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  • Writer's pictureCheeziFit

Thinking of continuing running?

Good morning CheeziJoggers and welcome to Week 8 Run 3, the final run of our penultimate week and just 3 runs to the end of the programme.

Have you enjoyed the Couch to 5K programme? Perhaps you are considering continuing running and even increasing your distance. If you are, then it is important to remember to take it slow as longer distances take time and patience as you are likely to face both physical and mental obstacles – which is completely normal.

Regular commitment is required and you have to learn to pace yourself to prevent injuries and also so ensure the experience is enjoyable.

Longer distances require a good warm-up to prevent side-stitches and muscle tightness which can prevent you running or make you more likely to sustain an injury. Cooling down is also very important helping you to reduce the build up of lactic acid which can cause that post-workout burning feeling in your muscles.

If you are used to running a certain distance, you aren’t suddenly going to be able to tackle much longer runs. The joy of the C25K programme is that it allows us to increase our runs steadily over a period of time, making them achievable so use this tactic if continuing beyond the programme and increase your distance slowly and steadily. It may take you longer but it will be safer in the long run (no pun intended).

If you are increasing your distance you might want to consider dropping your pace in order to conserve energy and prevent too much strain being put on your body.

If you set yourself a target and find you can’t keep up the pace, don’t worry, combine a walk with your run if you need to in order to cover the distance. There is no need to put added pressure on yourself – the running police will not be watching! Intervals are a great way to build your fitness and aerobic capacity and in turn this will improve your endurance and confidence.

If you feel tightness in your muscles when running stop and stretch the affected muscles for about 30 seconds and then continue if you feel comfortable. Remember do not continue if you are in pain.

To prevent boredom, try running new routes which will provide a distraction. Fresh air and different scenery can help overcome the mental challenge of taking on a longer run.

Whether you continue running short distances or feel ready to tackle a longer run, go slowly and safely and most of all enjoy it. Exercise should be an enjoyable experience and not a chore. If running is not for you, find something you do enjoy and you will get so much more from it.

You can download the official C25K app via the NHS website by clicking HERE. There is lots of information together with hints, tips and stretching advice.

The programme can be completed in your own time and fit in and around your lifestyle with just 30-40 minutes commitment required three times a week.

For further information, please contact us at

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