking with running in the “run” section. Check the running description for the length of time jogging and walking to help you get through the run section with ease.
CONGRATULATIONS!! You are now half way and well on your way to the 5k Remembrance Run!
Your fitness has now improved and you are ready to increase to a more continuous steady paced run – don’t worry, you can still take recovery sections as your fitness continues to improve
Weeks 5 – 8
Weeks 5 – 8 will continue to build on what you have accomplished so far, but just extending your jogging sections to progress into more continuous running. It may seem impossible at the start, but you will be really amazed to see how quickly your fitness improves! By week 8 you will be ready for your first 5K race! And what better way to celebrate all your hard work alongside many others dedicating their race to a loved one remembered.
HANNAH’S TOP TIPS
- Pace yourself! So many people disregard running on a first attempt simply because they start off too fast and feel exhausted after just a few steps! To work out your pace, start walking at a brisk pace and then, keeping the same pace, simply lift your feet more into a jog. Once you have jogged at walking pace several times you will be able to slowly speed it up to work out a more comfortable pace. J
- Don’t be shy – give it a try! Many people think they will never be able to run, either through not feeling up to it fitness wise, feeling that they will not enjoy it or that they are feeling self-conscious. These feelings are completely normal but, with the combination of this plan and the great event itself, this is the time to get together with friends and family to train, support each other and achieve something wonderful, you might even find you like it J
- My running is so slow I may as well be walking! Running is a fantastic way to get fit and burn extra calories – but it is such a personal path of growth and development. Don’t compare yourself to others – only to yourself! Each time you run you’ll find you have stopped less or done the same route a minute quicker – all of these are what measure your improvement to keep going!
- Push through the mental blocks Getting up and running can be a mental challenge as much as a physical and there will be days where it seems more challenging than others – however this is completely normal even for the seasoned athlete! Try to push through the blocks by distracting yourself during the run. Ideas such as listening to music, focusing on different landmarks (sign posts, lampposts etc) and aiming for them or running with a friend to keep it social are all great ways to help push through the difficult runs.