Couch to 5K: Sessions 1-6

I started running recently. Well, I started doing intervals of walking and jogging with ambitions to run. Eventually. I’m following the Couch to 5K plan. I’m using the first app that showed up in the App Store. so far I’ve been running on a treadmill before work.

I’m 6 sessions in, which is the first 2 weeks:

  • Week 1: 60 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking, repeat for 20 minutes total

  • Week 2: 90 seconds of jogging, 120 seconds of walking, repeat for 20 minutes total

You start and end with 5 minute walks.

On paper it looks pretty easy and probably is for many people. I haven’t run in years and it was never really a regular part of my regimen. It can get hard during the later intervals but I find myself looking forward to running. That’s something I can’t remember feeling in the past.

Good things

  • I decided to start running with the intention of it being as much for the mental benefit as it was for the physical. That’s panned out. On days that I run I’ve felt like I’ve been better able to focus on work.

  • I’m approaching running with the right mindset. I tried running before and boredom took over in the past. This time, though, things will be better and it will be something that sticks. At the very least, I’ll see the Couch to 5K plan all the way through its 9 weeks.

  • I like the clarity of running with a program. When I tried running in the past I was just going out and failing to keep up with friends. Or I would set the speed on a treadmill and things would go well for a few sessions. I wouldn’t know how to change things to ramp up properly and then I’d just lose interest.

Things I can improve on

  • I took one day between weeks and didn’t feel great after the fourth session. I was feeling the ramifications of not taking a proper break before things ramped up. I understand how easy the programming is right now. It’s only going to get more difficult so I’ll need to be more careful to rest properly to recover for successive weeks.

  • I also took 3 days between sessions. That run felt great, but I want to aim for 2 day breaks at most. If I leave room for 3 days that’ll turn to 4 and that can snowball to where I stop running.

  • After my first day of running I felt extreme focus during work. It hasn’t come back since that first session and I’ll make sure not to chase that feeling. If it happens then that’s just a bonus. I’m happy with the smaller levels of focus and cognitive improvement I experience regularly.


  • I’ve been adding weight sessions throughout the weeks. I’ll be skipping leg day for a while. I’m sure there’s literature out there out there explaining why this is the wrong decision. I want my legs to be as fresh as possible during these earlier weeks.

  • I won’t use it as an excuse to house carbs. I’ve been eating piles of fruit in the past few days. There are worse things I can do but it’s not ideal. I don’t want to offset any good I’m doing by sabotaging myself in the kitchen.

Looking forward to where this will take me. I’ll try to check back in every 2 or 3 weeks, but will definitely write a recap after the 9 weeks are complete.