10k TrainingBeginner

The most effective couch to 10k training plan

couch to 10k training plan

couch-to-10k-trainingcouch-to-10k-training

A Couch to 10k fitness plan is a great way to move from being someone who only runs for the bus, to being someone able to complete a 10km charity run in just over three months.

Couch to 10k is a style of training plan called walk to run. Basically this means you start by walking the majority of the time with short bursts of jogging. Over time you find yourself jogging more and walking less until you find your are able to run 10km without a break.

Are you ready for the programme
Before you start a couch to 10k training plan like this it is important to assess your fitness to ensure the programme is right for you. If you have on-going health issues it is important to check with your doctor before starting. If you find walking for an hour difficult, then start walking regularly and only begin the programme when you can comfortably walk for an hour.

Good preparation is key to sticking with it
Before you go out on your first run, look at a map of your local area or download an app to help you decide where you are going to run. Some people like doing laps around a park or sports field whereas other runners prefer more variety when training. It is important to work these things out in advance as in the early training sessions your brain will be looking for any excuse to cut your run short and come home!

Make sure you have the right gear too. Expensive running shoes are not essential but it important to have well fitting shoes, clothes that don’t chafe even when you are sweaty and some reflective clothing if you run at night.

Now start running

Week 1
Three times over the week run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times.

Week 2
Run 1: Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times.
Run 2: Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times.
Run 3: Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Week 3
Run 1: Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times.
Run 2: Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Run 3: Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Week 4
Run 1: Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Run 2: Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Run 3: Run 2 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Week 5
Run 1: Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 8 times.
Run 2: Run 2 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 7 times.
Run 3: Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 7 times.

Week 6
Run 1: Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 6 times.
Run 2: Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 6 times.
Run 3: Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 9 times.

Week 7
Run 1: Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
Run 2: Run 4 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 5 times.
Run 3: Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 6 times.

Week 8
Run 1: Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
Run 2: Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 6 times.
Run 3: Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 5 times.

Week 9
Run 1: Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes, walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.
Run 2: Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 5 times.
Run 3: Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Week 10
Run 1: Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes, walk 1 minute. Run 30 minutes.
Run 2: Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
Run 3: Run 20 minutes, walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.

Week 11
Run 1: Run 40 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes.
Run 2: Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
Run 3: Run 20 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.

Week 12
Run 1: Run 50 minutes.
Run 2: Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat twice.
Run 3: Run 15 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.

Week 13
Run 1: Run 40 minutes.
Run 2: Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat twice.
Run 3: Run 10k

Keeping Motivated

As with any new habit, the first couple of weeks are when you will find it the most difficult to maintain your enthusiasm. Plan in advance the days you are going to run. Studies have also found that people are more motivated when exercising if they are listening to music while exercising.

To make it even easier you can download podcasts that are designed for couch to running programmes. These podcasts play music and tell you what to do in each session.

Setting goals also helps. If you have a charity run planned, mark it on the calendar. Pick a reward for reaching your goal and focus on this when you are tempted to skip training.

If it is a goal you can share with your family, such as a special day out, they will be more likely to encourage you to stick to your schedule (this doesn’t mean you can’t also buy yourself something nice when you meet your goal!)

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and is currently training for his first triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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