This is a 6-week guide for all of you runners to be out there, trying to figure out how to start running without getting injured or being sore a week later. Like many people, I decided to get into running at a later age and wasnt sure what type of program or routine would be best. Being that I was very eager to get started, I proceeded to go out and run as fast as I could around my neighborhood. When I got tired, I started walking until I could breath again.
This continued over and over and as I got frustrated at my lack of ability and endurance, I gave up for a few months. I burned right through the initial “excitement phase” in 1 session and was already done with running. What I realized after this (months later), was that by jumping too quickly into running without being prepared and knowing what I was doing, I sold myself short.
So I went out and started soaking up all the information I could. I bought every running magazine and spent hours online reading articles and posting on discussion boards (such as those found at http://forum.runnerstrainingguide.com). Finally, I came up with a perfect starting routine that built me up slowly and allowed me to run enough to feel like I accomplished something every time. Years later, Im competing weekly and loving the running lifestyle. First, here are a few keys:
- Running involves more than just your leg muscles. To properly build yourself up to running shape (being able to run more than a mile at a time without stopping) you will need to strengthen your entire body. I recommend some time in the gym or at least supplementing with some squats, lunges, and ab work whenever you can.
- Dont go for broke right off the bat. Whenever you go running (at least in the beginning), make sure you start off slow and easy until your heart starts getting more blood to your legs.
- Breathe in your nose and out your mouth. Use a nice and easy breathing pattern and dont start sucking for air as fast as you can. A large portion of running has to do with proper breathing.
- Stretch! Both before and after you run, spend 10-15 minutes stretching. Proper stretching will warm you up and keep you from being sore later.
- Last but not least: Rest! Rest is very important and will allow you to stay refreshed and heal properly. Try to plan so you can alternate between running and rest days.
Ok, now that weve touched on a few tips, lets talk about routines. For the purpose of this guide, Im going to assume that youve never run on a consistent basis if at all. If you find this guide is too easy for you, bump up the pace, distance, or time to meet your needs. A quality routine will consist of about 2-3 days of running for the first 2 weeks mixed in with some walking to keep your heart rate up without killing your legs and lungs. After that, well slowly start removing the walking until you can comfortably run a mile. From then on, you will know enough to formulate your own routine based on this guide and those found on the rest of the site.
- Day 1: Alternate between 1 minute runs and 1 minute walks for a total of 10 minutes. If you find that 1 minute is not sufficient with either cycle, then change accordingly (i.e. 1:30 run/0:30 walk or visa versa).
- Day 2: Repeat day 1 workout, but add an additional 4 minutes to your total time.
- Day 3: Alternate between 1:30 minute runs and 1:30 minute walks for a total of 12 minutes.
- Day 1: Alternate between 2 min runs and 2 minute walks for a total of 12 minutes.
- Day 2: Alternate between 2 minute runs and 2 minute walks for a total of 16 minutes.
- Day 3: Alternate between 2 minute runs and 2 minute walks for a total of 12 minutes.
- Day 1: Alternate between 3 minute runs and 1 minute walks for a total of 12 minutes.
- Day 2: Alternate between 4 minute runs and 1 minute walks for a total of 15 minutes.
- Day 3: Alternate between 3:30 minute runs and 30 second walks for a total of 16 minutes.
- Day 1: Run/Jog for 5 minutes, walk for 1 and repeat.
- Day 2: Run/Jog for 7 minutes, walk for 1 and repeat.
- Day 3: Run/Jog for 5 minutes, walk for 1 and repeat twice.
- Day 1: Run/Jog for 10 minutes, slowing down instead of walking to rest.
- Day 2: Run/Jog for 14minutes, slowing down instead of walking to rest.
- Day 3: Run/Jog for 12minutes, slowing down instead of walking to rest.
- Day 1: Run at a steady pace for 12 minutes.
- Day 2: Run at a steady pace for 16 minutes.
- Day 3: Run at a steady pace for 14 minutes
By now, you should find this program too easy and youll be chomping at the bit to unleash your fury and tear up the roads. You should have no problems running a mile in this time period and in fact you should be running close to 1.5 miles if you are working hard enough. All it takes to become a runner is to start running consistently, which is why I love running so much. First, youll be competing against yourself and soon youll find you just might want to try the next levelcompeting against others in a 5k or 10k. Remember, stick to the basics and dont burn yourself out. Good Luck!