Details of the program:

5K Training - Not Just for Runners; we develop Fitness Walkers too.

Length of program: 3-6 Months till our own 5 K Walk/Run Event at Rogers Field in Devens Ma. in the Fall and Spring,

• When: Weekly Time: To be determined

• Duration: 30 minutes

• Participants: For both both walkers and runners - you must be in good health. By being part of this program you understand all the risks with exercise and exercising outdoors. You also understand that you assume all the liabilities of such a program. If you have any concerns please address that with the trainer before starting.

Types of Training

Distance Timed Road Work at your own level

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

HIIT Training or High Intensity Interval Training is a 20 minute intense workout where you burn as much calories as doing 2-3 x longer doing the same exercise. Not only does it burn calories it increases your aerobic ability far more than conventional aerobic exercise. Suited for all abilities where some walk while others run the difference is the intensity during intervals (ie walking really fast or going 25% faster than normal running).


Past program: Our program is different. Unlike other Couch to 5K programs, which are designed for runners, ours is geared for both walking and running. We want to make people better at fitness both walkers and runners; whatever your goal. We want to make this a team building exercise as well. We will also give tips each week to make sure you don’t get injured and that you’ll stay consistent. We will also examine your gait to make sure that your form is safe and efficient.

Educational Material

Goal: Build up to walking/jogging/running a 5K within 9-16 weeks and to get people on a consistent pattern of fitness. In the spring we will have our own 5K road event to support this program.

My goal is to have people accomplish one of the following.

  1. 1. Walk an entire 5k with good pace (under 1 hour)

  2. 2. Walk an entire 5k with fast  pace (48 minutes)

  3. 3. Part walk and part jog an entire 5k

  4. 4. Jog an entire 5k with slow pace (35-42 minutes)

  5. 5. Jog an entire 5k with fair pace (32 minutes)

  6. 6. Run an entire 5k with  good pace (35 minutes)

Sessions: Once a week for a couple of months meet with as a group to walk or run outside and go other important information about walking and running. Thereafter walk/run with the group to stay consistent within your program or do it by yourself.

Who is the program for: Anyone who is in good health who have always wanted to be able to walk or run injury and pain free.

Program: 3 days a week of slow walking or fast walking with spurts of slow jogging for some, building to 30 minutes of good pace walking and running by the end of the program. You do not have to run to be part of this program.

Extra Attention: Chris Morin will make sure your walking or running form, stride, gear, and your shoes are correct for your goals. You can decide to have your feet, gait, and range of motion assessed to make sure that get the most out of your program. You can also opt to have your aerobic capacity measured to determine your ideal heart rate training range.

The rest of this  page is dedicated to helping people run/jog a 5K pain and injury free. See ata

Run Pain Free

What are your goals?

My goal for you is just to have you finish the race .

It is not about training the best time right now; it is about health and fitness.

No injuries throughout your training is key as well.

Long term exercise compliance should be your major goal.

Running is high impact and strenuous.

First off running is serious business.

Ground reaction forces experienced running well exceed 2 times a person’s body weight. Compounded on this is that these forces are placed on one leg. 

Running is also an intense form of exercise. You can clearly understand this when looking a oxygen requirements during different running speeds. 1 MET is the amount of oxygen you need at rest. Running a slow mile is 9 METS; so you are doing 9x the work as compared to a resting state (that is a lot!).



































What is the difference between Walking and Jogging and Running

Running is typically defined is a forward motion where both feet leave the ground for an instant during each stride. While walking one foot is always on the ground. Jogging is simply running slowly and leisurely. Completing a mile in eight to nine minutes or less is considered running while taking longer than that to run a mile is defined as jogging. Walking typically requires 3-7 METs, Jogging requires 8-10 METs, and Running requires 11-16 METs

Running is not for everyone.

Not everyone is born to be a runner. There are many physical attributes that are found in a good runner, but that being said most people can start a modified running program or what some call jogging. I do recommend that if you have a  BMI > 25 (overweight ) that you try to bring your body weight down to avoid injury.

You also need to have the right physiological make up to be a quality runner.

Aerobic capacity is key.



