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From Issue #15 April 25, 2013

Second Wind

A running program designed for beginners takes people far beyond 5,000 meters.

By Chris Higgins Twitter icon App.net icon 

I started running in 2011 after my girlfriend dumped me for the fourth and final time. I needed something that was hard and physical and that I completely controlled. I needed a task that would push me to the edge of my abilities, and running did.

When Josh Clark began running in 1993 it was also a reaction to a bad breakup. He and his college girlfriend split up, and Clark ran around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston, kicking his way through the pain that every new runner feels when striking out without a plan or training.

Some weeks into his regime, Clark broke through the wall — he ran past the pain — and had a realization: running could feel good. That realization, and his invention of the “Couch to 5K” running program, changed not just his life, but the lives of as many as millions of new runners around the world.

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