Free 5K to 10K programme

Increase your running distance and knowledge and take part in a new challenge with our first ever 5K to 10K programme.

Running 10K without stopping is a great goal to have. It only requires a pair of trainers, can be done anywhere and is something that you can easily fit around your daily routine.

So why not use this time to make that transition from 5K to 10K?* Running is a fantastic activity that helps you keep a healthy body and healthy mind.

*Please ensure you’re following government advice and social distance yourself from other people when running and only do so once a day as part of exercise.

5K to 10K programme5K to 10K programme

Follow this free twelve week running programme and you will be able to run a 10K within 12 weeks.

Tips on progression

This programme is aimed at graduates of our Couch to 5K programmes and anyone aiming to make the transition from 5K to 10K, with the prerequisite of having completed 5K distance within the last six months.

Each session has been carefully planned by a team of qualified run leaders. This programme builds up the amount of running you do so your body can acclimatise to the increase in distance.

If you are struggling with advancing from one week to the next, you can repeat any one of the weeks until you feel physically ready to move on to the next week.

Structure is importance for motivation, which is why we have allocated specific days of the week for your runs. If these days don’t work for you, that’s no problem. You can amend your running days to fit your own schedule. Just make sure you’re running 3 times a week and have a one day gap in between your sessions.

Free apps to use to track your runs

Strava

Strava will use the GPS signal on your phone (or fitness tracker if you have one that does that) to accurately log the route and speed of your runs, and you can also plan a route on a map on the Strava website, then send it to the app to follow while you run.

It’s a very popular app so chances are some of your friends and family are on it too. Once you’ve downloaded the app and have connected with your friends, you can send each other kudos and support their running journey.

MapMyRun

MapMyRun is a tracking app that is very handy when it comes to route planning. Open the app wherever you are in the world and you can load local routes that other runners have created and follow one on your phone during your run. You can also create your own routes.

Rest days

Rest days are vital. Having one between each week’s runs will reduce your chance of injury as you allow your body to recover from what is a high-impact exercise. If you amend your running days, make sure you have a gap in between each of your sessions.

Aches and pains

Always make sure you do a 5-minute warm up walk and some dynamic stretches to warm your muscles before beginning to run and a 5 minute cool down walk and static stretches after your run.

Ellie, one of the GOGA run leaders, who delivers the couch to 5K programme leads you through the warm up and cool down you should do before and after every run.

Be sure to also check that your running shoes are offering you good support.

Stay in contact

We’d love you to let us know how you’re getting on with the programme and to share your progress with other 5K to 10K participants. Please join our virtual 5K to 10K Facebook group. Run leaders are ready and waiting to chat and answer any questions you have.

Best of luck with the programme! Any questions, get in touch with leaders Kate Petty (k.petty@leeds.ac.uk) or Greg Hull (G.D.Hull@leeds.ac.uk) who will be more than happy to help you.

 

Free nine week Couch to 5K programme

Couch to 5K nine week programme

Running 5K without stopping is a great goal to have. It only requires a pair of trainers. It can be done anywhere and is something that you can easily fit around your daily routine.

So why not use this time to get into running?* Running is a fantastic activity that helps you keep a healthy body and healthy mind. Follow our free programme and it will take you from couch to 5K in just nine weeks. It is designed so that you will complete each session twice a week or optimally three times to enhance progression.

You will receive clear feedback as to how much you are improving your fitness, as you’ll be able to run further every week.

*Please ensure you’re following government advice and social distance yourself from other people when running and only do so once a day as part of exercise.

Couch to 5K nine week programme

Couch to 5K programme

Follow this nine week running plan and you will be able to run 5K without stopping.

Tips on progression

This programme is designed for beginners so they can eventually run 5K without stopping.

This 9 week programme has been tried and tested by many staff and students across campus as part of the Couch to 5K programme hosted by Get Out, Get Active. Our spring Couch to 5K programme has just finished. Read of how participants got on.

