top of page
couch to 5 k course in manchester
  • When: Thursdays at 6:50 pm (for 7 pm start), plus two weekly remote activities per week

  • Meet at: Sugden Sports Centre, M1 7HL (for the weekly group session)

  • What: Improve your fitness and running skills so you can run 5 km (approx. 3 miles)

Want to start running but feel that you’d like some extra support? If you’re looking to get into running and make some friends along the way, we are proud to announce the return of our Couch-to-5K programme in Manchester. This course will help you build your fitness to the point where you can run or jog a whole 5 km without stopping! You’ll be supported all the way through by professional running coach Steve Hatton and the rest of the Manchester Frontrunners, the LGBTQ+ running club for Greater Manchester!

We would love to hear from a range of members and allies of the diverse LGBTQ+ community in Manchester, including (but not limited to) women, trans, non-binary and UKME people. The course will begin on Thursday 21st September and places are limited, so sign up now to avoid disappointment. If you’re interested, email by Monday 18th September to sign up, or read below for more information.

What is Couch-to-5K?

Couch-to-5K is a training programme for anyone who wants to get into running, taking place over the course of eight weeks. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or you’re returning to running after a lengthy break, the eight-week programme uses a mix of sessions that blend running and walking. Over the course of the eight weeks, the sessions will gradually involve more running than walking, and by the end, your fitness should be at the point where you can tackle a 5 km run without stopping.

Our course will be led by experienced running coach and long-standing club member Steve Hatton, and you’ll also have the chance to meet our other club members.

When does the course take place?

The course starts starts on Thursday 21st September, with weekly in-person sessions taking place every Thursday evening from Sugden Sports Centre (arrive 6:50 pm for a 7 pm start) until Thursday 16th November. There is also the graduation run at Stretford Parkrun at 9 am on Saturday 18th November.

Who is this course for?

This course is open to anyone keen to start running regularly, whether a complete beginner, somebody who has perhaps dabbled in running very short distances every now and then, or somebody who is returning to running after a lengthy break. As an LGBTQ+ running club, we would love to hear from a range of members of the diverse LGBTQ+ community in Manchester, including (but certainly not limited to) women, trans, non-binary and UKME (UK minority ethnic) people, as well as our straight ally friends.

Places are limited, so contact us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

How many sessions a week are there, and when/where do they take place?

In total, you’ll do three sessions each week: one group activity taking place on Thursday evenings in a central Manchester location, the other two being at your own pace.

The in-person activity held on a Thursday evening at the same time as our regular Thursday club run, starting from Sugden Sports Centre (arrive at 6:50 pm for a 7 pm start). You’ll join in the warmup with our regular members, then set off on a separate guided session with experienced running coach and Manchester Frontrunners member Steve Hatton. After this, you’ll be able to join the rest of our club for our weekly post-run social at Via on Canal Street, with complimentary pizza. You can access lockers and changing facilities at the sports centre for a small entry fee of £1.55 (card only); you’ll also need to bring a pound coin or a padlock to use these.

The other two sessions will be remote activities set for you by Steve to be done in your own time, but they won’t be completely solo activities; you’ll be added to a WhatsApp group chat where you can share your progress and support each other.

When/where is the Couch-to-5K Graduation Run?

The final activity of the Couch-to-5K course is the Graduation Run, taking part in Stretford Parkrun at 9 am on Saturday 18th November. At this free 5K timed running event, you’ll have both club members running alongside you and volunteering, providing you with an extra bit of support.

How much does the course cost?

As we want to make this course as accessible as possible, we are offering this course for FREE! Parkrun is also free, though you do need to register for it. There are also some extra costs that are out of our control; for example, the showers and changing rooms at the Sugden Sports Centre cost £1.55 (payable by card).

If you do the course and would like to run 5K regularly with us (or maybe even push yourself further to do 7 or 10K), we would love it if you could join the club as a paid member. Any Couch-to-5K graduates who decide to join the club will get half-price membership for the year, as well as a free running vest and a buff!

What should I wear?

We recommend that you wear running trainers plus any suitable running or fitness attire of your choice, bearing in mind factors such as the weather. We also strongly advise you to wear some sort of high-visibility clothing (e.g., neon running top, items with reflective elements), as it will improve your safety.

I’m worried I’ll be too slow. Is this course right for me?

Starting a new activity is always daunting, and being exposed to more experienced runners may make you feel nervous. That said, this course is all about you and learning to run 5K at your pace. We’ll also make sure that everybody feels welcome and that nobody feels left behind when running.

How do I sign up?

To sign up to the Manchester Frontrunners Couch-to-5K course, please contact Steve Hatton at by Monday 18th September.

bottom of page