Virtual Beginners Course

Learn to run 5K with us this lockdown!


Our Virtual Beginners Course will take you from 0-5K in just 8 weeks! 


You'll be on this journey with a small group of like-minded ladies, supporting each other to reach your goal.  You'll have a dedicated, qualified run-leader who will be on hand 24/7 via your private WhatsApp group and will provide tips, advice and encouragement at your weekly Zoom calls.


Everyone is capable of learning to run if they have the right support around them! 

Our next Virtual Course starts soon!

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Thanks to new funding kindly received, we are now able to offer our next group on a 'pay what you can afford' basis.

This is to reduce all barriers to participation, ensuring our course is accessible to everyone during lockdown to help you get active, stay motivated and feel less isolated.

Simply complete the form at the bottom of this page to let us know you are interested. If you are in a financial position to be able to contribute a percentage of the cost, this means we can extend the funding to future groups. If times are financially hard at the moment, we have funding available to help you and can offer places for free! 

Our thanks goes to Hertfordshire County Councillor Anthony Rowlands for his Locality Budget Grant, NHS Charities Together and St Albans Half Marathon for their support with our new project to target loneliness caused by lockdown through running and community support.


Next Groups

Our next group is;

Violet Beginners Group (Virtual) 

Zoom call on Wednesday Evenings at 6.45pm 

31st March - 19th May 

Please complete the form below if you would like to join us.

Please note our Beginners groups are designed for people who are currently not running at all.  If you are running 5K, please see our Improvers Programme.  If you are running but not quite comfortable with 5K, please get in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is different about our course?

Unlike the many do-it-yourself 0-5K apps, you’ll be taking on this challenge with a small group of ladies just like you. You'll have a group chat to keep each other motivated and it is the support of the group and added accountability that will help you reach your goal! Plus you'll have a dedicated, qualified run-leader for your group to support you each step of the way.

How does it work virtually?

You'll meet with your leader and the rest of the group once a week via Zoom. During this call, your leader will talk through the activities for the week, give you technique tips and answer any questions you have. You'll also have a chance to catch up with the group and share how you've found the week. Injury prevention is key when learning to run, and the best way to avoid injury is to warm-up and cool-down effectively every time you run. With Athena's Virtual programme, you'll have access to warm-up and cool-down tutorial videos to keep you injury-free.

How is the course structured?

This 0-5K course is led by qualified run-leaders who are there to support you throughout your journey. The course begins with walk/run intervals over short distances then gradually builds with the aim of completing a 5k run by the end of week 8. You will be set 3 runs per week to complete, each of which will take around 40 minutes. It is suitable for all abilities, even if you've never run before!

How will it help me feel less isolated?

We see Athena as more of a community than a club and we love the support our members give each other. As part of the Beginners Programme you will have a private WhatsApp group with the other ladies on your programme so you can support each other to reach your goal. You’ll also be able to access to our members-only Facebook page where you’ll have the support of many Athena ladies who have graduated through this programme themselves. During the programme, you'll get complimentary access to our new Members Area and virtual events, including weekly yoga and strength classes and a library of wellness webinars on topics including sleep, ageing well and nutrition.

Am I too old to join?

Our courses are for females only and our participants’ age can range from mid-twenties to ladies in their sixties. Everyone can learn to run with the right support around them.

Do I have to live in the St Albans District?

To qualify for a funded or part funded place you must live in St Albans District as this is a condition of our grant. However, you can still join the group if you don't live in St Albans but will need to pay the standard price of £40.

From a personal point of view, this club