Moving Beyond Couch to 5km!
The possibilities are endless! How do you want to run? What distance? How fast? Where? And who with? Maybe move into triathlon, or start your road to the marathon. Getting to 5km from the couch is the hardest part, the only way is up.
Moving passed the 5km can be daunting. This blog will take you through some tips, training methods, and things you need to think about when increasing your training and starting a new running journey. Better planning equals improved performance, and if you take a few of these points and create a thorough plan, then you are well on your way to a successful running life.
- What are your goals?
- Are you staying robust?
- Running technique – do you need it?
- What does a running plan look like?
Four questions that when broken down are simple, and will provide you with the knowledge you need to press on to the next level!
What are your goals?
If you don’t have one, take some time and set one. Because this will dictate how often you need to train, and what type of training you need. Maybe you just want to improve your 5km time, which is a great goal, or you are dead set on running London 2023. Obviously, this will change how you train, distance, time, and type. So don’t rush it, remember there are endless possibilities with distance races, races abroad, trails, park runs, triathlons, and middle distance, just to make a shortlist. Once you have a goal set you can begin moulding your training to it. And once you smash it, you can pick another event!
Are you staying robust?
The trick to a happy and long running career is staying off the physio table. Lots of you will find that once you are used to running a 5km, your body holds up fine. However, here is a fair warning – that if you up the distance quickly, or try to increase your speed without doing the necessary strength, it will bite you. I don’t want to be the grumpy guy telling you to lift. But it is important once you get passed the 5km distance. It can be fun and built around your lifestyle, remembering that resistance training DOESN’T have to mean lifting weights. It can involve body weight, bands, balls, jumps, hops and skips. It can be as little as 30 minutes of your day twice a week. And you WILL feel it in your running and the rest of your life. So think seriously about your strength training, and if you are struggling then get your coach involved to make to process as simple as possible.
Running technique – do you need it?
Now, this can be a big one. And if you want to see gigantic results, then the technique is where it’s at! Once you run a regular couch to 5km, you have started building a successful cardiovascular base. This means you are improving your health, fitness and ability to run each time. What will take you further and greatly reduce your time, is now your technique. We have spoken about countless techniques and running styles, their strengths and weaknesses before teaching you how to improve. Now it’s your turn – it starts with a fascinating analysis of your running form from multiple angles. Your running coach will educate you on how we teach technique talking you through the specifics – how it makes you stronger, faster, and far less likely to injure yourself. In 6-10 weeks you will be a different runner. Unlock your running potential with technique, once you have it, everything else becomes so much easier.
What does a running week look like?
How does a runner train? No matter what the event, they will never complete the same session four times a week and repeat. In fact, I wager they will hardly ever complete the same running session more than once per week. Variety is essential. Hills to build your muscle strength, intervals to build your v02 max, threshold training to work on lactic acid clearance, recovery runs to fill your muscle with fresh nutrients, and race simulations to practice for the day. That is a general outline of the plethora of running sessions you can complete in a week. But for you! If you are just passing your 5km – here is what I recommend. Add a hill session, 30-90 seconds up as fast as you can, and walk down. Start with five repetitions and build each time until you reach 10-12. This is easier on your joints, builds strength and counts as an interval. Secon try a threshold session. Pick between 400m-1km running 20-30 seconds slower than your race pace. Have 90 seconds rest where you walk and repeat. This improves your body to clear lactate and toxins from your muscles. Your last run can be 5km working on your pace. And that is a simple three session plan for a beginner 5km runner! Go hard!
- Have some research and pick a running goal.
- Make sure you are making your body strong to protect it.
- Investigate and try some running technique training.
- Plan your week with a few different sessions.