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Four new courses of the popular running course for absolute beginners, Couch to 5k, are starting in Redditch.

Anyone that wants to ditch the couch and start running can become able and confident to run five kilometres over the nine-week courses, which have become popular since they were introduced to the area by Redditch Borough Council in 2013.

The weekly sessions are led by professionals and supported by the NHS. They include a series of downloadable podcasts designed to structure each run with music and coaching to develop running technique, speed and stamina progressively over time, as well as a companion smartphone app.

The four new courses include two in the daytime, one in the evening and one at the weekend, starting from Sunday September 10. They’re on Sundays at 09.30am at the Abbey Stadium running track, Mondays at 11.30am at Morton Stanley Park meeting at the top car park, Wednesdays at 7.00pm at Arrow Valley Lake meeting at Stitch Meadow, and Thursdays at 9.30am also at the Abbey Stadium running track. They are all £1 per session.

Cllr Pat Witherspoon, Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “If you don’t run and you want to start, Couch to 5k may be perfect for you. It’s for all ages, there’s support and coaching from the running clubs Redditch STARS and Kingfisher Harriers, and you will learn to comfortably run five kilometres over the nine weeks.

“Hopefully putting on four new courses throughout the week will mean that anyone who wants to start Couch to 5k will be able to find a session to suit their needs.”

Many graduates from local Couch to 5k groups go on to join local running groups, including parkrun, and continue a new healthier lifestyle.

Redditch Borough Council is developing local Couch to 5k to create more opportunities for active leisure in the borough. Regular brisk exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost mood and control weight.

Here's more information.