It’s time to lace up your sneakers and get moving for the GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge on Saturday, May 21st! We wanted to provide tips, recommendations, and motivation from Northwestern University Recreation to help you prepare for this year’s 5K.
What is a Couch to 5K?
A Couch to 5K is a training program designed to help prepare beginners for their first race. Typical programs use various timed combinations of walking and running to help you build up to successfully finish a 3.1-mile run by the end. There are many iterations of this popular program that last anywhere between four to nine weeks.
Workouts & Training
This workout schedule, suggested by Northwestern University, gets you ready just in time to participate in this year’s GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge. This schedule is based on the standard six-week Couch to 5K training program but is condensed into four weeks.
Cross-training is a critical component to your training routine. Ultimately, you want to use different muscles outside of the ones utilized during running workouts. Swimming, biking, or using the elliptical are examples of low-impact, cross-training workouts that allow the body to actively recover.
For a more “all in one” approach, try using mobile apps such as Couch to 5K by Active or C25K by Zen Labs. These easy to follow training apps help you to gradually progress toward running a 5K. However, both of these programs are based on a nine-week training model.
No matter which route you decide to take, remember to maintain a healthy balance of running days, rest days, and cross-training days. Overexerting yourself can lead to exhaustion and injuries. It’s important to listen to your body, train smart, and enjoy the journey.