Couch to 5K
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Why 5K?

What is the magical number 5K all about? Around about 3 miles. Is it just because it's sort of a round number being half of 10K, or that it chould be about half an hour or so or what? If we weren't metric would we be doing the couch to 3 miles (c23m) or would we be trying to do 5 miles in an hour? Is it healthcare bods saying we should exercise for 30 mins 5 times a week (or however many times it is)?

3 Replies

I think it's because 30 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 times a week is recommended.

This is a UK so not metric here but everyone's still doing C25K. Couch to 3.2 miles just isn't so catchy!


Apart the benefit of the NHS finances, 30 mins 3x (or more)/week helps you to lower your risk of diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle and over eating; obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke etc. Of course you could not do it but it is better for your own health an well-being if you do.

There are lots of races that are 5K long, and it means you have the ability to participate in things like park run and probably more likely to keep it up. It is a nice round number, probably arbitrary but I quite like aiming for something that is challenging but also realistic.

For most C25K (or C23.2M) is a spring board for increased activity and for everyone who gets to that 30 min/5k mark it is a huge achievement regardless of where the numbers were plucked from

Good luck with your running!


For those with a busy hectic lifestyle it must be much easier to fit in 30 minutes of exercise and would appear more do-able than 5 miles at a lunchtime. I have to admit that having run 5K gives me a real high but convert it into miles and I then think, "Is that all I've done"!! ;) I'm delighted its Km's


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