Couch to 5K

KW Counselling Services is celebrating over 70 years of providing accessible counselling services to individuals, couples, and families in Waterloo Region. You can help us continue this work by participating in our Couch to 5K fundraiser from wherever you are! You can create a team, join a team, join as an individual, or donate here.

You’ll find a printable poster here that you can print and put up in your own business, organization, workplace, school, or wherever you’d like! 

 

What is Couch to 5KCouch to 5K is a running plan for absolute beginners. It was developed by a new runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his 50-something mum start running, too. The plan involves three active days a week, with a day of rest in between, and a different schedule for each of the nine weeks.

You can run, walk or roll individually, or with a team! The run route is your choice. You can participate in this event from anywhere in the world and help raise funds to support the work of KW Counselling Services! ​On Run Week, we will flood social media with your photos and videos using the hashtag #Run4KWCS and show the world our support for mental health services!

  1. This is a fundraising event. Sign up is free, and includes your own personal or team fundraising page where you can collect donations.  
  2. This event is a walk, run, or roll! The important part is finding an activity that suits you and that you enjoy. Before beginning any new physical activity regimen we recommend you consult with your doctor. For those who wish to participate in a traditional couch to 5K run, below is a suggested progression plan to follow from week to week.
  3. You can participate from anywhere in the world and the funds raised support KW Counselling Services.
  4. On May 2, 2022 we will kick off Mental Health Week with our Couch to 5K Fundraiser. Join us on social media (more info soon) for a live launch with the KW Counselling Services team to help get you inspired and motivated!
  5. Post pictures or videos of your journey on social media using the hashtag #Run4KWCS. We encourage you share a post/video introducing yourself and telling the world why you are participating. 

What’s the Schedule?

 Kick-Off: Monday, May 2, 2022

Join us on social media (more info coming soon!) for a live kick off with the KW Counselling Services team to help get you inspired and motivated!

Below is a suggested progression plan for those who choose to do a traditional couch to 5K. You might be interested in downloading the C25K app from Google Play or the Apple App Store to help guide you.

 

Week 1 (May 2, 2022)

For your three runs in week one, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one minute of running and one-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

 

Week 2 (May 9, 2022)

For your three runs in week two, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one-and-a-half minutes of running with two minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

 

Week 3 (May 16, 2022)

For your three runs in week three, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then two repetitions of one-and-a-half minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running and three minutes of walking.

 

Week 4 (May 23, 2022)

For your three runs in week four, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, five minutes of running, two-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

 

Week 5 (May 30, 2022)

There are three different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, five minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk five-minute walk, then eight minutes of running, five minutes of walking and eight minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk five-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

 

Week 6 (June 6, 2022)

There are three different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, eight minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk five-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, three minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

 

Week 7 (June 13, 2022)

For your three runs in week seven, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running.

 

Week 8 (June 20, 2022)

For your three runs in week eight, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

 

Week 9 (June 27, 2022)

For your three runs in week nine, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

 

Week 10 – 5K (July 4-8, 2022)

Complete your 5K walk, run or roll! Share your posts, pictures, and videos on social media with the hashtag #Run4KWCS so we can celebrate with you!

 

Tips on progression

The program is designed for beginners to gradually build up their running ability so they can eventually run 5km without stopping.

The pace of the nine-week running plan has been tried and tested by thousands of new runners. You can, however, repeat any one of the weeks until you feel physically ready to move on to the next week. Structure is important for motivation, so try to allocate specific days of the week for your runs and stick to them.

 

Rest days

Rest days are critical. Having one between each week’s runs will reduce your chance of injury and also make you a stronger, better runner. Resting allows your joints to recover from what is a high-impact exercise, and your running muscles to repair and strengthen.

 

Aches and pains

Some new runners starting the program experience calf pain or sore shins (sometimes known as shin splints). Such aches can be caused by running on hard surfaces or by running in shoes that do not have enough foot and ankle support. If at any time you are feeling unwell we recommend you stop your activity and consult with your doctor. Click here for some tips to prevent shin splints.