I have admittedly never been much of a runner. Although I try to stay active through yoga and kickboxing, for me, running only conjured up haunting memories of middle school gym class.

I was intrigued, however, when my friend told me about an app I could download called Ease into 5K (based on the Couch to 5K program) that could supposedly make anyone—even a couch potato—into a real live runner in 8 weeks. (That program also has a Couch to 5K app.)

In the Couch to 5K program, beginners alternate between intervals of running and walking before switching into full-on running mode. For instance, the first day of the program consists of a 5-minute warm-up walk, then the following intervals (repeated three times):

  • Run 30 seconds
  • Walk 45 seconds
  • Run 45 seconds
  • Walk 60 seconds
  • Run 60 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds

Cool down with a 5-minute walk.

Each week, you are required to run a little longer and walk a little less, until suddenly you are running 20 minutes straight with (relative) ease.

Although I had my doubts about the program, I am at the end of week 7, and running 26 minutes in a row. While I can’t say I’m ready to sign up for a 10K (I still am quite happy to take a break after 26 minutes of cardio), I admit, I have become a little addicted to running and making sure I advance to the next “step” in the program.

Undoubtedly, for some people running three miles is a milestone they passed in fifth grade, but for me it’s on par with Olympic Gold.

If you need something a little more challenging, check out the Couch to 10K program.

How about you: Have you tried a Couch to 5K program or found some better way to get your butt off the couch?