Body type

Muscle type


There are many qualities that make up a great runner; aerobic capacity is one of them. Some fitness professionals consider aerobic capacity to be the most important predictor of fitness. Aerobic capacity is your ability to do aerobic work. It is your heart’s ability to move blood throughout your system.It is highly linked with your genetics.

    AEROBIC CAPACITY= Stroke Volume x Heart Rate x a-VO2 or a-VO2 difference


Up to 50% of one’s aerobic capacity is influenced by genetics. Simply put some people are just born to run long distances fast.

Heart Related

Maximum stroke volume is the maximum amount of blood pushed away from the heart. It is a key element in aerobic capacity.

Maximum heart rate is the highest output one can achieve during physical work. It can be calculated for most people by subtracting 220 from age. Aging causes a decrease in max heart rate, which leads to a decline in aerobic capacity.

Cardiac output is the product of heart rate and stroke volume.  Maximum cardiac output is the maximum amount of blood pumped from the heart per minute of exercise.  It is what mostly limits aerobic capacity.

Athletes like Lance Armstrong have higher than usual maximum heart rates. Lances maximum heart rate is well over 200 beats per minute; similar age people would be 175 beats per minute. Lances stroke volume is also double that of an average persons.

Heart and Tissue Relationships

Muscle fiber type - Slow twitch fibers are the best for aerobic performance.

Capillary density is the number of capillaries spread throughout a muscle.  More capillaries allow more oxygen to be delivered throughout a muscle.

Arterial and venous oxygen difference (a-VO2 or a-VO2 difference) is the amount of oxygen that can be extracted from blood.

Aerobic Capacity Equation

VO2 max = (a-VO2 difference) x (maximum heart rate) x (maximum stroke volume)


Heart Adaptations

• Heart increases in weight and volume.

• Stroke volume increases at rest and during exercise.  More blood out per beat means the heart does not have to pump that often (it becomes more efficient).

• Improved blood flow and distribution.

• Reduced blood pressure.

Other Adaptations

• Increase in mitochondrion (powerhouses of the cell) causes greater capacity to produce useable energy from nutrients.

• More aerobic enzymes cause greater capacity to produce useable energy.

• Increase capacity to utilize fat.

• Better breathing ability.

• Improve capacity to do work.

• Increase in HDL (good cholesterol).

• Increase stamina.

• Increase in endurance and athletic performance.

• Decrease in coronary artery disease.

• Decrease in mortality.

Staying within yourself

That being said mostly everyone can learn how to jog/run staying within themselves. What I mean by staying within oneself is to run with only yourself in mind and not what everyone is doing. Most people have an ideal walking pace; where the body is most efficient. The same can be said about jogging/running. You have to find that pace; your pace, initially and overtime that pace may speed up or it just may stay the same, but it is yours. Your not going to elicit that much greater health improvements by getting a lot faster. You will accrue health improvements by being consistent within your program.

Before you go out and start running you need to find out if you need to address some physical issues by doing a Self Body Analysis or having one done on you.

Self Body Analysis

Determine your BMI; it should be below 25 before you start a serious running program.

Lets look at your Feet


Lets look at your feet first while standing and then while running.

Standing shoulder width apart and look down at your feet. Does there seem to be an equal size arch on each foot and does the second toe line up with the knee cap; this is considered normal. If the arch drops and where it is flat to the ground then you may have flat feet (pes planus).
Opposite to this is where there is a high arch; where you feel the weight of your body on the outer aspect of the foot (pes cavus).
Both conditions make you more susceptible to injury. Look at your arch while you run.

Wet Test

Another easy way to understand your feet is to wet the bottom of one foot and then step onto a flat surface. A flat foot will leave a fat, almost complete footprint. If it appears that an arch is not there, then you may have a high arch. A normal foot will show about half of the arch. You can use the same technique while walking and running to see if the problem exists moving

Lets look at your Knees

Lets look at your knees. Use a mirror it is a good tool.

Unfortunately if you have bow legs or knock knees you may be at higher risk for injuries during high-impact exercise like aerobic dance and running type sports. Knees that deviate from the norm (either in or out) can put added strain on the joints of the entire lower body and even the upper body, especially the hips, knees, lower legs, ankles, and feet. The norm is where the when standing shoulder width apart the knee sits over your feet. Someone who has knock knees will often pronate (the ankles and feet roll inward too much), while if bow legged person is more likely to supinate (the ankles and feet roll out).

