I started the couch to 5k programme in January 2016. The coaches and volunteers made all of us feel very welcome on a cold dark night at the start of a new year. Despite being very nervous and not sure I could ever get to 5k, their belief that we could get to 5k in 10 weeks no matter what our level of fitness or previous running experience rubbed off each time we met.
There were nights I looked at the weather or after a hard day in work and thought what am I doing!! I would force myself out and return home feeling so much better. It never mattered how I was feeling, how far I ran or how slow I was, the coaches and volunteers were there to encourage me to keep going.
My 1st Park Run
In March 2016, I ran my first parkrun 5k and finished it! As well as a feeling of accomplishment, finishing the programme gave me a new belief in myself and what I was capable of.
Since the programme and seeing what I accomplished, 3 of my work colleagues have also completed the programme and a couple are planning to go in January 2017. I have run a few 10k’s and I am planning to run my first half marathon in May 2017. I have also started volunteering at JogBelfast in the hope of being an encouragement to others who, like me, struggle to believe they could run 5k. Without this programme, I would never have done any of this or made some amazing friends.