The Couch to 5k in 9 weeks running program

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. That I’ve found fantastic to assist my running after graduating from C25K.

Before You Start Please Read This

The Couch to 5k program was designed to gradually build up your strength and stamina, helping you transition from the couch to completing a 5K run. It’s meant to be a fun, motivating journey to healthier you!

However, before you lace up those running shoes, I strongly advise you to consult with your healthcare provider. Although the program is structured to accommodate beginners, everyone’s health and physical condition is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another.

It’s crucial to remember that:

  • Starting a new exercise program, like Couch to 5K, can place new demands on your body. If you have any underlying health conditions, especially heart problems, respiratory issues, or musculoskeletal disorders, these could potentially be exacerbated by increased physical activity.
  • Even if you feel perfectly healthy, it’s still a good idea to get a check-up. Your doctor can give you personalized advice and help you understand any potential risks.

Remember, your safety is your number one priority. Please ensure you have your doctor’s clearance before you start with the Couch to 5K program. This is not just a step towards running 5K, but towards a healthier, more active lifestyle. It’s best to make it a safe step!

This website and its contents are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Thank you for your understanding, and here’s to your future fitness success!

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 Couch to 5k Plan The plan to follow if you want to go from the couch to running for 30 minutes or 5k.

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.
Languages other than English
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 English

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!)

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.

C25K Apps

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.
Watch to 5k  A Couch to 5k app for your Apple Watch.
Couch to 5k Running App for Garmin A Couch to 5k app for your Garmin Watch.

Couch to 5k Audio Guides

Robert Ullrey's C25K Audio Guides Robert has recorded nine audio guides 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. XXXX

Couch to 5K - Christian Indie Tracks Chris has put together this great set of Christian Couch to 5k tracks. 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.
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.
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?
Books for inspiration Here are four fantastic books I have enjoyed reading that have help inspire me to run.

Discussion and Support

Couch to 5k Facebook Group  A fantastic community of people helping each other achieve the goal of completing the Couch to 5K program.
Couch to 5k on Reddit a great community discussing their Couch to 5k journey.
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.

Running Tools

Strava Strava connects millions of runners, cyclists, hikers, walkers and other active people through the sports they love – all on their mobile app and website. The most popular way to record and track your runs.

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.
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, an incredible running resource.

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

Not Your Average Runner Podcast Over 300 episodes all pitched at beginner runners, great listening.
FitMIND FitBODY Podcast The podcast where you join Michelle and explore the running journey and its profound impact on our mental health.

After C25K; 10k and Beyond

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.
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.

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
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.
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 Couch to 5k Plan The plan to follow if you want to go from the couch to running for 30 minutes or 5k.

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.
Languages other than English
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 English

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!)

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.
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.
Watch to 5k  A Couch to 5k app for your Apple Watch.
Couch to 5k Running App for Garmin A Couch to 5k app for your Garmin Watch.

Robert Ullrey's C25K Audio Guides Robert has recorded nine audio guides 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. XXXX

Couch to 5K - Christian Indie Tracks Chris has put together this great set of Christian Couch to 5k tracks. Like Robert Ullrey's, they tell you when to run and when to walk.
Ben Davis' 120 pound weight loss journey If you are over weight, and are considering running, watch this.
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.
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?
Books for inspiration Here are four fantastic books I have enjoyed reading that have help inspire me to run.
Couch to 5k Facebook Group  A fantastic community of people helping each other achieve the goal of completing the Couch to 5K program.
Couch to 5k on Reddit a great community discussing their Couch to 5k journey.
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.

Strava Strava connects millions of runners, cyclists, hikers, walkers and other active people through the sports they love – all on their mobile app and website. The most popular way to record and track your runs.

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

Runner's World I love this site, an incredible running resource.

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.
Not Your Average Runner Podcast Over 300 episodes all pitched at beginner runners, great listening.
FitMIND FitBODY Podcast The podcast where you join Michelle and explore the running journey and its profound impact on our mental health.

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.
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.
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
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.