Couch to 10K Training Plan – INJURY PROOF!

Per request – here’s my running training plan. I found it on some random message board; allegedly it was the plan used by the Army to train enlistees quickly, but without getting them injured (?). No idea if that is accurate haha, but it did work wonders getting me in running shape injury free. 
I used it originally to train to run in Vibram Five-fingers without hurting my feet (you have to think of that process as weight training for your feet and be VERY cautious so as not to tear a tendon or ligament). Therefore, I was extremely diligent about never adding more than 10% to each week. I have highlighted the changes I made to the plan, just for the extra careful ones like myself! This is also a great training plan for increasing your speed, because you really can push yourself to run much, MUCH faster when you know you’re about to walk!
Let me know if you use it! Happy Running!

Week 1:
Go to a local track because the distances are exact. Once on the track walk 1/2 lap, then jog 1/2 lap, walk a half, jog a half for 1 mile. You will alternate jogging & running 8 times (4 each).
When you complete 4 full laps, that’s exactly 1 mile. Now no matter how good you feel, go home. Do this 4 to 6 days a week.
Never less than 4 days or more than 6 days weekly.

NOTE: I don’t have access to a track… I do this week and the others with my Nike Run app because it tells me when I’ve gone 0.25. So I walk the first 0.12, and then run until the voice over tells me I’ve reached 0.25 – and so on for a whole mile. That way I don’t have to be looking down while I’m running.

Week 2:
(4 to 6 days per week) Start with a 5 minute warm up walk, then alternate walking & jogging and walk only half the distance of each jog, as follows:
Jog 0 .25 mile (one lap) then
Walk 0 .12mile (1/2 half lap)
Jog .50 mile (2 laps)
Walk .25 mile (1 lap)
Jog .25mile (1 lap)
Walk .12mile (half-lap)
Jog .50 mile…go home
                                                                  Total Weekly Mileage: 8-12 (depending on whether you run 4 or 6 days)
(Again – I do this w my phone on the Nike + Running app!).

Week 3:
5 Days this week:
Day 1: Brisk 5 minute warm up walk, then:
.50 mile jog, .25 mile walk, .50 mile jog, .25 mile walk, .50 mile jog. total 2 miles. go home
Day 2: 5 minute warm up, then: .75 mile jog (3 laps) .50 mile walk (2 laps) .75 mile jog. total 2 miles. go home.
Day 3: 5 minute warm up then: 2 mile jog (8 laps) NO WALKING!!! Catch your breath and go home. good job.
Day 4: Repeat day 3
Day 5: Repeat Day 2.

                                                                                                                      Total: 10

Week 4:
5 workouts this week.
Day 1: warm up, then: .50 mile jog, .25 mile walk, .75 mile jog, .25 mile walk, .50 mile jog: total 2.25 miles. go home.
Day 2: warm up, then: 1 mile jog (4 laps) .25 mile walk, 1 mile jog. total 2.25 miles. go home.
Day 3: warm up, then: 2.25mile jog (9 laps) NO WALKING! Day 4: Repeat Day 2
Day 5: Repeat Day3
                                                                                                                 Total: 11.25
**** Here we go! All running from now on! ***** 
Please stay on the schedule and go no further than the schedule suggests!

Week 5:
Warm Up! Then jog 2.5* miles 4 to 6 days.
                                                      Total: 12.5

Week 6:
Warm Up! Then jog 2* miles 4 to 6 days. (*Yes, cut back, let your body consolidate it’s gains).    
Total: 10-12 mi
Week 7:
Warm up! Then a 3 mile jog. You are ready for a 5K for fun. Not one this weekend? Here’s your weekly ‘Stay in Shape’ schedule.
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 2.5 miles 
Day 3: 3 miles
Day 4: 2.75 miles
Day 5: 3 miles
                                       Total: 14.25

Extra Week:
3 mi every day, 5 days    
  Total: 15 

Extra Week:
3 mi every day, 4 days, plus one 4 mile run (total of running 5 days)
Total: 16
Week 8:
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 4 miles
Day 4: 3 miles
Day 5: 4 miles
                                              Total: 17
Extra week 
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 3 miles
Day 5: 4.5 miles
                                           Total: 18.5

Extra week:
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 4 miles
Day 3: 5 mi
Day 4: 3 mi
Day 5: 5 mi
                                            Total: 20
Week 9:
Day 1: 4 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 4 miles
Day 5: 5 miles     
                
                                        Total: 21
Extra week:
Day 1: 4 miles
Day 2: 4 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 6 miles
Day 5: 4 miles
Total: 23
Week 10:
Day 1: 5 miles
Day 2: 4 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 6 miles
Day 5: 5 mile
                                              Total: 25 

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3 thoughts on “Couch to 10K Training Plan – INJURY PROOF!

  1. Hi Kallah. I wasn't familiar with the Nike+ running app, but then I downloaded it after reading this post a couple of weeks ago. I LOVE it. I do not, however, love carrying my iphone in my hand. Do you run w/an armband? Joe has bought me 2 in 2 days, but both just slide off of my scrawny arm! Any suggestions? Thanks for sharing this training plan.

  2. @Jennifer: Haha my arm is far from scrawny! I WISH I had your problem lol.

    I run with an armband I bought at Dicks Sporting Goods – I believe its an Ironman brand?? It was the only one they had!

    Sorry I don't have any more helpful suggestions! Glad you like running with the app though! 🙂 Maybe you could look into the Nike running watch? It uses TomTom GPS; I can't afford one quite yet, but it gets good reviews and is cheaper than the Garmin!

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