If you’re thinking of running, we know it can feel a little intimidating knowing where to start, and that’s why the Couch to 5k programme is perfect for beginners or those looking to get back into exercise. We recently spoke to Melanie, one of our Couch to 5k leaders, about her experience completing the Couch to 5k for the first time to help those considering starting it, understand what to expect.
What made you start running?
After convincing myself for many years that I was too old, too unfit or didn’t have enough time to do much exercise, I decided to have a go and joined a Couch to 5k group. My reason for doing it was to lose weight. Anything else would be a bonus. Unexpectedly, I have made some terrific friends, and I’ve come to enjoy running, which I never thought possible!
Now you’ve completed Couch to 5k, how often do you run?
I still run three times a week. I am so much fitter and have lost nearly three stone, although a good diet helped with that.
What has been the biggest benefit of running?
The benefits are enormous, and you start to feel them very quickly: more energy, better mood, improved sleep. Even things like digestion are better. I don’t get nearly as many headaches as I used to, which is amazing, having been a migraine sufferer all my life. I am now passionate about encouraging others to give it a go. I know it’s been said many times before, but, honestly, if I can do it, anyone can!
Now you can happily run 5k, what’s next?
Having qualified as a leader in running fitness, I want to start a running group for the less speedy runners out there. They may be put off by more conventional running groups, and my own running pace is way too slow for most groups. But being a runner, however fast you go, is a massive achievement. There should be groups for all keen runners to attend and feel comfortable in whatever their speed.
I’m also planning a walk/run group which is an excellent form of exercise as well as an opportunity for a good natter. Finally, I want to start a walking group for those not quite ready to run but who want a bit of exercise. There should be some way for everyone to begin feeling the benefits of getting out there and having a go!
If you’re feeling inspired, why not join our next Couch to 5k group and you could be running 5k in just 12-weeks too! Find out when our next Couch to 5k is starting.