It is a 9 week program where you do intervals of jogging and walking for 20-30 minutes 3 days a week (including a 5-minute warm up brisk walk and cool down). Each week you increase the amount of jogging vs walking and eventually decrease the total amount of walking until you are just jogging. By the end of week 5, I should be jogging 2 miles in 20 minutes without walking (except for the warmup). From week 7-9, I'll just be jogging (plus the 5-minute warmup) each day starting at 2.5 miles and being able to jog 3 miles / 30 minutes by week 9. So in a little over 2 months I should be able to complete a 5K without walking in under 35 minutes.
I completed the first workout today and I am so excited that I actually managed to jog for the whole time that it indicates--a combined total of 8 minutes out of 30 or so-- for a total of 2 miles. This may not seem like a lot of jogging, but I don't think I even was able to do this much last time I tried this. I am definitely starting to see and feel the muscle in my upper thighs and calves from the walks and jogging I've been doing lately. Now I just need to work on toning the inner thighs. I also need to remember to do yoga because my muscles are a bit soar.
If you are interested in trying this out (it's a great way to start even if you do not think you are a runner), here are some excellent resources to get you started:
- C25K Running Plan - This sites describes the program and what to do each of the 9 weeks.
- C25K Checklist - This site is just the chart of the 9 week program with checkboxes to track your progress. It uses a browser cookie so it remembers what you checked from one visit to the next.
- C25K Podcasts by Ullrey - One of my biggest worries was how I was going to keep track of when to run, when to jog, and when I had done enough intervals. These podcasts make it super easy and include workout music to keep you motivated.
- Podrunner: Intervals - Another great C25K podcast with more upbeat music. Instead of telling you when to run or walk, this podcast uses a sound to alert you when to switch.
- Couch to 5k LJ Community - very active and supportive community of beginner runners. Great place to find motivation and inspiration.
- c25k.com - even more great links about the program and running in general.
So who's with me? I know we can all do this!