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Regular running can significantly improve physical and mental health. It can reduce your risk of long-term illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood, reduce stress and help alleviate symptoms of depression.

Running is a great way to get active. It’s free, you can do it anywhere and it burns more calories than any other mainstream exercise. You can do it on your own, with a friend or join one of the friendly running clubs in Barnsley.

You don’t need any equipment, although a good pair of running shoes that suit your foot type may help improve comfort. Women should also consider a sports bra, which is sturdier than a regular bra and provides additional support.



Man running through woods


Couch to 5k

Couch to 5k is a 9-week programme designed for beginners to gradually build up their running ability so they can eventually run 5km without stopping. Each week involves 3 runs and a week-by-week, find out more about the 9-week programme

You can also download the weekly podcasts on iTunes or the One You Couch to 5K app. Both of these will talk you through each run as you run. The app even gives you a choice of coaches to keep you motivated and helps you track your progress.

Download from iTunes, download for iPhone or download for Android



One you - Couch to 5k

Running clubs

We're lucky enough to have a number of running clubs in Barnsley and many of them offer Walk to Run courses aimed at complete beginners. The 8-week course gradually introduces you to running, building up to taking part in a 5K run.

The course is led by qualified Run Leaders as well as support from other qualified runners.

Barnsley Harriers

A friendly and sociable club covering all ages and abilities. They meet every Monday and Wednesday at 7pm at Shaw Lane Sports Club, where they usually split into 4 or 5 groups running for an hour or so, from 4 to 9 miles. No one gets left behind!

Find out more about Barnsley Harriers.

Barnsley Athletics Club

A truly inclusive club, with members ranging in age from 8 to the over 60s, competing over the road, cross country, track and field events. They cater for all abilities, from beginners through to county and regional level. Meeting every Tuesday and Thursday, road runners meet at the Metrodome at 6.45 pm and track and field athletes meet at Dorothy Hyman Stadium from 6pm.

Find out more about Barnsley Athletics Club.

GoodGym Barnsley

GoodGym are a community of runners that combine getting fit with doing good. They stop off on their runs to do physical tasks for community organisations and to support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can't do on their own. It's a great way to get fit, meet new people and do some good.

Find out more about Good Gym Barnsley.

Kingstone Runners

Kingstone Runners is a friendly, local club with a good mix of both male and female members of all ages and abilities. The club caters for all abilities and meets for training runs every Monday and Wednesday at 7pm at Higham Cricket Club.

Find out more about Kingstone Runners.

Penistone Footpath Runners

The senior section of Penistone Footpath Runners meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm at Penistone Church Football Club with the junior section meeting every Tuesday at the same time and places as senior members.

Find out more about Penistone Footpath Runners.

Mother Runners Barnsley

Run by a mum, for mums, Mother Runners aims to take you from a standing start to improve your fitness, your mental health and your waistline. Join them for a weekly dose of walking/jogging therapy, as you take the first steps on your running journey.

This is an informal group intended for social and recreational purposes rather than athletic training.

Find out more about Mother Runners Barnsley.


Parkruns are free, weekly, community events all around the world. Saturday morning events are 5k and take place in parks and open spaces. On Sunday mornings, there are 2k junior parkruns for children aged four to 14.

There are 2 parkruns and 1 junior parkrun in Barnsley.


Digital tools you can use for running

There's lots of free digital tools you can use for running, find out more below. 

Map My Run by Under Armour

Map My Run allows you to see how much time you have spent running, distance, pace, speed, elevation, and calories burned. Once you finish you can upload and save your workout data and view it both on the app and on the Map My Run website.  You can also share routes and encouraging words with friends, as well as save routes to use again or select routes that other Map My Run users have done in your area. An added function of this app is the ability to specify the type of run you are doing such as treadmill, on trails, in your neighbourhood or walking the dog, which can be helpful when analysing your performance.

Download Map My Run for iPhone or download Map My run for Android

Run Keeper

Runkeeper is an easy to use app that tracks your pace, distance, calories burned and time. You can look back on past runs to track your progress and discover new routes near you. This app is great for beginners looking for basic run data.

Download Run Keeper for iPhone or download Run Keeper for Android


Through GPS this app can measure distance, time, elevation gain, calories and route. Not only can you create and share your own running routes with friends, but you can also see popular routes in your local area. The app also acts as a social network, allowing you to connect with friends and family to share details and photos of your runs.

Download Strava for iPhone or download Strava for Android

Safe running

Any abuse or threats against people whilst training are completely unacceptable. 

UK Athletics in cooperation with the Home Country Athletics Federations have published safety guidelines to support athletes, recreational runners and other sports people exercising in public to feel prepared for any eventuality.

There's also useful personal safety tips for running in the dark.