Couch to 5K

WORKOUT

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By Grace Iberle, RDN, LDN, CHC, CPT 

With Spring comes the start of running season. I call myself a seasonal runner, meaning I only like running when the weather is enjoyable to accompany my run. Props to the avid runners making it through Chicago winters and running outdoors!

If you’re just getting started running, or back in the swing of things for this running season, signing up a for a race can be a huge motivator to get you moving. Follow these tips for a successful race or running season.

  • Start small to build up your endurance and make sure you give yourself enough time to train

  • Initially, run for time before focusing on distance

  • Don’t be afraid to repeat weeks to help your body and mind adapt to running, while decreasing your risk for injury

  • Each week, schedule out 3 separate days to run, building in days for strength, mobility, rest, and recovery. See an example below:

    • Monday: Strength Workout Lower Body / Cross Train

    • Tuesday: Run Day 1

    • Wednesday: Rest and Stretch

    • Thursday: Run Day 2

    • Friday: Strength Workout Upper Body / Cross Train

    • Saturday: Run Day 3

    • Sunday: Rest and Stretch

  • Find a time or distance to begin and progress from there

    • If you’re completely new to running, start with walking or a walk/jog interval for time

      • Run Day 1 - 20 minute walk

      • Run Day 2 - Brisk 5 minute walking warm up then alternate jog for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds for 15 minutes - total workout time 20 minutes

      • Run Day 3 - Reduce rest time - Brisk 5 minute walking warm up then alternate jog for 60 seconds and walk for 60 seconds for 15 minutes - total workout time 20 minutes

    • You can also try the distance approach

      • Week 1 - 1 minute run, 2 minute walk until you reach 1 mile, repeat 2-3x

      • Week 2 - 1 minute run, 1 minute walk until you reach 1 mile, repeat 2-3x

      • Week 3 - 2 minute run, 3 minute walk until you reach 1.5 miles, repeat 2-3x

      • Etc

  • Each week, increase your walking or running by time and effort

  • Consistency is key! Print out a calendar and mark off the days you plan to run and X them out once completed.

  • Listen to your body. If you’re new to running, don’t over do it. Begin where you feel comfortable, and continue to increase and improve each week.

Signed up for a race but not sure where to start? Reach out to your LifeStart staff to help you build a program that works for you!


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