Success Stories

Our success stories showcase the incredible progress that our community members have made. Read about people just like you who have transformed their lives through running.

Kat Andrew
Mary Owens
Tina Watson
Emily Shuman
Jo McCormack
Mike Jones
James Ng
Trine Larsen
Mary Carty
Caron Forman
Clara Baldwin

Kat Andrew

In 2019 a friend invited me to participate in a 5k race.  I immediately said sure.....then realized I don't run.  Another friend, Stephanie, recommended N2R and the program.  I started the 12-week plan and fell in love immediately. 

Over the years I have had various setbacks or step backs from running but I always come back to the program and running.  My biggest setback was breaking my foot in the fall of 2020.  I missed out on four live races that year and wasn't allowed to run for five months.  That was a very mental block for me as I missed my outlet.  I had the biggest high the first time I was able to run again! 

Since 2019 I have completed 53 5k races (in person and virtual), one 4-mile race, and three 10k's.  My immediate, constant goal is to continue doing what I love, no matter the distance or time and my big goal for 2024 is to complete a half marathon.  I love the N2R plans, the community, and the support that it provides every day!

My hope for everyone that is looking at N2R or starting is: Start slow and enjoy the process! 

Mary Owens

What was the trigger that got you started running with N2R? 

As a person that is big on diversity, I love that the program is for everyone - whether you’re new to running or an experienced runner.

Did you change anything in addition to running (e.g. diet, nutrition, mindset, other forms of exercise, etc.)? 

My mindset and nutrition.

‍What results did you obtain from N2R? 

The ability to run 2.46 miles “comfortably” with a time of 26:01.

What struggles did you have, and how did you overcome them? 

As someone who is experienced with running, the results I got from running for time instead of distance surprised me. When I would run for distance, I would sometimes over-exert myself, which also caused injuries (shin splits).

What advice do you have for others? 

Do not compare yourself to others. Admire, but don’t compare because they, too, had a beginning.

‍Anything else? 

I thank God for allowing me to find None to Run!

Tina Watson

I began running at 39, wanting to do a marathon before I was 40.  I joined the local running group because I had some friends in it, but boy oh boy it was really hard.  They would wait for me at certain points, and I would eventually appear puffing and blowing and instead of waiting for me to catch my breath, they would all shoot off again.  Really hard, but I was determined and did, in fact, complete the Neolithic OffRoad Marathon four months before my 40th.  I continued running with the club because it was more of a drinking group with a running problem than the other way around....and I fitted in fine!!

Then I was diagnosed with cancer.  The day before, I had completed a continuous run around our local pub field for 3 hours for charity and a month before completed the Compton 20 miler - I was feeling great - so it hit me quite hard. Having three children under 18 meant I was determined to get through it, despite getting sepsis and double pneumonia (I don't like to do things by half) and decided to make my comeback with the Welsh Coastal Series of three marathons in three days, I did that within a year of finishing treatment and it was so tough I stopped running for ages afterwards. 😂

When I came back to running again, I decided that I would try the Couch to 5k to get my fitness back....I didn't get on with that AT ALL, I found it really tough.  I looked through the internet and came across None2Run and there was a PDF which I printed out and followed.  I liked the fact that it included strength training, which made real sense.⁠. It actually encouraged me back into running and qualifying as a personal trainer.  My previous running club had changed since I was last in it and had turned very competitive, which isn't something I am that interested in so the only thing to do was to form my own club. 

I started my first running club just before Lockdown (typical). I went through UK Athletics RunTogether (I have been a UKA coach for some 20 years) and put a message up on Facebook. When we were back 'at it' my group, unbeknown to me, put my name forward for UKA South West volunteer of the year - which I won - wahay!! We are now an affiliated running group called Pewsey Plodders RC - the name, I hope, reflects the fact that everyone is welcome and no one gets left behind. ⁠ I still encourage my group to incorporate strength training, but I am quite sure none of them do haha, but at least I make them aware of it.

