Sofa to 5K


My fitness has always been a bit half-hearted. Yoga; because I could lay on the floor. The gym; mostly to offset partying. Climbing; for weekends away. Any effort towards fitness fell away since having my son.

Over wine and a curry last New Year, a friend and I made a resolution to start running. I downloaded a ‘Sofa to 5K’ app on my phone. The app promised that in 9 weeks we’d be running 5 kilometres. I was a little bit scared.

In January we began. With the phone on loudspeaker, the lady of the app issuing instructions we walked/ran/jogged through the local park.

We don’t have fancy running outfits, one of us runs in yoga trousers, the other in whatever top comes to hand. We run together for conversation and moral support. Sometimes it’s a bit of juggle trying to fit a run in at a time that suits two busy mothers. For several months we didn’t get past week 5. The photo was taken on week 5 run in June.

We always follow the same route, running a bit more, walking less. A little bit further. Then, inexplicably I had ‘issues’ with the app. I kept knocking it. The lady of the app would say encouraging things but be in quite a different place on the run than we were. We abandoned her and her programme and began running the whole route. 5K still seemed a long way off. At various times we’ve both moaned; “Oh God, how much further”. Having each other has been encouraging and motivating. I’m not sure I run regularly enough to be ‘fit’ but I’m fitter than I was. For me, running through nature is invigorating, it blows away stress and brings back balance.

We week ago it occurred to us to ‘Map our run’ (another app!) and discovered we have been running 5K. We reached our goal achieving sofa to 5k in 9 weeks months. That deserves wine and a curry.



  1. Molly

    I love the last line… the wonderful thing about taking excersize is your can then indulge in some of those yummy things without feeling quite so bloated and guilty afterwards.


  2. Louise Lloyd

    I think a friend and I used the sofa to 5k app!! We did it last year and managed to run a 5k in hyde park which was cool. Love the photo by the way I love the big trees and all the greenery.

  3. woollyandred

    I had a literal school run this morning, trying to get home before the heavens opened. It effectively stopped me kidding myself that walking really fast is the same thing as going for a run. I may have to investigate this app…

  4. mutteringsofafool

    I think that sofa to 5k program is a great way for people to get into running. Gives you lots of support and encouragement and then once you can run 5k you can start doing your own thing.
    I think you have the right attitude though, it’s not about times or distances it’s about just being out there.

  5. Grenglish

    Hi Gemma!
    I’m currently on week 7 of the couch to 5k plan and listen to the free podcasts for each session as I found I was looking at my watch after 30 seconds and losing confidence that I could finish.
    7-weeks ago I could not run for 1-minute without feeling tired, out of breath and red and sweaty so it’s remarkable that following this plan, I can now jog for 25 minutes without stopping. The stopping and starting was harder, I think. Although, I still struggle with the first 5mins and the last 5mins.
    Well done for completing the programme, I am looking forward to the day I can say I can run 5k now too.

  6. tigermum

    This is a gorgeous picture of your route. I never take my phone or camera with me and then kick myself when I see something that would make a great picture.
    Well done on the 5K!

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