Each session has been carefully planned by a team of qualified run leaders. This programme builds up the amount of running you do very slowly so your body can acclimatise.

If you are struggling with advancing from one week to the next, you can repeat any one of the weeks until you feel physically ready to move on to the next week.

Structure is importance for motivation. Try and allocate specific days of the week for your runs and stick to them. For example, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Free apps to use to track your runs

Strava

Strava will use the GPS signal on your phone (or fitness tracker if you have one that does that) to accurately log the route and speed of your runs. You can also plan a route on a map on the Strava website, then send it to the app to follow while you run.

It’s a very popular app so chances are some of your friends and family are on it too. Once you’ve downloaded the app and have connected with your friends, you can send each other kudos and support their running journey.

MapMyRun

MapMyRun is a tracking app that is very handy when it comes to route planning. Open the app wherever you are in the world and you can load local routes that other runners have created and follow one on your phone during your run. You can also create your own routes.

Rest days

Rest days are vital. Having one between each week’s runs will reduce your chance of injury as you allow your body to recover from what is a high-impact exercise.

Aches and pains

Some people who are new to running may experience calf pain or sore shins. These aches can be caused by running on hard surfaces or by running in shoes that do not have enough foot and ankle support. Be sure to also check that your running shoes are offering you good support.

Always make sure you do the 5-minute warm up walks and some dynamic stretches to warm your muscles before beginning to run and the 5 minute cool down walk and static stretches after your run.

Ellie, one of the GOGA run leaders, who delivers the couch to 5K programme leads you through the warm up and cool down you should do before and after every run.

Stay in contact

We’d love you to let us know how you’re getting on with the programme and to share your progress with other Couch to 5K participants. Please join our virtual Couch to 5K Facebook group. Run leaders are ready and waiting to chat and answer any questions you have.

Also you can get in touch with leaders Kate Petty, k.petty@leeds.ac.uk or Greg Hull, G.D.Hull@leeds.ac.uk who will be more than happy to help you.

Best of luck with the programme!

Spotlight of the month: Volunteer

Malham 1100x400

This month we are spotlighting one of our Get out, Get Active volunteers, Turgay Demir. Turgay has been a dedicated volunteer for many years now and has recently been awarded volunteer of the month. We caught up with him to hear about how it all started.

Tell me a bit about yourself…

I am currently in the last year of my PHD, studying politics and international studies. I am originally from Turkey but have lived in the UK since 2014 – in Leeds specifically since 2016.

How did you get into volunteering?

When I first moved to Leeds I used to regularly check the LUU website, looking for things to get involved with, and found GOGA that way. I started off as a participant and was then encouraged by an activator to become a volunteer. A colleague of mine at the time had also volunteered with GOGA and encouraged me to get involved. This is now my fourth year as a volunteer and I’ve started leading some walking groups myself.

What have you been able to experience through being a GOGA volunteer?

I enjoy being a part of the trips and helping ensure that other people have a good time. It is great to come home and know that you have helped someone, especially someone you have just met. Getting the chance to go outside more has also been great for my mental health.

What skills have you developed through GOGA?

I have really developed my communication skills, specifically in terms of learning how to understand participants’ priorities and expectations. I have also learnt map reading skills, leadership skills and time management skills – time management is very important on GOGA trips to ensure that they run smoothly. 

What have you enjoyed most about getting involved with GOGA?

Meeting new people from different cultures! It’s great to be a part of a programme which brings different people together in this way.

Last comments:

GOGA has become part of my lifestyle! I have a great time being involved with GOGA. It helps prepare you for life after university in terms of the skills that you learn.

ConGRADulations to our Couch to 5K graduates!

Spring couch to 5k 1100x400

48 staff and students from across the university community have taken part and graduated from our Spring Couch to 5K programme.

The 8 week programme has culminated with participants completing their own virtual 5K run.