Emily Shuman

When I was a teen, I did track and always loved how I felt after a run. When I got older, I found myself wishing I could get back into running but didn't know where to start. From the age of 19 to 23, due to stress from an abusive marriage, financial insecurity, and an ugly divorce, I ended up gaining around 75 lbs. I began trying crash diets, intense workouts, and extreme fasting with no results other than harm to myself. I had tried some walking/running apps but struggled to follow them. Earlier this year, I met with a doctor to discuss all of my struggles with my health, and I was finally diagnosed with PCOS. She recommended a Mediterranean diet, taking Metformin, and starting with exercises such as running or walking to ease into physical activity and not hurt myself. I had heard of N2R awhile back but was always nervous about that word "run". However, when it popped up on my social media feed shortly after my diagnosis, I saw it as a sign. 

Since then, I have enjoyed learning to run again and feeling good while doing it. My eating is more clean due to following the Mediterranean diet and metformin is working to help with insulin resistance while levothyroxine helps with my hypothyroid condition. I feel more positive, social, and am focused on loving and taking care of myself rather than just losing weight. I feel stronger and don't lose my breath when doing simple tasks. Overall, I have a better relationship with my body and have started to lose weight for the first time in years! I've also gotten engaged to my wonderful and supportive fiance who encourages me to keep going every day!

However, I have definitely also had some struggles. I have diagnosed major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD. Therefore, some days I struggle with motivation and remaining positive. However, running has helped my mental health so much that I just have to remind myself "you'll feel better if you run" and that motivates me to get N2R open! My advice for others is to do the same! Just do the run, make time to love yourself, and focus on how it makes you feel mentally rather than how things look on a scale. Physical progress is often slow, so focus on the psychological progress and the rest will fall in place! You'll love N2R and yourself more with each workout!


I have always wanted to be able to run. Both my parents were runners, and first met at an athletics meeting in the late 1940s, so I guess running is in the genes. However, I never excelled at sport as a youngster, despite great enthusiasm, and apart from a brief attempt when I joined a ladies running group in my thirties, I gave up the idea of being able to run.

Having developed Chronic Fatigue syndrome in my early forties, I found that even walking any distance was an effort, and assumed that running would be impossible.

But then, out of the blue at the beginning of this year (2020) I received a message from my son and his 10year old daughter, saying that they had completed their first 5k parkrun. A faint hope dawned in me that just maybe I might be able to join them some day. I looked up the Couch to 5k programme, and decided to give it a go.

2 months later, after a knee ligament sprain and struggling to get beyond week 4 of the programme, I realised that it wasn't working for me, so....back to searching online for help. That's when I came across the None2Run programme, which looked more reasonable and included strengthening exercises to reduce risk of injury. I started in late March, repeating weeks if necessary, and by my 63rd birthday in June I was excited to be able to run for 20 minutes without stopping!

Now, 4 months on from this achievement, I have completed the N2R programme and the Run2Race5k 8 week course, and am really enjoying being a runner.

I did also try to start eating more healthily, nothing drastic, but just cutting down on the sugar and crisps etc., and my weight has decreased by a stone over the past 9 months (now 8st 9lb), which is an added bonus!

To anyone considering the N2R programme, my advice is 'go for it!' - l only wish I had known about it sooner, it really has helped to change my life.

Jo McCormack

My story started a while ago, as I'm sure they all do. I was a triathlete but ended up with "chronic chronic" plantar fasciitis. One morning I just woke up, and I had it in both feet. After 6 weeks my right foot had recover. My left foot took 3 years. I couldn't run, cycle or swim because all would aggravate my foot. As I finally started to get back into cycling, I had a massive accident landing on my head at 45km/hr (Was downhill).

So that was the end of triathlon.

Then I got pregnant. I had just start to run/walk with no real direction or guidance, and I started to feel pain in my pubic bone. So I figured, having not run for 3 years, running could wait another 6 months.

Once bub was born I slowly started running again. If I ran more than a few km I would be in pain for days. My pubic bone was causing me extreme discomfort.

