A.C.T. Running will launch a Become a Runner session later this month. Photo courtesy Ashley Thompson

Plenty of people can get out and run a 5K on short notice. They’ve been running for years, and know what it’s like to line up at a starting line and pace themselves for a little more than 3 miles.

But what if you’ve never done a race? What if you can’t even run a mile?

Austin running coach Ashley Thompson’s got you covered.

The Become a Runner program is designed for beginner runners. Photo courtesy Ashley Thompson

Thompson, a coach for the Central Austin running group A.C.T. Running, will kick off an upcoming session of “Become a Runner” later this month.

RELATED: What’s it like to run a naked 5K?

“While I can write a training plan to get someone to the podium, I prefer the everyday athletes who need a little more convincing or have been left behind by other groups,” she says.

Plus, she’s good at convincing people they can love running. (Maybe she can convince a few to do what I did last year as part of my Year of Adventure – peel off my clothes and run a naked 5K!)

Participants will build up their endurance to a 5K distance. Photo courtesy Ashley Thompson

“The training is responsible, relatable and consistent,” she says. “More than anything, we have a good time.”

The eight-week program begins Jan. 17. Participants should be able to walk for 30 minutes. They will gradually increase their distance, with walking breaks built into the program. There will be no specific time goal.

The group meets from 6-7 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Ramsey Neighborhood Park, 4301 Rosedale Avenue. Cost is $99 and includes a shirt. Participants also get training tips via email, plus a running form clinic.

For more information go here.