Nadia gets her Olympic legacy ‘Couch to 5k’ group up and running at UEL

Nadia Shah, UEL's athletics co-ordinator

Nadia Shah, UEL's athletics co-ordinator - Credit: UEL

An athletics co-ordinator at the University of East London has started a new ‘Couch to 5km’ fitness programme as part of the Olympic legacy.

Nadia Shah, who works for the university’s Academic Registry department coordinating an athletics running group, has teamed up with England Athletics.

“They asked if I’d be interested to lead this new group—and I jumped at the chance,” she said.

“There’s a sense of achievement when you’ve done a good run and others around you sharing the sense of achievement get motivated to set health goals and get fit. It creates a buzz.”

The East End Road Runners club member was invited by England Athletics to take charge of the new Couch to 5km group, after she had organised two community runs around the Olympic Park.


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Nadia trains regularly at the Sports Dock gym and fitness centre at UEL, which has improved her running.

The group begins in the gym on treadmills to build up their stamina and fitness. Nadia takes the group onto the roads towards the end of the course, working towards hitting the 5km target.

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Her top three tips for would-be runners, she suggests, are investing in a good pair of trainers, being consistent about running goals and thinking about the long-term benefits.

She has done half-marathons and made the decision to do the Amsterdam marathon in October. Her goal is to run marathons in Venice, Berlin, Athens and eventually New York.

The Couch to 5km course at east London’s Newham Leisure Centre is three classes a week for £15.

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