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Life after Couch to 5K
View original article on NHS Choices
If you've taken on the challenge of the Couch to 5K (C25K) plan and completed it, well done!
You must be feeling a great sense of achievement, not to mention being fitter and healthier.
Now that C25K has got you into regular running, the challenge is to not lose this life-enhancing habit. One way of staying motivated beyond C25K is to find a new focus.
Keep on running
Keep on running with the Couch to 5K+ podcast series, designed for C25K graduates. Each 5K+ podcast provides a structured run with music and coaching to develop your running technique, speed and stamina.
Work on technique
How about fine-tuning your running style? Working on your running technique will help make your runs feel less tiring and more enjoyable. It will also reduce your risk of injury.
Join a running club
A running club is the perfect way to commit to running regularly. Most clubs have running groups for different levels, including beginners. They are also a great way to find people to run with outside of club sessions.
Find a running group near you using Run Together
Parkrun organises free, weekly, timed 5K runs in open green spaces around the country and beyond. The runs take place every Saturday at 9am.
Find a parkrun near you
Plan your next challenge
Why not sign up for a running event to stay motivated for your weekly runs? Setting yourself the challenge of taking part in a 5K or 10K run is one way to keep going.
A change of scenery
You could try a different environment – if you've been running in the streets, for example, try to find a green space, such as a park, to run in.
You could also try varying the terrain. Look for some hills in your local area and give yourself a bit of a challenge.
Try something new
Now you've tackled running, why not consider other activities?
You could try Strength and Flex – a 5-week plan to improve your strength and flexibility, which can also benefit your running.
Check out the video workouts in the NHS Fitness Studio. Take your pick from our instructor-led classes in our aerobics, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga categories.
Finally, our Get fit for free section is filled with practical ideas to help you fit more activity into your day, such as our 10-minute workouts and gym-free routines.