The Couch to 5k in 9 weeks running program

C25K, is a fantastic program that's been designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in just 9 weeks.


With the help of the Couch to 5k program, In less than seven months, I went from a 47 year old, 104kg, 30 cigarettes a day sort of guy to an 82kg, 0 cigarettes, running 45 to 50 kilometers a week sort of guy. Ten months after finishing C25K I completed my first marathon. Since then I have run another 5 marathons, as well as 9 ultra marathons including three over 100km.

And I'm not the only one, C25K has been responsible for getting thousands of couch potatoes up and running.

Its secret is that it's a gentle introduction to getting the body moving, starting off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly building up until after 8 weeks, you're ready to run 5 kilometers or 30 minutes non stop.

The reason for putting this site together is to try to create the definitive Couch to 5k resource on the web. For the novice, there's a lot of information available...it's just a matter of trying to find it all. That's where c25k.com will hopefully help. I've tried to collate links to just about all of the information you'll need for the Couch to 5k program, plus some other sites that I've found fantastic to assist my running after graduating from C25K.

If you have any links that I've missed, or have any suggestions, please shoot me an email.
The Couch to 5k Plan
Running for Beginners
The first place to visit for anyone looking to start running. Provides a heap of good advice for those wanting to run 5k plus links to Couch to 5k resources.

The C25K program at Cool Running
These are the guys who started all this and is where to get a copy of the program. In addition to the free, printable version of the plan, you can keep track of your progress online using the ActiveTrainer training log. Note there is a cost for the training log.

Graham Cairns' Metric Version
Graham's a C25K graduate from Brisbane Australia, and has very kindly converted the yards and miles to metres and kilometres for us.

C25K Treadmill Version
Ian has converted the C25K program to make it super simple to follow if you are doing the workouts on a treadmill.

Pooch to 5k
If you have a dog, why not let him or her also enjoy the benefits of fitness while you are going from Couch to 5k? Developed by Audrey an Australian vet, Pooch to 5k will have you and your dog runnning 5km in just 12 weeks. I love running with my Boxer Gator...he is like having an instant running partner who is always ready to run when I am.

Books to help your running
The better armed you are with information the better...here are same great books that can help you on your couch to 5k journey.

C25K in Arabic (Thanks Muhammad!)
C25K in Bulgarian (Thanks Zornica!)
C25K in Chinese (Thanks Zhonghai!)
C25K in Danish (Thanks Helene-Therese!)
C25K in Dutch (Thanks Arne!)
C25K in Estonian (Thanks Tarvo!)
C25K in Finnish (Thanks Nina!)
C25K in French (Thanks Fanny!)
C25K in German (Thanks Dana!)
C25K in Greek (Thanks Leon!)
C25K in Hebrew (Thanks Nir!)
C25K in Hungarian (Thanks Krisztina!)
C25K in Icelandic (Thanks Arna!)
C25K in Indonesian (Thanks Emil!)
C25K in Italian (Thanks Manu!)
C25K in Japanese (Thanks Hiroto!)
C25K in Norwegian (Thanks Kari-Ann!)
C25K in Polish (Thanks Pawel!)
C25K in Portuguese (Thanks Henrique!)
C25K in Romanian (Thanks Ioan!)
C25K in Russian (Thanks Dmitry!)
C25K in Slovak (Thanks Rado)
C25K in Slovenian (Thanks Alja!)
C25K in Serbian (Thanks Dusan!)
C25K in Spanish (Thanks Miguel!)
C25K in Swahili (Thanks Daniel!)
C25K in Swedish (Thanks Jessica!)
C25K in Turkish (Thanks Mert!)
C25K in English

Josh Clark: Inventor of the Couch to 5k program
Josh wrote the C25K program in 1996. Since then many thousands of couch potatoes have become runners because of Josh's work. Read about why he wrote the program, and the philosophies behind it.
Couch to 5k Podcasts
Robert Ullrey's C25K Podcasts
Robert has recorded nine podcasts to accompany you on your runs. Some great music, plus Robert will tell you when to run, and when to walk...a must have. How to add mp3 files to your iPod: First save the mp3 files to your hard disk. Then open iTunes and under “File”, go to “Add File to Library”. Browse for the file and add it. Then in iTunes add the file to your iPod.

