The One App You Need for Your First 5K Run

generic_running_woman-640x426So you’ve decided to start running, great. You’re on your way to looking and feeling better. Now you just need to do is put on your sneakers and actually run a little bit, but that is more easily said than done. Here’s why you may want to consider using the running app Couch-to-5K.

It helps to have a guide to design the right type of training for a 5K. Mistakes that first-time runners are likely to make tend to be the kind of mistakes that put an end to running regimens. First-time runners push themselves to run farther each and every time they go out for a run, try to run distances that are way beyond their abilities, and they don’t get enough rest between runs. It is a recipe for failure. Setting unrealistic goals only disheartens runners, who are likely to just quit. Or worse, by pushing themselves too hard, they damage their bodies through overexertion and injury. You need to have a better plan from the start if running is going to work for you.

Couch-to-5K is a good place for new runners to start. The app is designed to build up your body’s ability to endure long runs. The workout that Couch-to-5K designs for you begins with a combination of walking and running. The app tells you when to walk and when to run, and gives you the length of time until the next change over. Gradually, the walking portion of the workout is shortened, expanding the amount of time you spend running.  Early sessions are short: three weekly 20- to 30-minute  sessions. The app keeps track of your progress by one of two ways: either tracking how much time you spend running, or the amount distance you run.

Couch-to-5K may be a little intimidating. It is a challenging program, but one that is easy to see the results from. There are a few things that the program assumes, that you should know before you decide if it is the right choice for you. Couch-to-5K assumes that you are healthy enough to walk for thirty minutes. It also has no way of taking care of how you prepare yourself for a run. Here are some reminders all new runners should keep in mind:

Stick to it. If you miss too many of your planned runs you are going to doom your chances of ever completing a 5K run. Stick to a regular running routine.

Use the right equipment. The choice of running shoes you make can keep you from landing in a sports physician’s office. Get a good pair of running shoes.

Listen to your body. You are the only one who can tell if something does not feel right. If your body hurts more than the aches and soreness that come from regular exercise—if you’re experiencing sharp, shooting pains in your lower body—visit your doctor before you continue to run.