One of our most successful and fastest growing communities on HealthUnlocked is Couch to 5k – a running plan for beginners sponsored by the NHS. Developed by Josh Clark with the aim of helping his 50-year-old mum get off the couch and be more active, the program is specifically designed to help people gradually work up towards running 5k in just 9 weeks.
Since its inception, Couch to 5k has seen more and more aspiring runners take on the program and they meet every day on their online community forum on HealthUnlocked.com, sharing support, advice and general camaraderie for the sport. Being the only social network for health in the U.K, our mission is to connect people with similar health conditions and wellness concerns to each other through our communities. And working with the NHS, we’re able to generate personalized self-care recommendations designed to engage individuals with their health while ultimately improving outcomes.
The Couch to 5k program consists of 3 runs per week with a day of rest in between; and to keep you from getting bored, there’s a different schedule for each of the 9 weeks. Once you progress to complete the 9 weeks you get awarded a Graduate status in the program – and you also get assigned a Graduate badge in the HealthUnlocked community. Previously, assigning the Graduate badge was a complex process as we didn’t expect the community to grow at such a rapid pace. We’re pleased to announce our latest platform update offers a one-touch solution for admins to assign Graduate badges to new runners who’ve completed the 9-week program.
On speaking to one of the admins who run the Couch to 5k community she said, “I realise we often talk about this wonderful platform but we never really mention HealthUnlocked. They are trying to make a universal platform that will grow and become one of the biggest spaces providing proactive health for many. I love the fact that we get to be part of this and that we are all having the opportunity to grow and learn together.”
She also commented on the recent platform update, “Graduation Badges was becoming one of the biggest jobs we do with a massive increase of the amount of badges we give out a month. We divide the jobs up between the admins into monthly jobs and it is always the busiest job of the month. To give each badge we had to go through a three page set up to allocate the badge. This weekend we have a new drop-down menu that allows us to quickly allocate the badge and it is brilliant.”
The biggest challenge for a new runner is not knowing where to start. With Couch to 5k, you don’t have to start alone. Join the community and get expert tips from people who’ve been in your (running) shoes before, and can offer you support and encouragement every step of the way.