Couch to 5k by CoolRunning site running plan is probably the most popular plan for beginners out there. However, when I started running, I did not know about it – I first encountered Nike’s Beginner 5k through Nike+ web site (I had iPod Nano with Nike+ workout on it).
I was in terrible shape last autumn – I would get tired just chasing a bus a short while. I hated this but all my attempts to get into some regular workout failed. I’m also a bit overweight, but that did not bother me much like the out-of-shape state. I know people more over weight than me and in way better shape.
So I gave Nike’s plan a chance. If you haven’t checked it yet, Nike’s plan is basically this:
- Run 4 days a week: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
- Mon, Wed, Fri are 20mins workout on average
- Sun is more relaxing, but lasts 30 to 40mins
- It lasts 6 weeks; on the last Sunday you should be able to run 5km with no stopping
First week looked easy. 1min walk, 1min easy jog, repeat 10x. Easy, yes? Like hell. I would be hyperventilating after 10mins, which was just plain embarrassing. I realized just how badly out of shape I was. So, instead of pushing myself into injury, I repeated first week 3 times, until I got into good enough shape that I felt comfortable to continue with week 2.
This is the key: do not follow this blindly, you’ll end up injured and it will do you no good. If you can’t walk home after finishing the workout, you’re overdoing it.
The program lasts 6 weeks, but it does not says anywhere it should last exactly 6 weeks. It’s just a plan. What’s important is that you stick with it ‘till the end, regardless of how much it takes you.
Why? This summer, I started the same plan again, after not running for over 6 months. I went through first week like a breeze and continuing with the second. There was enough “shape” left in me from those 8 weeks last autumn, even after entire winter and most of spring of not exercising almost anything.
You don’t have to get into serious running. Stay casual and still be in good shape. But don’t give up.
p.s. Run Mate is perfect companion to these plans. Check out why.