Beginners’ Course

** New Beginners’ Course – Starting 16th January **

Our popular Beginners’ Course is back. The next 10 week ‘Couch to 5k’ course starts on Tuesday 16th January.

Who is the group for?

The group is for people over the age of 18 who would like to have fun, make friends and get fit by progressing through a 10 week walk/run programme catering for people with no previous running or fitness experience.


The next course starts on Tuesday 16th January at 6:15pm and runs every Tuesday for 10 weeks. There is no need to book or register in advance, just turn up.


Ridgeway Academy Sports Centre
Herns Lane
Welwyn Garden City
Please come into the sports centre and turn immediately right for the dance studio. This is where we will meet before the session begins.


The sports centre has its own car park accessed via Appletree Way. Alternative car parking is available in the school’s main car park.
If the car park at the sports centre is full please do not use the lay-bys outside the sports centre but use the school car park instead.


Toilets, showers and locker facilities are available for you to use free of charge (although a £1 coin is required for the lockers).

How much does it cost to join?

To join will cost £25 which also includes your first year of club membership. Payment will not be required until after the first session giving you the opportunity to try out the first session before making a commitment.

What are the benefits of running?

People start running for all different types of reasons. Some of the main benefits include

  • Improve fitness: or more specifically cardiovascular fitness. Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle needs to be worked and challenged to gain strength.
  • Lose weight: Running, in conjunction with a healthy balanced diet can contribute to successful weight loss. It also helps to develop more lean tissue which will help you to look slimmer even if there is no change in your body weight.
  • Improve bone density: Running is a weight-bearing activity and weight-bearing activities strengthen bones which can help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis.
  • Personal achievement: Knowing that you are doing something good to your physical body is an enormous boost to your sense of self-worth.
  • Social: joining a group is an excellent opportunity to meet likeminded people and have FUN!

What are the aims of the programme?

The programme is a run/walk programme consisting of short jog/run intervals interspersed with walking breaks. Initially, there may be more walking than jogging/running but over time the length of the jogging/running intervals should increase and the walk breaks will decrease.

The programme will be adapted to meet the different fitness and ability levels of all its members. Programme leaders will be on hand to give advice regarding safe progression.

Ultimately, at the end of ten weeks, we would like all programme members to join us at a local parkrun to complete a continuous 5k run at their own pace.

Who will lead the programme?

A group of experienced club members, who also hold England Athletics ‘Leadership in Running Fitness’ qualifications, will lead the programme with support from other enthusiastic club members who are keen to encourage others to reap the benefits of social running.

A core group of leaders means they will be able to get to know you, your ability and the goals you want to achieve. In doing so, they will be able to support you and encourage you to make progress.

What shall I wear?

Although there is not set outfit, it is important to wear what you feel comfortable in.

  • It is important to have a good pair of running shoes to prevent the likelihood of injury. It is advisable to visit a specialist running shop so they can advise on the right shoes to suit your running style.
  • For ladies, a high support running bra is strongly recommended.
  • Water, in a carry bottle, would also be advisable.

Should I be running more frequently than once a week?

To maximise the benefits of running, you may want to gradually build up to running two to three times a week. Programme leaders will be able to advise what would be sensible and will encourage programme members to support each other by running together not just on a Tuesday evening.

Who should I contact if I require further information?

Please email

Please remember, when embarking on a new programme of exercise it is always advisable to
consult your doctor. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.