After baby number 2 I was determined to work out what was wrong with me. All the health professionals kept telling me it was hormones but I knew that couldn't be right.

In July 2019 (2 months after birth #2) I couldn't walk. I was contemplating buying a wheelchair. I slept with crutches next to the bed because I wouldn't know what the next day would be like. I ate out of depression. I wasn't being a good mum to my 2 year old because I couldn't pick her up or get on the floor to play with her.

In September, by chance, I came across an injury called "Osteitis pubis". After I looked it up I knew that was what I had, and within 24 hours I had a confirmed diagnosis. The next Monday I went to a surgeon who told me to make a goal and give it 12 months to see what rehab could do.

My goal was to be able to run 10km. I figured if I could do that, then eventually I'd be able to do anything.

After 8 months of rehab I finally had the confidence to start running. So I combined my rehab program with None to Run. I've had the last few weeks off because of a random eye infection, but I'm currently at week 10, and when push comes to shove I can run 6km non-stop (I did a 6km fun run the other day).

I'm not yet at my goal of 10km, but None to Run has ensured that I progress gradually and have worked out any niggles as I go. I regular recommend the program to other beginner runners because I think it is such a supportive group and so well designed.

So what did I achieve? I went from almost in a wheelchair to running non-stop for 6km in 12 months. I'm almost pain free (I will probably never be completely pain free, but as far as I'm concerned this level of pain is pain-free!). My confidence in my own body is slowly returning... I can push myself now whereas before that would have terrified me.

And I now know what it is like to start from "scratch"; to have zero fitness and slowly build at my own pace, and to listen to my body to tell me how fast I can run and what I can do/achieve. But most of all, I'm a good mum to my 2 girls. I can get on the floor, play, pick them up etc. and I'm ok.

My advice to others is to follow the process while listening to your own body. The more we listen to our body the more we will succeed in the long term. Run slower, keep breathing, repeat weeks if you feel you absolutely have to, but attempt the next week if you can, even if you feel overwhelmed, because you might just surprise yourself.

My goal now is to run the Paris Marathon. I'll get there eventually. Just keep following the process...

Mike Jones

What was the trigger that got you started running with N2R?

I have wished I could run much of my adult life, and I’ve tried many times, but knee pain and a lack of a plan prevented that from happening. In April of 2019, I ruptured the patella tendon in my right knee playing basketball with my kids.

The rehab process was long and hard, but I told myself that my goal was to be able to run once I recovered. I was back to walking normally six months later, and was cleared to run two months after that. So in January, I tried running one lap around the track and I was dying and decided to give up. “It just isn’t meant to be,” I told myself. But in May, my sister-in-law mentioned she was doing a running program and had built up to a 5k after never having previous running experience. I was like, “Wait, I should be able to do this if she can.”

She turned me onto N2R, so I downloaded the app and got started on the N2R program.

I couldn’t believe how attainable the benchmarks were and how quickly I made progress.

In August, I ran my first 5k. At the age of 39.

Sixteen months after blowing out my knee. I was ecstatic. I also was in disbelief.

Now I run three days a week!

‍Did you change anything in addition to running (e.g. diet, nutrition, mindset, other forms of exercise, etc.)?

I didn’t really change much diet-wise. I have always worked out religiously, but knee pain forced me to stick to elliptical machines. I just didn’t know how to properly build up the endurance and running foundation that I needed.

‍What advice do you have for others?

Do it. N2R works. If I can do it, anyone can. Trust the process. I saw the program and didn’t know if I could do it, but I forced myself to trust the process and started seeing progress almost instantly.

Anything else?

I think that covers it! The selfie I took after running my first 5k, which was my happiest post-run moment. Thanks for changing my life!

James Ng

In August 2019 at 53 years old, I was looking to find a way that I could get a little healthier as I was stressed with work and my poor eating habits pushed my weight to 250lbs.

