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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.

Book Now Beginners

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.

  • I’ve never run before - can I still join?
    Of course! We recommend our Beginners Programme which will slowly build your strength and fitness and take you from 0-5K in just 8 weeks. Find out more here.
  • I’m not sure which programme is the best option for me.
    We have a number of group or membership options depending on your running ability and what you’re looking to get from Athena. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, just use the form at the bottom of the page to contact us and we will be happy to help you choose. View our group options here.
  • I’m really nervous about starting!
    You’re not alone, we promise! Many of our ladies say they are nervous before attending their first session, but once they’ve taken that leap, the hardest bit is over! Our run-leaders and Athena ladies are a friendly bunch and will make you feel welcome as soon as you walk in. Remember that you’re not alone, as soon as you sign up you have the whole Athena community behind you! You can do this!
  • I’m really unfit and haven’t done exercise in a while.  Can I still join?
    Our Beginners Programme caters for all abilities, so don’t worry if you’re feeling unfit. The programme starts slowly with a run-walk approach and gradually builds your strength and fitness. We also have a 4 week pre-beginners plan which we will be happy to send you if you’d like to get a head start. Contact us here to request the free pre-beginners programme.
  • How much does Athena cost?
    Athena Standard Membership costs £20 per month and our Community Membership costs £10 per month. Membershup is cancellable at any time. Our Beginners Programme costs £59 for the 8 week programme.
  • Can I try a session before I sign up?
    If you're already running and looking to join the club as a member, we'd love to invite you along for a free taster session. Simply contact us and let us know a bit about your running and we can arrange this. Unfortunately we are unable to offer taster sessions for our Beginners, New Runner, Improvers & Advanced Programmes. This is because these programmes have limited places available. If you're unsure, please get in touch and we can talk you through the programme in more detail.
  • Do you offer any programmes for Half Marathons?
    We don’t currently offer any Half Marathon programmes, however we do have a number of ladies who are training for Half Marathons and have an active WhatsApp Group dedicated to supporting eachother. Just let us know if you’d like to be added to the group, they are a welcoming bunch!
  • How do I sign up?
    To sign up to a Beginners Programme, simply follow the Sign Up links on the Beginners Page. To sign up as a member or to our Improvers Programme, please use this form and we will be in touch with further details.
  • When do you meet?
    Our Beginners and Improvers Programmes start every 4 weeks, alternating Monday and Wednesday evening and Friday morning. Our members session run regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Check out the schedule here.
  • Where do you meet?
    All groups meet at Abbey View Track Building. To get to Abbey View Track Building, enter Verulamium Park via Westminster Lodge entrance and continue to the end of the access road which bears left into the last car park. There is plenty of parking. This costs £1 for 2 hours, or £1.50 after 6:30pm via the PayByPhone app.
  • Can I leave my valuables somewhere?
    Unfortunately we cannot store valuables. We recommend investing in a running belt to store these.
  • Can I bring my dog/child?
    Unfortunately we do not allow pets or children on our runs.
  • Do you run any sessions outside of St Albans?
    We only run in St Albans at the moment, but we hope to expand to other towns in the future. Please contact us to let us know where you live and we can see what we can do!
  • Do you run sessions on any other days/times?
    We are unable to hold any more sessions at the moment, but we regularly review our sessions to ensure they meet the needs of our members.
  • Can I put my membership on hold?
    We are unable to pause your membership, however if you get injured or are unable to make the running sessions you can downgrade to a Community Membership. This costs £10 per month and gives you access to all the online aspects of Athena, but not the Social or Development sessions. You can upgrade back to a Standard Membership at any time. Please email to organise this.
  • How do I cancel my membership?
    We’re sorry to see you go! You can cancel your membership through your TeamUp account, or alternatively email us at and we can cancel it for you.
  • Can I change my address on my Team Up account?
    Yes, you can log into your Team Up account and edit your profile or email us at and we will change it for you.
  • What sort of social events do you have on offer?
    We have a range of social events including weekend runs, webinars and on demand strength and stretching classes.
  • I’ve signed up to a race in a few months, will anyone else from Athena be going?
    Most likely! As an Athena member you should be in our members only facebook group. Why not post on there to see if anyone else is going along?
  • I have an idea for a social event, who do I contact?
    Great! Please email us at
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