C25K: Couch to 5K
First things first: You might simply be wondering, “How far is a 5K?” A 5K is five kilometers or 3.1 miles—and completing a race of this distance is well within your reach.
Many newcomers to running become discouraged by the difficulty associated with the activity because they start too fast and push too hard. Their bodies push back and they end up resenting running or get injured. Our couch to 5K group isn’t just intent on getting you to a race day, it has been specifically designed to instill a love of running, our coaches will be on hand to chat about form and breathing as well as passing on experience on all other aspects of running.
With little or no running background whatsoever, Couch to 5K will transform you from couch potato to regular runner—one that can even exceed 3.1 miles—in just two months.
Each session should take around 30 minutes, three times per week. Be sure to build in rest days between run days to allow your body to recover. Better, more thorough recovery will only aid in your process to becoming a better runner.
Also if your worried about missing the odd session you can always make up a session here and there on your own but its important you stick to the plan to maximise your success.
(LOADS OF QUESTIONS WE HAVE BEEN ASKED):
1) What is the C25K programme?
The C25K programme is designed specifically for beginners or people who have not been active for a while to gradually build up their running ability with the aim to run 5k or 30 minutes in just 9 weeks. The pace of the 9 week plan has been tried and tested by thousands of new runners, so you can trust that the programme works.
2) What are the benefits of paying £11 and doing the C25K programme with Washington Running Club?
The sessions will be taken by qualified run leaders who will provide you with professional support and guidance throughout the programme. Structure is important for motivation so we have allocated specific days of the week for the sessions to take place.
By joining a group you are surrounding yourself with like minded, enthusiastic people therefore you are more likely to run longer-term instead of depending solely on your own motivation. We are an extremely welcoming and friendly club and hopefully you will develop new friendships with people who share your passions for running and exercise.
At the end of the programme if you would like to continue running with Washington Running Club on the main club nights you will be offered a discounted membership (additional £11 – Annual club membership is £22 so if you sign up after you have essentially received your C25K program free).
3) What should I wear when running?
All you need to get started with running is a good pair of running shoes. It is not a good idea to dig out those old gym shoes from the back of your cupboard and assume you can run in them. You need shoes that are designed for running, fit well and match your foot type and running style. It is best to go to a specialist running shop (Start Fitness in Newcastle/Durham is a good start) where they can provide advice and guidance on this.
If you start getting more serious about running you may want to invest in some technical running clothes.
Please speak to the Run Leaders at the sessions who can point you in the direction of specialist running shops in the local area.
4) Do I need to bring anything else with me to the sessions?
A BOTTLE OF WATER – ESPECIALLY IN HOT WEATHER.
ID, MONEY AND MOBILE PHONE – IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES.
SUN CREAM – ESPECIALLY IN HOT WEATHER
5) Do I need to warm up before I start running and cool down after I run?
To avoid injury and enjoy the experience it is essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over the 9 weeks. We will be starting each session with a gentle warm up of at least 5 minutes of walking and will end with a cool down of at least 5 minutes of walking.
6) I’ve never ran before (or I haven’t ran for quite some time). Can I walk during the sessions?
Yes of course you walk during your runs. People who are just getting started with running often assume that walking is “giving up” or “cheating”. Taking walk breaks is actually a smart strategy for building endurance and improving your running. Even after people have been running for a while some still use the run/walk strategy, especially on long runs or races. There is no shame in walking.
Our run leaders will give you advice and support on making sure you get the most out of the run walk strategy by:
ENSURING THAT YOU DON’T WAIT TOO LONG TO START YOUR WALK INTERVAL.
PROVIDE TIPS FOR MAINTAINING GOOD FORM
ENSURING THAT YOU WALK BRISKLY
USING A TIMING DEVICE WITH A BEEPER
HELPING YOU TO ADJUST YOUR WALK SCHEDULE AS NECESSARY.
7) I’m nervous and feel self conscious about running. What can I do to overcome this?
Like anything else, the first time is usually the hardest but once you’ve run in public a few times, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable and be less concerned about others watching you.
Hopefully by joining this group you will feel less self-conscious as everyone is starting in exactly the same place. The added bonus of the group is that with the support of the run leaders we can all keep each other motivated to run.
Remember that everyone was new to running at some point so they can all relate to the struggles that beginners face.
8) How fast should I be running?
The best and simplest way to determine this is to run slow enough so that you can carry on a conversation. When running with someone this means that you should be able to speak in complete sentences not just one word answers.
Don’t worry about your pace per mile. If you can pass the ‘talk test’ you are running at the correct speed.
9) Should I eat before I run?
It is not a good idea to run immediately after eating as it may lead to cramping or side stitches however running on an empty stomach may cause you to run out of energy. The best option is to eat a snack or light meal about 1.5 to 2 hours before you start running.
10) Should I be trying to improve my distance or speed?
As a new runner it is better for you to start with trying to increase the distance of your runs. As you build up endurance, your speed will also improve.
11) When does running get easier?
Many new runners believe that the turning point is when they can run continuously for 30 minutes. At this point they start to feel more comfortable and confident. It takes a little bit of patience to build up your fitness and get to a point where running feels easier but just keep working on increasing the distance little by little. It really does get easier.
12) Should I be running everyday?
Research has shown that taking a rest day in between each run will reduce chances of injury, gives your body a chance to repair and will make you a stronger, better runner.
13) Will the programme help me get fit and lose weight?
Running burns more calories than any other mainstream exercise. Regular running can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.
Please Note – The Spring 2018 Course has successfully sold out but there will be another one announced, keep tabs on the Facebook page for more details.