HEALTH COLUMN: Dear Cherokee Choices (Couch to 5K running plan)

by Apr 5, 2017Health0 comments

Dear Cherokee Choices,

I have been a couch potato for years, but I’m proud to say I have been walking regularly for the last few months. I have never been a runner, but I would like to be able to run the Cherokee Choices Mother’s Day 5K on May 13 at New Kituwah Fields. I’m not sure if I will be ready. Do you think this is possible and if so where do I begin?

Sincerely, Couch to 5K


Dear Couch to 5K,

Beginning to run for a beginner can be challenging. Remember to listen to your body and increase gradually. All you need to begin is: 1.Clearance from your medical provider, 2. Running shoes, 3. 10-30 minutes a few days each week, and 4. Motivation! Check out the Couch to 5K running plan shown with this article and progress through the days normally. In the beginning, you will be doing lots of walking as warm ups and cool downs. Later on, when you’ve experienced long periods of running, you won’t need to walk as much. This is a modified plan so around week 6, you’ll be done with walking altogether but always remember to listen to your body and walk whenever you need to.


  • Warm up before you run and stretch after every workout to avoid injuries.
  • If you start developing an injury, STOP running before it gets worse and take a few days off.
  • This is only a rough outline of the perfect plan for you. You can change it as you need to.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard when you jog. Go at a comfortable pace.
  • Hydrate properly and energize yourself at least an hour before you run.
  • Make sure you have the correct running shoes

For more information on the Mother’s Day 5K, contact Tara McCoy 359-6783,

We look forward to seeing you at the race!

– Robin Callahan, RD,LDN, MHS / Personal Trainer- Cherokee Choices