• What better way to get off the couch and spring forward into summer by starting a couch to 5k running program. Running improves our general physical fitness, improves our lung and heart health, and makes us feel good.

    This blog is by Shea, one of our brilliant physiotherapis and she has even included a PDF running plan that you can download from the link lower down.

    A couch to 5k program is designed for beginner runners or those who are wanting to start running again after some time off. Following a plan will get you in good enough shape to successfully run 5kms by the end of the program. The secret here is the gentle introduction to getting the body moving, starting off with alternating between walking and running, and slowly progressing over the weeks until you are running for 5kms non-stop.

    One of the best things about running a couch-to-5k is the simplicity; all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes, some comfortable clothes to run in, somewhere to run and a can-do attitude. A watch is helpful for keeping track of walking and running times, and I would recommend having a plan to follow and keep you on track.

    You can run around the block or explore some of the great outdoor spaces here in Ashburton. Argyle Park, the domain, and the river track are all great places to walk or run. If you are a social runner, the Run and Walk Ashburton Club have regular events and a 5km summer series.

    There are several couch-to-5k programs available online or delivered via phone apps such as C25k. These tend to vary between 6-9 weeks in length. The shorter programs start off a little harder with more running and less walking, whereas the longer programs start off a little gentler, with a more gradual increase in running time and distance. Most programs will require 3x 20-30-minute workouts each week, and some will also incorporate some strength exercises into their plans. Ultimately, the best program for you is the one that you enjoy and the one that you can stick to.

    Below is a simple 9-week program that is suitable for beginner runners. Work out lengths range from 18-30 mins and are focused on running time rather than distance. There are 3x running workouts each week. I would recommend spreading the workouts out over the week, with a rest day between each. It is also a good idea to incorporate some simple strength training into your plan to help keep you strong and injury-free. You can download a PDF for this running plan by clicking here.

    Come and see one of our great physio here at Physiosteps for advice, running analysis, injury rehab, or some proactive strength and conditioning to help with your running – it’s what we do!