A NEW year run of the popular free running course for absolute beginners, Couch to 5k, is starting this month and will come to a close in March with a charity run.

Anyone that wants to ditch the couch and start running can become able and confident to run five kilometres over these nine-week courses.

The professionally-coached weekly sessions are supported by the NHS and 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.

Redditch councillor Phil Mould, who is responsible for leisure, said: “If you don’t run and you want to start, Couch to 5k may be perfect for you. With a bit of support and coaching, over the nine weeks you will learn to comfortably run five kilometres.

“The ninth and final week of this latest course is the Sport Relief Mile too, which would be a great way for runners to graduate.”

Graduates from Couch to 5k are routinely signposted to local running groups, including parkrun, where they often choose to continue their new healthier lifestyle.

Redditch Council is also pleased to announce that it is again able to provide Couch to 5k at no cost thanks to sponsorship from Redditch Sainsbury's.

All are welcome to the new course which starts on Sunday, January 26 and runs every Sunday morning from 10am at the Countryside Centre at Arrow Valley Lake until the final session on Sunday, March 23, which is the day of the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile.

Couch to 5k podcasts are available at nhs.uk or via iTunes.

To find out more, contact Hayley Gwilliam in the council’s sports development team on hayley.gwilliam@bromsgroveandredditch.gov.uk or call 01527 881404.