Last week my beginners’ running groups started up again. I have two groups both with 20 beginner runners who I’m sure turned up last week feeling a combination of keen and nervous. I haven’t led beginners since last Autumn, and although January saw a lot of emails about when I’d start the 0-5k groups again, I’d postponed them until now.

Now is a great time to start running. Better than January I’d say.

The clocks changed in the UK on Sunday, which means that the sun doesn’t set until 7:30pm this week. That means lighter evenings and more enjoyable runs. During the dark, winter evenings, my running groups stick to quiet, well-lit residential streets where we do our sessions. But once the clocks change, we’re able to get back in the park on onto the heath (which aren’t lit at night and we’d be liable to trip and twist an ankle).


For the next 10 weeks my beginners will build up their distance and as the daylight extends closer to 8pm, they’ll progress towards that first 5k run. Most of them have a large amount of doubt about making it that far, but that’s ok. All they need is that little voice deep within that whispers quietly that maybe they can do it, and my louder voice running next to them telling them I know they can.

It’s not just new runners that benefit from a bit of daylight, last night I coached a club track session, which I have all through the winter. But this week we had far more runners than we’ve seen so far this year, including that post-Christmas period of recommittal to running regularly. If you’ve been in hibernation over the winter, it’s time to dig out those trainers.

On 27 May, by beginners will take on their first parkrun. If you want to start running, I have a 0-5K guide on how to start running which is based on the training that my beginners’ groups do. You could circle that date in your diary now and be running 5K by June. Now is as good a time as any – in fact, it’s a better time than most.