BIG NEWS: Couch to 5k+ and "Strength & Flex" podcasts are available


It's the day you've all been waiting for. The Couch to 5k+ podcasts are now available on iTunes or on NHS Choices at

I got the news at 8.24 this morning and I was astonished to read when I came to the community as soon as I got in to work that GoogleMe has already done a run to them! You guys are amazing.

There are three podcasts in the Couch to 5k+ series.

1. The Stepping Stone podcast, a 30-minute continuous run designed for recent Couch to 5K graduates

2. The Speed podcast, a 16-minute run alternating fast and slow sections specifically designed to improve your speed.

3. The Stamina podcast, a 35-minute run with music to keep you running at a faster pace for longer.

We've also launched our Strength and Flex series of podcasts. These are again on iTunes or you can get them from NHS Choices at

The Strength and flexibility series consists of five 35- to 45-minute podcasts. Starting with podcast 1, your goal is to work your way up to podcast 5 in five weeks. To achieve this, you need to do each podcast at least three times in a week.

We are in the process of setting up a new community to go with the Strength and Flex series and I'd like your thoughts on whether we do the same for Couch to 5k+. HealthUnlocked are looking what they can do to create a separate area within this community for Couch to 5k+ discussions but it's quite difficult to do at the moment. Would you prefer a new community to talk about Couch to 5k+ or are you happy to stay within this community?

We hope you enjoy both sets of podcasts and they help you carry on the journey you began with Couch to 5k. And of course, let us know what you think of them. I know you will!

Happy running



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34 Replies

  • Not sure how this board works "technically", but is there any way you can make this post "sticky"? It will be some time before I (and many others like me) am ready to move on to C25k+ so it would be great to be able to find it easily when we get there!

    Thanks very much for posting this, anyway! :)

  • I like the mix of new runners / graduates so my preference would be to keep everyone on the same forum

  • Woo Hoo! :-)

  • Would also prefer to keep on the same forum!

  • I would also like to keep them on the same forum too - there's a lot of inspiration and support in the messages from runners at any stage of their C25K journey, from beginners right through to graduates.

  • I like the mix of runners here too.

  • I agree with keeping c25k+ on here, as reading the blogs from those ahead of us is so inspirational. Maybe those doing c25k+ could have their graduate badge replaced (or added to) with a c25k+ badge?

  • PS Is c25k+ instead of, or in addition to, b210k?

  • It's a separate programme. There are a range of B210k providers out there but we're not planning to offer that service.

  • I agree! Stay on the same forum and see how it goes. I can't wait to try them out! Thankyou!

  • I think that it is a good mix - I certainly learnt a lot from reading graduate or near graduate blogs. I also think that reading what people do post graduation keeps the momentum going and you also see that there are different routes post graduation.

    Thanks for the new podcasts - very excited and hoeping to be using them in three weeks.

  • Same forum, im only in week one and find those further ahead inspirational.

    Can the Strength and Flex be done along side C25K ? i.e on alternate days ?

  • It can, though the advice always is not to overstretch yourself when you start out as that's how injuries happen.

  • Yes. Strength and Flex is perfect for that.

  • Yes thats what I would like to know too, im on week 7.

  • Strength and Flex can be done on alternate days with C25K or 5K+

  • Help!

    I still can't find a way to download them onto my iPhone as I'm always prompted to install flash player? Can anyone help me please x

  • Hi Joysmum, if you've got an iPhone, fire up iTunes and search through the podcasts on there or go to (copy & paste?) the link below, that should help you out!

  • You can download the podcasts either from iTunes or from the NHS Choices website. Both links are available on relevant pages on the C25K and Strength and Flex sections on NHS Choices.

  • The new programme sounds so amazing I was so looking forward to these but one week in six weeks in plaster for a broken ankle(done on bike) it is going to have to wait. But I know I will get back to it given time. I also feel we need to stick together it's such a great place to get support wherever you are on c25k.

  • Thanks, I had missed the strength & flex podcasts - will definitely give these a go. This website is such a great free resource! :-)

  • i was just wondering if the flex and stretch would help to keep us newbies a bit more supple rather than stiff and then hitting the 2nd run like it was our 1st.

    i have only done 2 runs but the other days this week ive taken the dog out for a long walk so as im not doing "nothing" and also a bit on the wii fit as well as running round after 3 children xx

  • S&F will definitely help your running by making you feel less sore, improving your recovery and making your legs stronger.

  • I like the new Strength and Flex series - I started that today! I think the same forum - I'm on Wk9, but find inspiration from people at every stage, so I wouldn't want to miss out on the encouragement!

  • I'd say that's fairly unanimous, then! Definitely keep 5k+ on here.

    Very much looking forward to trying it, and the S&F too.

    Thank you NHS.

  • Keep us all together as the support you get from the graduates is amazing and really gets you going right from the start.

  • Woohoo:-) Brilliant, have downloaded both of them now, can't wait to get them on my ipod! I think i'd like the forum to stay on here, it's nice to have people at various stages all helping and encouraging each other. :-)

  • keep the same forum, i think it is nice to have good mix of users, plus the more users makes the forum better as more people around means posts get responded to much quicker

  • Agreeing with everyone else, the C25k+ is an extension of the C25K plan so keep it all in the same place!

    As for the new podcasts, woo! Just to clarify though, the three podcasts released, are these to be run on a weekly basis, ie: Stepping Stone on a Monday, Speed on Wednesday and Stamina on a Friday? I didn't quite get that.

  • The 5K+ series of three podcasts can be used anyway you like. You can use all three or just one of them. It's entirely up to you. They all work on a different aspect of your running.

  • Agreeing with everyone else, the C25k+ is an extension of the C25K plan so keep it all in the same place!

    As for the new podcasts, woo! Just to clarify though, the three podcasts released, are these to be run on a weekly basis, ie: Stepping Stone on a Monday, Speed on Wednesday and Stamina on a Friday? I didn't quite get that.

  • I'm so late with this, just found it last night and am so happy to download all these new things. I am really going to enjoy this. Thanks so much to everyone that has put this together for us.

    I like the mix of runners on one forum too.

  • I know it is "old news" by now, but Thank you, thank you, thank you for the 5K+ podcasts! I just did the "speed" one today, and it was such a wonderful and refreshing change from week 9 (which I have been using for 2+ months now). I like having new and experienced runners here on the forum... I wonder if new runners ever get intimidated by the chatter among graduates of 10Ks and races and such, but I would be sad to see the community split up. Maybe a poll at some point in the future could get a broader response about whether people would prefer C25K forums to be specifically about C25K (so a C25K+ or "graduate" forum would be warranted) or whether we all like being one big happy family.

    P.S. Would you please pass along my hearty thanks and gratitude to all the folks who made this program available world-wide for free? I can't tell you how much it has improved my quality of life. I think C25K is one of the best initiatives for public health I have ever encountered.

  • P.P.S. If you haven't already done so, would you consider including a recommendation to at least stretch a bit after running in the early C25K podcasts (maybe Laura could suggest it along with the banana and glass of water)? If the concern is that people will hurt themselves by stretching without guidance, how about directing them to the flex podcasts at the end of one of the sessions during the cooldown voice-over, or having an "intro" pre-week 1 podcast which describes how to stretch?

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