5K and Beyond – yes you can, in Carrigaline
Dave O’Regan may be an accountant by day but, by night, he’s responsible for getting Carrigaline running. For the last few years, he ‘ran’ the Couch to 5K class in Carrigaline Community School, Cork.
That class has been so successful that the school has added on a 5K and Beyond night class. The class attracts those who had completed the 5K and wanted to stretch themselves and others who can run 5k comfortably.
“Last year, by the end of the 5K and Beyond class, we had people running up to 10k. We add variety to the training so that participants can see different sides of training – it also breaks up the monotony so that we’re not running the same course each week. So, for instance, we do speedwork – four by 400m runs with two minute stops. The idea is to get people running faster than they would normally run.”
The group will also do hill repeats and, over time, work up to longer runs around Carrigaline. “It’s very enjoyable – it runs over the 10 nights and I tell them that, ideally, they should do two other runs during the week. That way, they’ll be able for the step up next week.”
Couch to 5k
Adult Education Director Gene Cahill now takes the Couch to 5k group. “It’s a 10-week course and the people who see it through are all able to run 5K non-stop at the end of it,” says Dave. “The class is aimed at people who have never trained or run and who want to become more active, or they want to get back running.
“People also see it as an alternative to the gym – you’re exercising in an environment where everyone is starting from the same place. Everyone who signs up has little or no fitness.”
Pace, not race
Building up their times from the first night to the last, the class is all about pacing yourself, not running yourself ragged – more the tortoise than the hare, slowing down to speed up …
During the winter months, the group, which can number up to 20 people, jog a loop around the school. But, when the time changes in March and the evenings are longer, they let loose down around Crosshaven.
10K and counting
“I get a lot out of it. I love running so it’s almost like giving back – I’m happy to encourage others to run or do something healthy.”