Beginners Group


Book onto our Beginners group here - returns Monday 9th May 2022 at Smithills Sports Centre

Our new beginners leaders use the RunTogether website/app for new runners to register their attendance


An introduction to our beginners group 

Welcome to Burnden beginners group.  We have been running a beginners group for many years and we love to welcome new people to our club. Our 10 week group is based on a Couch to 5K programme. If you complete the sessions and the suggested training runs you should be able to complete a parkrun or a 5K route without stopping by the end of the group 

Meet our run leaders

Jen Forkin Vicki Hamer Shirley Robinson

UPDATE! - New Beginners sessions to return to Monday 9th May at 6pm.

Our group is run by volunteers who are all members of the club, our New Beginners group leaders are Jen Forkin, Vicki Hamer and Shirley Robinson. Jen and Shirley have both recently joined the club in the last few years and are graduates of the New Beginners group and want to support others who are just starting out, they have all along with Vicki is currently the ladies team captain taken part in numerous racing events. They will run alongside you and offer encouragement.  Ask them about their experience, why they started running, what motivates them,  and what helped and what didn’t when they were starting out.

If you complete the beginners programme and intend to continue running with us on a Monday evening we ask you to become a club member. ( see the benefits below) Details on the club membership can be found here, the membership year starts in January.    

Why run?

Many of us run for health reasons, and running has great benefits for both physical and mental health. It’s a great stress buster and a good way of maintaining a healthy weight. It also offers time out from our busy lives where we can enjoy being outside. 

Running is like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. There are no short cuts to improvement, but if you can build running into your routine you will soon start to see the benefits.  The beginners programme should be effective if you can commit to running at least 3 times a week and stick to the suggestions on the plan

Health issues or injuries 

It’s important that we know about anything likely to impact on your running 

Please have a word with the run leader if you are concerned about anything at all. 

Any health conditions – please check out with your GP before starting on the beginners group 

Opportunities to run in the week 

Running solo is great, and many of us really enjoy getting out on our own. Some of us run to or from work, or get out for a quick half hour at lunch time or after we’ve dropped the kids at school. 

Running with other people is also good fun. Lots of us have made great friends through running, and once you’re over the first few weeks of feeling a bit breathless, a run with others can be a great opportunity for a chat. 

Opportunities to run with others in the local area: 

Wednesday evening – 1 Foot on the Track – Leverhulme Park – 7-8pm (£1 per session) -

Saturday morning –5K Park Run – Leverhulme Park, Haigh Hall, Worsley Woods, Pennington Flash-  9am  (Free) You can bring the dog, the kids and run/walk this 5K timed course - 

Once you get to know people in the beginners group you might want to set up a WhatsApp group and plan social runs with other people. 

What to wear 

Running is great because you don’t need to wear anything special and you don’t need any equipment other than a decent pair of shoes and a sports bra for women. Once you improve and are running for longer periods you will find you don’t need to wear as many clothes, but as a beginner you may want to wear a couple of layers which will keep you warm while you are run/walking 

Local specialist sports shops will advise on footwear for your gait. If you are going to be a regular runner, a good pair of running shoes is a great investment and can help you to avoid injury.  

Safety – It’s important to be seen when running. Wear reflective gear in the dark, armbands and head torches can be useful.  Be careful if you are running with earphones, running to music can be great, but it’s also important to be aware of traffic and other people. Stick to populated areas if you’re running alone in the dark.

As a registered athlete you are able to access a number of benefits:

  • Entry to events exclusively available to registered athletes - under UKA Rules for Competition many competitions, particularly track and field, are only open to registered athletes.
  • Entry discounts (minimum £2) on UKA licenced road and multi-terrain events
  • ebulletins including key information on the sport and exclusive registered athlete offers. You can ensure your email address and mailing preferences are up to date at
  • The ability to have a say on how the sport is run and funded in a way that reflects your fundamental importance to the sport
  • Opportunities for you, (and at times your club or your school) to get involved in exclusive events and experiences in association with British Athletics
  • Your registration fee helps make a difference to many areas of the sport
  • Exclusive offers - We work with partners including New Balance, InterContinental Hotels Group, and AfterShokz to provide registered athletes with exclusive offers and vouchers for money off.
    Some of these can be accessed via the benefits page at Others are sent by email so ensure your contact details are up to date and you have opted to receive information!
  • Entry in the Great Run Club Challenge competition in the Great Run Events


Come and join us, everyone welcome, 
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