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10 things you need to know before you start a Couch to 5k programme

Chartered physiotherapist Shane O’Brien outlines his top tips for novice runners

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Data collected from some of the most popular Couch to 5k mobile phone apps shows us that millions of people worldwide have successfully completed the journey from couch to 5k, showing that running is a form of exercise suitable for most. Here are some things to keep in mind

You can do it: If you can comfortably walk for 30 minutes, then you are capable of running 5k in eight weeks’ time. However, if you have not been taking regular exercise, then walking 5k non-stop at the end of the eight weeks would be a rewarding goal. Don’t let age, bodyweight, or current fitness levels put you off, as you can slowly build up your fitness following a structured programme, such as the eight-week Couch to 5k programme from Athletics Ireland.


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