Have you ever wished that you could jog or run a 5k; but don’t know where to start?
Well, on Tuesday 8 May, Born To Run Tralee Marathon Club will launch its annual “Couch to 5k” programme, which is free to join, friendly and most of all, fun.
Over a number of weeks, beginners will be gently mentored to complete the 5k distance using a walk-jog strategy, gradually increasing the time spent running as their fitness and confidence grows.
Training will take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening from 6.30pm from the Aquadome, with the option to continue to a 10k programme- or beyond- once participants reach the 5k mark.
And according to those who completed last year’s programme, like Tralee woman Catherine O’Connor, it’s a decision you won’t regret.
“It was the best move I made,” Catherine tells Tralee Today, explaining how the programme was so easy to follow as a beginner.
“The plan by Born To Run- which was a five minute walk, followed by a one minute jog- was easy and no one was pushed to do more. The following nights, it would slowly increase, so that you didn’t realise you were jogging longer than walking,” she says.
Since then, Catherine has gone on to run 10k, but apart from improving her fitness, she says it is the friendship and the “feel-good factor” that is the best thing about the group, where there is a place for every runner, no matter what their speed.
“After a stressful day, I so look forward to my jog,” she says. “I’m nearly always at the back- someone has to be last!- but there is always someone waiting for you to return and you are never left alone. The Born To Run rule is ‘No one gets left behind’.
“I would encourage everyone to try it out. Whether you are looking to get fit, make new friends or just have a laugh, you should join the next ‘Couch to 5k.’”
Fellow member Rita Ryan also joined the group last year and despite the initial nerves, was soon made feel very welcome.
“We were put at ease by the lovely Ann, our mentor,” she says. “It was always great fun and I was thrilled to be part of such a friendly group of people. Meeting new friends was great and we all kept each other going. Reaching 5k was brilliant: I’ll never forget that evening we had reached our goal.”
However, Rita did not stop there, and just five months after joining the programme, completed her first half marathon in Listowel last November.
“I never even dreamt I would ever be able to run that far,” she says. “It has been a completely positive experience for me. There is great support and encouragement from mentors and other longer established Born To Run members. If you want to start running, no matter what age you are, come along and try it. You will meet great people and have lots of fun and feel much better.”
To take part in the new programme, just come along to register on the night