ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to start a running program for beginners

Updated on October 6, 2009

Running is one of the most efficient exercises you can do for weightloss, burning approximately 500 calories per hour. In addition to helping you lose weight, regular running can strengthen your heart, lower your cholesterol level, improve your immune system and increase bone density.

If all those health benefits aren’t enough, running is a great confidence builder – you can soon progress from not being able to run for a bus to easily managing a 5k and the feeling of achievement is addictive. If you’re suffering from low energy levels, stress or depression, running will boost your energy and your mood. Feel like the last thing in the world you want to do is go for a run? – force yourself to tie your trainers and head out of the door and you’re almost guaranteed to come back in a better mood.

And finally, running is one of the simplest forms of exercise you can do. Instead of signing up for an expensive gym membership or struggling with complicated equipment, all you need to run is a decent pair of running shoes, some comfortable clothing and enough motivation to get out of the door!

So there really is no excuse not to start your running program today!


When to run

It might take a bit of experimentation to find out when the best time to run is for you. Many people find that an early-morning run before heading out for work provides a great energy boost at the start of the day. Others prefer running in the evenings as a way to wind down and relax at the end of a hard day. If you’re really pressed for time you may find it easier to run in your lunch hour or run home from work.

Choosing the right running shoes and clothing

Before you start a running program it is absolutely vital to make sure you have the right shoes.  Ill-fitting trainers or shoes that aren’t designed for running can slow you down, cause blisters or even serious foot or leg injuries that may put you out of action for weeks or months.

Choose a pair of shoes that are specifically designed for running, rather than cross-trainers and make sure you try on several pairs before you buy. Don’t even think about buying running shoes without trying them on but if you want to get a bargain in an online store or ebay, make sure you try the same model in a sports shop before you go ahead and buy online.

The best running shoes will be light and comfortable. You may need other features such as extra cushioning or structured support depending on your foot shape and running style. This is something you can be advised on in a sports or specialist running shop.

When you’re just starting out running you can wear whatever comfortable exercise clothes you have around. Remember you’ll heat up as you run so don’t overdress. After a while you’ll probably want to upgrade to some more specialist running clothing with sweat-wicking fabrics which keep you more cool and comfortable. Running in the rain can be an exhilarating experience and there are a variety of waterproof running jackets designed for this purpose.

What to eat and drink

Try to eat at least an hour before you run or you’re likely to end up with a stitch and have to walk home. Some people may need to run on a completely empty stomach and need more time than this – you’ll find out what works best for you after a couple of weeks of experimentation. If you run first thing in the morning, try to eat something small but that will give you energy. Porridge is a good option, along with fruit (especially bananas), or try peanut butter on toast. If you find it difficult to stomach anything before you run, fruit smoothies can give you energy without sitting in your stomach.

It’s important to stay well hydrated when you’re running. Make sure to drink plenty of water before you leave and take a water bottle with you if you’re going to be out for more than an hour.  When you finish your run  make sure you drink to replenish all the fluids you lost in sweat.

A walk/run program for beginners

When you’re just starting out running it’s important not to try and do too much too soon – you will just end up exhausted and frustrated and quite possibly injured.

It’s much better to take things slowly, even if you feel like it’s going too slowly. You’ll improve your stamina and running form much better this way. Don’t run 2 days in a row when you’re starting out as your body will need a day off in between running days to recover. You can do another kind of exercise on your off-days such as cycling or swimming if you like. The running program detailed below alternates running with walking. You will gradually reduce the time you’re walking and increase the time you’re running until you can run 30 minutes without stopping. The running portions should not be carried out at a sprint pace! If you try to run too fast you’ll wear yourself out before you’ve got to the bottom of the road. You should be running at a slow jog just slightly faster than your walking speed. Remember to walk for 5 minutes at the beginning and end of your program to warm up and cool down.

Week 1: walk for 6 minutes, run for 1 minute, repeat 3 times.

Week 2: walk for 5 minutes, run for 2 minutes, repeat 3 times.

Week 3 : walk for 3 minutes, run for 4 minutes, repeat 4 times

Week 4: walk for 2 minutes, run for 5 minutes, repeat 4 times

Week 5: walk for 2 mintues, run for 8 minutes, repeat 3 times

Week 6: walk for 2 minutes, run for 9 minutes, repeat 3 times

Week 7: walk to 1 minutes, run for 10 minutes, repeat 3 times

Week 8 : run for 30  minutes

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Patrick Kallie 

      8 years ago

      Great article, running can be a great part of your overall healthy living plan. Be sure to run at your own pace and try not to over do it. You will feel much better physically and mentally, I myself have lost over 70 pounds and have kept it off for over 7 years. I also have plenty of tips for anyone that want's to get and stay in shape.

    • Patti Ann profile image

      Patti Ann 

      9 years ago from Florida

      Excellent information. I have always walked instead of running, but this makes me rethink it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)