As part of the Newcastle Can initiative, the Newcastle Can team and I have signed up to do the Simplyhealth Great North 5k on Saturday 9 September.

The Simplyhealth Great North 5k is just a few weeks away now and I really hope I'll be seeing you down on the Quayside as part of the Newcastle Can wave. 

My training is underway; so far I have managed to run just over 3k - more than half the distance - and I’m still here to tell the tale! With a few weeks of training left to go, I'm confident I'll be able to last the distance - especially since I know I won’t be doing it alone.


My team have been working with the Simplyhealth Great North Run organisers to develop this training plan. If you're following it already, then let us know how you're getting on. And if you’re not, don't worry - you can still make a start now. Any preparation is worthwhile!

We've also hooked up with the Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic who have provided us with some additional information specifically for beginner runners (like me). Check it out, keep an eye out for more coming soon and let us know if you have any questions. You can reach my team at or tweet to @newcastlecan.

- How to prepare for running

- Warming up for the Great North 5k

And if you want to know up to upgrade a walk into a run, check out the below info from the Simplyhealth Great North Run team. 

Don't forget to sign up and join me on Sept 9th here. See you there!

Turning A Walk Into A Run

Perhaps you’re an avid walker who can go miles without breaking a sweat. Maybe you only get the chance to get out and about with the dog. Whatever your walking ability may be, it only takes a few simple changes to step up the pace and start running.

The best method for transforming from a walker into a runner is what people in the online running community call ‘wogging’. This is simply a run-walk approach where you split your time between different paces.

Rather than diving straight into running, this will build up your stamina over time. The gradual approach is not only easier, but also protects your physical health; you increase your muscle strength, lung capacity and general ability, meaning injury is more avoidable. 

Whenever you run it is important to warm up, and run-walking is no different. Do a minimum of five minutes of brisk walking to prepare your muscles and heart rate. When you are ready, try a steady jog for one minute. Walk again for one minute.

At this point, you may feel like it isn’t much harder than what you have been doing previously, but maintain this pattern of run for a minute, walk for a minute over 20 minutes.

Try this for a week or two, depending on your level of fitness, then it’s time to up the difficulty.

Run for a minute, but walk for 30 seconds. Continue this for 20 minutes. It gives you less of a break in between spurts of running and will keep your heart rate going a little faster.

One huge advantage of run-walking is that it’s really easy to tailor it to your individual abilities. Whatever your running capability, work on the 1:1 ratio of run:walk, then move on to 2:1.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, try running for longer, for instance three minutes of a jog followed by a minute and a half of walking.

And when you’re ready to push yourself even further, shorten the length of time you are walking for: give yourself 30 seconds to walk for every two minutes of running.

It’s a great way to up your speed and your fitness without feeling like you’ve been thrown into the deep end. In no time at all, you’ll be running without breaks and pushing yourself to go further and faster each time.