Couch-to-5k and beyond, for new and returning runners.
One-to-one coaching and tailored training programmes for all standards.
*Next couch-to-5k group starts on DATE TBC*
Groups usually run at 6:40pm on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
'Pay what you can' group - donations appreciated but not required. Running is for everyone!
I'm also a member of Crystal Palace Fun Runners, our established, friendly, local club. If you'd like to join them directly (club runs from 7km, at any pace), join them here. (they are currently waiving their membership fee).
*Group exercise of any kind is currently suspended. I offer socially-distanced individual training, and a virtual group, to support sensible solo runners.
See my advice on socially responsible running here*
I'm a club runner, parkrun Event Director, and qualified UK Athletics Run Leader and Running Coach, with an Enhanced DBS check. I don't usually dress as a skeleton...
I'll be running the London Marathon in October 2020 and I'm fundraising for the National Autistic Society.
As a coach and professional researcher, I'm particularly interested in how to tailor physical activity to benefit everyone, particularly those managing long-term health conditions or other challenges.
HOW OUR GROUP SESSIONS WORK
When groups are running, we meet at Crystal Palace station, Monday and Wednesday evenings, for a prompt 6:40pm start. Depending on the weather and time of year, we'll use different loops for the run itself. The walk from the station will act as a warm-up.
I will communicate any changes by whatsapp - assume we are going ahead every week whatever the weather. The only exceptions will be if I'm incapacitated, or if the weather is icy or otherwise unsafe.
I start a new Couch to 5k group every three months. While Couch to 5k is a 9-week programme, I allow 12 weeks to accommodate the unexpected, and to allow people to catch up if they've missed a run. The programme recommends three runs per week, so you'd still aim to do most of the runs on your own. Download the couch to 5k app to guide you through this.
I also arrange 'Beyond 5k' runs from time to time depending on demand - these groups bridge the gap between running 5k and joining a running club, giving you the confidence to join a club, knowing you can comfortably run about 10k, or achieve other running goals.
When it's light enough, we'll run different loops around the beautiful scenery of Crystal Palace Park. In the winter, we'll run on pavements in the Crystal Palace, area, starting at the station.
We'll bookend each session with proper warm-ups and cool-downs. Feel free to stay at the end for a group stretching session.
I'm not medically qualified and will always refer any queries about health or injuries to a doctor, but will be available to discuss common running issues.
I also encourage an all-round approach to running fitness, including strength, balance and flexibility exercises during our sessions and at home. Previous email guidance is available on my facebook page.
ONWARD AND UPWARD
After the couch to 5k
Once you've conquered the 5k, it's important to keep the momentum going, so that a great achievement becomes a healthy lifestyle. Please sign up if you'd like to join my 'Beyond 5k' groups to help people bridge the gap between 5k and joining a club.
I thoroughly recommend joining your local parkrun - the free weekly timed 5k that anyone can enjoy. South London has lots of gorgeous courses, although Crystal Palace will always be my personal favourite.
Can you jog or run for 7-8km, at any pace? Then I thoroughly recommend joining Crystal Palace Fun Runners - they've taught me everything I know about running, and given me an amazing running community to keep me going. They run groups for all paces and also provide track and hill sessions. I'm hoping lots of you 'graduate' from our group to the club.
Finally, if you'd like a more tailored running plan to meet a new target, get in touch and we can put together a personalised programme to meet your goals.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT PROGRAMMES DO YOU OFFER?
I lead a group of runners doing the Couch to 5k programme, starting a new programme every few months.
I also lead groups of runners who can run 5k but who want to take their running to the next level, often getting to the point where they can comfortably join a running club.
I also offer one-to-one training, evaluating your technique and creating tailored programmes to help you achieve your personal goals.
WHEN DOES THE PROGRAMME BEGIN? DOES IT MATTER IF I MISS A SESSION?
Our next new couch-to-5k programme for beginners or returning runners will start on week beginning *DATE TBC*. There are two runs: one on Mondays and one on Wednesdays. You can come to either run, or both, and you don't need to keep to the same day each week.
Injuries, illnesses and other commitments are a common problem for new (and not so new!) runners. So I run each programme for 12 weeks, using the 9 week programme but repeating three weeks (last time it was weeks 3, 5 and 6) to allow people to catch up, and to allow for the unexpected.
HOW FIT DO I HAVE TO BE TO JOIN?
The couch-to-5k sessions are aimed at brand new runners or those returning after a long break or injury. Even if you've never exercised before, this session will be suitable for you.
The 'beyond 5k' groups are aimed at novice runners who can generally manage 4-5km but who are unsure about whether they could join a running club (where club runs are usually 8-10km), or who want to achieve other running goals.
NOTE: please seek advice from a GP before starting any new programme of exercise, or if you suffer health conditions that could affect your ability to do so.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
To make the group sustainable, I charge a one-off fee for each programme. If you pay, then get ill or injured, don't worry! You'll be able to continue running with us until you've reached your goal.
I believe running should be everyone, so this is a "pay what you can" group - I suggest £40 per person. This covers either completing a couch-to-5k programme or achieving an individual goal with group runs and your own personalised session and training plan.