Learn to Run – Easier than the Couch to 5K program

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Easier than Couch to 5K?

Look, I’m not trashing the Couch to 5K program to learn to run, it’s worked for a lot of people. And a lot of those people were really out of shape. Here’s the thing, I must have made those people look like Olympic athletes, because the program progressed way too fast for me. I remembered seeing a great beginning running program in an article in Runner’s World, but I couldn’t for the life of me find it again, so I made up my own, and I used the program below to go from never having run a mile to eventually training for a marathon.

15 Week Program to Learn to Run

When I started running for the first time in my life outside the mile they make you run in junior high and high school, I had decided that in twelve months I’d be running a marathon. But that’s way beyond this article. You may just want to learn to run one to three or so miles and this program does just that, only it does it in minutes instead of miles.

You’ll start off, and progress slowly to where you’ll be able to run 30 minutes straight. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, just that you can now run 30 minutes without stopping.

Are you ready?

One caveat: You don’t have to do this in 15 weeks! If it takes you longer, and you can only add 30 seconds each week, that’s okay, just do it! Maybe you add running time but take longer to shorten the walking times, that’s okay too. This is just a plan to get you started.

This program assumes you’ll be running 5 days a week, so pick your two days off, but preferably not two days in a row if your schedule can handle it. Yes, as the weeks progress you’ll be moving longer than 30 minutes when you include your warm up and cool down.

Week 1 – Walk for 30 minutes

Week 2 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 1 minute/WALK 4 minutes (repeat 4 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 3 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 2 minute/WALK 3 minutes (repeat 4 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 4 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 3 minute/WALK 3 minutes (repeat 4 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 5 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 4 minute/WALK 3 minutes (repeat 5 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 6 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 5 minute/WALK 3 minutes (repeat 3 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 7 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 6 minute/WALK 2 minutes (repeat 3 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 8 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 7 minute/WALK 2 minutes (repeat 3 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 9 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 8 minute/WALK 2 minutes (repeat 3 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 10 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 10 minute/WALK 2 minutes (repeat 2 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 11 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 11 minute/WALK 2 minutes (repeat 2 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 12 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 12 minute/WALK 2 minutes (repeat 2 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 13 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 13 minute/WALK 1 minutes (repeat 2 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 14 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 15 minute/WALK 1 minutes (repeat 2 times), COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Week 15 – WALK – 5 minutes, RUN – 30 minutes, COOL DOWN WALK 5 minutes (light stretching)

Now you’re ready to start adding more minutes as you feel you can handle it.

This learn to run program was the easiest for me, because I was never sore! Not being sore meant I was ready and able, not to mention excited, to get out there every day and improve on my last performance.

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Happy running!

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