Janet, a member of the District Council's sports development team, is targeting people who feel unfit or out of shape but find the thought of running rather daunting.
"This programme is perfect for those new to exercise or find the thought of running a bit scary. Often when people start an exercise programme they can overdo it, feel defeated and give up before they really get started.
"That's why from day one we start very simply with a combination of walking and running, gradually building up fitness and stamina over nine weeks to achieve the 5K goal.
"Not only will people get a sense of achievement from completing the programme, they will experience many health benefits, including improved heart and lung health and lower risks of stroke, hypertension and diabetes.
"Running increases bone density, helps lower cholesterol and encourages weight loss, especially when combined with a good diet. Plus it boosts self- confidence and self-esteem, helping to relieve stress and combat depression."
The 'Couch to 5K programme starts on 24 January at the Empire Ballroom in Ashbourne and will take place every Friday from 10.30-11.15am, moving outside to the Recreation Ground when the weather improves.