From Couch Potato To 5k

From Couch Potato To 5k. It’s no secret that running as a form of exercise offers some amazing health benefits.  There are a few to be a little wary of as well, especially for women.  Things to consider include the right type of sports bras and footwear and if you’re closer to 40 than thirty, you also need to think about osteoporosis and how to deal with menstrual pain while practicing.  The most important thing to know about training for a 5k (just over 3 miles), is that you’ll need consistency and a solid, goal-driven plan to get you there.

One of the top things to know is that running is for (just about) everyone.  Unless you have a particular injury that might prevent you from taking up running regularly, just about anyone can start irrespective of your current level of skill. If you’re wanting to start running as a form of weight loss and you are a little on the overweight side, definitely check with your GP first to make sure that you’re not going to place undue stress on your body, but even if you’re a plus-size lady, you can still get started.


The program was first devised by Josh Clarke of the site cool running. Now, the site may not be active anymore but the advice is still rock solid.  3, 30-minute workouts a week will get you there.  Now the plan contains more detail than we can fit into this post so for the complete version, click here.

But the plan focuses on building up your ability over time, but consistently and this means a 5-minute brisk walk, followed by 1-minute jogging or running and a 1:30 minute walking ratio.  This increases solidly from workout to workout and before you know it, you’ll be running like a pro.

Both running and jogging are great forms of cardiovascular exercise, this is true but what other benefits are there to this type of workout?


  • As both running and jogging are weight-bearing exercises, they build bone strength over time.
  • Running strengthens muscles and increases muscle elasticity
  • Dramatically improved cardiovascular strength and efficiency
  • You’ll burn plenty of kilojoules and this means that,
  • You can maintain a healthy weight

One of the biggest mistakes that every new runner makes is thinking that there is a quick solution to get to that 5k and that’s part of the lesson here.  You’re going to learn discipline and goal setting and this is going to reinforce the reward system of your brain.  This doesn’t even include the fabulous bragging rights you’re going to enjoy at the office or with your friends.  Correction, especially with your friends.  Plus, you’re going to see awesome improvements in your overall fitness levels.

With solid and consistent training, taking the time to record your times’ distances and increases (based on your plan), you’ll quickly start achieving, and nothing and we do mean nothing motivates more than success, so celebrate the victories no matter how small they are.

Injuries also have a way of putting new runners off (or established runners for that matter) and this means that many give up before they’ve even properly started.  Knee pain is a common potential side-effect of injury so be aware of that and learn how to wrap your knee up with a KT tape for the runner’s knee.

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