I was looking for different forms of exercise to try to get that weight under control. I started doing more walking, cross-training exercises and eating better. I wanted to try running. I've never been able to run (ever) but found the C25K program which said anyone could do it. Well, I guess anyone didn't include me. I wasn't able to get past the first few weeks. It was painful and hard and I couldn't figure out what I was missing. I was in the middle of my second (failed) attempt when I stumbled upon N2R and there was an opening in the January 2020 program.

I started the N2R 12 week program more than a little concerned about being able to complete it. My goal was to finish the program and be able to run 30 mins without stopping. The accountability and the people there made me feel like it was more than possible. I don't know if it was the perfect storm of eating healthier and other exercise combined with the people and the N2R program but I managed to not only complete the N2R 12 week program, but in week 10 I just kept running and was able to run a 5K. I ran a 10K before the 12 week program ended for me.

Since the program ended for me, I've been doing my own program of sorts. I've been able to run 2.5 hours continuously for over 11 miles. These days I weigh in around 170-175lbs and I run 30-60 minutes daily simply because its become an enjoyable habit.

I signed up for the September 2020 N2R program simply because I wanted to "pay it forward" to others without any personal goal in mind as N2R has helped me exceed my wildest running dreams.

Trine Larsen

In my late teenage years, I used to run. I don't remember why I started running but I know I just ran without using any program. And I remember the joy when I could run further and further without stopping.

Fast forward to about 7-8 years ago. I had been cycling for workouts but, I remembered the feeling from all those years ago when I just put on my shoes and ran. It was so simple. I liked that. I wanted that back.

So I tried to get running but, I lacked some structure. To help me with the structure I went online and found a bunch of different app recommendations and plans in PDF-format. I gave it all a fair chance, but it either resulted in shin splints or overexertion or, I flat out failed because the plan or program, wasn't intended for people who really hadn't run in years.

That made me frustrated - and in pain because of some severe shin splints. I felt like a failure because I couldn't complete any of it, and I had begun to think that maybe I was just one of those people who can't learn to run.

Then, by a coincidence so random I can't even remember how, I found None to Run. Or maybe None to Run found me. I signed up right away! I felt great about it, because of Mark. It was so genuine and real that this guy was running and now he made a way to make me run and it felt... personal. On all the other sites I had visited and app's I had tried, not once had I had the feeling that there was a person behind it.

I started in June, 2019, but it wasn't until I joined the N2R Challenge in September 2019 that my journey began for real. The encouragement and motivation from the community made me sign up for the next challenge so after slumping most of December, I started all over in January 2020. With the help, support and advice of the community I completed the plan and in the spring, despite being forced to run outside because of gyms being closed. I found some real sweet and cool people who, together with Mark, knows how to motivate, cheer, share knowledge and encourage others.

This October I completed the 5K plan and I have now challenged myself to move my running outside for good. It means starting all over but I am having so much fun with it!

In 10 months I have gone from running for 30 seconds to running for more than 50 minutes without stopping.

I never imagined this was possible for me and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it, I am tremendously grateful to Mark for making and sharing these plans, but I sure couldn't have done it without the amazing runners of the community either!

Getting to where I am know have been hard, and I have learned a lot about myself and my body.

One of the most important things that I've learned is, that it's okay to feel bad, it's okay to have a crappy run - or a whole week of crappy runs - and it's okay to want to quit, sleep in or cozy up on the couch instead of running, as long as you're not too hard on yourself for it. Give yourself some slack! Take a break, because you need a break once in a while. Just make sure you get out there again :-)

Mary Carty

I have started and stopped none to run plans in the past but this summer/fall was my first time completing the program. It makes me wonder “Why this time?”.

As a naturally tall and thin person there are less exterior pressures for fitness, since the world thinks you’re fit if you’re slim. This is very far from the truth. There have been times when I complained to my Dr. about not being able to do a 10 min walk, to which she relied ‘then do a 5 min walk’.

This was a big help in starting where I’m at. When I couldn’t do exercise videos I could do tai chi, but finally this summer after having finally removed myself from a toxic marriage the winter before I had a bit of energy to begin again. Every transition was hard, I doubted myself every week.