The programme was led by run leaders, Louise Walton, Lesley Neve, Sarah Hunt and Get Out, Get Active student activator, Ellie Dean. They have been inspiring and educating participants to improve their health and wellbeing now and in the future by laying the foundations they need to continue to build running into their everyday life.

The Couch to 5K programme included carefully planned sessions to help participants progress and build up their fitness whilst improving their technique and knowledge about running in a safe, social and friendly environment.

One of the participants, Jonathan Pitches, said:

Perhaps the most surprising thing for me was being able to build up stamina and strength so quickly, in just eight weeks. On the few occasions I had run before, I had always been stiff for the next two or three days, and this put me off running in any consistent way. But the incremental programme here, meant that my body adjusted without me knowing it, and I couldn’t believe in the final week that I managed to run not one 5K race but three in four days!

Participants were coached through an 8 week running programme which involved a mixture of running, jogging and walking. Many participants were returning to or starting exercise for the first time after illness or injury and long absences. Other motivations to take part in the programme included a desire to increase general physical and mental wellbeing.

Participant, Sue Martin, said:

I have never been interested in exercise of any shape or form but following a diagnosis of diabetes, I lost weight and decided to change this!

Having seen the couch to 5K programme advertised I signed up but never thought I would be able to complete it so I didn’t tell many people including the hubby.

Each week it would feel like a huge mountain to climb and I used to feel extremely anxious before every run but with the support of the run leaders and the rest of the group, I got there. I just can’t put into words what this achievement feels like…it certainly wasn’t easy but boy was it worth it. I feel healthier, fitter and very proud of myself for sticking to it!

Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we weren’t able to continue the coach led sessions in the final week of the programme and instead participants completed week 8 in their own time and environment. The graduation event at the Brownlee Centre scheduled on Wednesday 25th March was replaced by individual graduation runs by the participants.

Many participants are continuing to run regularly and are choosing to run as part of their daily exercise allowance during self-isolation.

Aimee Charnell said:

The main thing that I hadn’t expected was to enjoy running at the end. Whenever I’ve run in the past, it’s been because I reluctantly have to. Now, I’m genuinely running (a full 5K) because I want to despite having never done a single 5K alone before this programme. It has come with great timing as I really look forward to using my run as the allocated outdoor exercise during the COVID outbreak, always maintaining social distancing rules, of course!

If you’ve been inspired to take up running, take a look at our free Couch to 5K programme. This programme will take you from couch to 5K in just nine weeks.

This Girl Can… And They Did!

On Monday 9 March, Sport and Physical Activity hosted a series of free taster sessions: netball, badminton, indoor climbing and a wellbeing walk for all students and staff who identify as female.

80 students and staff came together to take part in the free sessions, which were organised to raise awareness of the This Girl Can campaign and to celebrate International Women’s Day.

This Girl Can – a National Lottery-funded campaign encouraging women to get involved with sport and physical activity – has relaunched with an inspiring advert.

Since its inception in 2015, the campaign has inspired 3.5 million women to get active. But there is still a long way to go, with 40% of women aged 16 and over insufficiently active, compared with 35% of men (Active Lives, 2018).

The event day on March 9 began with a guided wellbeing walk at lunchtime. Participants met outside LUU and enjoyed a bout of fresh air in Woodhouse Moor.

Meanwhile, students and staff learned about the basics of climbing and scaled the indoor climbing wall at The Edge. If you missed out on the chance to sign up for a climbing taster session, do not fear! Book a free 30 minute taster session through Edge reception.

Many participants relived their schools days in the sports hall playing badminton and netball. The badminton and netball sessions included partner work, drills such as around the world and some game time.

All participants were encouraged to provide some feedback. One participant said:

It was a great experience with a positive and friendly atmosphere!

