Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be fit to join ?
No not at all. The classes are designed specifically for beginners or those returning to exercise. Assuming you can walk 20 minutes without undue stress, you will be fine.
What are the sessions like ?
Sessions are a mix of jogging and walking and are conducted in a looped format. The repetitions are done on time and not distance. So for example, it could be 1 min jogging, 1 min walking x 10 times. The loop is approx. 300m. As it's in a loop, there is no first or last place.
How fast do I have to go ?
You go as fast as you feel comfortable with. It's not a race. The aim is to get fitter gradually over the 6 weeks. If you push too hard too soon, you run the risk of injury. You're more than welcome to walk the sessions if you wish. The important part is doing more exercise than you would have prior to joining.
Will everyone else be fitter than me ?
This is the most asked question ! No, as it's a couch to 5k the majority will be new to running or returning after a period of time. The benefit of this is that the group will collectively improve which creates comradery and a sense of achievement.
How long does it take to improve ?
On average it usually takes beginners 2-3 weeks to see improvement. Improvement can be defined as feeling stronger in the sessions, less aches and pains and the ability to go further for longer.
What should I wear for training ?
Comfortable clothing i.e. tracksuit bottoms, leggings or shorts. Bring an additional top or jacket so you don't get cold beforehand and it can be put back on afterwards. Wear runners you have worn prior. Don't take them straight out of the box on the night as it can lead to blisters if not broken in properly.
Is there an age limit ?
No, anyone aged 18 upwards is more than welcome to join. Those under 18 are allowed to join too if accompanied by a parent or guardian during the sessions.
Will the sessions go ahead in the rain ?
Yes, it's important to stick to the schedule. However we rarely seem to get wet in the sessions so long may that continue !
Do I need any equipment ?
No, just a bottle of water. A Fitbit or running watch is not essential but can be good for tracking progress over the weeks.
Is there anywhere to leave my phone / keys during the session ?
Yes, I will have a backpack on me you can leave items in.
What should I do if I miss a couple of sessions ?
Text or mail me to find out the session. You can then make them up in your own time. Don't get disheartened or feel you'll be left behind. Jump back in once you can and you'll get back up to speed in no time.
What should I eat or drink before a session ?
A light snack with a couple of hours prior to the session is recommended. Yoghurt, bananas, toast etc would be examples. Don't have a full meal as you will feel heavy and uncomfortable. Similarly with hydration, drink as you normally would. I find a small coffee helps me beforehand but plain water is best.
Am I breathing properly when exercising ?
The simple answer is try not to focus on it. If you were running up the stairs you wouldn't be thinking about your breathing so this is no different. Open your mouth and take in all the oxygen you need. You should never be out of breath in the sessions, if you are you should adjust your pace accordingly. Lungs are like muscles and sometimes take a little while to get used to the new demands if you're new to exercising.
Do I have to run the 5k non stop ?
No, it's not a race. Everyone has different abilities and pace. You can jog and walk as you feel. You can stop for water breaks. It's about completing the 5k as conformably as possible. It's a great achievement so you don't want to be too tired and not enjoy it.
Is there an option to continue once the 6 weeks are completed ?
Yes, I have an advanced group at 8pm. These are people that have previously completed the beginner's course and wanted to continue their progress. The majority want to focus on lowering their 5k times or move up to a 10k. Also there is a great atmosphere within the group so the social aspect is a major motivator. It's much easier to train with others than on your own !