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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 None to Run training program and started week one immediately. The intervals 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 to quit when you know your online friends are out there running in snow and sleet.
There are certain weeks during the None to Run program 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 just 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 to believe you can do it, 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 the None to Run program, I’ve set small attainable goals, much like the program does, to continue to build my running stamina and chops. If you do that, much like the program does, you’ll keep progressing. Many graduates of None to Run go on to the brand’s 5k or 10k programs. 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. I have tried Couch to 5k before and didn’t stick with it, but for some reason, None to Run is the right balance for many runners.
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 really can’t for whatever reason and that’s fine. Maybe you ate too many chili dogs the night before. 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 running even becomes fun and then you’re really enjoying the fruits of your labor. 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.
If you try None to Run, enter your email address on the site and you’ll receive Mark Kennedy’s free training emails and the program. There’s no catch, just a lot of free running tips and a life-changing program if you’re even a little curious about running. At the very least, sign up for the emails – what have you got to lose?