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Step 2: How to get from the couch to the start line of a 5k in eight weeks

Last week we strapped on our runners for week one of a two-month plan ahead of the Life Style Sports Run In The Dark. Here’s the next stage.

Image: Warren Goldswain/Shutterstock via Shutterstock

NOW THAT YOU’VE started the plan it’s important to keep going and never give up after the first attempt and it takes time to build momentum.

In the beginning it might feel tough but if you take time adjusting to the new activity you will have the rest of your life to enjoy the benefits and it will become more manageable.

Don’t rush the plan and don’t start looking beyond the finish line before you’ve got to the start line.  Thoughts of running further and faster when you’re only starting out will make something simple become complicated so it’s important to climb the steps to improvement one at a time.

Aim for short-term achievable goals with your first being to arrive at the start line fitter, healthier and injury free.  The finish line will then be your step to the next challenge.

Don’t look for a workout in every session and for the most part your training should be easy.  Walk or run too fast and you will be forced to slow down due to fatigue.  As mentioned last week, the best pace can be conversational pace and this is made easy when running with friends.

Forget about pace and distance and focus more on time spent exercising because as you get fitter you will start to cover more ground and do it faster without realising it.    If you are partly motivated by weight loss then don’t bother with energy drinks as water is sufficient to fuel the activity at this level.  It’s important to stay hydrated but energy drinks mean putting back in more than you’ve taken out.

What are your tips?

Week 2

Tuesday: 5-min brisk walk. (90 secs run/ 90 secs walk, repeat for 20 mins). Walk to finish.

Rest day

Thursday: 5-min brisk walk. (90 secs run/ 90 secs walk, repeat for 20 mins).  Walk to finish.

Rest day

Saturday: 5-min brisk walk (90 secs run/ 90 secs walk, repeat for 20 mins.) Walk to finish.

Sunday: Rest or active recovery. cycle/ swim/brisk walk.

See the full 5k programme here or the 10k here for more advanced runners.

John O’Regan is a renowned adventure runner and the Life Style Sports Run in the Dark’s expert coach. Follow him on Twitter: @johnoregan777

Sign up for Life Style Sports Run In The Dark here>

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