Is the C25K the best way to get into running???
Hello and thanks for taking time to read my blog. This one will be especially of interest to new runners, particularly those who have tried to complete the ‘Couch to 5K’ running program but found it wasn’t for them.
I said in a previous blog that I was interested in taking a group of people through a new course that I have designed to avoid what I believe are the flaws in the C25K program. The flaws as I see it are twofold.
First, it presupposes a level of muscle, ligament and tendon fitness that many people simply dont possess through a general lack of activity or lack of running fitness. Reading comments on the NHS forum for C25K participants reveals a level of dropouts through injury that could be counterproductive when you remember that the aim of the program is to increase physical activity.
Second, it’s rigidity in requiring participants to run for a certain time, may push people beyond their aerobic capacity too early in their running career. Whilst all runners need to get out of breath to improve, coming back from a run feeling breathless to the point where you may have pushed yourself close to your V02max just because the podcast said you must run could probably be quite demoralising. Even more so if you could not actually run for the whole time required. Yes, running requires willpower but the brain cannot override the need for oxygen from the muscles.
It’s my suspicion that those who start the C25K course are not sufficiently informed about running. As an evidence-based practitioner who firmly believes in education as the best way to manage pain and prevent injury I want to develop a course to explain to show it is possible to learn to run without running a high risk of injury. A course that is generic enough for everyone to follow but allows individuals to tailor their efforts appropriately to their current ability. A course that takes account not only of aerobic capacity but also muscle ability.
As I said, I’m an evidence-based practitioner, and have developed two short surveys that take about a minute to complete. One is for those who have completed the C25K program, and one for those who have’nt. The link to these courses is shown below.
If you fall into either of these categories, please consider filling in the survey. Its an anonymous survey but I will be sharing my conclusions once I have 100 responses to each survey.
The link for those that have completed the C25K is;
And for those that haven’t is;