Couch to 5k in 3 Weeks: A Powerlifter’s Journey

Oh boy.

Saturday evening met a cool group of people and they brought up a 5k happening on July 30th. For the record, it was July 9th. Figured fuck it, let’s do it. It’s not a competitive race, it’s one of those fun runs with paint and all that. Tootoos and neon colors. 

We’re not trying to win the dang thing, just go out and have a good time and have a pint after. Also, I do not be the bag of ass that has to walk the whole time 😂

For context, I lift weights and lift weights only. Some sort of manifesting or whatever thing happened where I started doing higher rep squat sets (225lbsx20, 245lbsx20) and now we have this come up. 

The last time I ran anything for a time was 2013; the last PFT in my Marine Corps career. 2012 was my fastest time for the 3-mile test at 22:30.

And just for context, right now I’m sitting at 6’4 (or 6’5, depending on if I stretch that day) and 275lbs of chewed bubblegum. 

The image was taken Saturday, SHIT!

The 3-week goal: 30-minute run at a 7-minute mile pace. That’s an 8.6 MPH pace for those keeping track at home. (will we reach that? absolutely fucking not, but we’ll get close)

How I’m going to be doing it

Phase 1: Interval training to build up to that 8.6 MPH pace. 1 minute on, 1 minute ‘off’ at a pace 3 MPH slower than the previous. Every minute increases MPH by .1, start at a speed .5 MPH faster than the previous session.

WHAT the hell does that mean?

Today was day 1 (yesterday was day 0, had to figure out where I was at!).

  • 5-minute warm-up
  • 1 minute run at 6.6 MPH, a 1-minute walk of 3.6 MPH, increasing by .1 for both up to 7.5 MPH run and 4.5 MPH walk
  • 5-minute cool-down

30 minutes (including warm-up and cool-down), total distance: 2.29 miles


  • 5-minute warm-up
  • 1 minute run at 7.1 MPH, 1-minute walk at 4.0 MPH, on the way up to 8.0 MPH and 5.0 MPH
  • 5-minute cool-down

Onward to 8.6 MPH

Phase 2: Increase intervals at 8.6 MPH pace by 1 minute every workout. 

For example, following the same trend as previous intervals, but 1 minute on, 1 minute off will be 2 minutes on, 1 minute off. Increase speed every day until my heart pops (actually, until I reach 7 minutes at a 7-minute mile pace).

Phase 3: Take this sucker outside

Temperature, terrain, and vehicles all play a role, and the controlled environment a treadmill allows doesn’t factor in all those variables. So we’re going outside those last few days, before taking a day off from running on the Friday before the run.

That’s the game plan, we’ll see how this goes moving forward. So far, so good.

Will have a much more in-depth post soon about the exact training breakdown.