Leeds Girls Can – Middleton Couch to 5k

Amanda Binns

On a cold January night 35 hardy souls braved the wilds of Middleton Town Street to start a fitness journey that would likely have a big impact on other parts of their lives.


The couch to 5k group started on Monday 8th January, the second session was on the Wednesday. As a run leader I have been able to help. The group was created by Lisa and John Fielding, with the support of This Girl Can. It was not exclusive to women, men were welcome to join too.


After a stressful journey home and a quick change meant I made it with a few minutes to spare.


There were a few familiar faces, mostly there to help out but some that had tried to run before and given up for a variety of reasons. After a quick talk and a picture, we set off on Week 1, Day 2 of Couch to 5k. The plan was 5 minutes walking to warm up, 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking.


Couch to 5k always has a walk to warm up and cool down. The run/walk times change, increasing each week with a view to being able to run 5k without stopping. There are numerous apps available to guide a new runner and most running clubs have a version of it starting at various times. The recommendation is to run 3 times a week, not on consecutive days with cross training in between.


I was at the back as usual, accompanied by a couple of helpers and 2 runners, 1 new and 1 returning. We chatted and compared experiences and the end came along quite quickly. During the chat we decided that running with a buddy is the best way to run.


We were quite far behind the front group, but we didn’t care, the sense of achievement overrode that. One of the ladies told me how much better she felt after the second session. We have planned to meet later in the week to complete the 3rd session.


Everyone was very positive and looking forward to the next session. Hopefully everyone will return and we can all do a mass parkrun together in 8 weeks.


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