Check yourself in a mirror if your kneecaps are not aligned with the center of your feet and turn inward, you have some degree of knock knee and if they turn outward you may be bow legged.

If you have either condition you may be a good candidate for an orthotic. A physical therapist or podiatrist may prescribe inserts or a modified exercise program. If you have pain while running you should try a lower impact sport, such as swimming or cycling or modify your running program.

Having a large Q-angle can cause problems as well.

Q angle-the angle formed by lines representing the pull of the quadriceps muscle and the axis of the patellar tendon.

There has been studies suggesting an association between a large q-angle and patellofemoral pain.*

Flexibility Self Tests

Lets test some muscles to see if we are balanced and not overly tight.

Common areas of muscle tightness in runners are in the calves, hamstrings, gluteus, and low back.

Difference between sides can cause imbalance and problems.

• Calves

Seated with legs straight in front bring toes toward shin; both sides should be the same about 20 degrees of motion.

Seated with knees bent bring toes toward shin; both sides should be the same about several inches from toes or less.

• Hamstrings

Seated with legs straight in front reach forward with both hands; both

• Glutes

Seated with ankle on top of knee the shin should be parallel to floor. Try bending forward as much as you can; you should be able to touch chest to shin or be with a few inches. Both sides should be equal.

• Low back

Seated with feet flat on floor. Bend forward as much as you can in seated position. Normal is being able to come a few inches from knees or less.

• Quadriceps

Standing bring ankle up to buttocks. Should be almost able to touch. Both sides should be equal.

Running Form

Proper running form is essential. There is no perfect form, everyone looks different, but certain key features do exist. Understanding them early will avoid picking up bad running habits that can cause injury, frustration, and inefficiency.

The most important running phases is contact with the ground. There are several different ways that people land; toes, ball of the foot, flat footed, or heel first.


Reaching out in front of their body and landing heel first is common and is inefficient and can cause injuries, because the combination of a straight leg and a hard heel landing transfers tremendous impact through your heel and up to the knee and hip. Shin splints (pain above the shin) and runners/jumpers knee are examples of a common running injuries that may be caused by heel striking and over striding. When you land heel first it is like you are putting on the brakes with each step.

Running on Toes

Landing toes first is another case of inefficiency. Running this way creates too much up and down motion and stresses the calf muscles. Toe running is typical of sprinters. Runners that bounce or hop waste of energy. Excessive stress is place on the knees, hip and back.

Proper form

• Glide

You should feel like your gliding when you run. A good cue is to run thinking you have a bean bag on your head; efficient running would allow the bean bag to stay put. Another good cue is to listen to your feet as they make contact; it should be quick and light.

• Knee lift

Your knee lift should not be too high unless your sprinting to the finish. It should be enough to get your leg underneath for the next stride.

• Foot plant

Your most efficient foot plant is one in which your foot lands directly under your hips or your center of gravity. You may land on the ball of your foot or flat footed. The ideal landing position is slightly toward the outside edge of your foot, just behind your little toe, between the heel and mid foot. Your foot should then naturally roll slightly inward and forward bringing you to the to the point you are pushing off your big toe. The slight inward roll of your foot is called pronation and provides some cushioning during the running stride (too much is called overpronation). Your foot should hit the ground lightly then quickly roll forward. As you roll onto your toes, try to spring off the ground. You should feel your calf muscles propelling you forward on each step. Your feet should not slap loudly as they hit the ground. Good running is springy and quiet.

A small amount of pronation is normal and desirable, but excessive pronation can also be the cause of injury and stride inefficiencies. Excessive pronation can be prevented through the use of motion control shoes. This only solves the problem temporally. We need to also strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle to avoid future problems. Also seeing a physical therapist or podiatrist might be a good idea. Severe pronation effects the foot it also effects the knee, hip, low back, and it can even effect the neck.

In a proper stride, your foot should land directly under your body with every step; these steps should be even. Concentrate on running with a quick and light stride. As your foot strikes the ground, your knee should be slightly flexed so that it can bend naturally on impact. If your lower leg (below the knee) extends out in front of your body, your stride is too long.

