Couch to 5K

Far Runner's Couch to 5k programme for 2024 is now in full swing and unfortunately, we cannot accept any new runners onto the sessions.

If you've missed this year's Couch to 5k, you can always download the app here. Many of our current members completed Couch to 5k on their own, with the support of the app, so give it a go: you may surprise yourself!

Why do Couch to 5k?

The Far Runners are passionate about running - we all know what a positive impact it can have on your physical and mental health!

All of our Run Leaders got into running as adults, so we also understand, first-hand, how daunting that first run can be. For these reasons, we're pleased to host a 'Couch to 5K' (C25k) course at least once a year (usually early in the new year).

Couch to 5k is great for your physical health: especially your cardiovascular fitness. You'll notice how quickly you can start to do more and more, feeling less out of breath and less tired. Your stamina will increase and you'll be able to run further in one go. People find that they also start to run faster: but pace is not the goal of Couch to 5k!

You may have run before. Perhaps you've done Couch to 5k but didn't continue with running, or you may have started and not completed it. You may have been a school cross country runner. You may even have run marathons in the past. Whatever your experience, you'll gain something from Couch to 5k. 

Couch to 5k helps you feel better about yourself. Undertaking the programme is a massive personal achievement, and it will boost your self-esteem and wellbeing no end. You'll meet new friends and become part of a massively supportive, fun and inclusive community in Faringdon. 




Our annual Santa run is always merry and bright :-)



Who is Couch to 5k for?

The course is suitable for absolute beginners and those who've had a substantial break from running. This includes all ages (16+), shapes, sizes and fitness levels. We cannot emphasise enough that this is a beginner's programme! Unfortunately, due to our licensing and insurance, we can't take responsibility for children under the age of 16 as solo participants. Any under 16s must be accompanied by a running adult. If in doubt, please drop us a line:

If you have any longstanding medical conditions or injuries, we ask that you 'OK' your participation with your GP, just to be on the safe side.



Far Runners always support the annual Buscot 5k/10k (usually held in August), followed by a team picnic.



What does Couch to 5k involve?

We follow the approved NHS programme of three short, incremental runs per week. Far Runners hold two organised runs per week to keep you on track. The third run is for you to do in your own time, but it's always better if you can buddy up with someone. Previous cohorts of runners have indpendently formed their own small groups, making new friends and providing each other with mutual support for that third run. 

The programme consists of 9 weeks of 3 runs. 'Run 1' each week will be the Sunday 9am run. We also host a Tuesday evening session (7pm in the Market Place) which will be 'run 2'. This is a dark run (need for head torches  and high vis) and run on pavements and streets around Faringdon.

Far Runners will provide you with additional motivation, guidance and support on important issues such as warm-up/cool-down, stretching, and cross-training. We also offer you the invaluable wisdom and support of previous C25k graduates, through our dedicated Facebook Couch to 5k 2024 group (This is a private group for Couch to 5k participants and graduates only).

We also like to think of our Couch to 5k sessions as social occasions. We hope you'll make new friends and meet 'buddies' who you can train with outside of the Far Runners' sessions. Our Tuesday night run always concludes in The Swan (Park Road) for a social shandy or two ;-)

Our programme is timed to coincide with an optional (but highly recommended) 'graduation' run, which will be held on Saturday 16th March 2024 at Lydiard Park Parkrun. We then have a celebratory coffee and cake in the park café to mark your acheivements.


Lydiard ParkRun graduation run 2023: post-5k celebrations in the Forest Café!




Life after Couch to 5k

We encourage everyone who completes the course to move on to running with the main Far Runners group. Don't be fooled by the name. We are 'Far' because we're from FARingdon...not because we run far! However, we've had some great success stories of graduates that have committed to running with us once, twice, even three times a week and then achieving personal goals of 10k, half-marathon, marathon and even ultra marathons! We support all runners, regardless of pace or goals. 

Make sure you follow the Far Runners Facebook page!

What does it cost?

There is no fee for these sessions and membership of Far Runners is completely free (we are a community group, run entirely by volunteers). However, anyone joining the group must provide basic information about themselves and emergency contact details by signing up on Run Together. There is also an optional (but very useful) WhatsApp group that we will invite you to join.



Two Couch to 5k graduates from 2023 take part in our Festival of Running.



What do I need to wear / bring with me?

Comfy / warm / loose clothing
Wear comfy clothing that allow movement e.g. jogging bottoms, leggings, shorts (if you're brave!). It'll be chilly on a Sunday morning (and on a Tuesday evening!) so layers are always best. Most people tend to wear a long sleeved and short sleeved top together, or a hoodie/fleece.

Suitable / cushioned trainers
Comfy trainers that are suitable for running are a must. You don't need mega expensive Nike Alphafly trainers to do Couch to 5k! Just something with good support (Converse and other casual / fashion trainers are not recommended due to lack of cushioning and support). The first 4 weeks will be on a playing field so you may get a bit muddy.

Lights and brights for night running
If you join us for our Tuesday night (7pm) 'run 2' sessions, you will need a head or body torch and will need to wear light or bright clothing (or high vis). Many of our runners wear body lights like this one and head torches like this one (other retailers and brands are available!!!). 



We always enjoy our group Christmas runs, searching out the best lights in Faringdon!


Water and personal medications
If you think you'll need it, bring a bottle of water that you can hold in your hand. Don't forget any inhalers or other emergency medication that you usually carry. All our run leaders are First Aid trained and we carry emergency First Aid kits at every run.

If you're worried about having the right clothes, shoes or equipment, PLEASE drop us a line: Amongst us, we have an awful lot of spare gear that we can loan or donate, so please don't be shy to ask.

Any other questions?

If you have questions that we've not answered, or want to talk 1:1 with one of our very lovely and friendly run leaders, please get in touch via Facebook (send a message) or email: Don't be shy or embarassed: we've all been through the same kind of anxieties and issues that you may be facing and we want to help.

We really are one the friendliest and most social run clubs around: we'd love for you to join us!




Celebrations after our 2023 Festival of Running