Have you always wanted to run a 5k but found it too much to take on? Perhaps you have downloaded the app, but got unravelled halfway through? (that’s common btw). With the re-opening of ParkRun in the UK it got us wondering how many people will be attending for the first time. More importantly, will it now encourage new runners to go out and work towards that first runner’s goal – achieving a 5K!

More runners than ever before!

Did you know that during the first lockdown in 2020, more than 858,000 people downloaded the C25K app in the UK between March and the end of June? That’s a whopping 92% increase on the same period the year before!

However, many that sign up don’t complete it, or they become serial re-starters. Why is there such a stumbling block when it comes to achieving the elusive 5K?

First of all, know that you are not a failure because you have yet to run a 5K on the C25K app.  That plan is just one way to achieve it, and in our opinion, it doesn’t suit everyone. It’s so easy to decide that running isn’t for you when you don’t complete the plan in just nine weeks!

So where does the original plan fall down for some runners?

It’s just Running!

Running three times a week is perfectly acceptable for a new runner. However, three runs with no other activity thrown in may not see you progress as quickly as the app would like you to.

When you come to the stage in the plan that you see a sudden increase in time running, it can be a bit of a shock to the system! Up to this point, you have been putting in your three sessions a week and now you’re expected to run non-stop for 22 minutes and you’re only in Week 5!

What isn’t included in the plan is a day of ‘Active Rest’, Strength & Conditioning sessions, or any Stretch & Mobility sessions.  These aspects of training are vital for helping newbie runners keep injuries at bay. Shin splints, IT band syndrome, and plantar fasciitis are common in new runners.

When you’re brand new to running and exercise in general, it is a lot of ask of your body to suddenly start hitting the pavement.  Beginner runners generally don’t have the strength in their legs for the demands of running so including these sessions each week will be a huge benefit and will help you run a 5K.

Running out of time

You should get your 5k completed in 30 minutes with the app. This has become a huge pressure point for many and it’s simply not necessary.  Running should be done for time with repeats of walking and running until the 5k is achieved. The goal is to eventually do the 5k constantly running, but in however long it takes.  The pace will come… you are a winner whatever time you complete it in.

We don’t need to see this!

What do you need to know?

The world of running can be such an overwhelming place for the newbie runner. Trying to suss things out for yourself can be time-consuming and confusing.  Magazines are full of information and much of it doesn’t feel like it will ever relate to you right now.  

When you start running, you want to know what you need to wear, what you need to eat, how fast, how far, warm up, cool down and how to stop getting injured. There is so much information out there from many different sources – where do you even start?

Going it alone

There is also the element of mutual support that you may not get when you follow an app. Do you find your nearest and dearest don’t always understand what you are going through? They don’t see the significance behind your 10 minutes of non-stop running.  When you post your achievements on social media, you won’t always get the kind of response that’ll keep you motivated.  Joining a like-minded community will have your biggest cheerleaders ready to celebrate and will totally understand your running wins and woes.

Can we help?

Our mission at Start Running Stay Running is to help everyone succeed in getting that 5k milestone.  Running a whole 3.1 miles is an incredible achievement, which will undoubtedly spur you onto a lifelong relationship with running.

Alongside our Facebook Community, we have coaches in all areas of health and wellbeing within The Inside Track. This is our monthly VIP membership who will help you on your running journey and will be there every step of the way. 

It will be… promise!

Want a little more assistance and accountability?

Introducing ‘Coached to 5K’

We were delighted to launch our Coached to 5k programme in September for those wanting to get to 5k. Our next cohort will be starting at the end of January. On the programme, you will join like-minded runners experiencing the same challenges and emotions as you work through the programme together. With weekly modules to work through, put together by our coaches, a weekly group call with our run coach, a separate Facebook group to keep each other motivated and accountable plus a beautiful medal on your 5K graduation day!

This is our eight-week programme to help every runner get to their 5K. There is no time limits on how long it takes to run your 5K – that’s not important.  You are running 3.1 miles which is a huge achievement.  You’ll build up your time walking and running, slowly reducing the walking until you find yourself running all the way to 5K!

Want to get your name down for our next ‘Coached to 5K’ group? We start on 28th March and places are limited. Check out the details here… Coached to 5K programme.