From Couch to 5k

Posted on October 30, 2015 at 7:00 am by Ben Fraser | 9 comments

We’ve all been there… a couple of glasses into a social gathering, feeling confident and fearless (booze effect) you publicly dish out a smooth response to a proposition around giving something new ago. In Val’s case she had agreed to start running.


Interviewing Val one chilly October evening, tucked into a corner of the Throstle Nest bar it was immediately apparent that her willingness to act on her apparent motivations had brought her closer to running.


Getting fit opens up a lot of other opportunities


Those opportunities were both personal and collective. Val wanted to lose weight and shape up for herself but an even bigger desire was bubbling up – to be able to join her family on outdoor adventures.


Cue ‘group 1’ at the Farsley Flyers – a beginner section that takes somebody completely new to running and supports them along an exhausting yet liberating journey (for those that have erased this experience from memory). In 8 weeks, Val was flourishing.


‘It’s just that support network in the group – it makes me feel really safe


Bursting with animation and enthusiasm (you could say we were hitting the post-run peak) there was no doubt that Val had benefited from this experience, she can now run 5 Kilometres with only a couple of stops along the way.


If you told me that I would be running 5k a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have believed it


Chipping in…


I’ve got more confident thinking I’m fit – I am now!


That there is the beauty of running. From one of the simplest forms of recreation, of which many people can do (if they tried!), a person can feel confident and rejuvenated in themselves, and not only when moving on two feet – the good vibes tipple over into everyday life.


As our conversation moves along I dig deeper to find out if Val has made any significant lifestyle changes. Once asked I find myself grinning from ear to ear with what this inspirational lady comes back with.


I do it on my own in-between the sessions – I walk a lot of places undaunted if there’s a lot of hills… I just run!


She runs with the group on a Thursday, she runs laps of her neighbourhood, she even runs when she makes trips back to her native Liverpool. Without hitting you too blatantly with a certain sports brand sound bite. Val just does it!


If you’re welling up with inspiration reading this, thinking ‘it could be me’ it’s now time you tried it yourself. Our run groups are here to help you plant that seed of change. All you need to do is commit and watch it grow!


Find out where your nearest Run Leeds group is:

Leave a Comment


  1. Nicky Best

    November 2, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    What a great little story of someone creating a whole new beginning just from the simplest of pastimes. Good for you Val xxXx

  2. Philip Sykes

    April 10, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I wondered if there might be any couch to 5k sessions starting this year anywhere near my location (Leeds 8, just off Oakwood Lane). I would like to try to get fit enough to be able to run 5k, or at least try. Possibly not for a month or two yet as I am still trying to regain (my normal level of) fitness following illness at the beginning of the year. I walk, anything up to 5 miles twice a week, and I am going to start swimming again shortly (having stopped for last October’s half term and not having started again yet).
    I have been inspired by my son-in-law who shed over 10 stones and now runs half marathons and occasional marathons and runs the park runs every week. Also by my daughter who started the couch to 5k in wales, where they live, and completed her first park run yesterday.
    I feel that I need pushing to achieve this or else I am likely to backslide and not do anything.

    • Ben Fraser

      April 11, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Phillip,

      We have just started two new social running groups in Richmond Hill, East Leeds – not too far down the road from you! I’d recommend these as they will include a couch to 5k walk-run in it but they are both morning and lunchtime sessions. Check the group section out for all the live sessions. Failing that there is a new group starting in Chapeltown at the beginning of May, that’s not too far from you!


  3. Wendy Veale

    October 29, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Hi can you tell me if there are any couch to 5k classes starting soon near ls12?
    I’m a total beginner. what is the minimum age to attend?

    Thanks Wendy Veale.

    • Ben Fraser

      October 31, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Hi Wendy, we currently have 3 Couch 5k groups starting in LS7, LS8 and LS11 in January. Which area would be most suitable for you?

  4. val chadwick

    May 1, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Hi is there any coach to 5k in or near Morley as I would love to start running but been a beginner I don’t want to join a club that has people who have ran for a long time.

  5. Angela Ronicle

    January 4, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Hi, I’m interested in joining couch to 5k sessions as a beginner. Are there any clubs near Horsforth.

    • Nick Smith

      January 4, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Hi Angela,
      Great to hear that your interested in getting into running! There is a beginners group in Horsforth. See Here for contact details. Thanks, Nick.

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