Running 101: The Ultimate Beginner Running Plan
Recently, a few friends have asked me how they should start a running program. I originally posted a beginners running plan on thoos.com about five years ago, but thought this would be a good opportunity to dig it up and dust it off. So, friends, this is for you.
Running is one of the best ways to get and stay in shape. All you need is a pair of running shoes and a little stretch of road or trail. And, being such a portable sport, you can enjoy it anywhere. Some of the benefits of running include: weight loss, increased muscle tone, increased self-esteem, a great way to meet chicks/dudes, increased energy levels, decrease in cholesterol, and a boost to your immune system just to name a few.
10 Weeks to Glory
I have given this plan to over a dozen people in the past few years, and most of these people are still running on a daily basis. One friend has lost over 35 pounds while another has gone on to run marathons. However, you don’t have to be totally obsessed to benefit from this program … just thirty minutes a day will do it!
OK, before you get started, there are a few prerequisites. First, you need to be able to walk non-stop for thirty minutes comfortably. If you can do this, read on. If not, come back in a few weeks to read further. Second, go to a running store and get properly fit for running shoes. DO NOT go to a discount or department store! You will get what you pay for … blisters. And remember if your feet aren’t happy, you will quit this program and go directly to McDonalds … and the rest of that story isn’t very pretty. Once you have your new shoes, you are ready to start running. Don’t worry; we are going to take it easy. Here is the plan:
|1||Walk 9 minutes, Run 1 minute||3x|
|2||Walk 8 minutes, Run 2 minutes||3x|
|3||Walk 7 minutes, Run 3 minutes||3x|
|4||Walk 6 minutes, Run 4 minutes||3x|
|5||Walk 5 minutes, Run 5 minutes||3x|
|6||Walk 4 minutes, Run 6 minutes||3x|
|7||Walk 3 minutes, Run 7 minutes||3x|
|8||Walk 2 minutes, Run 8 minutes||3x|
|9||Walk 1 minute, Run 9 minutes||3x|
|10||Run 30 minutes||1x|
That’s it! Looks pretty simple, and it is. But be true to yourself and don’t cheat! You should repeat this workout 5 times per week. Take two days off for rest, but preferably no two consecutive days. Pick the two days of the week when you need the most rest or your schedule is the busiest. Follow each workout with a short stretching session and proper intake of fluids. If you are having difficulty with a particular week, do not advance the next week. Repeat the week until you feel comfortable to move on. Also, one final note on pace: you should not go out and run as fast as possible. You should be able to hold a conversation while running (in other words: not gasping for breath).
After you have successfully completed this program, I strongly suggest for you enter a race. I know, I know, you don’t want to be competitive. You say you are just doing this for exercise. Consider running a race anyways. The atmosphere is very motivational and it allows you to accurately gauge your progress. There is just something exciting about running with a large group of people (not to mention the new running friends you will meet). If you are trying to choose a distance, I would recommend a 5k. 5k is just over three miles, which is coincidentally about the same distance you ran on week 10 of the Program.
Have fun and be safe.