Couch to 5K Training Guide

It’s time for our annual Let’s Get Moving! 5K Walk/Run! This year’s event will be a virtual 5K that takes place from October 8-11th. With only a little more than 6 weeks to go, we want to share a training plan that will help you get ready and feel prepared to walk or run a 5K!

Whether you are training for the Let’s Get Moving! 5K Walk/Run or simply want to get more active, we created a 6-week training plan that is easy to follow and can be adapted to different fitness levels. In general, aim to walk or run for 30 minutes a day at least 3 days a week. This will help you get your recommended amounts of physical activity and help keep you moving! Don’t forget to drink water and stretch before, during, and after you do physical activity!

Week 1: Start small, try to switch between walking and running every few minutes. If you do not feel up for running, try varying your walking pace. Remember, speed doesn’t matter, just by getting active you are moving in the right direction! Don’t focus on distance travelled, but focus on minutes spent moving. Aim to walk/run for 30 minutes each time, at least 3 days per week. 

Week 2: On week 2, feel free to bump up the pace and distance if you are comfortable. Continue to walk, but try to increase your running time to 2-3 minutes. Don’t worry if you aren’t able to run, just increase your walking pace every 2-3 minutes instead!

Week 3: During week 3, try and spend as much time running or speed walking as you do walking at a normal pace. If you feel up to it, try to increase either the amount of time you spend on your walk-run or perhaps your total travel distance. You do not want to overexert yourself, but feel free to push yourself a little bit more as your strength increases.

Week 4: By week 4, you will want to try and speed walk or run more than you walk at a normal pace. Try to increase your distance if you can. Remember a 5K is 3.1 miles. You don’t want to find yourself overly tired on the day of the Walk/Run.

Week 5: Continue to run or speed walk more than you walk at a normal pace. Try to run or speed walk more than the previous week. Remember, by this point Let’s Get Moving! 5K Walk/Run is only a little more than one week away! No matter if you walk the whole course or run like a speed demon just by participating you are accomplishing something great!

Week 6: Congratulations! By this point you have made it to the last week of the training program. The Let’s Get Moving! 5K Walk/Run is just days away! Try to run or speed walk for 30 minutes without walking at a normal pace. It is ok to stop and walk at a normal pace if you need to.  Taking breaks is important so you do not overexert yourself.

Are you having trouble getting motivated? Turn active time into family time and take your family or dog with you.

Tips to remember:

  • Warming up is an important start to any physical activity. This helps to prevent injury. A slow walk, high knees, butt kicks, lunges, or leg raises are some of the things you can do to warm up.
  • Cooling down is important and will help bring your heart rate down to a more controlled pace. Walking slowly is a great way to cool down!
  • Stretching is also important before and after physical activity. This helps keep you limber and wards off injuries.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you do any physical activity. Water will help replenish all the fluids you lost from sweating.


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