Podrunner Intervals: First Day to 5K
Mixed by DJ BeatSmith, this first 27-minute set is said to be a great introduction to the world of interval training to start you on your path to a nonstop 5K run! Graham Cairns (who's into the DJ Steveboy stuff) says there are no VERBAL cues to change from walking to running - but a very noticeable musical cue ... and the bpm changing from an obvious jogging speed to an obvious walking one.

The C25K App for iPhone
Based on Josh Clark's famous Couch to 5K plan, Get Running lets you run at your own pace. It alternates walking and running for the first six weeks, to ease you into running without leaving you exhausted. The only 5K training app to be partners with MyFitnessPal for seamless integratio.!

C25K App for Android
The same app as the iPhone one above, it this time for Android devices.

Couch to 5K - Christian Indie Tracks
Chris has put together this great set of Christian Couch to 5k Podcasts. Like Robert Ullrey's, they tell you when to run and when to walk.
Inspiration
Ben Davis' 120 pound weight loss journey
If you are over weight, and are considering running, watch this.

This is why I run: C2K
This race is my destiny. I finished C25K ten years ago, and since then I have taken the "5" out and run the 240km C2K race twice. I dream about running Coast to Kosciuszko, it's what inspires me to run every day. Read my blog post on my 2015 race. An essay about running written by a cancer sur

An essay about running written by a cancer survivor
If you want to find out what running can mean to someone, read this. If you have trouble getting out of bed at any time to go for a run, remember reading this. If you're hurting during your run and feel like stopping, remember reading this. If you ever get injured because of running, read this again. Jenny posts at the Runners World forum, she has inspired me and countless others during her battle. Thanks Jenny for letting me publish your story here.

A common question: why do people drop out during C25K?
On a forum I contribute to, someone asked:" I'm interested to know if those who have started this previously and got to week 3 or 4 had to stop because of injury or it got too hard or life just got in the way?" I have also seen this sort of question in other C25K forums. Here was my reply on the forum in question.

No Excuses
Great motivational piece from our friends at Nike.

Darin's story
Imagine being told you can't donate your kidney to your very sick daughter because of your weight.

The Pre-Dawn People
Journalist Dana Marytin meets a running group, the pre-dawn people. This story really captures what running can bring to you life, and why you keep running years after finishing the C25K. I have two of my own "Pre-Dawn People" groups I run with, and the relationships I have made are just as close as Dana describes in this great story.
Books for inspiration
Here are four fantastic books I have enjoyed reading that have help inspire me to run.

UltraRunTv Ultra Running Videos
Watch some amazing runners do amazing thngs on UltraRunTV. You may not be at this stage yet, but one day, who knows?

Discussion and Support
C25K Forums
Our very own discussion forum right here on c25k.com. A fantastic community of people helping each other achieve the goal of completing the Couch to 5K program.

Cool Running Forums
There's a great community at Cool Running, with lots of people undertaking and talking about C25K.

Runners World Forums
Thousands of members providing help for runners of all levels, from those about to do week 1, day 1 C25K,to those running the Boston Marathon.
C25K Shirts and Gear
Road ID
This Wrist ID is durable and comfortable...never mind the fact that it might save your life someday. Wear it running, cycling, swimming or on any of your adventures.The Wrist ID is the perfect piece of gear for every athlete. it will be laser engraved with your emergency contact information, just in case anything happens to you while you're out on the road. A must have for your safety.

Running Gear for Beginners to C25K
The truth is you don't need a lot of stuff to complete the C25K. Print out the program, put on a pair of shorts and some shoes, and head out the door. That given, there are a few gadgets and products that can make things a bit easier...here are a few I recommend.

The C25k Shop
The guys in the forum decided they would like C25K Shirts to wear while they're out doing the program, so we set up the C25K Shop.
Running Tools
Gmaps Pedometer
A fantastic tool to map your runs so you can find out exactly how far you are running. You can save your maps and access them again later.

RunningAhead
Lets you map your runs, and then record your run data, so you can come back and see your improvement at any time.

