Summer is Almost Here! Can a Couch-to-5k Running Program Get You Ready?

Summer is almost here. For many of us, now is the time we begin thinking about transforming our bodies from winter mode to swimsuit ready. With just a few weeks left until Memorial Day, a couch-to-5k running program may be just the plan to jumpstart your fitness goals.

What is Couch-to-5k?

Also commonly referred to as C25K, the couch-to-5k program was developed by Josh Clark of Cool Running decades ago. The idea is simple; provide an easy to follow system to get anyone off the couch and get active. Several C25K programs exist today, but in general, the average program last 6 to 12 weeks with the traditional C25K lasting 9 weeks.

The program begins with short running intervals interspersed between longer periods of walking. As the program progresses, the time allotted for running increases until eventually the runner runs a complete 5k (3.1 miles) without stopping. A fine accomplishment at any level!

What Are the Program Benefits?

There are many benefits to the C25K running program. Many of the benefits gained are similar to those you might expect from dedicated a running, walking, cycling, or other cardio program including:

  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Muscle toning
  • Increased energy

But the C25K program has one unique benefit others do not – the satisfaction of achieving a set goal. Running a 5k is an exhilarating experience. One that transcends losing weight or building muscle.

How to Get Started?

Aiming to run a 5k is a great obtainable goal to set. Fortunately, the C25K program can be found free online with a quick Google search or through a downloadable app for Android or iOS. The program is very approachable and perfect for those overwhelmed with the thought of more intense (and expensive) workout options.

Begin at your own pace and progress week to week. And as with any new exercise, be sure to consult with your physician before starting. Good luck and see you at the finish line!

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