You don’t have to be athletic or in shape to become a runner, all you need is a willingness to try. Does running a 5K sound impossible? All it takes is 7 short weeks to go from Couch to 5K. I guarantee by week 7, you’ll regret not starting sooner.  These are the 7 stages of going from couch to 5k according to a former Runkeeper employee.

10 stages of going couch to 5K

Week 1: Doubt.


I know what you’re thinking, “Me? Run a 5K? Impossible! I’m not a runner.” Sure you are! Leave your doubts at the door because step 1 is to set your goal to run a 5K. (Did you know that you’re twice as likely to complete something if you set a goal?) Join Runkeeper’s Couch to 5K training plan and take it one day at a time. Don’t want to do it alone? Recruit some friends, family members, co-workers or your significant other! There’s safety in numbers and having a support system is an invaluable resource!

Week 2: Dread.


You’re sore, you’re running and walking at what feels like a glacial pace, and you’re having a hard time staying motivated. Don’t give up! Sore muscles mean that you’re getting stronger! Remember, it’s in discomfort where change lives.

Week 3: Discouraged.

running struggles

Maybe you missed a day (or two) of running and you’re thinking about throwing in the towel. DON’T GIVE UP. The hardest part is always going to be getting out the door. When you’re feeling unmotivated, just get dressed and get moving. Then focus on running or walking the mile you’re in. Even the worst run is better than no run at all.

Week 4: Optimistic.

Fox / Business Insider
Fox / Business Insider

You’ve established a routine and your lungs don’t feel like they’re going to explode. Things are looking up! Sure you’re still taking walking breaks and you feel like you’re moving through quicksand, but running is a lot less awful than it was 4 weeks ago!

Week 5: Driven.


Running hasn’t necessarily gotten easier but you find yourself looking forward to your daily runs. You start spending your free time reading articles about becoming a runner, laughing at running jokes, and getting excited about new running clothes. Could it be? Are you becoming a runner? Only 2 weeks until your 5K and every day is another opportunity to make that goal a reality.

Week 6: Confident.

NBC Universal Television


You’re running without stopping! It may hurt like hell but you’re doing it! Don’t hold back, do a little humble bragging! Post a running selfie to Instagram or tell your coworkers that you’re about to run a 5K.

Week 7: Unstoppable.

finish line
NBC Universal Television

And in the blink of an eye, it happens! You’ve officially run a 5K! Take a second to remember back to 7 short weeks ago when this day felt impossible. See? Running isn’t impossible, it just takes some hard work, dedication, and patience.

Don’t wait for the “right time” to get started. All you have to do is believe in yourself and then put one foot in front of the other. Not sure where to start? Check out My First 5K in the ASICS Runkeeper app. Coach Erin will guide you step-by-step and have you running in no time. Remember if you run, you are a runner.