Starting to Run? Here’s The Best Couch to 5k Plan!

Couch To 5K

Couch To 5k? I’ve been known on many an occasion to say that this body was not built for running, and if you see me running, you’d damned better had too because there’s going to be something chasing me!  However, something weird happens in your late 30s. You start to realise that you are literally middle aged! (Well I am considering the age a lot of people die in my family!) That……..SCARY!! That exhilarating, carefree, “can’t touch this” immortality of your teens, twenties and even early 30s, makes way for a new anxiety about the aches and pains that seem to be multiplying daily.  Not to mention that I am beyond jealous when I watch how much my teenage son eats and stays perfectly slim. Where as I so much as visualise eating a giant chocolate button with my head in the fridge and I have to undo the top button of my stretchy jeans!

Couch To 5K

Jog To Lose Weight?

If you’ve ever followed my (recently) sporadic vlogs on Ginger Tash, then you’ll know that late last year, I decided to get a grip.  I found myself responding to an advert on Facebook looking for 10 local women who want to revolutionise their figure, fitness and health under the friendly guidance and security of a local health studio.  Well I think I’d had a few brandies and the best part of a Cadburys Grab Bag when I responded.  Fast forward a few days later, and I find myself in this intimate and private Health Studio, sat opposite Jack Sullivan who is fact-finding about everything from my stress levels, to my sleep pattern.  I was a little flummoxed, wasn’t he going to measure my depressing BMI or wiggle my bingo wings and see how long they take to stop?  Turns out, there’s a lot more to being fit and healthy than just exercising and counting calories/syns/points.  Just like learning to run is more than just getting a super sexy pair of trainers (but I think it definitely helps with the motivation!).

 best running programme

Best Running Programme?

The reason I’m talking about this, is because as much as I wanted to be fit, I was scared that I just didn’t have the capability to be fit!  Jack from JS-PT Health Studio showed me otherwise.  Under his quiet and wry guidance, he has helped me to discover that keeping fit is actually fun!  Yes, I did say that and no I haven’t had a drink!  My next hurdle was that I wanted to learn to run, well, jog to be more precise.  I’d looked at Couch to 5K and Couch to 10K and wasn’t sure what app to download as the choice was endless.  The different reviews were patchy, and ultimately, I wanted to follow a programme written by an expert.  When Jack mentioned one day that he’d written the Starting2Run programme with Ricky (one of the other trainers from JS-PT Health Studio, and what I would describe as a “Professional Runner”) I realised that I finally had found the programme that I had been looking for.

best running programme

Couch To 5K

You see, to me, running/jogging doesn’t just represent getting fit, it represents freedom, time to yourself, peace to think.  All of which are greatly lacking in my busy life with 3 kids and a full time job.  An added bonus is weight loss and feeling healthier and fitter! The problem I’d had in the past though, is just that I feel like my body isn’t built for running.  My boobs have a total mind of their own and hurt like buggery once I get beyond a wiggle-bum-walk (I think the official term is power walking).  Even though I work out doing HIIT with Jack a few times a week, I just felt after a few failed attempts like I just wasn’t fit enough to run.  Turns out, downloading a couch to 5k app isn’t enough to really teach you how to run.  It’s just a great motivator to actually get you off your couch and going for a jog.

couch to 5kWhy Can’t I Run?!?

I needed someone to answer my questions which plague me whenever I try to start jogging.  Why does my throat hurt when I try and run? Why do the front of my legs hurt so much after running (shin splints)? How do you find a good rhythm? How do you build up your stamina? What are the best exercises to do to help you improve your running technique?  What’s the best running bra?  (Ok so Jack and Ricky can’t answer that one but after a bit of research I found out that it’s this one UK / US !)



I joined Jack & Ricky’s running programme Starting2Run, with a little trepidation.  When I’ve spent time with Jack & Ricky at JS-PT Health Studio, I’ve discovered just what a great, advanced runner Ricky is (Jack’s pretty good too 😉 ).  Could a jiggly ginger like me even attempted a running programme like that?  Well I was blown away, I can say that honesty, the details, technique videos, guidance, meal plans etc just set this running programme apart from any other learn to run/how to jog/couch to 5k.


Just to give you an idea of what I mean, below I’ve surmised some of the best aspects of the running programme as the different variations of the modules make it perfectly suitable for absolute beginners, intermediates and advanced/experts:

Module 1

  • Complete Beginners Guide To Running
  • 7 Day Running Programme
  • Videos teaching you everything you need to know about your breathing

Module 2

  • The Beginner Running Programme including weekly timetable
  • The Advanced Running Programme including weekly timetable
  • The Elite Running Programme including weekly timetable
  • Work Out Your Running Pace
  • Running Drills
  • Posture Drills

Module 3

  • Nutrition: Running Food Tips & Tricks
  • “The Two Jacks Recipe Book” (The Chicken Curry from this is a family favourite!)
  • The Exercise Library: Includes videos detailing the best exercises and techniques to improve your running.

Module 4

  • Planning & Building Your Running Routine
  • Training Ideas & Sessions for a 5km goal
  • Training Ideas & Sessions for a 10km goal
  • Training Ideas & Sessions for Marathon Preparation


  • Running Shoe Guide to find the best running shoes
  • Range of motion test
  • The equipment & app guide
  • Prehab, Injuries and looking after your body when running

couch to 5kI’m just getting started, (I have the sexy running trainers in neon coral and a matching running bra – UK / US!) but already I feel something has clicked.  What I needed was not just an app, I needed the best running programme for beginners like me, more than just a couch to 5k!  It’s running and jogging guidance, hints, tips, secrets, for not only learning to run, but really taking your running to the next level if you want to, The best bit is, that as I advance in my learning to run journey, I can tailor this online course to suit me.  I have my sights set on being an Elite!!!  Ultimately, after all the apps I’ve downloaded and followed once or twice, this running programme finally gives me all the support and guidance I need.  Me and my fully supported boobs can’t wait to finally enter a race, something I’ve always wanted to do, but until now it never actually felt achievable.  It’s free to join the introductory programme, what do you have to lose, give it a go.  I can promise that you won’t be disappointed!

Love & Ginger hugs


couch to 5k



*This is not a sponsored post or ad, I just love the work that Jack and the other guys do and their knowledge and guidance is second to none so I’m impassioned to share!