couch to 5k treadmill plan

Couch to 5k Treadmill Plan in 12 Weeks

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It’s Kathleen again, friends, and if you’re reading this, I think I know why. It’s probably because you signed up to do a 5K, but now that you’re weeks away, you notice that you’ve been spending more time surfing the sofa than on the street running.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting to do a 5K, I want to offer you my congratulations! Just wanting to get in good enough shape to do a 5K is worth celebrating! Seriously, you could just spend your days binge-watching NetFlix and WATCH a 5K from the sofa, right?

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NordicTrack Commercial 2450 Treadmill
NordicTrack Commercial Series Treadmills + 30-Day iFIT Family membership
  • 16,000+ On-Demand Workouts 
  • Live Interactive Training
  • 40% Incline
  • Low Impact Cushion
Check Price

Hydrow Interactive Rower
  • Full-Body Workout
  • Award-Winning Design
  • Live On-Demand Classes
  • 22″ Touchscreen
Check Price

Teeter FreeStep – Recumbent Elliptical
  • Zero Impact Exercise
  • Dual Power Motion
  •  Works Both Upper & Lower Body Muscles
  • Whisper-Quiet Performance
Check Price

Now you have a bit of a dilemma though, don’t you? You have only 12 weeks to get your patootie in gear so you don’t collapse on the road and cause a scene.

No worries, Kathleen has you covered.

I’m going to help you out with a plan to get you from the couch to 5K treadmill plan so that you can look like a very competent runner. I’m not promising that you’ll win the race, but just competing is enough to earn you a big reward.

You might leave your SO hints about what type of reward you want for your couch to 5K treadmill challenge. I’ve found that printing out pictures helps a lot!

OK, are you ready? Let’s talk about how you go from the couch to 5K in 12 weeks.

Can I Do Couch to 5K on a Treadmill?

You bet you can!

First things first.

A 5K is 3.1 miles. I like miles because they sound so much shorter! I don’t know if that helps you, but I would rather focus on 3 miles than 5 anything.

man trying couch to 5k training plan

Yes, this is totally doable on a treadmill. In fact, a treadmill is what you’re going to use for training. You can run the actual route (if you know it) a week before to ensure that you know about any hills or other obstacles that might hinder your success. Once you are accustomed to running, you should be able to complete your 5K without an issue.

Everyone is different so don’t belittle yourself if you find that you don’t take to running like a duck to water. I had a running buddy who ran 3 miles with me almost every evening. She hated every minute of it and never seemed to find that endorphin high, but she stuck with it anyway.

If she can do it, so can you.

I’m going to tell you the best way that I’ve found to reach that couch to 5K goal, but if you should find that the schedule is moving too slowly for you, go ahead and skip to the next section. If you feel that you are struggling, don’t sweat it. Take it down a notch or rest for a day and then get back on the program.

Is It Easier to Run 5K on a Treadmill?

Yes, it is.

The treadmill belt is like a moving sidewalk, so they tend to glide under your feet. Also, your treadmill has no wind resistance and, unless you change the incline, there are no hills, no dips, no obstacles in your way.

lady learning with trainer from couch to 5k on a home treadmill

This doesn’t mean that you can’t complete a 5K outdoors just because you’ve been running on a treadmill. The treadmill will increase your endurance level so that you may feel a bit more winded or tired than after your usual treadmill run, but you won’t have any problem completing the race.

Related Post:  Learn How to HIIT Workouts on a Treadmill!

If personal workout space for a treadmill is a problem, there are many that fit under your bed. Check them out here.

Couch to 5K Treadmill Running Program

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the couch to 5K treadmill plan, shall we? I’m so excited for you! This is going to be a terrific adventure for you!

I’m going to break this down by week. Again, if you feel that you can do more or go faster, go ahead, but don’t push yourself too hard. If you do, you will find yourself extremely sore and worn out, so much so that you might quit altogether. I’m 100% behind you in your ambitious couch-to-5K treadmill running plan, so I’ll be with you every step of the way.

Ready? Let’s go!

WEEK 1
Monday Do a 30-minute walk at a brisk pace (at least 3 or 3.5 MPH).
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk at a comfortable pace for 4 minutes, then jog at 4 MPH for 1 minute. Repeat 4 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Repeat Wednesday’s workout.
Saturday Rest
Sunday Jog (4MPH) for 3-5 minutes then walk for 3 minutes (3.0 MPH). Repeat 6 times.

That wasn’t so bad, was it? Let’s keep going!

WEEK 2
Monday 30-minute brisk walk (3.5MPH)
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 4 minutes, jog 1 minute. Repeat 5 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Repeat Wednesday’s workout.
Saturday Rest
Sunday Run 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
WEEK 3
Monday 40-minute brisk walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 4 minutes, jog 2-3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Jog 5-8 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Saturday Rest
Sunday Jog 5-8 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
WEEK 4
Monday 40-minute brisk walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 4 minutes, jog 2-3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 3 minutes, jog 2-3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Saturday Rest (or you can do a 30-minute quick walk if you feel up to it).
Sunday Run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

How are you holding up? You completed your first month’s journey! Congrats!