TGC badminton

Kate Petty, one of the This Girl Can organisers, said:

It was brilliant to see so many students and staff from all across the university engaging in the activities, and for many, trying something new. We’ve gathered some useful feedback from this event that has given us an insight into what activities women across campus would like to see in the future. We shall use this feedback to inform future events and initiatives.

We plan to continue to raise awareness of the This Girl Can campaign and encourage more women in our university to engage in sport and physical activity. A women in sport working group will be established to help us identify and host future events. Further information about this will follow in due course.

Thank you to everyone who came along to the first event day, we hope you enjoyed it. Keep your eyes peeled for future This Girl Can activities!

Spotlight of the month: Project leads

GOGA Lakes trip

I’m Grace, one of the GOGA activators, and for this month’s spotlight I am interviewing Kate Petty and Greg Hull, whose jobs are to run and manage the GOGA programme together…

How long have you been working for Get Out, Get Active (GOGA) and what led you to your job initially?

Greg: I started working with GOGA just over five years ago, at the start of the programme, and I’ve stayed with it ever since. I wanted a change in career when I started and I had just finished a Masters in Sport Coaching, which made me aware of the wider benefits of physical activity and wellbeing. I have stayed so long because it fits so nicely into what I want to do. I have been employed at the university, however, since 1992, working mainly at the outdoor sports grounds. I currently split my time between my GOGA role and my other job at the university, working as a Health and Wellbeing Coordinator.

Kate: I’ve been working for Sport and Physical Activity (SPA) and GOGA for around eight months, so a lot less time than Greg! I have worked at the university for a few years now; I used to work mainly with international students. It has been a nice natural progression from my old job to working with GOGA, a programme which has a lot of international student participants. I studied sports science at uni and have always had a passion for sport and physical activity, so having a job which allowed me to promote that to others was the main reason I wanted to get involved with GOGA.

What are your key responsibilities in your job running the GOGA programme?

Greg: We have a really good mutually beneficial set of skills between us. There are some things which one of us has lead responsibility on but we are able to cover for each other when necessary. Kate does more than me as she’s here full time, but my key responsibilities are to manage the Balance programme offer that we have and also the general walking offer. I also do a little bit of the back office stuff because I’ve learnt all the processes, the health and safety, the procurement, the finance – all that stuff that is really a bit dull, but needs to be done to keep the programme running!

Kate: A big one that we both do is recruitment and management of the activators and volunteers. The GOGA programme couldn’t run without the activator team and the volunteer team. We have an activator team of ten, of which I manage seven and Greg manages three, and we have a much wider pool of volunteers who help us out on our walking programme. We both work together to develop the walking programme, always trying to grow and evolve it over time. A bigger thing that I take sole responsibility for is the social media and marketing of the programme, trying to spread the message about GOGA across campus, with support from activators. Another big aspect of GOGA which I manage is the campus discovery and the GOGA app, which provides self-guided tours around campus for new students.

Kate: It’s probably also worth mentioning that GOGA is the biggest, but not the only, part of what we do in our jobs in the Sport and Physical Activity department; we have a lots of other side projects. Something that we haven’t yet mentioned is our Couch to 5K programme! We started out with thirty-odd participants in the autumn 2019 programme to now having forty eight participants in the spring 2020 programme, so it has grown considerably. It is a great beginner entry level running programme for people wanting to get into social running.

Greg: And at the moment we’re actually training more coaches so that we can expand this programme further!

What do you enjoy most about working with GOGA and have there been any memorable moments?

Greg: When we began we were being funded by Sport England. After three years we pitched to the University of Leeds that GOGA should become a permanent entity, which was a massive thing for us to become a permanent part of the Sport & Physical Activity offer.

Kate: We’re here to stay! In terms of what I enjoy most about the job, the fact that we can clearly see, through photographs, through feedback, through speaking with our team of activators, the difference that the programme has on students and staffs lives’ is very rewarding. We’re managing a programme that is providing people with low cost opportunities to be active and it’s great to see the impact that it has.

