In fall 2019 I went through a period of deep depression and running became a necessity. I could remember the feeling I had when I was out on a long run while training for my last 10k, and I wanted that feeling, needed that feeling. So, in late October, I googled “couch to 5K” and instead found None to Run.
I downloaded the free training program and started it immediately. It seemed doable and I’d trained for a few 10ks before, so this schedule didn’t seem too daunting. After four runs, I felt a tad better, and I remember feeling proud that I was actively trying to heal myself and change my mindset.
None to Run is a 12-week program that takes you from couch potato to runner in as many weeks. I can’t say enough about the training. You get periodic emails from Mark Kennedy, the founder, and there’s a Facebook group that’s super supportive of each other, which really helps keep motivation levels high during the program. It’s easy to quit when you’re going it alone, but harder when you know your online friends are out there running in snow and sleet.
There are certain weeks that are much harder than others (five, six, seven I’m looking at you) but then other weeks are a revelation as you get further along in the training. After you’re halfway through the program, you know you’re going to finish. Like, there’s no doubt once you’ve gotten over the two-minute running interval hump. When you get to the week where you’re running five minutes, you feel free. Then, you make the jump to a 20-minute run, which admittedly takes a bit of a mental leap, but that’s all it takes. You’ve already got the running chops to do it, you just need to believe you can. And to me, that’s what running has become. I just need to believe I can do it each time, then I do.
After None to Run, I’ve set small attainable goals, much like the program does, to continue to build my running stamina and chops. I keep seeing progress and I’m probably in what would be week 15 or so. But honestly, if you’re looking to start running again or start for the first time, None to Run is the program to try. It will get you to your goals if you follow the training and trust your body to do its job.
With all of that said, running to me is a total mind trip. When you start out on a 25-minute run, your mind tells you it’s hard and you almost think you can’t do it. And sometimes you’re certain you can’t do it, and sometimes you can’t and that’s fine. But other times, you think you can’t do it, but you tell yourself you can. In fact, you know you can because you’ve done it many times before. And then you just keep going and going and going and then you’ve hit your goal and all along it was doable. At some point it even becomes fun and then you’re really enjoying all this running. And when you finish your run and it really is the best feeling ever. And that feeling sticks with you well after the run has ended.