I want to talk Couch 2 5K. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s Public Health England’s online training programme to get you from walking to running 5K in about nine weeks. Use soared during lockdown with 858,000 reported downloads between March and June 2020.
It’s a great tool for people new to running as over three sessions a week you build steadily from running one minute on, one minute off in the first week. Warm ups and cool downs are included in each session and you can choose your trainer – from celebrated Olympian Michael Jordon, to my favourite comedian, Sarah Millican.
However, people who read my blogs and follow me on Instagram will probably be wondering why I’m getting excited about a beginners’ running programme? I’ve been running for quite a long time now – about 20 years I reckon – and so my beginner days are way behind me. And yet, I’m currently on week three, run three of the programme, having completed the first two weeks on the treadmill and in my local park.
Well – I’ve discovered the programme is also perfect when you’re coming back from an injury and want to build back up to running in a controlled and steady way. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has used it for this. I imagine it’s also a great way to get back into running after illness or having a baby. (I may even do a bit of research into this… watch out for a Twitter poll!).
Also worth mentioning that its free! There are other Couch 2 5K apps out there that charge a small fee – so make sure you download the ‘One You’ version if you decide to give it a go.
I really hope that those 800,000+ people that downloaded the app during lockdown have discovered the joy of running and will continue to pull on their running shoes and head out as the nights draw in and it gets colder.
And in the meantime, I’ll keep plodding on, gradually building my running back up, with the gentle encouragement of Sarah.