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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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Are you pounding the pavements this January? Here's our couch to 5k running plan

What’s stopping you taking to the start line over the coming months?

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

AS WE REACH the end of January, the countdown to this year’s Great Ireland Run is on as runners begin their training for the hugely popular event.

The Phoenix Park run is back and bigger than ever before with and for the first time ever, there will be a 5km route for runners on Sunday 10 April.

This distance is the perfect goal for those new to running and those looking to kick start their 2016 fitness regimes.

But we understand that it can be tricky for new runners so the following 13-week couch to 5k training plan has been devised in association with the Great Ireland Run.

In addition to this, there will be live training sessions hosted by Great Ireland Run experts in Santry on 27 January, 24 February and 23 March.

Week 1

Be sure to take it easy to starting out. Never train two days in a row as your body needs time to adjust. If you are starting your new regime on a Monday, rest on Tuesday, pick up the pace again on Wednesday, rest on Thursday and so on.

Your training should be easy to begin with, no more than ten minutes walking each training day.

Ten minutes walking on Monday, rest on Tuesday and so on. Rest on both Saturday and Sunday.

Week 2

Follow week one exactly, but on Friday walk for fifteen minutes. It may not seem like a lot but your body will notice the difference. Rest on both Saturday and Sunday.

SPAR GREAT IRELAND RUN 3 Get off the couch and get active this year! Source: ROBBIE REYNOLDS PHOTOGRAPHY

Week 3

Repeat Week 2. Of course at this point you might be tempted to challenge yourself even more but take it easy and stick to this plan.

Week 4

This is the week where everything changes as walking and jogging intervals are introduced. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day so be sure to time these intervals and not do any more than recommended.

This week is also the first in which you will be training weekends so you might need extra motivation.

  • Monday – Rest 
  • Tuesday – Walk three minutes, jog 30 seconds and repeat four times.
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Walk three minutes, jog 30 seconds and repeat four times.
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Walk three minutes, jog 30 seconds and repeat four times
  • Sunday – Rest

Week 5

The pace of training will increase slightly this week but on completion you will learn how capable you are see.

  • Monday – Walk two minutes, jog one minute and repeat four times
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Walk two minutes, jog one minute and repeat five times
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Walk two minutes, jog one minute and repeat six times
  • Rest on both Saturday and Sunday

Week 6

The pace remains similar to last week so you should be ready.

  • Monday – Rest 
  • Tuesday – Walk three minutes, jog 30 seconds and repeat four times
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Walk three minutes, jog 30 seconds and repeat five times
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Walk three minutes, jog 30 seconds and repeat six times
  • Sunday – Rest

Week 7

You are now making progress but it is important not to get too carried away and put a strain on your body.

  • Monday – Walk 10 minutes
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Walk 10 minutes
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Walk 15 minutes
  • Saturday and Sunday – Rest

Week 8

This is the week you will start to feel like a runner. The race is in sight and you have been working hard and progressing well. Jogging intervals are increased this week with walking breaks shorter.

  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday – Walk one minute, jog for three minutes and repeat four times.
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Walk one minute, jog for three minutes and repeat five times.
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Walk one minute, jog for three minutes and repeat two times.
  • Sunday – Rest
  • SPAR GREAT IRELAND RUN 1 The Great Ireland Run is renowned for attracting a high-calibre field. Source: ROBBIE REYNOLDS PHOTOGRAPHY

Week 9

This week you will jog your first distance so you need to persevere.

  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday — Walk one minute, jog four minutes and repeat four times.
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Walk one minute, jog four minutes and repeat five times.
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Walk one minute, jog 2k, walk one minute, jog 1k.

Week 10

  • Monday – Walk one minute, jog five minutes and repeat four times
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Walk one minute, jog five minutes and repeat five times
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Walk one minute, jog 2k, walk 30 seconds, jog 1k.
  • Sunday – Rest

Week 11

Jogging distance should be comfortable now and you are hopefully improving your time. Don’t worry if this isn’t the case, your body will be still adapting to the training. This week, the addition of a 3k jog will help you to see just how far you have come.

  • Monday – Walk one minute, jog five minutes and repeat five times. 
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Attend the expert Paced Mile series in Santry for advice on how to improve and test your time.
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Warm up, jog 3k, cool down
  • Sunday – Rest

Week 12

  • Monday – Rest 
  • Tuesday – Walk one minute, jog eight minutes and repeat twice
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Warm up, jog for 10 minutes, rest one minute, jog 10 minutes
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Warm up, jog 4k, cool down

Week 13

  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday – Warm up, jog 10 minutes, walk one minute, jog 10 minutes
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – warm up, jog 10 minutes, walk one minute, jog 10 minutes
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Warm up, run 5k, cool down

Early Bird entry options are available online now so there has never been more of a reason to get off the couch and start training for your 5K. For more information on entry, training sessions, training plans and to register for the SPAR Great Ireland Run visit www.greatirelandrun.org 

Join in the conversation and watch out for training tips @GreatIrelandRun or on facebook.com/greatirelandrun

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