20 years ago, C25K didn’t exist. In 1996, designer Josh Clark invented the Couch-To-5K routine so beginners can start running without having to deal with the rash of mental blocks that are often seen in running.

So what inspired Clark to create the program that has got thousands, if not millions, of people running? In a Q&A with The Courier-Post, Clark says he created the program – now a protected trademark – with his mom in mind. She used to hate exercising, but wanted to be fit. He too “used to hate running” and thought of it as a masochistic exercise. “Every time I tried it, even as a reasonably fit 20-year-old, it felt terrible. I wheezed, I had muscle soreness, it hurt.”

Josh Clark, the man who created the program
Josh Clark, the man who created the program

Even then he persevered and realized it doesn’t have to be all bad. “When I finally became a runner, I had the zeal of the converted. I wanted to share with others this secret I discovered.” So he came up with five mantras for getting people to adopt running in this program, and made it such that anyone could use it to become a runner.

1. Eliminate pain
2. Welcome newcomers
3. Deliver early victories
4. Make it easy and rewarding
5. Not everyone wants to be a power user.

And we have built the FirstRun app with these five mantras at heart. Each day is a small win for you, and as you progress you will find that even a 10 minute run is not as daunting as it seemed in the beginning. You will realize that running is its own reward. But like Clark, all it requires from you is a little perseverance. Keep at it, and you will be surprised how great running can be for you.

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