Running for beginners - a 10 week running program

Our Herbalist

Published Mar 2007 by Joan Toth

Written by
Robert Renman, http://run.dolphinstreet.com
Copyright © 2004 - 2014

Want to get in shape? Try running!

One of the best activities you can do for your heart and body is to take up running. It's a very effective way of burning calories and to lose some extra pounds. There are many other good ways to get exercise as well, for example biking, swimming, walking, cross-country skiing, and so on. Now, since you are reading this, you may be interested in getting into running, so this article is for you.

It is important to start gently. Running creates quite a bit of stress on your legs; your muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc, but remember this stress is of the good kind. As long as you don't overdo it, you can benefit greatly from the repeated good stress your legs and body receives while running.

Train - Don't Strain

The first thing you should do is to get a medical exam. Make sure you are healthy enough to get into an exercise program based on running.

Next, set a simple goal for yourself. Think long-term! Your goal can be to complete the 10 week training program below. Or, it could be to run a 5 kilometer race by the end of summer. Goals are important - they will help you stay motivated and follow through with what you set out to do.

Walking

Unless you come from a strong and recent background in some other sport like soccer, tennis or similar physically strenuous sport, start with walking.

Start by walking for:

  • 15 minutes the first 5 days, then
  • 20 minutes the next 5 days, then
  • 30 minutes the following 5 days

This means walking for 15 days in total.

Shoes

Your most important piece of equipment - the running shoe. Make sure you have adequate shoes! Go to a running specialist shoe store and ask for help. A good running store will check your feet to see if you pronate or supinate and analyze your running style. They should give you some options based on the analysis of your feet. Make sure you try several pairs, so you can determine which ones fit best. A comfortable fit is very important; you can't have a shoe that is uncomfortable, or you will stop running pretty quick.

You need enough room in the front of your shoe for your toes, about the width of your thumb should go between your big toe and the front edge of the shoe.

There is no best running shoe. Every runner is different - models and brands are different as well. What is needed is to match you with a running shoe that has the features you need. A quality running store can do this. If they can't, go somewhere else.

Your 10 week running program

After the 15 day "warm-up" of walking, you can start introducing short runs. Here is a 10 week training program:

Do these workouts 3 days per week. For example, do your workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
Take Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays off.

Week Training Details
1 2 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking. Repeat this 4 times
2 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking. Repeat this 4 times.
3 4 minutes of running, 4 minutes of walking. Repeat this 4 times.
4 6 minutes of running, 4 minutes of walking. Repeat this 3 times.
5 6 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking. Repeat this 3 times.
6 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking. Repeat this 3 times.
7 10 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking. Repeat this 2 times.
8 12 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking. Repeat this 2 times.
9 15 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking. Repeat this 2 times.
10 30 minutes of running.

Does it feel difficult?

If you feel the last few weeks before week 10 are hard, repeat week 8 or 9 one extra time before you do week 10.

Now you can run for half an hour! Thumbs up for you!

Next thing is to set a new goal, maybe to run a 3 miler or a 5 miler. Remember, set reasonable goals.

A Place to Run

Where should you go for your runs? Avoid asphalt and hard surfaces as you get started. It is very easy as a beginner to to get injured running on hard surfaces. Try to find a trail system with packed dirt or grass, but make sure the footing is even. Grass fields can be okay, but grass can be uneven so you want to be careful of tripping and hurting yourself.

A treadmill is another option, but I recommend alternating between the treadmill and some other soft but even surface. Treadmill running can be monotonous for your legs, so alternating with running outside is a very good idea.

Running on a track is another option. Some find it very boring to run around and around, but the surface is quite good and you can determine exactly how far and how fast you run by counting your laps.

Don't give up!

It is easy to feel like it's too hard. Don't give up - it gets easier and easier the more you stay with it. After a few weeks, you will feel it is not as hard as it used to be.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Good luck to you!

Sponsored Links

HIDDEN COUNTER

Top of Pagetop of page

Link to us!

Simply copy and paste the link code below to your site.

If you have a health-related site of high quality, we may want to link to it. Contact us for more information.

Recommend this page to a friend

 

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting or stopping any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not start or stop taking any pharmaceutical product without first consulting your prescribing physician. Please refer to the Disclaimer/Legal Information section on this website for more details.