As Christmas draws ever nearer, like most of us, you’ll probably be over indulging on mince pies and spending the dark evenings lounging on the couch. However by the time New Year comes around you’ll be wishing you hadn’t eaten quite so many chocolates and making resolutions to lose the extra pounds and get fit! The challenge isn’t going to be making the resolution, but keeping it, and this is where the Couch to 5k comes in. With the Couch to 5k you won’t burn yourself out before you’ve even begun, because it is designed for complete beginners.
So What is Couch to 5K?
It was developed by Josh Clark, who wanted a plan that could get even the most unfit person into running gradually. With the Couch to 5k your body will get used to running slowly and so you won’t just end up collapsed 200 yards down the road, vowing never to run again! It works by mixing walking and running to build up stamina over time. For example in the first week you will start your workout with a brisk five minute walk, then begin alternating a minute of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for around half an hour. The plan is spread over nine weeks, with three runs per week. Each run is a realistic half an hour, with a day of rest in between. To see the full nine week plan visit http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml
Couch to 5K Podcasts
The NHS has created podcasts to help motivate anyone undertaking the Couch to 5k. They guide you through the workout, making is easier to know exactly when to run or walk. They also include some music to motivate you further (although I’m not sure it is to everybody’s taste!) If you want to download the podcasts for free go to NHS Podcasts.