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How To Begin Running - Easing Into Things
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How to Begin Running  -  Easing Into Things

Whether you are an experienced athlete or brand new to the world of exercise, learning how to begin running is critical in making sure you get the most out of your time and energy.

One of the biggest mistakes a new runner can make is to start out going too fast. Even if you are in good physical condition, running stresses different muscles that need to adapt to the new found activity. If you go too fast when you begin running, you increase the chance of injuring yourself especially if your muscles are very weak. Giving them time to adapt to the impact running has on your body will leave you safe and ready for more!

The best way for the true beginners to start running is by walking. It might seem strange but walking consistently (30 minutes a day) prior to a running program will enable you to condition your body and mind for running. The key here is to set yourself up for success in the future rather than going all-in when you start. Not only is walking surprisingly healthy for you, it aids in the development of muscles that you will eventually be using to run.

At some point, you should aim to begin a run/walk or running program. A run/walk program is more suitable for those of us who aren't in the best physical shape but is by far the best way to learn how to begin running.

A typical run/walk program would require you to run "x" amount of time for the amount you are walking. An example for starters would go something like this:

  • Week 1: Run 10 seconds. Walk for 50 seconds. Repeat for 30 minutes. 3 Days.
  • Week 2: Run 15 seconds. Walk for 45 seconds. Repeat for 30 minutes. 3 Days.
  • Week 3: Run 20 seconds. Walk for 40 seconds. Repeat for 30 minutes. 3 Days.
  • etc, etc

While this example is not an actual run/walk program, there are plenty to find if you take a little time to look for them. Some start out very conservative like in my example, gradually increasing your time every week. Others might be a bit more aggressive and require you to run for longer periods of time but the choice is yours to make. Don't be afraid to start slow!

I also would not suggest running more than 3 days a week as a beginner. Granted, everyone is different and will have unique results but sticking to running or run/walking 3 days a week is ideal. It takes time for your body to adjust to running and you don't want to get injured by pushing yourself too hard. Make sure to listen to your body!

The most important advice I can give on how to begin running is to just make it fun! If you don't enjoy running or walking at all for any reason, it will become increasingly difficult to motivate yourself to keep doing it. If you truly make running enjoyable, there will be no stopping you on your journey to a healthier, happier you. When you look forward to going for a run every day, that's when you know you're on the right track!


Street Talk

I am with Rob on this., great info, but I could never do it again.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Sorry although it is a good article its not going to get this old body up and running again... enjoyed it ...

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Good information in a great article! I'm walking a mile twice in the mornings before the heat's unbearable. I'll give it a try tomorrow!! Thanks.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Ok coach, Im starting this next week. Get me ready to run that dumb team event in May!! 100 miles by 6 people in 24 hours .. I have GOT to be crazy!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Great recommendations there Irksy. I liked the part "don't be afraid to start slow". Most people don't start at all thinking they have to strain themselves to exercise.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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