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

By braniac

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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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