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Step 5: Getting from the couch to a 5k start-line in eight weeks

It’s all about listening to your body at this stage, writes expert John O’Regan.

WEEK FIVE IS when you need to start  listening and paying attention to feedback from your body.

Learn to listen to your body and don’t ignore what it’s telling you. Running-related injuries don’t just happen and luckily most are curable but better still you should try avoidance.

One of the main causes is doing too much too soon and not allowing sufficient rest between sessions.  There’s a difference between being tired and just being lazy but if you are feeling any discomfort in your muscles or joints then it’s time to take a step back.

Train don’t strain and don’t test your breaking point by pushing through the pain of an injury.  The trick is to stress the muscles, rest the muscles, and allow the muscles adapt before continuing on with the new improved you.

Think about investing in a Foam Roller as this will help keep most running related injuries at bay and should be included in every runner’s tool box. The best form of exercise is the one you enjoy doing and if you can keep yourself injury free then you will learn to love the activity and it will soon become part of your lifestyle rather than a chore.

Fitness is progressive and you need to hold on to what you’ve worked for by staying in the routine.  Use it or lose it and that means staying active which is only possible if you remain injury free.  Happy Running!

Week 5 schedule

Monday: Five-min brisk walk (Five min run/60 seconds walk, repeat for 20 minutes) Walk to finish.

Tuesday: Off.

Wednesday: Five-min brisk walk. (10 min run/ 60 secs walk, 10 min run). Walk to finish.

Thursday: Off.

Friday: Off.

Saturday: Five-min brisk walk. (15 min run/ five min walk, 15 min run). Walk to finish.

Sunday: Rest of 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. He is available an online Q&A every Monday from 8-9pm on the event’s Facebook Page to answer training related questions.

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