BURN off some of your Christmas excesses by joining in with a free running programme in High Wycombe.

Start off the New Year with a new challenge and get involved with the Handy Cross Runners, who this week are kicking off a ten week programme with the Run England Bucks campaign.

'From couch to parkrun' is the name of the scheme, which encourages residents to get back in shape by running - regardless of age, ability, aspiration, background or location.

England Athletics CEO Chris Jones said: "Running is a great way to improve your health and fitness. Joining a local Run England group can provide a great New Year challenge and will help to keep you motivated through 2014. The best thing is, anyone can have a go - all you need is a pair of trainers."

Three separate classes are being run by the Handy Cross Runners and their coach Mike Hickman, who is a qualified Level 3 England Athletics Coach and Run England Leader.

'From couch to parkrun' takes people with little or no running experience through a gradually increasing ratio of running to walking, to a stage where they will comfortably be able to take part in a weekly 5k parkrun at Wycombe's Rye Park. It starts on Saturday January 4 at 10am and each Saturday thereafter, meeting outside The Lido.

'Walk 2 Get Fit 4 Running' is for adults who would like to build up their fitness more gradually in preparation for running. This starts on Wednesday January 8 at 6pm and takes place each Wednesday thereafter, meeting in the bar of the Wycombe Judo Centre, Barry Close, Booker.

Finally the Handy Cross Runners Beginner’s Group is a more intensive course for adults with little or no running experience to a stage where they can run for three or four miles when they are then able to graduate and join the club’s Improver’s Group. It starts on Wednesday January 8 at 7pm at the Judo Centre.

For more details about any of the courses contact Mike Hickman on 07947 309923 or mikehick@btinternet.com.