Skip to main content

How to ACTUALLY go from Couch to 5K in Three Months

Have you either tried, thought about trying, or read about these running protocols to get you running a mile or a five thousand meter (5K) race? If you are not familiar with these types of schedules, then follow this link to see a selection of programs that commonly are offered to get you running that first mile or 5K. You could follow those programs, but end up like this:
Just because you've decided to start running doesn't mean that your body is ready to run. Furthermore, even if your body can tolerate the running now, it doesn't mean that it's having a positive effect on you. Running is one of the best exercises for cardiovascular health, but like all powers, it must be used wisely.

To achieve your goal of successfully running, you need to understand oxygen deficit

As you work in an aerobic phase, your body is using oxygen to get rid of lactic acid that is building up and making you feel hot and sore. There is a certain pH in which your muscles are able to function. Pass that threshold, and you're toast until you recover. If your body can't bring in enough oxygen to generate more energy (ATP), then it grabs energy from anaerobic phases, which means you are going to run out of gas, fast. Reaching that point is called oxygen deficit.
Muscle tissue stores all of the ATP that you need quickly, but you need to have an efficient aerobic metabolic system to manage the changing levels of acidity produced by longer term running.

So what's my point? Build up muscle and run less.

These programs have you running 3-4 times per week. Maybe your body will be able to respond quickly to the sudden changes, but maybe it won't. It will depend on ones level of conditioning. A deconditioned person may not respond well to all of that walking and running required for these programs. Walking a long distance with either poor posture, incorrect mechanics of movement, or low lactic acid thresholds will be in for some uncomfortable results. Getting yourself in better physical shape by improving muscle tone and flexibility will give you better results in running with fewer injuries and less time spent running

What are the Fundamental Exercises for Getting in Shape to Run

Three major factors contribute to a successful run:
  1. Leg/core strength
  2. Oxygen uptake
  3. Flexibility
The best way to get results is by having an expert trainer who can design a strength program to improve your physical strength and stretch the right muscles to keep you mobile. A solid strength program will have it's collection of squats, lunges, push-ups, back exercises, rotational movements, hamstring conditioning, and ballistic plyometrics. Each person is different, so make sure your trainer has a background in working with lots of populations and understands the muscle functions involved with walking and running. I have taken three years of courses on the demands of running and walking from every age group, and I can tell you that there are multiple scenarios for all kinds of people. One thing is certain: anyone can attempt to run a 5K with a properly designed program.

Most Popular Posts

Exercise- Some Motiviation Required

It requires some thought in to why we do and don't do things. Exercise was not really much expected of the average person when there was so much labor to do around the home and job. Our evolution from labor based to service based industries has created a need for us to generate time for activity. Hence- our need for motivation.
Exercise in ancient Greece, for example, was an ingrained part of the religion and culture. The Gymnasium was dedicated to physical perfection, but also developed into a meeting place of philosophers and educators.
In some ways, exercise is a motivator today for people to look attractive, impress their friends, potential friends, or just to make people notice them. Vanity can motivate.
Sometimes, it's just about pride. The thought of having to buy new clothes to make room for more of you is just not pleasant (especially when you see the selection available). In fact, some studies have demonstrated that monetary incentives have helped people lose weigh…

Fiber for FItness (or just fitting into clothes)

The average American diet simply does not have enough fiber. White enriched flour has almost no fiber content. The most popular veggies are tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and cucumbers, which have almost no fiber content (or vitamin content for that matter). Fiber helps regulate the digestive system (especially soluble fiber) by moving lipids (i.e. fats) through the blood stream and helping regulate sugar absorption. Insoluble fiber helps move bulk through the intestines, easing constipation and maintaining healthy acid levels.
You should also try to manage the sugar and fiber intake, especially for weight loss. Less sugar equals fewer calories which always contributes to weight loss. Check out the chart below for examples
Other great ideas are some of the whole fruit smoothies such as Bolthouse Farm products which use whole fruits and not juices. Fiber in your diet is an easy way to lose weight without making huge changes, so get started!

Body weight, reexamined...

The constant battle with the scale can be unending and unnerving. Before you even consider using it as your guide to a healthy weight, you should really consider the alternatives:

Body fat percentage: this is the most accurate measure of health and fitness. It means a low weight or lean person can have too much body fat and still have the potential for many ailments associated with being "overweight" including Type II diabetes and osteoporosis, for example. A heavier person with normal body fat percentage would actually be better off. Technology allows us to measure body fat percentage through a bioelectric resistance pad, which are those silver pads you can find on some scales. Make sure you purchase that kind of scale because it really appraises you of true progress- more lean tissue and less fat. See how you fall out on the chart below:



Waist-to-Hip Ratio: this is another effective way to measure how much fat has accumulated around the abdomen. As a general rule, the hips …