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East Herts Council's 8-week Couch to 5k programme led by FooteSteps Coaching starts in Bishop's Stortford January 12



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Emily Tickridge, community engagement officer at East Herts Council, gives a full rundown of its new eight-week fitness programme that will provide physical and mental benefits...

Couch to 5k comes to Castle Park in Bishop's Stortford in January, offering the perfect way to kickstart your New Year fitness regime.

Led by Laurence Foote, from Stortford-based FooteSteps Coaching, the Couch to 5k programme will run over eight weeks, starting on Wednesday January 12 and finishing with a group parkrun on Saturday March 12 at Castle Park.

The Castle Park 5k parkrun starts and finishes in Sworder's Field, Bishop's Stortford, every Saturday at 9am. Picture: AT Events (53778010)
The Castle Park 5k parkrun starts and finishes in Sworder's Field, Bishop's Stortford, every Saturday at 9am. Picture: AT Events (53778010)

The Couch to 5k programme offers a gentle progression, ticking off fitness milestones as you go, all with Laurence's support.

It is designed to offer a structured training programme delivered in a fun and encouraging environment. So, whatever your goals, Couch to 5k is the perfect start to your fitness journey.

"Couch to 5k is a fantastic programme to develop positive exercise habits in a friendly group environment," said Laurence, who is an experienced triathlete as well as a Level 2 British Triathlon Federation coach and a UK Athletics Leader in Running Fitness.

Laurence Foote is also an Ironman competitor whose positive and supportive approach to coaching benefits all levels of fitness
Laurence Foote is also an Ironman competitor whose positive and supportive approach to coaching benefits all levels of fitness

"The physical health benefits are well recognised, but the mental health benefits shouldn't be underestimated. Regular outdoor exercise, socialising and achievable goal-setting are all positive influences on mental health."

Laurence is also an Ironman competitor whose positive and supportive approach to coaching benefits all levels of fitness. So, whether you're new to running or you'd just like to get fit again, Laurence is the coach for you.

The parkrun in March will act as the Couch to 5k graduation party. Parkrun is a fun, accessible event which takes place every Saturday at 9am at Castle Park.

The best thing about parkrun is that it's a fantastic free community activity which is open to all, regardless of fitness. You can walk, jog or run your way around the 5k course – it's completely up to you!

Laurence Foote (53778008)
Laurence Foote (53778008)

Partnering the Couch to 5k programme is Active East Herts, the community sports network for the district. Active East Herts aims to increase physical activity and participation in sport and exercise.

"Active East Herts are delighted to support this initiative to encourage more people to start their running journey in the New Year," said sport events and project officer Adam Howard. "This course will help get even more people running."

Couch to 5k at Castle Park is part of a much bigger project set to transform your local park in the coming years.

Having received a £2 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Castle Park project will provide fantastic new community facilities in the centre of Bishop's Stortford. Plans include a café, community studio, tennis courts and an events area.

Improvements to the teenage recreation area and restoration of the Waytemore Castle remains will also be included in the project's plan.

Couch to 5k (53778017)
Couch to 5k (53778017)

At the heart of the project is a desire to enhance the offering of community activities at the park. What better way to get involved than signing up for our Couch to 5k? Make sure you register your place and start 2022 with a bang.

And, thanks to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Couch to 5k is being offered at £35 per person for all eight coaching sessions.

You can register for Couch to 5k at https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/CastleParkRunGroup. And you can find out more about parkrun at www.parkrun.org.uk/castlepark.



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