How to Get Started Running

how to start running

How do you start running?  Well it’s a simple question with a simple answer.  Just start.

Okay, not what you wanted, I understand.  Let me break it down for you, but first some disclaimers… I do run regularly and I did start as a couch potato.  I’m not what I would call a good runner, just someone that enjoys running.  Also, I’m not a professional runner, trainer or anything of the sort.  I’m a computer geek and professor.

The best way to start running is to find a plan, such as couch to 5k that starts out simple and easy, then build your way up.  At the bottom of this is the couch to 5k plan.  I’ve done this and I highly recommend it.  There is also a mobile app that is great. If you don’t have a smartphone or don’t want to buy the app, then just time it yourself or search Google some free C25K MP3’s to put on your MP3 player.  The cool thing is you don’t have to monitor the clock.  They tell you when to walk and when to run. This workout is the start of building your base.  You need to get to where you can run for 30 minutes at around 75-80% of your max speed before you start speed training or anything like that.

Tips:

  • Get fitted for good running shoes.  Go to a running store so that you can get something that will help you.  Getting good shoes makes all the difference.  And I’ve found that most good running shoes are ugly… deal with it.
  • When it says walk, walk briskly.  This isn’t the time to slow to a crawl, just quit running and walk quickly.
  • When it says run, don’t sprint.  If you do, you’ll burn out too quickly and possibly injure yourself.
  • Stretch after your run.  This will help reduce the change of injury and help reduce soreness.
  • Don’t run just before or just after a meal.  You should have some good nutrition in your system, but you should be finished with the most intense part of digestion before you start your workout.
  • Pick a race near the end of your training calendar and go ahead and sign up for it.  Nothing motivates you like having a race on your calendar that you’ve already paid for.
  • Start easy.  Nothing should hurt when you’re done.  Remember there is a difference from being a bit sore, and hurting.
  • Don’t run fast.  Your runs should be between 75-85% of your max speed… never sprint during this training.
  • Stay hydrated.  Drink lots or water.  You can tell a big difference when you try to run dehydrated vs. having proper hydration.
  • Proper nutrition makes a difference.  I’m one of the world’s worst when it comes to this, but I can tell you from experience that eating healthy meals makes running easier than eating junk food.
  • Pick a time of the day when you want to run and make it a habit.  Be consistent and don’t miss it or push it back.
  • If you can, run with a friend or a dog.  It’s easier than doing it alone, plus you have someone to hold you accountable.
  • Ahh it’s raining outside… So what.  It’s not going to kill you.  It’s just water.  You’ll probably take a shower when you get back anyway.  Don’t let the weather stop you.  If you miss one or two sessions due to weather, you’re likely to never start back.
  • When you’re training is done, and you’ve finished the 5k don’t quit.  Start another training plan.  Check out 10ks or half marathons in your area.
  • If you feel pain (other than normal soreness) stop and check with a doctor.  Running with pain can just make the problem worse.  The pain is telling you to stop.

Week #

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

1

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

2

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

3

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

4

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

5

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.

6

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 22 minutes) with no walking.

7

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

8

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

9

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

 

 

 

Two great resources for starting to run.

 

Surviving a 5K Race: Get Running in 6 Weeks



Surviving a Mud Run: Finishing Spartan, Warrior, Mudder and More!