I've never run before and have zero fitness, can I take part?
Of course you can! Not being able to run makes you the perfect candidate for our Beginners group. The programme is a gentle and progressive plan which takes our members from being complete novices to running 30 mins non stop in 8 weeks.
How long does a session last?
Each session lasts between 25-35 mins for the Beginners group and anything up to an hour for the Improvers group.
Do I have to be able to run a certain speed or distance?
Absolutely not.. we work on this as a group from the offset but no prior running experience is necessary.
What if I can't keep up with the group?
Worry not, we will always strive to ensure a tail runner (our most important role!) is present at every session, meaning that no one gets left at the back on their own.
I'm unable to commit to every week, will I fail?
The Beginners programme is most effective when each progressive step is completed between 1-3 times per week, although this does not mean you will fail if you can't commit to every workout. We realise that work, family and life in general can make it a little tricky to get out for regular runs. If for whatever reason you fall behind a couple of sessions, then just pick up where you left off.
Is there a minimum or maximum age for taking part?
Unfortunately, due to insurance restrictions we are unable to accept anyone under the age of 12. Anyone between the ages of 12-15 must run with a responsible adult alongside them. There is no maximum age.
Is the running programme displayed ahead of schedule?
We have a Facebook page which is a closed group, meaning that all member requests must be approved by our admin panel first, ensuring any discussions or information about meeting times, places and session content is kept private. Each week, an event is created within the group which outlines everything you need to know about the next session. You can request to join here
Do I need expensive running shoes to take part?
We recommend that a good pair of well fitted running shoes (not necessarily expensive) are part of your essential kit, although this might be something you consider investing in once the running bug is well and truly established. Until then, a pair of gym/regular/cross trainers will suffice.
What if I can't run 5km by the end of the course?
Although the programme is based on the Couch to 5km programme, we feel it should really be called 'Couch to 30 mins' as essentially this is what it is. Therefore, being able to run 5km by week 8 of the programme isn't actually the end goal.. running 30 minutes is. Some manage 5km in that time, others don't.. regardless, we will support and coach you until you can indeed manage the 5km benchmark.
What should I wear?
Comfortable clothing such as leggings/trousers, t.shirt/vest and a top layer such as a sweater or waterproof jacket in the colder months. In the darker months we highly recommend that you wear high viz/fluorescent clothing and invest in a flashing light arm band. You can pick up some very reasonably priced active wear from most supermarkets as well as sports shops these days. Online, the world of fitness clothing is your oyster!
Is there parking and toilets available?
Throughout the summer months we train at St Nicholas Park in Warwick which offers ample parking and toilet facilities. However, it is not lit up at night time during the winter months, therefore we meet at the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington once the darker nights draw in. The nearest toilets are the public ones by the taxi rank on Holly Walk. There is also on street parking available, the nearest roads being Dormer Place (metered until 8pm) and Newbold Terrace (free after 6pm).
I've just recovered from injury, would the group be suitable for me?
The answer to this depends on the nature of your injury and the point of your recovery phase. As general advice, we would recommend you start with the Beginners course and see how you get on, you can switch to the Improvers group at anytime.
If I come to the group should I be doing any other training in between sessions?
For the Beginners programme to be successful, it is recommended that you repeat each session up to two more times within the same week, although this isn't compulsory, we understand that you can't always get out for a run. As a general rule, any type of cross training to compliment your running is usually a good thing, be it yoga, pilates, strength/conditioning or any other type of sport.
What happens after I finish the Beginners programme?
At Run Like a Girl we love a good graduation party! .. so we normally hit the pub for celebratory drinks straight after the final session. Going forward, you will become part of the Improver group although we do take you through a transitional period first to ease you into the next stage of training. Much like the Beginners programme, the Improvers workouts are carefully planned to work on enhancing your pace and performance through a good mix of speed based sessions and longer distances.
I'm not sure whether I'm a Beginner or Improver, which group should I join?
The Beginners group is for those who have never run before or are returning to running after a long period of rest. If you are able to run either 5km or around 30 mins comfortably then we recommend the Improvers group for you.
How much does it cost?
The 8 week Beginners course costs £25 which includes a shiny Run Like a Girl medal, as well as achieving true runner status in a friendly and supportive group environment. Once you have completed Beginners then we take you through a three week transitional period which involves benchmarking your 5km run and a gentle introduction to speed training - this is FREE. If you then decide to stay on as an Improver then you will need to join as a member. More information about this can be found here.
I've previously attended a Beginners course but would like to do it again, do I have to pay?
Afraid so yes, each course you attend must be paid for. If you are unable to complete a course due to injury or illness and are able to provide us with evidence of this then we will be happy to waive the fee, once only.
Can I just come along to the session or do I need to sign up?
For the Improvers group you can just come along but if you are considering the Beginners course then booking is essential as these courses are very popular. You can submit your interest below..