Kate: GOGA brings people together from different cultural backgrounds, people who otherwise might not have any opportunity to meet one another, and seeing these relationships form amongst our activators, volunteers and participants is special.

Do you have any ideas that you would like to implement into the GOGA programme in the future?

Greg: We often have new ideas! If you had asked us a few months ago, for example, I would have mentioned that we wanted to start an entry level running programme and now we have the Couch to 5K programme. We’re now asking ourselves if we can apply that model to any other activities – cycling or walking maybe. We’re always looking out for ways to secure some extra funding so that we can go to places or do some activities that have that a cost barrier attached to them.

Kate: There is definitely lots of potential with the GOGA app. We use the app at the minute mostly for our campus discovery events, as I’ve already mentioned, but the potential for the app to be used more widely across campus is great. I’m already in talks with different teams across campus as to how they could use the app in their areas.

Kate: Greg and I respond to feedback and demand from participants. We’re always looking to add new walking destinations; this term is the first time we’re going to Scotland for a walking trip and that came about because participants said they’d like to venture further afield. We also introduced Knaresborough to the walking programme last term which has proven to be a popular trip. We’d like to continue introducing new walking destinations and broadening out our trip offer. Another area that could grow over the coming years is the Balance programme which currently consists of yoga and pilates classes.

Do you have any last comments?

Kate: We really enjoy what we do and we are lucky to have such a supportive team in each other. Greg and I have a really close working relationship and we have support from the wider team of activators and volunteers and other colleagues within SPA. We are lucky in that we always recruit good people into our activator team and they help us deliver what is such a fantastic programme of activity!

 

 

Feeling Boulder? Learn the ropes with us

GOGA climb

We are offering you a collection of fantastic sessions to help you learn the ropes and get into climbing.

If you’ve been looking for a new sport to challenge yourself in both body and mind, climbing is the perfect choice!

Climbing has a rich history at the University of Leeds which was in fact the birthplace of the indoor climbing wall.

Outdoor Climbing

We’re offering you a great opportunity to access an affordable outdoor climbing experience with expert instruction at one of Yorkshire’s finest outdoor venues.

  • Our outdoor sessions take place at the beautiful destination of Almscliff Crag and include both bouldering and climbing with ropes
  • The sessions are appropriate for entry level beginners and experienced climbers
  • The session lasts 2 hours and the trip runs from 12:30 until 17:00
Indoor Climbing

Alternatively, if you would like to begin by scaling the climbing wall, we have indoor climbing sessions taking place every Wednesday afternoon throughout term time.

  • Indoor sessions take place at the climbing wall at The Edge
  • You will be shown the basics of climbing from bouldering and scaling 8m up the climbing wall, to coming back down safely
  • The sessions are appropriate for entry level beginners; no previous climbing experience is necessary
  • The session lasts 2 hours and runs from 14:30 until 16:30

Click here for more information and to book on to our climbing sessions and trips.

Free taster sessions for females

TGC climbing 1100x400

This Girl Can – a National Lottery-funded campaign encouraging women to get involved with sport and physical activity – has relaunched with an inspiring advert.

To raise awareness of This Girl Can and to celebrate International Women’s Day, Sport and Physical Activity are hosting a series of FREE taster sessions on Monday 9th March for all University of Leeds students and staff who identify as female.

No experience is needed for any of the taster sessions; all abilities are welcome.

All equipment will be provided so please just turn up in comfortable clothing and footwear and bring a bottle of water with you.

