How to Go From Couch Potato to Runner in 9 Short Weeks

By braniac

Here is a no-frills way to get you off the couch and feeling great! So put down the remote, follow the steps outlined here, and you will be amazingly transformed from couch potato to runner in just 9 short weeks.

Week 1: Getting off the couch!

Goal: A combination of walking and slow jogging for 20 minutes, 3 times this week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday usually works well, giving enough time between workouts to recover.

Activity: Warm-up walk for 5 minutes, then switch between very easy jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds. Alternate this sequence 6 times. If you feel too uncomfortable jogging, just walk it out. Try again the next time you should be jogging until you can get through the 60 seconds.

Week 2: Sticking with it!

Goal: Continue walking and slow jogging for 20 minutes, 3 times this week. You should be getting over the initial shock and soreness and feeling better about sticking with the program.

Activity: Warm-up walk for 5 minutes. Then switch between very easy jogging for 90 seconds and walking for 2 minutes. Alternate between these for a total of 15 minutes, or 20 minutes total time.

Week 3: Getting into the groove!

Goal: This week emphasizes a little more jogging and less walking. Stick with 3 times per week. You should be feeling stronger and more energetic .

Activity: Warm-up walk for 5 minutes. Then easy jog for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, easy jog for 3 minutes, then walk for 3 minutes. Do this twice for a total of 18 minutes, or 23 minutes total time.

Week 4: Reviewing your progress!

Goal: This week emphasizes even more jogging and less walking. Getting the picture now? Take a minute to review your running log and reflect on your progress. By now, you're either hating life or feeling some accomplishment.

Activity: This week's activity gets a little more complicated. After the usual 5 minute warm-up walk, jog for 3 minutes then walk for 90 seconds. Jog for 5 minutes and walk for 2 1/2 minutes. Jog for 3 minutes and walk for 90 seconds. Finally, jog for 5 minutes for a total of about 26 minutes total time.

Week 5: Run, don't walk!

Goal: This week is all about running, well at least jogging the whole time. We will break up the activity into 3 different workouts, focusing on building up the jogging time.

Activity: On Monday, do your 5-minute warm-up walk and then jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3, jog 5, walk 3, jog 5. On Wednesday, do your 5-minute warm-up walk and then jog for 8 minutes, walk for 5, jog for 8. On Friday, do your 5-minute warm-up walk and then jog for 20 minutes.

Week 6: Feeling good!

Goal: This week is just like last week with just a little bit more jogging. You should be feeling stronger now and you may have dropped a few pant sizes too.

Activity: On Monday, do your 5-minute warm-up walk and then jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3, jog 8, walk 3, jog 5. On Wednesday, do your 5-minute warm-up walk and then jog for 10 minutes, walk for 3, jog for 10. On Friday, do your 5-minute warm-up walk and then jog for 25 minutes.

Week 7: Get down with your bad self!

Goal: This week is simple. You will jog all 3 days. Try and pick up your jogging speed a little to help build more strength and endurance.

Activity: After your 5 minute warm-up walk, jog for 25 minutes.

Week 8: Feeling the jogging love!

Goal: This week is simple as well. Jog all 3 days, picking up the pace as you feel comfortable.

Activity: After your 5 minute warm-up walk, jog for 28 minutes.

Week 9: The final workout!

Goal: This may be your last week but you can continue to use this week's routine to maintain your new level of fitness and well-being.

Activity: After your 5 minute warm-up walk, jog for 30 minutes. Experiment with different speeds and pace. Pat yourself on the back. You are no longer a couch potato!

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