The idea behind the couch to 5k concept is to take people from their couch to running 5k (5 kilometres, 5,000 meters or 3.1 miles) in 9-12 weeks. The idea has become very popular with people wishing to reduce the wear of their soft furnishings whilst improving overall health and fitness by following a guided programme that requires little preparation however demands commitment to be successful. There are many variations of the programme available as apps, downloads and through fitness magazines and books which set out a schedule of regular training in order to achieve a 5k run in 9-12 weeks.
The concept is appealing as it is free and not overwhelming, you can do it in your own time straight from home with inexpensive equipment. The plans are easy to follow and those who commit to the plan, barring injuries succeed.
Essentially a form of interval training, the couch to 5k programme encourages changes in your pace initially through walking, jogging and latterly running which progressively places far more strain through your heart, lungs, joints, muscles etc than sitting on the couch does. Your body will adapt becoming stronger as a consequence, you will burn more calories being active, your physique will change and you may lose weight. Exercising is not an excuse to eat more ‘because you’ve earned it!’ If your focus is to lose weight whilst becoming fitter, healthier and stronger then diet and nutrition will also need to be addressed.
Increasing your time away from the sofa through regular exercise will cause muscles to become tired, stiff and sore which is normal. Gentle stretching and light swimming can be helpful as would treating yourself to a massage here at FP with Ross . Sometimes injuries occur when exercising which can be demoralising when working towards the 5k goal. Not to worry you are not a failure your body simply requires time and fine tuning. Our experienced Physiotherapists are able to assess and advise, often modification of exercise can be the difference. Shockwave therapy is suitable for tendon injuries that present as persistent pain at the hips, knees or ankles during or after training which we also offer and may enable you to keep on track.
Couch to 5k is a great place to start in getting active. You may decide you love running and it becomes your time to de-stress and find perspective, in which case increasing frequency and distances whilst possibly including some local races may be good options for you. Others will decide they hate running which again is normal. Don’t force it, use it as a springboard to a different exercise there are plenty to choose from.
Once you have the motivation time and support to engage in healthier life choices don’t waste it. If you require any help with injuries, exercise choice or exercise technique get in touch we would be more than happy to help.