Air Cadet Couch to 5K

Has anyone here had success running a Couch to 5K (C25K) programme specifically for their cadets?

We’ve noticed that, in recent years, a good chunk of cadets local to us going for the Armed Forces have fallen down as a consequence of poor fitness levels, mostly around running ability. As such, we’d like to organise a C25K course for our squadron, to help counteract this trend.

Those of us planning this are all UK Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) qualified, so are trained and insured to run group running sessions for ages 12+

I find the PEd instructions/ACPs to be as clear as chocolate milkshake on whether this is doable as a cadet activity, so I’m turning to the Hive Mind for your experiences.

In terms of running events and what we can/can’t do, I like to refer to ACTO 10. In this case, there are two Event types listed that would be relevant. ‘Cross Country Running’ and ‘Athletics (Track/Field and Cross Country)’. The latter says it must be run within UK Athletics guidelines.

From that, I’d say that if your UK Athletics qualification allows you to do what you plan to do, then you can crack on, with the appropriate SMS applications as required.

I’d guess that with actual athletics qualifications, you’re likely more qualified than your wing sports officer, from my experience!

IMO, I wouldn’t do it as a couch to 5k though. I think rather than a set target, personal targets can work a lot better, and get more people involved. But you’re the SME :grin:

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Yeah that’s a Wing job I’m definitely not taking on!

The reason for aiming for a C25K is because it can be quite individual. The aim of the programme is to be able to run 20 mins without stopping by the end of it; the pace is down to the individual involved based on what they can manage, and the distance covered isn’t particularly important.

What it should do, however, is builld a routine of fitness that the Blue DofE programme doesn’t seem to keep. My hope is that the individuals will then choose to join something like our local Parkrun, where many from the squadron already volunteer, and start building a strong level of fitness by the time they’re old enough to consider joining up.

I’ll take on your thoughts on individual targets though, they could be useful as the programme develops to keep people motivated; especially when it starts to get difficult.

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