Everyone knows that running is a great way to get into shape, but did you know that it can benefit almost every part of your body, and help lift your mood? Running can offer so many health benefits, help you to meet new people as well as giving you the chance to explore new places. 

Couch to 5K at Moors Valley Country Park 

With the support of a volunteer run leader, this Couch to 5K programme will help you to develop your running fitness over 9 weeks following the Couch to 5K NHS app. Booking is essential by calling 01425 480811. A course is £9 per person and starts at Moors Valley Country Park, Golf and Activity Centre. Car parking is included for the 9 week course.

Timetable of Couch to 5K programmes 2024

Date Time
Wednesday 8 May through until Wednesday 3 July 6pm to 6:45pm
Monday 16 September through until Monday 11 November 9:30am to 10:15am

Complete your Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ) 

If you are a new participant to the Couch to 5K programme, a returning participant or if your health condition has changed, we ask that you complete an annual PARQ before attending the activity.

Other running opportunities for beginners

Here are just a few local running clubs, organisations and groups offering beginners running or general running opportunities:

3-2-1 Routes Run England  

3-2-1 is Run England’s project which aims to provide a range of permanently marked out running routes across the country that anyone can have a go at. There are 3 options to choose from, a 3 mile, 2 mile or 1 mile route.  

NHS Couch to 5K app 

If you prefer to build up slowly by yourself or with a friend, why not try this self-led programme. The NHS Couch to 5K running programme can help you to gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play which will help guide you through each week and help keep you motivated. 


Parkrun is a free weekly timed 5K run, open to everyone no matter their ability, and takes place across the world. If you like the idea of running with others and want to establish a routine this could be for you! Register for parkrun at parkrun.org.uk.  

Dorset locations include :

  • Blandford
  • Bournemouth
  • Poole
  • Weymouth
  • Moors Valley Country Park
  • Poundbury
  • Bridport
  • Durlston Country Park
  • Upton Country Park  


RunTogether provides fun, friendly, supportive and inclusive running opportunities for everyone: whatever your ability or time availability. Find a running group near you.

Weymouth Running Club  

In 9 weeks, the Weymouth St Pauls Harriers team will get you off your couch, to running a 5K run at the Weymouth parkrun. The clubs couch to 5K dates will be displayed on the WSPH C25K Facebook page.

Bridport Runners 

Bridport Runners meet 3 times a week. All are welcome whatever level of running you have done. Coaches and leaders ensure that all runners are supported in the sessions. The club organise beginners sessions and Couch to 5K. Contact the club via the Bridport Runners Facebook page.


A friendly community running club supporting beginners and improvers. To become a member of Runblandford, get a membership form.

Dorchester Riot Running club 

Dorchester Riot Running Club aims to support runners from Dorchester and the surrounding area. A social and proudly supportive club which caters for all running abilities. The club offers Couch to 5K courses during the year. If you would like more information about the club, email getintouch@runriot.uk 

Verwood Runners 

A friendly running group to give local people the opportunity to run with others. There are several qualified run leaders available on Tuesdays and Thursdays to give new joiners extra support and guidance. These free runs are suitable for people who are able to run 5k without stopping (slowly is fine). 

Visit the Verwood Runners Facebook page for more information and to ask to join in

Wimborne Athletics Club 

The club aims to promote and encourage participation in recreational and competitive athletics in Wimborne and surrounding areas. The focus is on fun and enjoyment for all abilities and ages. The club also delivers the Wimborne Runners Couch to 5K programmes. Visit the club's Runtogether page to find on when the next session is.

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