Welcome to your First Mile!

Illustration by Sam Island

You are about to begin your journey towards becoming a runner. The ‘finish line’ is one mile away; the start line is right here. It doesn’t matter how improbable it might sound right now – embark on it with commitment, confidence and patience, and with the guidance you’ll find on the following pages you will get there.

Couch to 5K programmes have introduced thousands of people to running. But we understand that for some, that distance feels too daunting. One mile (1,609 metres) is a distance everyone can get their head around and anyone – including you – can achieve, no matter how unfit you may feel right now. You may not remember when you last ran a single step. You may look back on school cross-country runs with a distinct absence of fondness. You may be filled with doubts about whether running is for you. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. Our First Mile programme will ease you into regular activity, gradually increasing in time and intensity over six weeks. Or, if you can’t currently walk for 20 minutes non-stop, we’ve included a four-week pre-plan to first get you to that level.

For inspiration, we’ll share the physical, mental and spiritual rewards running will bring. And we’ll show you how to get started, how to progress safely and how to avoid every obstacle in your path. Your journey of 1,609 metres starts with a single step – take it by reading on…