Running for Beginners, from Couch to 5k and Beyond

A few years ago now I ended decades of life on the couch, and went from being very fat  to ideal weight by starting to run. I got there by following the couch to 5k plan, the first step to running for beginners as well as following a much healthier diet.


Since then I have been a beginner runner many times over; a beginner at training to run 10km, and then a beginner half marathon runner. From there I became a marathon beginner, and after that a beginner ultra marathoner.

I have found that with running you never stop learning, and as every new challenge presents itself, there is a whole lot of new information and people’s experiences to absorb. In fact though I have now run many marathons and ultras, I still consider myself a beginner runner.

I have designed this site to provide just about everything someone seeking information for running for beginners could be looking for. Each section comprises information for the main running distances people train for: 5km, 10km, half marathon, the marathon and ultra marathons.  In each section information and links to resources are provided covering important areas such as training plans, health and injuries, nutrition, resources such as podcasts and apps, as well as where to find inspiration and support. I hope you find the Running for Beginners website helpful in achieving your running goal for the very first time, whether it be to run your first 5km or your first 100 mile ultra. Rob

Running For Beginners

Jogging 5k

If you are contemplating taking up jogging as an activity, you may find the hardest thing is taking the first step. But there are so many reasons why getting off the sofa and into your training shoes is a great thing to do.

Couch to 10k

You have mastered running 5k and now you feel you are ready to step up to your next challenge. It might be that you have completed your 5k program and felt so good about yourself that you want to challenge yourself further. Or it might be that you have been losing weight through your 5k program but have hit a plateau and need to push yourself harder to continue towards your target weight.

Half Marathon Training

The running distances involved in half marathon training provides both the next challenge for those who are comfortable over 10K and can also be a good basis for people aspiring to run a marathon. If you have your sights set on running the 21K (13.1 miles) of a half marathon then you should be prepared to devote a lot more time to your running than you spent on your 10K training program but the health benefits are immense.

Marathon Training

Once running has become a part of your life, and friends and family recognise that you are a runner, a familiar question will be: ‘When are you going to run a marathon?’ But before you rush to sign up for an event, you must ask yourself: ‘Are you ready for marathon training?’

Ultra Marathon Training

‘You must be mad’; this is quite a common reaction to runners who are contemplating taking on an ultra marathon race, but speak to anybody who has run ultra marathons and you will find a perfectly normal, albeit highly motivated, person who just loves a tough, personal challenge.

Trail Running

For excitement and a break from the ordinary, there is no more liberating activity than trail running. Forget the excruciating cross country runs you were sent on at school, this is the chance to leave the city and the tarmac behind and indulge in fresh air and new scenery. For some trail and ultra running inspiration, watch the videos at UltraRunTV.

How to Run Faster

There are a number of ways that you can increase your speed and all of these can be incorporated into your current training session. The easiest thing is to introduce some sprints into one or more of your weekly runs.

The C25k Program

The C25K Program is the first recommended step for beginner runners. It’s been translated into a lot of different languages on the C25K.com website.

Running for Beginners - Couch to 5k