How to Start Running: A 10-Week Plan for Maximum Results
You can’t appreciate the term runner’s high until you experience it yourself, and once you do, you’ll be addicted for life because there is truly no other feeling like it in the world. If you are like many others, you probably see a runner and think they were just born to be fit or you get this overwhelming desire to hit the pavement yourself but get discouraged within the first couple of days. The truth is, anyone can be a runner regardless of weight, age, etc. Oh, and if you think you can’t run because you have asthma, you would be surprised at how many runners throw away their inhalers once their lungs get stronger. If you have tried and failed to become a runner, you probably went at it the wrong way.
While everyone has their own reason for becoming a runner, this exercise grants some pretty exceptional benefits.
- Physical – Running burns a ton of calories. It is the fastest way to lose weight while toning and strengthening the body. It also promotes proper posture.
- Mental – You are granted quiet thinking time which is beneficial to anyone. Running boosts your energy and mood to fight stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
What is the best way to start running?
Start a Diet Plan
You are going to need a lot of nutritious food if you are going to be a runner. Toss that idea of three square meals a day out the window. You will need five to six small, healthy meals to keep your metabolism revved up, energy level high and your muscles fed.
I know you have heard this so many times before, but you have to drink lots of water – especially if you are exercising more than you used to. Water flushes salts from your body (which may lead to bloating), it increases cellular metabolism and staves off dehydration. Running can bring on dehydration, and there are some really cool water bottles designed for runners. Drink water before and after your jog. Some people prefer a sports drink after exercise; one with carbs and electrolytes will stave off fatigue and muscle ache.
10 Week Program
The reason why so many people fail when they try to start running is because they go into it full force. Running is an activity you should introduce to your body slowly.
- Week 1 – Walk 4 ½ minutes and jog 30 seconds
- Week 2 – Walk 4 minutes and jog 1 minute
- Week 3 – Walk 3 ½ minutes and jog 1 ½ minutes
- Week 4 – Walk 3 minutes and jog 2 minutes
- Week 5 – Walk 2 minutes and jog 2 minutes
- Week 6 – Walk 1 minute and 2 minutes
- Week 7 – Walk 1 minute and jog 3 minutes
- Week 8 – Walk 1 minute and jog 4 minutes
- Week 9 – Walk 30 seconds and jog 4 ½ minutes
- Week 10 – Jog as much as you can and walk as needed.
You should try to follow this program at least 4 to 6 times per week when you are starting out for 25 to 40 minutes each time. Easing into running in this way will allow your body to slowly become strong enough to go the distance!
About the author: Melissa Cameron is married with two children. She enjoys surfing the internet, digital photography and running. Eager to tone up, she followed this running guide and is now scheduled to run several charity races this fall and plans on participating in her first marathon!