What is a C25K plan? – SHOES-n-FEET

What is a C25K plan?

Posted by JB Smith, Co-Owner on

Looking for some help to ease you into the exciting sport of running? C25K stands for Couch To 5 Kilometers, and it is a beginner’s plan for non-runners to achieve the challenging, yet do-able goal of completing a 5K (3.1 mile) race. Following a C25K plan can set you running down the road to an amazing accomplishment.

Created in 1996 by Josh Clark, the C25K plan is based on the idea that running can be daunting and difficult, and can certainly make you sore. Going from a sedentary lifestyle to running 3.1 miles full speed is improbable and can lead to frustration and perhaps injury. These roadblocks might urge you to discontinue running, and consequently you won’t see progress and are unlikely to continue in the sport. But a C25K plan is an excellent way to ensure against that.

C25K plans are usually 8-12 weeks of slow, progressive workouts to increase your cardio stamina and build the muscles that support a runner. It starts with a walk interspersed with timed intervals of jogging. These intervals will be a challenge, but, as your body gets stronger and more fit, the running intervals increase and you begin to see real progress. Slowly and methodically, your body adapts until you can run over 3 miles.

Success for a C25K-er is finishing! There should be no time goals for a first time racer. The metamorphosis of couch potato to athlete is at the finish line.

The timed intervals of the plan help you mentally deal with the discomfort of running, while keeping you from pushing too hard, too early. Relying on a plan takes the guesswork out of preparing to run over 3 miles. To avoid injury, you will need to listen carefully to your body and how it is adapting and responding.  It is perfectly okay to repeat some training weeks before moving on to a tougher workout.

Joining a C25K group provides even more benefits. Having a group date or exercise partner helps keep you accountable, keep you motivated, and keep it fun. The time really flies by when you have company.

Our SHOES-n-FEET C25K success group incorporates informational clinics into our plan. There are so many aspects of running a beginner may be intimidated by, and these clinics give an introduction to many important topics. They are presented in bite sized pieces just before the group workout to support your transformation into a 5K race finisher.  

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