Weight Loss NHS
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Couch to 3K (A more gentle version!)

I've tried Couch to 5k before but my health just isn't at that level yet.  It is just impossible for me to complete the first week.  So ... I have made a couch to 3k which is still 12 weeks but is much gentler, particularly at the start while your body is adjusting to running.  Anyone want to join me in this?  It's based of the NHS plan still but I've scaled it down a bit so it's not so strenuous.  I'd recommend being confident you can walk for 15-20 minutes without stopping before starting this.  

Thought I would share in case it helps anyone else.  I've downloaded an interval timer on to my phone so that I can do it without the C25K podcasts / app.

Here's my plan (repeat each run 3 times per week, never on consecutive days):

All runs start with a 5 min warm up walk and 5 min cool down walk

Week 1: 20 min brisk walk

Week 2: Alternate 15 sec jogging with 2m 15 sec walking (repeat 8 times)

Week 3: Alternate 30 sec jogging with 2 min walking (repeat 8 times)

Week 4: Alternate 1 min jogging with 1m 30 sec walking (repeat 8 times)

Week 5: Alternate 1 min 30 sec jogging with 2 min walking (repeat 6 times)

Week 6: Alternate 2 min 30 sec jogging with 2m 30 sec walking (repeat 4 times)

Week 7: Alternate 3 min jogging with 2 min walking (repeat 4 times)

Week 8: Alternate 3 min 30 sec jogging with 1 min 30 sec walking (repeat 4 times)

Week 9: Alternate 4 min jogging with 1 min walking (repeat 4 times)

Week 10: Alternate 4 min 30 sec jogging with 30 sec walking (repeat 4 times)

Week 11: Alternate 9 min jogging with 1 min walking (repeat 2 times)

Week 12: 20 min jogging

6 Replies

Sounds an excellent plan - especially for you under 60's.  Those of us over 60 shouldn't feel bad if we choose to stick to walking - some of us have insides that can't cope with the jarring of running and need to be exercised in a slow and steady way!  Good luck to you youngsters - just make sure you have good footwear before you start!


I'm only 21!  I really should be fitter than this! Haha.  Walking is fantastic for you though, I started off trying to get up to being able to walk for 30 minutes at a time, still find it tiring sometimes though

1 like

Really good idea 😊 I have done my own version of "crutches to 3k" along similar lines but walking 😊 Go for it!! 😊👟😊 


This looks really useful been really reluctant to even download the podcast because the thought of running scares me but will do it today and refer to your advice x

1 like

I'm exactly the same running scares me too. Arranged to start couch to 5k with a friend so I can't back out!


What a brilliant idea!  And thanks for the share too.  A lot of people don't realise that if we do the same distance walking as the runners run but over a longer time, it is just as beneficial for our health, but without the risks to knees, ankles, feet and muscles that jogging and running can offer.  Most of us can make ourselves breathless by walking fast and using our arms more, so it can still be aerobic.  


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