However, here in Canada we have a charitable 5km event to raise money for cancer in memory of a young man named Terry Fox. I figured if he could run a marathon each day with one leg then I could suck it up and run the 5km!

I did it thanks to his example, then I returned to the program.

I’m happy running the 25 minutes and improving my distance now that the 12 weeks are done.

It’s about maintaining a level of cardio health and I’m very proud of myself. I listen to music with one ear bud in, and I think this makes a big difference.

Along with the encouragement from None to Run about my split pace I also use the app called Strava for accountability and encouragement from neighbours and friends.

I continue to alternate run days with yoga from Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube. Short videos with clear and simple prompts. It’s the right balance of cardio and flexibility I need to stay heathy and well using this routine of running and yoga. Oh yes, one more thing, I’ve added pre and post run warm ups and cool downs from the Peloton app.

So many great resources out there, stay encouraged folks!

Caron Forman

I had been fairly active for the past 3 years after joining a running group. Although I was a member of this running group, I found it hard to excel because mostly everyone was more advanced and I didn't want to bother them with teaching me the basics of running. So, I mainly walked. Although I was walking pretty consistently, my diet had not changed. I had a check up in July and was not happy with the results at all. Along with being overweight, my cholesterol and glucose numbers were elevated from the last check up and I knew I had to change my habits. I got my check up results on a Thursday. That Friday, I watched a commercial about Noom and started that Saturday.

I knew I had to also improve my exercise habits and I came across the N2R app. I had tried C25K but was not successful at all. I had not heard anything about N2R but it looked doable. Weeks 1 and 2 were fairly easy and I decided to keep going. With every week that passed, I was amazed and delighted at what my body was able to achieve and excited to get to the next week. But, I have to be honest, I did not believe that I would be running 20 minutes by week 10. I made it past the dreaded weeks 7 and 8 and handled week 9 with no problem. I tackled week 10 and had the biggest smile on my face when I finished those 20 minutes!

I have not stepped on the scale (don't like the mental game with numbers) but can definitely tell that there is weight loss. Along with that, my runs are becoming easier, my breathing while running is better and I am not sore at the end of a run. Using this app has given me a huge sense of accomplishment, confidence and a yearning to keep going. I would be very self conscious of how I looked when running but not anymore. I have also added strength training to my workouts and recently joined Stay Fit Philly, a month long list of events to keep the city moving through the month of November. I'll be sure to give you an update after I have my physical in January. I run a very slow pace but am currently working on improving my pace and my distance.

I am so grateful for you, Mark, and this app and for the None to Run community for their constant encouragement. Although we all have never met and live in different parts of the world, everyone is so positive and inspiring.

Clara Baldwin

What was the trigger that got you started running with N2R?

COVID-19, really! My favorite spin studio closed due to the city mandate and I realized I have to rely on myself for my fitness. I also wanted something that makes sense--structured and simple yet deaf friendly. I realized N2R has an app that has vibration setting so I know the cue to run or walk. It was the biggest buy-in trigger for me as a deaf runner!

‍Did you change anything in addition to running?

So much reframing happened in my mindset. Due to the amount of incredible support on N2R FB group, I really am much more kind to myself than I was before. I also felt more meaningful with the simple prescribed strength exercises that Mark built into the program. It became foundational and I now weight lift for 30 minutes alone, and I have a dedicated core day to my current training plan.

‍What results did you obtain from N2R?

So much confidence! I became more flexible and clear-minded because of the simplicity of the N2R program. It is so straightforward. I also am now running regularly every week! I never thought this was possible if it is not for N2R.

I also increased my patience because of the gradual practice built into the N2R program. I was also able to increase my mileage in a safe and gradual manner.

N2R is a solid foundation for me!

What advice do you have for others?

Trust your body on week 7 and 8. Your mind may think that you are not ready but your body will show you that you are ready. Your body is so capable of incredible things.

Also, do not fret over your pace time. You are still moving, you are still on your feet--that matters!

Anything else?

Remember that you will never regret a run! There will be some good, bad, and the ugly ones but never regret it! They all count, they all shape you as a runner.




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