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Couch to 5K: Your Journey from Couch Potato to 5K Runner with the NHS App

15/02/24Couch to 5K: Your Journey from Couch Potato to 5K Runner with the NHS App


Are you ready to transform from a couch potato to a confident 5K runner? Look no further! The NHS Couch to 5K app is your ultimate companion on this exhilarating journey. Whether you’re a complete beginner or someone looking to get back into running, this app will guide you step by step towards your 5K goal. 

What Is NHS Couch to 5K?

NHS Couch to 5K is a free running app designed for absolute beginners. Developed by Josh Clark, a new runner who wanted to help his 50-something mum get off the couch and start running, this program gradually builds your fitness and stamina over 9 weeks. The app provides a structured plan, making it easy for anyone to take their first steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

How Does It Work?

Here’s why the NHS Couch to 5K app is so effective:

  1. Progressive Approach: The app starts with a mix of running and walking, gradually increasing your running time. In Week 1, you’ll run for just 1 minute at a time, setting realistic expectations and ensuring you don’t feel overwhelmed.

  2. Choice of Coaches: Not only does the app feature a narrator named Laura, but you can also be coached by celebrities like Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli, and Steve Cram1. Having a variety of coaches keeps you motivated and engaged.

  3. Music and Motivation: The app syncs with your music player, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes while you run. Laura guides you through each session, telling you when to run and when to walk. The upbeat music keeps you going!

Who Is NHS Couch to 5K For?

Everyone! Whether you’re a complete newbie or someone who wants to improve their fitness, this app is your ticket to a healthier you. 

In fact our very own Group Practice Manager, Andy, decided back in October that it was time to make a change and he decided to start the challenge. The last time he ran was back in 2009 when he managed to complete the Edinburgh Marathon - but since then his running has been extremely limited. When he first started the challenge he fully admits it was hard. It didn’t help that the weather was cold and wet every time he went out but he was determined to complete it. Nine weeks later he was running constantly for 30 minutes and covering just over 5K. If you are unsure if you can complete it, just have a word with Andy – he’ll tell you if he can do it anyone can.

Benefits of Running

Running offers a host of benefits:

How to Get Started

  1. Download the App: Head to the NHS Couch to 5K and download the NHS Couch to 5K app.

  2. Choose Your Coach: Whether you want Laura’s guidance or prefer a celebrity coach, select your favorite.

  3. Plan Your Runs: The app tracks your progress, sets goals, and ensures you have at least 1 day of rest between runs.


The NHS Couch to 5K app isn’t just about running; it’s about reclaiming your health, boosting your confidence, and discovering the joy of movement. So, lace up those sneakers, hit the pavement, and let’s turn that couch into a launching pad for your 5K journey!  Ready to run? Download the NHS Couch to 5K app and take the first step toward a healthier you! 

Did you know?

Our registered clinicians are the best qualified in their field of MSK medicine and are all registered with their professional associations. We are an accredited PRT training centre for graduate chiropractors

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