Introducing… Up & Running running e-courses!

image from Out of all the bumbling sporty things I've tried over the past ten years, none has given me a greater rush than that 5K running race.

Way back in 2004 I got an email from a woman named Julia, an American in Italy. She was a running coach and said that I sounded like I was in need of a challenge. How would I like her to virtually train me for a 5K?

I told her the idea was bloody ridiculous. Running was for skinny girls with long legs and bouncy ponytails. Not for chunky lassies who got puffed running for the bus!

But Julia had already coached thousands of women who thought they couldn't run, so she'd heard all the excuses before. She urged me give it a go.

So for eight weeks I followed her programme. It was hard. I whined a lot. But it was fun! As each week went by I discovered I was capable of far more than I’d ever thought. I found new endorphin highs, new muscles in my legs and new faith in myself. Even though kickboxing and Zumba are my exercises of choice these days, running was the thing that made me ditch my fears about exercise and the "I could never do that" limiting beliefs.

I'll never forget blubbing my eyes out as I crossed the finish line at my 5K race. I wrote en blog:

"There is no better feeling in the world than to take your mind and body to some place you thought it couldn’t go; a place you thought it didn’t belong. You should all try it some time."

Now six years later, you can try it, if you fancy!

I'm chuffed to bits to let you know that today Julia and I have launched Up & Running: kickass running e-courses for women.

We've taken Julia's tried and true running training programmes online, so no matter where you are in the world you can get running too. Julia is your expert running coach, while I'm the boss of the website!

Up & Running

We're starting with our eight-week 5K Beginners Course, with plans for 10K, half marathon and marathon courses later down the line.

The 5K Course, which kicks off on 21 March, is not the usual boring "walk 5 mins, run 5 minutes" training malarkey. This is a mind and body approach. We'll not only get you running safely, we help you set goals and understand your motivations. We help you get in tune with your body and how to look after it when you run so you stay strong and healthy. We've got video tutorials, inspiring interviews with runners.

And we don't just give you a set of instructions then abandon you – you get unlimited support via our community forums – all your questions answered.

I'm really rambling on now – can you tell I'm excited!? I'm just so passionate about this because Julia is a brilliant coach and I so strongly believe in the power of exercise to change the way we see ourselves. Well. How about I shut up now so you can go check it out?*

(* If you want to. If you do, I will love you for life. Woohoo! πŸ™‚

31 thoughts on “Introducing… Up & Running running e-courses!

  1. This does sound very cool. And I have a secret dream of being a runner. But is it really possible for an incredibly unfit, clinically obese person to run 5ks? Seriously? From what I remember you were already pretty sporty when you ran that race… argh, self doubt a-go-go

  2. this soudns very cool and just might be a thing for me. C25K just takes too damn long (i always lose interest ca week 8) and noone holds my hand while I do it.
    well done ladies!

  3. This is so cool that I found this today…I have my first 5K next Saturday (open for Houston Rodeo parade – woohoo!!!) I’m 42 and never considered myself a runner but really wanted to do something a little more physical to get myself in shape – I’m determined this is my year!


    I am running regularly now, haphazardly, and generally like I’m being chased, but I’ll sign up!!!

    (Your post-5K post is so beautiful. I was always second-last or third-last in every race in primary school, so totally understand that feeling … and I’ve never run 5K straight.)


  5. Thanks very very much everyone! πŸ™‚

    Keris, Gina, Manda, fd – just give me a shout if you have any questions about it, we’ll get back to you in a jiff!

    @Gabrielle – I emailled you comrade

    @N – We plan to launch the 10K later this year πŸ™‚

  6. Dammit, I’m in. An hour or two of angst over whether or not I can ‘really’ do this – well I’m gonna try! Spurred on by the fact that when you (Shauna) did your running training in 2004 you were around the same weight that I am now… I’ve been wanting to commit to some sort of fitness regime for the next few months, so this is now it πŸ™‚

  7. Glad to have you on board Jo!

    The program is very flexible so if you don’t feel up to running you can walk, walk/run, or run… you build up at your own pace! When I did my 5K i did some periods of walking. The idea is just to get you started and moving regularly, working with wherever you are right now and whatever your current fitness level.

  8. It is amazing what goals can do, I hated running until I decided to run a 10K race. I trained so hard for it, I made it and today I love running!

  9. I would join, but am a bit beyond the 5km mark – if anyone is wanting to start running, I will point them in your direction.
    I am a mildly overweight (was more so) girl with thighs larger than strictly necessary, short legs and a low centre of gravity. I do not run fast, but I can run, and if I can run, most people can too. Just have to start slow and be patient. (mind-body thing)

  10. @Cilla – well said, patience is everything! πŸ™‚

    @Janelle – Hello! Julia would prefer her students to run outdoors wherever possible, but it's understandable that this isn't always possible! Especially if you live somewhere miserable, cold, dark and wet (I'm looking at you, Scotland!) Doing a workout on a treadmill is better than no workout at all!

    Julia says re running on treadmills, “I like to think that it is a last resort option and not a regular practice.”

    Here’s a good bit about treadmill v outdoor running from

    Running on a treadmill feels somewhat easier physically because the ground is being pulled underneath your feet and there’s no wind resistance. Running outdoor demands more from your body because you’re propelling your body forward stride for stride. Many treadmills are padded, making them a good option if you’re overweight or are injury-prone (especially with knee issues) and want to decrease the impact. You can better simulate outdoor running by setting your treadmill at 1% incline.

    And another interesting piece on how your body works differently when running on a treadmill:

  11. What a fab idea. Looks great.

    Just wanted to point out a possible tiny error (I think – am rather tired so just slap me if am wrong) on one page…

    You say the early bird price is 35 pounds in the ‘How much does this course cost’ section, then at the bottom (and on other pages) you say that it is 39 pounds.

    Good luck with your venture, I am sure it will be a huge success πŸ™‚

  12. I just finished your book. It was so very honest and I related to so much of it. Thank you for sharing your emotions, battles, and victories. They are very encouraging, and I am so happy for you. Best wishes.

  13. Hi Shauna and Julia,
    I wonder if this e-course would be relevant for us who are a) really unfit b) heavy that running is not an option for a long time?
    Merja UK

  14. I’ve signed up! Yay! I’m excited! And who ever would have thought I’d say that about exercise…

  15. Hey Shauna and Julia,
    Your venture is going to go awesome! To anyone who doubts a chunks-a-hoy girl can do this, DO NOT DOUBT! Last time Julia helped me out when I was 270 pounds (less than two short years ago!) and now, I’m at 190-ish (and have joined the army!).

    You can definitely do it and with the two women being amazing cheerleaders, you won’t get discouraged (and, if you do, it won’t be for long, I guarantee you!)

  16. @Gabrielle – good on you! see you in a couple of weeks! in the online sense πŸ™‚

    @Merja – Hello! Check out read Anji’s comment above, the course really can be adapated no matter where you are now. There’s more info on the FAQ page of the website and I’ve just sent you an email now πŸ™‚

  17. Hey, dietgirl I read your book and couldn’t put it down!! I loved reading about your journey and I like the way you talk. I think it is awesome what you are doing and I signed up for your UP & RUNNING course!!!Really excited

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