GeeklyGetFit – Couch-to-5k

By Michaela Ray on


Howdy Geeklies!

Training for a run can be very tedious. Especially if you’re tackling it alone. So‚Ķdon’t! We want to get a group of Geeklies together to take on the challenge. We can all keep track of our training and whine about how sore we feel through the twitter tag #GeeklyCouchTo5k or just boast about major milestones.

This is open to any and every Geekly regardless of where you are starting out or your personal feelings about Hawaiian pizza. I’ve worked out a training program as well as some common running tips for anyone interested in giving this a try. We will be starting the first training week on Monday, February 27th and setting the date for the virtual 5k for the weekend of April 8th and 9th.

How this works: you follow the training schedule every week for 6 weeks. On the weekend of April 8th/9th, we all run a 5k on our own, post about it on Twitter, and rejoice! We will also have a new photo hashtag each week – we hope you will participate in this also!

Six Week Training Program: 

Week 1: (2/27/17 – 3/5/17)

  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 2-3x/wk
  • Walk 2 min. Run 1 min. (repeat x10)
  • 5 min cool down walk

(Explanation: walk 2 mins, run 1 min, walk 2 mins, run 1 min… and repeat this 10 times)

Week 2: (3/6/17 – 3/12/17)

  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 3x/wk
  • Walk 3 min. Run 3 min. (repeat x5)
  • 5 min cool down walk

Week 3: (3/13/17 – 3/19/17)

  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 3-4x/wk
  • Walk 1 min. Run 5 min. (repeat x5)
  • 5 min cool down walk

Week 4: (3/20/17 – 3/26/17)

  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 4x/wk
  • Walk 2 min. Run 8 min. (repeat x3)
  • 5 min cool down walk

Week 5: (3/27/17 – 4/2/17)

  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 4-5x/wk
  • Walk 3 min. Run 12 min. (repeat x2)
  • 5 min cool down walk

Week 6: (4/3/17 – 4/7/17)

  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 5x/wk
  • Walk 1 min. Run 15 min. (repeat x2)
  • 5 min cool down walk

Race Day! (April 8th-9th)

Time for all of this hard work to pay off and, of course, a rousing post-run celebration!

Running Tips for those just starting out:

  • Stretch beforehand: Primarily, you’ll want to make sure that you stretch out your hamstrings, quads, and calves. There is a lot of ways to stretch these groups out and any of those will work, but I recommend holding the stretch for 15 sec. twice on each leg.
  • Don’t forget about your arms: It can be very easy to forget, but keeping up a steady arm swing while jogging or running does a lot more than you would think. It can help keep you on pace and is vital to maintaining proper running mechanics.
  • Stay hydrated: Make sure to drink some major water before, during, and after your run. Plus, like all the other times during the day too.
  • Remember to breathe: The number one mistake not to make when taking up running is not breathing correctly. I know it seems like a hard thing to forget, but when running, especially when you are starting out, it’s important to focus on taking slow, steady breaths. Some say that it’s best to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, but really it all depends on what feels the most natural to you.
  • Pace yourself: Trying to do too much too fast right off the bat is the most common way to get a running-related injury like shin splints or even a stress fracture.

But hey, what if you’re no stranger to running and just looking to improve your time?

Tips to improve your run:

  • Eat well before: If you really want to optimize your body’s efficiency, you should eat a healthy meal, around 400cals with about 50% from carbohydrates 2-3 hours before with a small snack like a piece of fruit or a granola bar 15-30 min. before your run.
  • Find your breathing rhythm: If you’ve been running for a while, I’m sure that you’ve stopped paying attention to your breathing and developed your own rhythm. That’s not a bad thing, but you might want to revisit it if you’re looking to shave a few minutes off your time. Ideally, you want to inhale continuously over three strides and exhale over two strides for a long distance run. For a short sprint, I’d recommend modifying this to inhaling over two strides and exhaling over one stride. Because of some crazy biomechanics this takes some stress off your diaphragm and really helps your body work as efficiently as possible. Side note: I know this doesn’t sound like it would be very important, but I was shocked at how effective it was at improving my run and eliminating the side stitch that plagued me.
  • Pace yourself up with interval training: You can use the exact same training schedule I’ve lined out above.  Just start out with your normal pace and for each running interval increase your speed to more of a sprint. Running in intervals this way will help train you to run at a faster pace for longer.

If you have any more questions about the Couch-To-5k, the training program, etc., you can tweet at us or send us a direct message @GeeklyGetFit on Twitter. If you find your motivation waning at any point, you can also get in touch with pretty much any of the geeklies on twitter because motivation and support is something we have down pat.

Happy running everybody!

[This program and these tips are not credited from any source other than the experience and knowledge of the author, Michaela Ray, who has a BS in Exercise Physiology, is a certified personal trainer, is currently in her first year of study for her doctorate in physical therapy, and really loves helping out the Geekly community anyway she can. If you have any other concerns regarding your participation in this training program or issues with the program along the way, you can feel free to get in touch with her @mrunladylike on Twitter.]

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