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Coach Karen Meadows -30A 5K Beginner Training Program

Coach Karen Meadows -30A 5K Beginner Training Program

Beginner Plan

Many don’t realize that a 5K race is 3.1 miles and this distance is one that an individual new to running can tackle and feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment in finishing with just a little consistency and willingness to try.  The program I will share with you is the perfect preparation for your first 5K. The exciting part is that if you are willing to commit to 6 weeks of training, you can finish this program and your 5k race with a smile!

In just 12 weeks time (and less for some folks), you can finish the distance with a conservative buildup that gradually gets the body used to spending time on their feet. The correct progression and commitment to functional strength training are the ticket to getting there.

It’s important to be patient and stick to the plan. Less is always more. Each training segment takes about 30 minutes including the dynamic warmup exercises, main set and cool down. Though it may be tempting to do more or run harder than prescribed, be patient and let your body adapt to the training stress.

The program begins with running 3 days a week for about 30 minutes for each workout.  After 4 weeks, I add another day into the schedule. Easy cross training days that are non-impact, such as cycling or swimming can be added on two other days if desired.

I built in some rest days to allow your body to recover. Recovery or rest is as important as training. Rest allows your muscles to rebuild and become stronger.

A good warmup includes a short walk followed by dynamic warmup exercises that include high knees, heel walks, butt kicks, sky reaches, etc.. Post run, your cool down should include gentle hamstring, calf and quad stretches as well as hip openers like runner’s lunge.

Three days a week, you will perform a run-walk. Jog for the prescribed period if time, then walk briskly to recover before beginning your next jog. The jogging and walking segments will gradually lengthen as you build up your endurance.  You will need to monitor your breathing so the run feels relaxed. The best rule of thumb is the “talk test”.  You should be jogging so easily that you can talk without gasping for air. If your breathing is labored, then you need to either slow down your pace or shorten your jogging intervals. Don’t worry about speed. That will come with more time on your feet.

Two to three days a week, I recommend you perform functional strength work that keeps you injury-free. Simple bodyweight exercises such as plank, double and single leg glute bridge, side plank, monster walks with a band, bird dog, walking lunges and lower abdominal work are great exercises to start with. Complete three sets, doing each exercise to fatigue not failure. Recover for 1 to 2 minutes between each set. The whole workout takes about 20 minutes.

In week three, one day a week, include some ”strides” which are short accelerations in pace for about 10-20 seconds.  When doing your weekly strides, walk or jog easily for 45 to 90 seconds between each one.  Strides will help you improve running economy and reinforce good form.

This program is dynamic and flexible. Have fun!

 

 

 

Couch to

5K

M T W H F S S
Week 1 jog/walk

10-15 mins

cross- train jog/walk

10-15 mins

cross-train rest jog/walk 1 miles rest
Week 2 jog/walk

10-15 mins

cross- train jog/walk

10-15 mins

cross-train rest jog/walk 1 miles rest
Week 3 jog/walk

10-15 mins

cross- train jog/walk

10-15 mins

cross-train rest jog/walk 1 miles rest
Week 4 jog/walk 20 mins cross- train jog/walk 20 mins cross-train rest jog/walk

1.5 miles

rest
Week 5 jog/walk 20 mins cross- train jog/walk 20 mins cross-train rest jog/walk

1.5 miles

rest
Week 6 jog/walk 20 mins cross- train jog/walk 20 mins cross-train rest jog/walk

1.5 miles

rest
Week 7 jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross- train jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross-train rest jog/walk 2 miles rest
Week 8 jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross- train jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross-train rest jog/walk 2 miles rest
Week 9 jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross- train jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross-train rest jog/walk 2 miles rest
Week 10 jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross- train jog/walk

25-30 mins

cross-train rest jog/walk 3 miles rest
Week 11 jog/walk

20 mins

cross- train jog/walk

20 mins

cross- train rest jog/walk

1.5 miles

rest
Week 12 jog/walk

20 mins

rest jog/walk

10 mins

jog/walk

10 mins

rest 5K Race rest

 

Coach Karen’s Couch to 5K Training Program                                                     coach-karen.com

 

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