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How to start running

We have many clients wanting to improve their cardio and ask us how to start running. From a physio point of view it’s important to ensure good leg strength and core stability prior to starting out. Once you’ve established this good platform we often recommend the Couch to 5k program. I’ve used it many times when getting back into running following a hiatus.

Reasons we love and recommend the Couch to 5k program:

  1. It’s easy!
    • With only 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking for a total workout of 20 minutes it doesn’t feel like hard work. Of course it gets harder throughout the program but by that stage you’ve started to build up your fitness.
  2. It’s great to focus on technique.
    • We often see clients who have just gone out for their first ever 5km run and within 1 km of the run are experiencing pain. This can be because they don’t have the endurance and fitness to focus on a great technique. By only starting with 60 seconds of running it allows you to run at a good pace (not a sluggish one which is usually the case by 3km in) and focus on foot placement, glut and core activation and posture.
  3. It helps prevent injury.
    • As clients who we recommend this program to are only beginners it is a gentle introduction to running without causing overuse injuries. With the 90 second walk following the 1 minute run it helps to allow the body (and lungs) recover before beginning the next cycle of running.
  4. It’s great for injury rehab
    • When coming back from injury it’s important not to overdo it and using the Couch to 5k helps to pace your running. It provides a good warm up, enough time to focus on running technique and recovery time following each run cycle.
  5. It’s achievable and successful
    • We’ve had many clients try this program and have had great successes. Clients who never thought they would be able to run 5k or clients who after injury were nervous about running again. Given the slow, paced style of the program (and only 3x per week) it’s a great running program to commit to.

So good luck if you’re going to try this, you’ll be proud of your achievement.