Beginners Guide – How to get started

The easy part of running is getting started, the hardest part is sticking with it.   Too many beginners start off by running too fast.  After 2 minutes you will feel tired and out of breath.  Your legs will be burning, you probably be really bored and wondering how the heck those other people do it and endure all this pain.

It’s not a one step easy process.  You need to ease your body into running and get used to a certain pace that will allow you to run longer.  After the initiation process you will understand your body more and know how fast you should be going.  If you are tired after 2 minutes that typically means you should be running slower.  However, you should follow the 2 month training plan before attempting to jump right into a 5k race.  If you don’t understand how your body works you risk injury and unnecessary strain on your body.

Following the 2 month training plan, you should be able to run 30-40 minutes comfortably without stopping.  The amount of time or distance that you run is not important at this point except that you build up running mileage and you get used to the sport.   Lots of beginners quit after the first week.  Being a runner is not easy, most important thing is to go at your own pace.

Start and end your runs with a 5 minutes warm up and cool down and also stretch before and after your runs.  Run at least 3 times a week and space out your runs to give your body sufficient time to recover.  Runners typically run on Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays but run according to your own schedule.

Warning, you will feel sore after the first week of running.  Don’t be discouraged as this is normal.   This is the burn that every runner yearns for, you are building more muscle in your legs and making them stronger.

Initial Steps:  (According to running schedule of Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)

Week 1 – Brisk walk around your block for 15 minutes.  On Sunday, brisk walk for 30 minutes.

Week 2 – Run for 2 minutes, walk for 5 minutes.  On Sunday, run 5 minutes, walk 2 minutes.  Repeat for 30 minutes.

Week 3 – Run for 5 minutes, walk for 4 minutes.  On Sunday, run for 10 minutes, walk for 4 minutes.  Repeat for 30 minutes.

Week 4 – Run for 10 minutes, walk 3 minutes.  On Sunday, run for 20 minutes, walk for 3 minutes.  Repeat for 30 minutes.

Week 5 – Run for 10 minutes, walk 3 minutes.  On Sunday, run for 20 minutes, walk for 3 minutes.  Repeat for 30 minutes.

Week 6 – Run for 15 minutes, walk for 2 minutes.  On Sunday, run for 20 minutse, walk for 2 minutes.  Repeat for 30 minutes.

Week 7 – Run for 20 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 10 minutes.  On Sunday, run for 25 minutes walk 1 minute, run 4 minutes.

Week 8 – Run for 30 minutes, no walking.

Related Running Tips:

  1. Beginners Half Marathon Training
  2. Week Before the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon
  3. Marathon Training – Adding Mileage Safely
  4. Beginner Distance
  5. Speed training tips: Sprint Runs
  6. Speed training tips: Hill repeats
  7. Improve Your Endurance



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