The Aggressive Couch to 5K (3mile) Program - 4 Months

author : Ron
comments : 11

The following tables should help you get started on a simple walk/run routine.  It is more aggressive.  You work out three times a week at 30 minutes per session.  This program takes 16 weeks and is a quicker though steady progression from the conservative program.  Remember to eat healthy too.  Feel free to change the days if needed to convenient you, but just remember to always have a rest day between runs - you need that rest. 

You should be able to do your 5K with no walking after finishing this program provided you can maintain a 10min/mile pace.  If you are slower, and you haven't been able to meet the minutes running required of the program at the end, its ok to still do the 5K BUT walk during it.  Don't feel you have to run the whole thing.  Don't push yourself.  You can even add another month of training at the end of this program to build up to about 40minutes by increasing your duration by no more than 10% per week.

If you are experiencing joint pain during this program, it might be best to start off with our Beginner Exercise Program or our Beginner Cycling Program along with a decent diet to lose some extra weight that could be irritating your joints.  Also, see your doctor.  By using this program, you accept the RESTRICTIONS AND TERMS OF USE

***Starting on week two, you will see that you run and walk a certain number of minutes each.  This means that you may run for 1 minute, walk for 5 minutes, run for another minute OR maybe save the running for the middle of your routine and walk before and after your running...anyways, you get the idea.  Do whatever is comfortable to do the required minutes.  However you choose to do it, you are still building up.  It is so important to not overdo the running...and don't even think about speed.  Run at a leisurely, comfortable pace.  It does not matter how fast other people are running.  

You will also notice in the training that the last two weeks of every phase is about the same.  I feel this is good as it is kind of a rest.  You're not going up in running minutes but just maintaining.  This will also keep you less injury-prone...you can't constantly be improving.  To improve you need some rest stages where you go back down and some stages where you just maintain.  Remember, rest is very important in training.

Now I want you to do something...Print this routine out, put it on your refrigerator and start your first day!

Some running essentials:

  • Get fitted for proper running shoes at a dedicated running store FIRST!!!  A lot of injuries can be avoided this way...just ask us.
       
  • Avoid running on asphalt or concrete....find a good, smooth trail.
       
  • A good warm-up is imperative to a safe run.  A recommendation is to start with a 5min walk, 1-5minute light, slow jog , 5min walk, LIGHT, gentle stretching, 5min walk THEN start your routine.  Doing this will get some blood flowing to your muscles before stretching.  NEVER stretch a cold muscle.
       
  • Cool-down.  Very important.  Cool-downs eliminates lactic acid, brings your heart-rate to normal and prevents muscle cramps.  Walk for at least 5-10minutes.  The more the better.  Do a LIGHT, gentle stretch session after your walk, walk some more.  Later that day/night, do a more intensive stretching.

Reading the workout:

Example, the workout says '24/6'.  The first number is the number of minutes walking, the second is the number of minutes running.  24 minutes walking / 6 minutes running.  This is also how the 'grand totals' work.

Phase I    Walk/Run    Month 1    Mostly Walking  (Times in minutes per day)

WeekMTWTHFSSTOTAL
1Off25/0Off30/0OffOff30/085/0
2Off27/3Off27/3OffOff27/381/9
3Off24/6Off24/6OffOff24/672/18
4Off27/3Off24/6OffOff24/675/15

Grand total: 313/42     

 

Phase - II    Walk/Run    Month 2    Mostly Walking  (Times in minutes per day)

WeekMTWTHFSSTOTAL
5Off21/9Off21/9OffOff21/963/27
6Off18/12Off18/12OffOff18/1254/36
7Off15/15Off15/15OffOff15/1545/45
8Off18/12Off15/15OffOff15/1548/42

Grand Total:  210/150     

 

Phase - III    Walk/Run    Month 3    Mostly Running  (Times in minutes per day)

WeekMTWTHFSSTOTAL
9Off12/18Off12/18OffOff12/1836/54
10Off9/21Off9/21OffOff9/2127/63
11Off6/24Off6/24OffOff6/2418/72
12Off9/21Off6/24OffOff6/2421/69

Grand Total: 102/258      

 

Phase - IV    Run    Month 4    All Running   (Times in minutes per day)

WeekMTWTHFSSTOTAL
13Off15Off15OffOff2050
14Off20Off20OffOff2060
15Off20Off25OffOff2570
16Off25Off25OffOff3080

Grand Total:  260      

 

If you will be following the sprint programs on the site, replace Phase IV with the following:

  • Start some cycling to get up to 40minutes duration.
       
  • You may also start cycling earlier should you feel comfortable.  Try 2-3 times/week increasing your duration or distance by no more than 10% per week after you get past 30-40minutes.

 

Phase - IV    Run    Month 4    All Running/Cycling   (Times in minutes per day)

WeekMTWTHFSSTOTAL
17Off15-Run20-Bike15-Run20-BikeOff20-Run50-Run
40-Bike
1820-Bike20-Run25-Bike20-Run30-BikeOff20-Run60-Run
75-Bike
1920-Bike20-Run30-Bike25-Run40-BikeOff25-Run70-Run
90-Bike
2020-Bike25-Run25-Bike25-Run25-BikeOff30-Run80-Run
70-Bike

Grand Total:  260-Run/275 Bike      

YEAAAHHHH!!!!   You did it!  By week 16, you are a full time runner.  You have now finished starting from scratch.   Hey...make sure to leave a comment below and tell me how you did.

At this time, you are doing some good running, it would be best to start following that 10% rule strictly from here on.  Also, start scheduling a 'rest' week every month where you decrease your training by 30-50%.   

"I did the 4 month aggressive program. However, at the end of June I was convinced by two friends that I could try a triathlon - so due to my training for the tri I actually did the 3.1 miles on July 19th. Tomorrow I am going to do my first 5K competition in 16 or 17 years!!! I am very excited. It is a small town deal, and I am just doing it for fun-I am very slow! But, I am excited and wanted to tell you thank you for the couch to 5k. I am addicted to the training and am really enjoying the journey. As a side note, I am riding my Mountain Bike I got from Target for my first Sprint coming up in 15 days!!! Thanks for the website, articles, forum and the logs-it's great!"

-Nichi

 

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date: August 29, 2004

Author


Ron

I started this site 10 years ago after doing my first triathlon in 2001. My goal for this site is to get people healthy and happy. I firmly believe that triathlon is the best 'sport' for your body as it has less impact then the more popular single sport(running) while incorporating your upper body from swimming allows for a balanced-body approach to fitness.

Author

avatarRon

I started this site 10 years ago after doing my first triathlon in 2001. My goal for this site is to get people healthy and happy. I firmly believe that triathlon is the best 'sport' for your body as it has less impact then the more popular single sport(running) while incorporating your upper body from swimming allows for a balanced-body approach to fitness.

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