Celebrating the completion of Couch to 5k courses in Tattenhall and Malpas and the achievements of the runners attending, as well as discussing who Run for Fun are and the benefits of joining a local running group!
In today's blog, we're discussing our Run for Fun: Couch to 5K programme and it's successes in encouraging people to take up running in their communities and get fit. Our own Social Prescribing Link Worker Claire Lockerbie leads this course as a qualified Run Leader with England Athletics, and wanted to offer an excellent opportunity for people to improve their personal health and wellbeing in rural areas.
'Couch to 5K' is a running plan for beginners, and aims to help you run 5K in just 9 weeks. For a detailed breakdown on the benefits of taking up running and what the plan includes, visit NHS UK.
Exercise has proven to be an excellent alternative intervention for mental health issues, and providing this as a 10-week course has been great for improving personal confidence and fitness among those attending.
Aside from helping people lead a more fit and active lifestyle, one of the most positive aspects of the running groups is how participants are encouraging each other through social media to take on 'homework' runs, with a goal set to try and complete 3 runs a week to help achieve that 5k target.
10 weeks later, and the participants have completed the course! We asked some people for their feedback after finishing the course:
"I feel much fitter and have lost some lockdown pounds. This group has given me something to focus on and I have really enjoyed it. I feel healthier and happier and I am going to keep running, now that i have the bug!"
"I have really enjoyed running in a group - it keeps you going. I would have stopped lots of times, but it just shows you what you are capable of".
"We are going to keep running as a group as it really helps you keep going".
"I never thought I could ever run 5k, in 2 weeks we went from running 8 minutes constantly to the next week doing 20 mins. I never thought I could, but I did it. It wasn't easy, but it showed me that sometimes I can do more than I think. 5k is the furthest and longest I have ever ran, and I can't believe I have just run 5k".
As you can see from the positive feedback, the Couch to 5k Run for Fun groups in Tattenhall and Malpas were a great success. Most of the runners felt they had achieved personal fitness goals such as losing weight, or even caught the running bug!. Another great outcome is the sense of community created by the groups, and people seem particularly encouraged to achieve their goals when running with others.
Given the success of this group, Claire will be running more Couch to 5k courses in the new year! We hope more people can find a passion for running and enjoy getting fit and meeting new people!