For students:
  • Netball and badminton- 3-4pm @ Sports Hall 1A and 1B, The Edge. For more information and to register your place, please contact Rachel Harrison. 
  • Indoor Climbing- 12-2pm @ the climbing wall, The Edge. These 30 minute tasters are for anyone who would like to try climbing for the first time or to learn how they can take their climbing to the next level. To register your place, please contact Edge Reception. If you would like to discuss anything beforehand, please contact Helen Pepper, Climbing Coordinator.
  • Women’s Wellbeing Walk- meet on the precint outside the main entrance of LUU at 11:55 for the walk to begin at 12:00. The route will incorporate Woodhouse Moor and Woodhouse Ridge and will be approximately 45 minutes in length, weather dependent.
For staff:
  • Netball and badminton- 2-3pm @ Sports Hall 1A and 1B, The Edge. For more information and to register your place, please contact Rachel Harrison. 
  • Indoor Climbing- 12-2pm @ the climbing wall, The Edge. These 30 minute tasters are for anyone who would like to try climbing for the first time or to learn how they can take their climbing to the next level. To register your place, please contact Edge Reception. If you would like to discuss anything beforehand, please contact Helen Pepper, Climbing Coordinator.
  • Women’s Wellbeing Walk- meet on the precint outside the main entrance of LUU at 11:55 for the walk to begin at 12:00. The route will incorporate Woodhouse Moor and Woodhouse Ridge and will be approximately 45 minutes in length, weather dependent.

This Girl Can… Can you?

Kayaking returns to the GOGA programme!

GOGAkayaking

Our kayaking sessions provide you with an opportunity to try flat water kayaking on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

The sessions, beginning at Leeds Boathouse, benefit from the incredibly calm and sheltered conditions making it an ideal location to teach the basics of kayaking. You can expect to learn some beginner strokes whilst also gaining confidence on the water and most importantly, having fun!

Flat water kayaking is a great example of a low-impact activity that improves your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Whilst kayaking requires muscle movement, it is a relaxing activity and can be peaceful and meditative.

The £14 ticket price includes transport to and from the canal, hire of equipment and expert tuition on the water.

Tickets for the first session next month are sold out. The next sessions are on Wednesday 4th March, 18th March and 6th May. Keep your eyes peeled on our website for the release of tickets.

Please note that for safety reasons you must be able to swim 50m and tread water for 2 minutes in order to take part in our kayaking sessions.

Spotlight of the month: Couch to 5K Participant

To mark the start of 2020, this month we are spotlighting one of our Couch to 5K participants, Rosie Dowen. Rosie took part in our autumn 2019 Couch to 5K programme. We hear about her experience with running and why she decided to take the plunge and sign up to the programme.

How did you first hear about the Couch to 5K programme?GOGAspotlight

I was originally interested in the GOGA lunchtime run club but didn’t feel as if I would be a strong enough runner to get involved. The Couch to 5K programme was mentioned in a WhatsApp group I was in, for people interested in the lunchtime run club, and I knew that it would be much more suited to me.

What encouraged you to sign up?

I was keen to improve my running skills and then signed up to the programme with a friend so that we could keep each other motivated.

What did you most enjoy about the Couch to 5K programme?

It has allowed me to meet new people from campus and get to know them. The programme created a lovely, friendly community of people who were all at the same running level, wanting to improve.

Do you feel that you learnt anything new through being involved in the programme? 

I learnt the importance of sticking to something, persevering and knowing that I can improve through practice.

What are your physical activity plans now that you have finished the programme?

I am still maintaining two runs a week and doing parkruns every Saturday – this weekend I’ll be doing my first parkrun abroad in Berlin! I also did a parkrun on Christmas Day this year and am now aiming to do the Abbey Dash 10km run at Kirkstall Abbey in October.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking part in the programme?

Do it and bring a friend or two!

Do you have any last comments that you would like to make about the programme?

One other great part of the programme I appreciated was the EvenSplits graduation event at the end; I found it motivating to have a target to work towards.

Our next Couch to 5K programme begins on 4th February and is fully booked. We will share news about our next programme on our website.

If you’re interested in running, the GOGA run club meets weekly on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes at 12.05pm at Cromer Terrace. There is no need to sign up in advance, just turn up on the day and join in. We cover distances between 3-7km during the run club.