• Upper body

The upper body should be relaxed with a slight forward lean. The body should feel like it is balanced over the lower torso. Your eyes should be forward, looking straight ahead, not down at your feet, and scan the horizon.  A bent neck, looking at the ground, can lead to a host of both neck and low back problems. Arms should be bent and moving freely in a even fashion. Straight arms on long runs lead to problems with swelling, tingling, and numbness of the fingers or hands. Too much motion can be wasted energy. Avoid excessive pumping motion. Good runners move with little wasted energy. The arms should not go above the chest. Forward arm movement should be minimal (prevents over striding), while backward arm swing should be more forceful. Arm swing should be compact with elbows at about a 90 degree angle. Hands should be loose, not clench with very little tension in shoulders. When running with the proper stride length, your feet should land directly underneath your body. Another common form error is called “sitting in the bucket”. This is especially common among beginning runners. This style is caused by the hip and butt being pushed back, into a slight sitting position. This causes your feet to be in front of your body with a very weak push off behind your body. Keeping your hips pressed forward will eliminate this form fault. Keep your body as relaxed as possible. Tense muscles will slow you down and force you to work harder. Concentrate on keeping your shoulders, jaw, torso and legs nice and loose.

Sample of Couch to 5K Running Program

Weekly Schedule (9 Week Program)

Week 1

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of

Running and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of

Running and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the


• Run 200 yards (or 90 seconds)

• Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)

• Run 400 yards (or 3 minutes)

• Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Week 4

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

• Run 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

• Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)

• Run 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

• Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)

• Run 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

• Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)

• Run 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Week 5

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

• Run 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

• Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

• Run 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

• Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

• Run 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Week 6

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

• Run 1 mile (or 10 minutes)

• Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

• Run 1 mile (or 10 minutes)

Week 7

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then Run 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Week 8

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then Run 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Week 9

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then Run 3 miles (or 30 minutes).


In general, a pair of running shoes should last between 300 to 500 miles of running (3 or 4 months for regular runners).

Try on new shoes during the midday when the foot is at its largest.

You should have a thumbnail's length of extra space in the toe box.

The heel counter should be rigid.

If you overpronate you can use a regular running shoe if you wear your orthotics, but a motion-control shoe offers the most additional support. See below if you overpronate or oversupinate. Make sure you bring your orthotics when trying on new shoes.

Foot width is an issue; you don’t want a show that is too narrow or too wide.

The midfoot should not be too tight, but it should be snug. Experiment with the lacing to get a proper fit.

Take the shoes outside for a test run.

Bring your running socks and try both shoes on. If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.

Find a good running-shoe store in your area,one where the salespeople are knowledgeable.

Expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $120 dollars for a new pair of running shoes.

One study suggest there is no difference between an expensive pair of running shoes and those moderately priced if there is no anatomical issues.

Foot Width

Most men wear a D-width shoe while most women wear a B-width.  You don't have to wear a gender-specific shoes. The lasts are basically the same.  Men: Try a women's shoe if you have a narrow foot.  Women: Try a men's shoe if you have a larger or wider foot. If the shoe fits, wear it!

Overpronation and Oversupination

If you overpronate or underpronate you can tell by the wear of your shoes.

• If you have a neutral stride, shoe wear is centralized to the ball of the foot and a small portion of the heel.

• Overpronation is identified by wear patterns along the inside edge of your shoe.

• Supination is marked by wear along the outer edge of your shoe.

Types of Running Shoes

Cushioning shoes provide elevated shock absorption and minimal medial (arch side) support. Cushioning shoes are also good for those who oversupinate. Cushioning shoes are also good for neutral runners during off-pavement runs. Reason: Minor irregularities in surfaces such as dirt roads give feet a little variety from the repetitive, same-spot strikes they typically experience on hard surfaces.

Stability shoes help decelerate basic pronation. They're good for neutral runners or those who exhibit mild to moderate overpronation. Due to their extra support features, virtually all trail-running shoes fall in the stability category.

Motion control shoes offer features such as stiffer heels or a design built on straighter lasts to counter overpronation. They're best for runners who exhibit moderate to severe overpronation.

Shoe Lasts

The "last" refers both to the shape of a shoe and also the form, or mold, around which a shoe is constructed.

