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Sportily takes on Couch to 5km

Sport and Faith Coach Luke Campbell heads up our Couch to 5km sessions in Thameshead which can be found here. We checked in with him to find out more about why he enjoys it.

There is a beauty with running that, I think, is unlike any sport. It's raw and natural, but individual to the athlete and can be interpreted as one sees fit. There are many people I know who can run 20 miles at the drop of a hat, others who would only think of covering that distance in a car. Like anything in life, everyone starts as a beginner, and no one gets good by accident.  

The original Couch To 5km (C25km) was set up in 1996 but people have been learning to run long before then. It follows a training plan that works on the basis of progressive overload; incrementally increasing the demand/force over a period of time which your body adapts to. The same idea works with lifting weights or holding your breath. As you begin to run, your body will be put under new stresses and over time it will adapt by getting stronger and can tolerate more stress. This is how marathon runners build up to consistently running 100 miles a week, it takes months!  

The great thing about C25km is that everyone is in the same boat (or starts on the same couch). It's surrounded by community that's built by overcoming challenges together and having an understanding of what the person next to you is going through. If you do C25km in a group, you'll start off as strangers but finish week 10 as friends.  

While starting the group in January and running in the dark with very low temperatures may sound like a bad idea, the feeling of sitting down in the warm pub with a hot chocolate in your hand makes it all worth it. At Sportily we #playsportstalklife; and we put the same amount of effort into both of these. We see having a conversation about your day as just as important as going for a run.  

So, here’s the sign you were looking for; to go out and find a local running group or grab some friends and embark on this challenge together. When you look back on this in 5 years’ time, you won’t remember how far or how fast you could run, but you will remember how running as part of a community made you feel. 

#giveitago, and if you don’t like it, there are another 100 sports and activities for you to try.