Seven couch-to-5k training program myths

If you want to start or to join a couch to 5k training program it makes sense to know what other groups before you have done. As a participant, you will be inspired, and informed. As an organizer, you will have a model to work from. Either way, you’ll have lots of questions:

  • How hard will it be?
  • How long will training take?
  • What kind of improvement can I expect?
  • How much time will this take each week?

The answers to most of those questions are easy enough: Not that hard. A few months. It depends on you; you give what you get. It might take three hours a week, including travel.

The Bridgewater, CT group met two times a week, sometimes three. They had a warm-up, some walking, about 21 minutes of walking or jogging, then a cool down.

One of the best reasons for couch-to-5K programs to exist has nothing to do with training as such. Of course I’m talking about support. The real beginner, someone who only runs when being chased, will experience tons of sweat and soreness for a small gain in fitness. Having other new runners/joggers/walkers around for mutual support can help a bunch.

You can also track your progress during a couch to 5K program. In the beginning, you might jog one kilometer (about 0.6 of a mile) before going back to walking. It takes you 40 minutes to cover three kilometers. Three weeks later, you might be able to jog three kilometers in 20 minutes. Two weeks after that you only need 18 minutes. This is progress, but it isn’t easy to feel.

If there is a couch-to-5K program in the area, consider joining. There are several benefits, and no real downside.


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