When referring to the shape of a shoe:

•A straight last is appropriate if you are an overpronator or have a flexible, flat arch. It helps to control inward motion.

•A curved last is designed for underpronators (oversupinators) with rigid, high arches. The curved shape promotes inward motion.

•A semi-curved last represents the middle ground. It is appropriate for neutral pronators.

Lacing Tips

Lacing techniques for various foot types:

What About Barefoot Running?

Since being babies we have worn shoes and have learned to run with them on. A January 2010 study published in the Nature International Weekly Journal of Science argues that running barefoot may actually reduce injuries. This makes intuitive sense when you consider that for most of human history, runners ran barefoot.

The Nature article notes that when wearing running shoes, one tends to hit the ground heel first. This is because a shoe heel has an elevated cushion. However, with barefoot runners, it is the mid-foot or forefoot that strikes the ground first. This more-natural foot strike is believed to cause less impact and thus fewer impact-
related running injuries. There are barefoot running shoes. But before doing that how about running barefoot on a treadmill to see how it feels.

Calories Expended through Running

Thanks to the Syracuse researchers, we now know the relative Net Calories Burnt of running a mile in 9:30 versus walking the same mile in 19:00. Their male subjects burned 105 calories running, 52 walking; the women, 91 and 43. That is, running burns twice as many net calories per mile as walking. And since you can run two miles in the time it takes to walk one mile, running burns four times as many net calories per hour as walking.

What's the Burn? A Calorie Calculator

You can use the formulas below to determine your calorie-burn while running and walking. The "Net Calorie Burn" measures calories burned, minus basal metabolism. Scientists consider this the best way to evaluate the actual calorie-burn of any exercise. The walking formulas apply to speeds of 3 to 4 mph. At 5 mph and faster, walking burns more calories than running.

Your Total Calorie Burn/Mile

Your Net Calorie Burn/Mile


.75 x your weight (in lbs.)

.63 x your weight


.53 x your weight

.30 x your weight

Adapted from "Energy Expenditure of Walking and Running," Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, Cameron et al, Dec. 2004.

Judging exercise intensity

You can judge your running intensity via three ways:

Heart Rate, Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), and the “Talk Test”.

For most the latter two are fine, but some people like measuring their heart rate.

The most important thing regarding intensity is to stay within your own abilities and tolerances. 

Heart Rate Range

First of all determine your max heart rate.

You can estimate via the following equation.

Women: Max heart rate=((206-(age x .88))

Men: Max heart rate=((207-(age x .7))

There is a large degree of error associated with these equations.

Then multiply that number by .65 and .85 to get a target heart rate range for your exercise effort.

If you are very fit, your target range may be a bit higher.

or to be more specific.




There are other formulas that you can use that are more accurate such as the Heart rate Reserve.

but I like to use RPE and the “ talk test” over heart rate because they are easier to implement.

Measuring HR

Measuring heart rate manually takes some practice. When measuring manually, I prefer finger placement at the radial artery (thumb-side of wrist) versus the carotid artery (neck) due to a possible receptor response, which some studies suggest may slow heart rate. I like to count the number of beats over 15 seconds then multiply by 4 to get beats per minute. If I feel a beat at the start of the 15 second count, I start counting from zero. I favor using a heart rate monitor, especially ones with a wireless sensor transmitting signals to a watch, over manually measuring heart rate. Distal pulses are another way to measure heart rate although hard while exercising. A sign of a efficient healthy heart in most cases is a slow heart rate.

Using the Talk Test

A simple and easy way to know you are running the right pace is by taking the "Talk Test". If you can talk while you run, you are at the right pace. If you find that you are gasping for air, slow down.

Using a RPE Chart

A great way to judge exercise intensity is through the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. This scale is purely subjective: it is based on how you feel during physical activity. By perceived exertion, exercise scientists mean the total amount of exertion and physical fatigue. Don't concern yourself with any one factor such as leg pain, shortness of breath, or work grade, but try to concentrate on the total, inner feeling of exertion. The use of RPE has been shown to be more effective in determining appropriate exercise intensity for groups on heart altering medication than heart rate measures.




I prefer using the Borg RPE 6-20 category scale over the 1-10 ratio scale.