Running for Fitness Calculators
Want to know how long it'll take you to run a marathon if you've run 5km in 32 minutes? This site will tell you plus heaps more. Just about every running and fitness calculator you will ever need.

The McMillan Running Calculator
Great tool that tells you the pace you need to train at and race at based on your past performance.

Running Info
Runner's World
I love this site, other than the fact it's a little slow to load at times. An incredible running resource. Try the SmartCoach virtual trainer to setup a customised training program.

Nova Marathon Challenge TV Show
Marathon Challenge is a one hour documentary which follows a group of non runners on their quest to run the Boston Marathon. As well as the personal dramas and highlights, the show touches on a lot of topics such as injuries, nutrition, weight loss etc. Well worth seeing for anyone looking at starting running, or racing. You can view it online here.
Running Podcasts & Music
Phedippidations: The Steve Runner Podcast
Steve is the guy that runs with me on all my long runs. A middle of the pack marathon veteran with a great sense of humour, Steve's tips and musings have taught me heaps. A different Podcast approx an hour long every week.

JogTunesIndie
The JogTunesIndie Podcast is a music-paced running podcast featuring indie music from the Podsafe Music Network. Obviously obscure artists, but if you like Indie, this is great to go running with.
After C25K; 10k and Beyond
10K101 Podcast
If you have completed the Couch to 5K, or you can easily run for 30 minutes without rest, 10K101 will take you the rest of the way towards your goal of running a full length 10K race. 10K101 is broken out into several podcasts which you can listen to on any MP3 player. All you have to do is download the workouts, go out for a run and hit play. Note there is a charge for these podcasts.

30 Days to Your Fastest 5K Podcast
30 Days to Your Fastest 5K will help you set a new Personal Record in the 5K in just 4 weeks. Note there is a charge for these podcasts.

The 10K Trainer iPhone App
The10k Trainerapp for iPhone is by the same author as the C25K app. If you liked C25K, you'll like this.

Podrunner Intervals
If you enjoyed DJ Steveboy's First Day to 5k podacsts, you'll also enjoy these for moving beyond 5k: Gateway to 8K and Freeway to 10K. Both series were designed especially for us by running coach, blogger, and bestselling author Jenny Hadfield.

Hal Higdon Novice 10k Program
This looks like a really sensible training plan to get from running 5k to 10k in just 8 weeks.

Training Programs
Preparing to run your first 10k, Half Marathon or Full Marathon calls for specific training programs for you to follow. Here I have listed four of the most popular training programs; there is a lot of debate about which is best, my advice is to review each one, see which suits you, and then stick with it.

Hal Higdon Programs
Programs online for 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon. Appears to be very popular.

Jeff Galloway Programs
Jeff's programs call for regular walk breaks both in training and during races. Many swear by Jeff's methods.

Pete Phitzinger Programs
Seems to be popular with more advanced runners. Programs are not online, you need to buy his book.
Get Healthy
411fit
Is designed for individuals to establish nutrition/exercise goals and to track their progress towards these goals. The act of daily journaling helps you identify problem habits through easy to understand letter “grades”. The site has community features like “Friends” so you can invite others to join and share your workouts, meals, and recipes. In addition, you can receive/provide support through features such as a “Wall”, “Friends Newsfeed”, and even create or join Groups. And best of all it's free!

CalorieKing
The CalorieKing website has been responsible for me losing 25kg in weight. Fantastic resource if you're serious about adopting a new healthy lifestyle. The Australian site also has a very active discussion forum, including a group on Couch to 5K. The Australian version The US version

Sparkpeople
A number of people have contacted me to tell me about this free to join site, and to ask if I could link to it. I have no experience with the site myself, but by the sounds of it, it's helping lots. The official blurb is: "The SparkDiet is a four-stage journey that helps you make the elusive jump from “dieting” to a fresh, new lifestyle. The stages combine healthy tips and tools with motivation and confidence so that healthy habits become part of your everyday life"

MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal is a diet and fitness community built with one purpose in mind: providing you with the tools and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals. This site is totally free, and came highly recommended by one of our C25K runners.