Health & Fitness

How to Go From Couch Potato to Running 5 Kilometres

When you start jogging, running 5 kilometres should be your first benchmark

I have never been someone who loves exercise but in the past I would begrudgingly do it as I was quite a fan of the results which it would have on my body. Despite the fact that I forced my way through my exercise, one type of exercise that I could never quite fall in love with was running. Last year I was talking with my friend Heather Weber and we both admitted that we had managed to complete ignore the fact that we should be exercising and we set up a plan to shift the weight that we had put on, and to get in shape.

At that time neither of us could really afford to pay for a gym membership so we set about turning ourselves from coach potatoes into runners, there was a 5k run on the horizon in our town so that was our goal. We achieved our goal and if you want to do the same, here’s how we did it.

Walking and Running

I knew that I would never last for long once I hit the ground so I decided that I would combine walking and running for around 20 minutes in my first week. I would run for around 8 minutes of the 20 and then walk for another 12. The key here though is to make sure that you are walking at a very brisk pace so that your heart is still beating hard, you should be waling for 2 minutes and then running for a minute and a half until you have reached your 20 minute goal.

Upping Through The Weeks

Each Monday that I embraced upon my run, I would change the amount of time that I walked and ran as well as changing the time that I took to complete the whole exercise. By the 4th week I was walking and running for 40 minutes and I was amazed that after just a few weeks of exercising like this, I was able to comfortably complete my 40 minute workout.

No Distance

For the first 4 weeks of my challenge, I completely ignored the distance that I was running and instead focussed on the amount of time that I was running. On the second month of my challenge I introduced distance and then started to focus more on this during my exercise. There reason why I think that this works so well is because I was never disappointed that I could only run 1 kilometre for example, had I seen this I think I would have been discouraged and lost faith.


I ran 5 days from 7 and I would advise you to do the same, running with this kind of frequency is the best way to ensure that you stay on top of your fitness and that you can maintain everything that you are achieving both mentally and physically. Give yourself 2 days off per week so that you can rest and then hit it hard for the other 5.