C25K

The NHS Couch to 5K (9 week programme) is designed for beginners to gradually build up your running ability so you can eventually run 5km without stopping. Coached sessions are held each March to May and September to November by Eye Community Runners.

You must be fit and able to participate in this course and complete the following questionnaire. This will need to be submitted before you take part in your first session. If you answer NO to any of the questions, please consult your Doctor before attending.

The pace of the 9-week running plan has been tried and tested by 10’s of thousands of new runners. You can, however, repeat any one of the weeks until you feel physically ready to move on to the next week. Structure is important for motivation, so try to allocate specific days of the week for your runs and stick to them, but avoid running on consecutive days..

The sessions are held at Nene Valley Community Centre (Tuesday’s) and Lindisfarne Recreation Ground, Eye (Thursday’s), with you completing your 3rd session at the weekend as personal homework!

The graduation will be held at a local 5k parkrun event. Register here before the day.

Week 1

For your 3 runs in week 1, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk. After this, you will alternate 1 minute of running and 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2

For your 3 runs in week 2, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk. After this, you will alternate 1-and-a-half minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3

For your 3 runs in week 3, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 2 repetitions of 1-and-a-half minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking.

Week 4

For your 3 runs in week 4, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 3 minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 2-and-a-half minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Week 5

There are 3 different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking and 8 minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

Week 6

There are 3 different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week 7

For your 3 runs in week 7, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running.

Week 8

For your 3 runs in week 8, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week 9

For your 3 runs in week 9, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

Rest Days

Alternatively, you could do Strength and Flex on your rest days. This is a 5-week plan designed to improve your strength and flexibility, which will help your running. 

Aches and pains

Some new runners starting the programme experience calf pain or sore shins (sometimes known as shin splints).

Such aches can be caused by running on hard surfaces or by running in shoes that do not have enough foot and ankle support.

Always do the 5-minute warm-up walks as instructed in the podcasts before each run, and check that your running shoes are offering good support.

For more information on preventing and treating injuries, read our page on sports injuries.

You will have good runs and bad runs – accept it, and do not spend too much time analysing the how and why. Even a bad run is good for you.

After Couch to 5K

Please join Eye Community Runners as a member and enjoy the extra benefits and join in the social side of the running club as well, our membership form can be found on the home page.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact us via – [email protected]