Couch to 5K App review – how it helped my mental health

I’VE COMPLETED THE COUCH TO 5K APP! Wow, I really didn’t expect to have stuck to this program and actually complete it, but yesterday, I did my final run from the app.

I’ve always fairly enjoyed running; I’ve just never been that brilliant at it (breathing is such a struggle for me). However, during lockdown 3.0 in the UK, I was really going through a bad patch and I randomly woke up one day and was like ‘I’m going to start the couch to 5K’ and since then, I’ve done 8 weeks of running and now I can run for half an hour!

It’s actually really surprising how an app like this makes an impact on your life. When I flicked through the weeks to see what I had to do and saw an 8-minute run or a 20-minute run, I’d think to myself that there is no chance I’ll be able to do it. Yet, here I am, I’ve done it! The app builds you up slowly to be able to achieve these longer runs and it surprises you just how quickly the program goes. 8 weeks flew by!

Beside the achievement of completing the program and now being able to run for 30 minutes/5K, it’s massively helped my mental health.

I’m already aware how exercise brings improvement to my mood and makes me feel better instantly. Therefore, doing a program where you can see your progress, makes you feel even better because you see evidence of the time that you’re running for. Exercise is an essential for me and my mental health. I had no doubt that doing the couch to 5K was going to help me overcome this bad patch in lockdown.

I did the runs on my lunch break at work and on the weekend. Actually leaving my house on lunch and going for a run was SO refreshing for me. I don’t normally move away from my laptop for lunch (really bad I know) so getting out in the fresh air and having a change of scene felt so good. It also made me then feel more motivated to work once I was back.

Honestly, within days of doing this program, I already felt better about myself. It calmed my mind down because I was being active and having that time to myself, listening to music, running around my town. Don’t underestimate the impact exercise can have!!!!

Another positive to doing this program is that I can see a difference in my body. I didn’t start running to lose weight or tone up or even to become fitter, I did it because I needed a distraction, I needed something to work towards and to help calm my mind. However, it’s defiantly a bonus to see my body looking healthier.

The couch to 5K app made me feel free and confident. It made me feel good about myself and that I was accomplishing something. It proved to me that I can do something if I put my mind to it. It’s made me proud that I kept going and didn’t give up. I feel so much healthier and happier because of the exercise but also achieving a goal I set for myself.

I’d really recommend this app. Running isn’t for everyone but if you want to start or get back into running or give yourself a new challenge, then have a go! Now that I’ve done the app, I will keep up running 5K and track my time to see if I can run it quicker as the weeks go on.