My First Run!

Fran Musgrave

I am not a runner; or at least I wasn’t before I started Couch 2 5k. Couch 2 5K is a NHS endorsed running programme to help non-runner’s eventually run 5 kilometres or 30 minutes without stopping. This is a daunting task to any individual who hasn’t run in while, but with a 9 week structured programme and running with new found friends every week;  learning to run is going to be a blast!


As I turned up to my first session at Compton One Stop Centre, extremely nervous and anxious about how I would fair, I didn’t want to be left behind and made to feel like I couldn’t do it. Would my ancient pair of trainers do the job and get me to the end? First to approach me was the leader of the session, full of enthusiasm, making me feel at ease straight away. Followed closely by all the other nervous runners who were suddenly wondering what on earth they had signed up for! We bonded straight away in a shared anticipation over what to expect, little did we know that in just over an hour how elated and proud of ourselves we would feel.


It all began with the dreaded ice breaker; much to our surprise this one was much more engaging and didn’t take long. I got to know everybody’s names without that awkward atmosphere. After a bit of light stretching, off we went ready to take on the unknown.


Completing my first Couch 2 5K session involved covering around 1 mile, broken into both running and walking sections, making it challenging but achievable due to the frequent rest. The loop back technique used for the faster runners enables the group to stay together but cater for all abilities, lifting everyone’s confidence as no one gets left behind. 


I didn’t feel pressured to keep up with the faster runners; therefore I felt comfortable amongst the group and allowed myself to just run at my own pace. We all encouraged each other and it felt like a real team effort to complete the run. 


As we arrived back at the centre with a big sense of achievement and smiles on all our faces, we did a short cool down and continued to chat with one another – we did it! The hardest step had been done – getting out of the house. Now onto the next one, I’m excited to see where I will be in 9 weeks’ time and to see the difference it can make in many aspects of my life!


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