WEEK 5
Monday 45 minute brisk walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 3 minutes, run 2-3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, run 3-4 minutes. Repeat 4 times
Saturday Rest
Sunday Jog/Run 10-12 minutes (you can do it!), walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
WEEK 6 (Half Way There!)
Monday 45-minute quick walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk for 3 minutes, run 3-4 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, jog 5-7 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Saturday Rest (Or do a 40-minute quick walk)
Sunday Jog 12-15 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
WEEK 7
Monday 45-minute brisk walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 3 minutes, jog 4-5 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, jog 6-8 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Saturday Rest (or do a 45-minute quick walk)
Sunday Jog 15 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
WEEK 8
Monday 45-minute quick walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 3 minutes, jog 4-5 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, jog 6-8 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Saturday Rest (or do a 45-minute quick walk)
Sunday Jog 15 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
WEEK 9 (You’re on the home stretch!)
Monday 45-minute quick walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 2 minutes, jog 5 minutes. Repeat 5 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, jog 10-12 minutes. Repeat 3 times
Saturday Rest (Or do a 45-minute quick walk)
Sunday Jog for 20-30 minutes (You can do it!)
WEEK 10
Monday 45 minute quick walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 2 minutes, jog 5 minutes. Repeat 5 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, jog 10-12 minutes. Repeat 3 times
Saturday Rest (Or do a 45-minute quick walk)
Sunday Jog for 30-35 minutes
WEEK 11
Monday 45-minute quick walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 2 minutes, jog 5 minutes. Repeat 5 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, jog 3-4 minutes. Repeat 5 times
Saturday Rest (or 45-minute quick walk)
Sunday Jog 35-40 minutes
WEEK 12 (YOU MADE IT!)
Monday 45-minute quick walk
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 2 minutes, jog 5 minutes. Repeat 5 times
Thursday Rest
Friday Walk 2 minutes, jog 3-4 minutes. Repeat 5 times
Saturday Rest (or do a 45-minute quick walk)
Sunday Jog 35-40 minutes

Now you are ready to hit the 5K trail like a competent runner!

If you find it difficult to track your time or distance, you can find some of the smallest fitness trackers to make you job easier here.

Related Post:  Learn How to Lose 40 Pounds on a Treadmill Fast!

How Fast Should You Do a Brisk Walk?

What exactly do I mean with quick walk or brisk walk? How fast is quick or brisk?

Understandably, a 60-year-old woman will have a much slower brisk walk than someone in her 20’s or 30’s. There are several ways to quantify brisk walk, and “100 steps per minute” is a good approximation of what constitutes brisk or quick walking. Fitness experts agree that this is around 3.5 MPH on the treadmill.

5k training plan 12 weeks

Walking at a pace that makes you slightly out of breath and sweaty? That’s The easiest way to tell you’re walking briskly without counting steps or using a speedometer.

What Treadmill Speed Is a 20 Minute 5K?

Easy, the treadmill speed for a 20-minute 5K is 9.4 MPH. How was that?

OK, so you want to do a bit of number crunching. This isn’t rocket-science, but just so you know,

  • Speed = distance divided time
  • 5K = 3.1 miles (as I have mentioned above)
  • 20 minutes = 60 / 20 = 0.33 hour

So, the treadmill speed for a 20-minute 5K (or 3.1 mile) walk is:

Speed = Distance / time = 3.1 / 0.33 = 9.4 MPH

If you plan to do 5K in 45 minutes (45 / 60 = 0.75), that’s 3.1 / 0.75 = 4.1 MPH

Is Doing 5K Every Day Enough to Lose Weight?

That would depend on how fast you plan on doing your 5K, as well as how overweight you are now.

If you’re not used to exercising and you have more than just 10 pounds or so to lose, yes, you should lose weight if you jog at a brisk pace of about 4 MPH.

couch to 5k week 4

Your body will become accustomed to a brisk walk, jogging, or running after a while. It’s always a good idea to mix up your treadmill workouts. Try a HIIT treadmill program that is similar to the couch-to-5K program above, mixing a comfortable and easy pace with a jogging or running speed of about 4MPH or faster.

The main idea is to mix up your workouts with faster speeds, then longer distances but at a slower pace. This type of exercise program is the best way to drop weight and use your training experience above to create a calorie deficit.

The Final Takeaway

Newbie runners think that a 5K is the ultimate, but in just a matter of a few weeks, they find that they can do a 5K treadmill run at a conversational pace.

If you choose to do your 5K treadmill plan outside, always be sure that you have a safe running space. Running on rough terrain will help improve your stamina, that’s why many runners prefer to get in some practice outdoors.

Here’s wishing you a successful 5K run! Remember to reward yourself for your hard work, but not with ice cream, OK?

Stay safe and healthy, folks, because life is too short for anything else.