Couch to 5K beginner running training plan

Couch to 5K running plan

The Couch to 5K training plan is the perfect running programme to get you active if you don’t currently run. If you can walk for half an hour, chances are that you can pick up the pace and give running or jogging a try.

BBC Get Inspired has teamed up with Public Health England’s One You campaign to bring you the Couch to 5K running programme. It has been especially designed for people who have done little or no running training.

The free app or downloadable PDF is completely FREE and provides a 9 week training plan, where you will run 3 times per week. The aim is to have you running for 30 minutes or 5 km by the final week.

Download the Couch to 5K training plan

If you have a smartphone you can download the Couch to 5K training programme to your phone or alternatively download the plan as a PDF document. Follow the links below:

iOS App

Android App

PDF

If you would like to keep manual diary of your Couch to 5K progress then you can download the following tracking sheet:

PDF

A helping hand

If you download the app for Android or iOS devices you won’t be alone in your training. Providing a helping hand (or voice) are 4 trainers to choose from:

Jo Whiley (radio DJ)

Laura (former fitness phobe & running convert)

Michael Johnson (13 time Olympic and World Championship gold medalist)

Sarah Millican (comedian)

Simply select your preferred trainer when you download the application to your mobile phone.

A collage of the Couch to 5K training supporters
© BBC

The Couch to 5K challenge

A week by week summary of the Couch to 5K training plan is listed below:

Week one

For your three runs in week one, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one minute of running and one-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week two

For your three runs in week two, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one-and-a-half minutes of running with two minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week three

For your three runs in week three, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then two repetitions of one-and-a-half minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running and three minutes of walking.

Week four

For your three runs in week four, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, five minutes of running, two-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Week five

There are three different runs this week:

Run one: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, five minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run two: a brisk five-minute walk, then eight minutes of running, five minutes of walking and eight minutes of running.

Run three: a brisk five-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

Week six

There are three different runs this week:

Run one: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, eight minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run two: a brisk five-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, three minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run three: a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week seven

For your three runs in week seven, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running.

Week eight

For your three runs in week eight, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week nine

For your three runs in week nine, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

For more information visit the NHS Couch to 5K page.