12 Weeks to 5K

I’ll preface this post with some transparency about my own ability to run a 5K….I have none, zero, zip. I have never Run an entire 5K. I have Walked/Run a 5K, several times over the years. At one point in my heyday, I had a 10 minute mile walk/running and a 15 minute mile walking. Nowadays I’m in the 20 minute mile walking zone.  I plan to improve that time and get back into shape.

My husband, Russell, on the other hand has lots of experience in running. He has always been a swimmer and cyclist; but prior to 2014 he could not walk, nor run, a mile comfortably. He set a goal, paid the entry fee, and pre-paid all the travel expenses for his first marathon- the 2015 Goofy Challenge at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  He hired a personal trainer, and she did everything she could to help him achieve his goal.  imo, Her best advice was to change the way one thinks about being a runner.  The biggest preconception about marathoners is that all of them run the entire distance without stopping, and this just is not the case.  After cheering Russell on at several events over the past few years, I have come to realize that maybe only 25% of athletes actually run the entire marathon. Russell’s trainer told him to think of himself as a runner as soon as he started running any distance. Didn’t matter if he was walking more than running, he was a runner. Having that positive mental image, being a runner, helped motivate Russell to push through without giving up.  After he completed the Goofy Marathon, he set his sights on triathlons. He makes me proud watching him compete, knowing how far he has come in a few short years is an inspiration to our entire family.

For those of you who would like to give it a go, here are two “couch-to-5k” plans.  One is to build up to running the entire 5K.  Use this plan if you can already walk a good distance.  If you are unable to walk a mile comfortably, then use the second plan which is to build up to walking a 5K.

Running Plan:
Your runs should be a comfortable pace, you should not be huffing & puffing at the end of the running cycle. A good gage for pace is if you can still talk while running. Also, remember to breathe from your diaphragm. This deep breathing will help increase your O2 intake, as well as, strengthen your core.

M T W Th F S S
1 (6x)
W-4min
R-1min
(6x)
W-4min
R-1min
rest (6x)
W-4min
R-1min
(6x)
W-4min
R-1min
rest rest
2 (5x)
W-4min
R-2min
(5x)
W-4min
R-2min
rest (5x)
W-4min
R-2min
(5x)
W-4min
R-2min
rest rest
3 (5x)
W-3.5min
R-2.5min
(5x)
W-3.5min
R-2.5min
rest (5x)
W-3min
R-3min
(5x)
W-3min
R-3min
rest rest
4 (5x)
W-2.5min
R-3.5min
(5x)
W-2.5min
R-3.5min
rest (5x)
W-2.5min
R-3.5min
(5x)
W-2min
R-4min
rest rest
5 (5x)
W-2min
R-4min
(5x)
W-2min
R-4min
rest (4x)
W-2.5min
R-4.5min
(4x)
W-2.5min
R-4.5min
rest rest
6 (4x)
W-3min
R-5min
(4x)
W-3min
R-5min
rest (4x)
W-3min
R-5min
(4x)
W-2.5min
R-5.5min
rest rest
7 (4x)
W-2min
R-6min
(4x)
W-2min
R-6min
rest (4x)
W-2min
R-6min
(4x)
W-2.5min
R-6.5min
rest rest
8 (3x)
W-2.5min
R-7min
(3x)
W-2.5min
R-7min
rest (3x)
W-3min
R-8min
(3x)
W-3min
R-8min
rest rest
9 (3x)
W-3min
R-8min
(3x)
W-2.5min
R-8.5min
rest (3x)
W-2min
R-9min
(3x)
W-2min
R-9min
rest rest
10 (3x)
W-1min
R-10min
(3x)
W-1min
R-10min
rest (2x)
W-2min
R-13min
(2x)
W-2min
R-13min
rest rest
11 (2x)
W-1.5min
R-14min
(2x)
W-1.5min
R-14min
rest (2x)
W-1min
R-15min
(2x)
W-1min
R-15min
rest rest
12 W-1min
R-20min
W-1min
R-20min
rest R-25min
W-1min
R-5min
R-25min
W-1min
R-5min
rest Race
R-30min

Most 5Ks welcome people who want to walk the course. Sometimes walkers start first, well before the runners. Other events will have walkers start after the runners. And sometimes, they start at the same time as the runners.  If this is the case for your event, find your starting point in the back of the pack to prevent any possible collisions from runners having to go around you. Not all people think ahead, and there have been many an accident before the starting line from athletes fiddling with their tech gear and not paying attention to where they are running.
The following walking plan is for the individuals which can not comfortably walk a mile. It slowly increases time and distance over a 12 week period to have you ready to walk the 3.1miles on race day.  You will notice Thursday is the only day with actual miles to clock. Walk this day at your own pace, speeding up, slowing down, stopping to rest as necessary. For some, it may take much longer than the minutes you walked the previous days and that’s ok, just focus on completing the distance. This way you will know by race day you will be able to complete the 3.1miles and that’s what is important!
Walking Plan:

M T W Th F S S
1 10min 10min rest .5 mile 15-25min Rest Rest
2 12min 12min rest .75 mile 20-30min Rest Rest
3 15min 15min rest 1 mile 30min Rest Rest
4 17min 17min rest 1.5 miles 30min Rest Rest
5 20min 20min rest 1.75miles 30-45min Rest Rest
6 30min 30min rest 2 miles 30-45min Rest Rest
7 30min 30min rest 2.25miles 45min Rest Rest
8 45min 45min rest 2.5 miles 45min Rest Rest
9 45min 45min rest 2.5 miles 60min Rest Rest
10 60min 60min rest 2.75miles 60min Rest Rest
11 60min 60min rest 2.75miles 75min Rest Rest
12 75min 75min rest 3.0miles 90min Rest Race

Both plans have 3 days of rest each week. It is important to let your muscles rebuild after working them hard. If you would like to cross-train on your rest days, focus on other areas of the body not being used the rest of the week. This includes your heart,  non-aerobic exercises on your rest days would be best.

Would love to hear back from you if you give either plan a try. Post a comment, or email me!

T
o maintain muscle mass while working out consider using Shaklee 180® meal replacement shakes and bars. 

As with any new exercise program, please consult your physician prior to starting.

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