So ya want to start running?

“I really want to start running, but I don’t know how to start, since just running a straight mile isn’t really a good place to begin. Any tips?”  –a friend keen to find her inner-runner.

Here are some tips to get those legs moving.

1 Read Born to Run.  It will inspire you which, lets face it, is half the battle.

2 Set realistic goals.  If your currently running 0 miles a week, your goal probably shouldn’t be to do a marathon in a month.  First of all, you will probably injure yourself and second, you’ll get burnt out quick.

Pick a distance that is obtainable a few months out.  If you are beginning running for your first time, pick a 5 K or even shorter that’s a few months out and create a training plan you can stick with.

3 Take Walk Breaks!  On Sunday I did my long run and amazed myself at how easy it felt (minus the fact my hands got wet and I thought they were going to snap off in the cold).  There is absolutely no shame in walk breaks.

Use your watch (run for 3 min, walk for 1 min or reverse if you need) or pick land marks (I’ll run to the next phone pole…).

4 Go Slow.  Just chill.  If you push yourself too hard before you’ve developed a lovey- dovey relationship with running your relationship will only end with disappointment, shame, heartache and a possible injury.  Keep your pace where you can sing or hold a conversation with a running buddy.

 5 Increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week.  So, if you run 10 miles this week, next week you shouldn’t run more than 11.

6  Enjoy.  Yes, sometimes running is difficult and can be uncomfortable at times.  But for the most part, running should be enjoyable.  Find a friend who will join you or use it as a time to be alone.  If you find yourself burning out, lay off and cross train for a few days and then jump back in!

Here’s a sample workout plan.

Week Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
1 Run/walk 20 minutes



Strength train

Run/walk 20 minutes Cross train Run/walk 20 minutes or rest Run/walk 35 minutes


Rest or yoga
2 Run/walk 20 minutes Yoga or strength train Run/walk 25 minutes Cross train Run/walk 20 minutes or rest Run/walk 40 minutes Rest or yoga
3 Run/walk 25 minutes Yoga or strength train Run/walk 30 minutes Cross train Run/walk 25 minutes or rest Run/walk 45 minutes Rest or Yoga
4 Run/walk 25 minutes Run/walk 35 minutes Cross Train Run/walk 25 minutes or rest Run/walk 50 minutes Rest or yoga
5 Run/walk 30 minutes Run/walk 35 minutes Cross Train Run/walk 25 minutes or rest Run/walk 60 minutes Rest or yoga

Run/Walk:  Alternating between running and walking. Always begin with a warm up!

Rest/Yoga:  Rest doesn’t mean sitting around eating potato chips.  It’s about allowing your muscles to recover from your last workout so you get stronger!  Active recovery means moving your body in gentle ways that speed recovery.  Eat healthy and try to work movement into your rest days.  Yoga is a great way to do this.  It will relieve tight spots and increase circulation, giving your muscles the fresh blood they need to recoop.

The day after your long run (Saturday on this schedule) is a great day for gentle yoga.  You might feel a little sore.  Yoga will help, I promise.

Cross Train:  Cross training is a great tool for building fitness while giving your running muscles a bit of a break.  I like to cycle, swim, hike, or elliptical train on my cross training days.  If you find that you want to get more cardiovascular work in on running days but don’t want to increase running time, tag of a few minutes of cross training to your running days.


6 thoughts on “So ya want to start running?

  1. Bethany

    Oh, no idea. My brothers have been on me to start running for more than a year now, so just the fact that it only took you one blog post to get me this far is pretty impressive 🙂 It’s possible once I have money again I might buy a pair of tennis shoes that aren’t ten years old and give it a try. Or I’ll chicken out. Who knows.

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