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Running for Beginners

Updated on September 15, 2008
Start Running
Start Running

Recent studies have shown that older people who run are healthier than those who don’t. I bet this holds true for any kind of physical activity because incorporating exercise into your life has a lot of health benefits no matter how old you are. Anyway, it turns out that joggers have a slower onset of disabilities as they get older. Good motivation to get out those running shoes, huh?

I’ve wanted to start jogging for about two years now (ever since I made a commitment to myself to live a healthier lifestyle). I tried to start running a couple of times, but it never stuck. Well, guess what? I have successfully started jogging on a regular basis.

Running Track
Running Track

Health Tips

Don't forget to warm up, cool down, and stretch!

Busy schedule? Try to fit in ten minute sessions of exercise three times a day.

Use the talk test to find out if you are working at the best intensity. You are over-exerting yourself if you cannot carry on a light conversation while exercising.

Jogging for Beginners

When you first begin running, you need to do it slowly so that you can build up your stamina. Even if you have all of the willpower in the world, you will find it difficult to go from a couch potato to a marathon runner over night. Plus, if you don’t take it slowly, you could hurt yourself.

I have three different approaches for beginning runners to try. All three work, but you have to choose the one that works best for you.

Option 1: Run Straight, Walk Corners

This option is for people who have access to a track. The process is simple: run whenever the path is straight, but slow down to a walk when you approach the corners. When you feel comfortable, increase the number of laps you do. After time goes on, you will find that you can start jogging some of the corners, until you end up jogging the entire time. Remember to take it slowly.

Option 2: Walk Two Minutes, Run Three Minutes

This is for someone who doesn’t have access to a track and is too free-spirited for the training offered in option 3. Basically, start out jogging by alternating between walking and jogging. As the days go by, you can start walking less and jogging more. Eventually you will be running the entire time.

Option 3: The 8 Week Running Program

If you are like me, you need something a bit more regimented to keep on track (pun intended). I found a fabulous training program at, which has worked out for me. You will want to complete the workout three times per week (not three days in a row), while incorporating other kinds of physical activity in on the between days.

Week 1: Walk 4 minutes, jog 1 minute. Repeat this four times for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2: Walk 3 minutes, jog 2 minutes. Repeat this five times for a total of 25 minutes.

Week 3: Walk 3 minutes, jog 2 minutes. Repeat this six times for a total of 30 minutes.

Week 4: Walk 2 minutes, jog 3 minutes. Repeat this five times for a total of 25 minutes.

Week 5: Walk 2 minutes, jog 3 minutes. Repeat this six times for a total of 30 minutes.

Week 6: Walk 1 minute, jog 3 minutes. Repeat this eight times for a total of 32 minutes.

Week 7: Walk 1 minute, jog 4 minutes. Repeat this seven times for a total of 35 minutes.

Week 8: Walk 1 minute, jog 4 minutes. Repeat this eight times for a total of 40 minutes.

By week 9, you will be jogging along.

Whether you walk, take fitness classes, swim, or run a 5k, exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity of any kind helps you be a healthier person.

Finding the Perfect Running Shoes

Running shoes can be expensive, but finding the right ones for your feet is very important. If you go to a running store (or even a sports store), they will have you get on a treadmill so the perfect shoe can be found for your stride.

The perfect pair of running shoes is too expensive? Well, don't tell anyone I told you to do this, but go get fitted for the right shoe anyway...then find it online for a lot less. I know, it does seem unfair to use a store's expertise to help you find the perfect shoe, but it is a lot easier on your budget.


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    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      I used to run up to 4 miles 3-4x/wk (yrs ago!)and have been thinking about running again. I have at least been walking! I have thought about going to the HS track, but I never know when they might have something scheduled. When I did run, I liked using the track at first. Occasionally, I use the treadmill for walking and get an urge to start a slow jog. Maybe I will.

    • profile image

      Get Rid Of Stomach Rolls 6 years ago

      When I first started running, I found it worked best for me to walk 2 minutes, run 3 minutes until I gradually worked my way up. You're right, having a good pair of running shoes is definetely essentially. Great tips!

    • AKN-London profile image

      AKN-London 6 years ago from UK

      Running is best exercise and even if you run just for 15 minutes 3 times a weeks, its good! You feel good! Thanks for posting a awesome blog!

    • profile image

      mam 6 years ago

      love it cause i lost some pounds good advice stancie

    • profile image

      running for beginners 7 years ago

      I think that signing up for a 5k run (or run/ walk) is a great way to get motivated to run, especially when you do it with a group of friends. If you have signed up with friends, you have a sense of obligation to train for it.

    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 7 years ago from India

      great hub! I liked it.

    • deestew profile image

      deestew 8 years ago from Kentucky

      Great information.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 8 years ago from Manhattan

      Ok, I am 48 and overweight. I used to jog all the time but in the past 2 years I stopped. I just tried again and I can jog but when I am done I can hardly walk. My knees pop and it's difficult. I am wondering if you can recommend anything so that when I am done with the jog it's not so bad.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 8 years ago from Holly, MI

      Awesome Hub! You've got it all right! It is important to start slowly and have set goals mapped out. Running journals are a really good tool to use too! When I quit smoking a few years ago and started running I could not even run a minute straight and I ran my first marathon this past September. Such a great Hub and very well written! Run happy!

    • TomsFitnessGuide profile image

      TomsFitnessGuide 8 years ago

      Great hub. Some quality info. Keep on running ;)

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      i cannot walk much. will try some of this

    • profile image

      MrsMoe 8 years ago

      At 51, after a spinal injury that left me unable to walk further than a block, I started out VERY slow and didn't go too far. Then it became all about going a little further, a little faster. MUSIC helps! Now at 56 (almost), I am jogging 4 minutes (just the length of most songs), powerwalking 1 or 2, back to 4 minutes jogging. Total distance each day - 3 miles!

    • Danton Young profile image

      Danton Young 8 years ago

      You should always start off slow and then work your way up to a higher pace.

    • profile image

      Matt 8 years ago

      Good article for beginners. Do you have any information about pre and post run stretching?

    • PunditP profile image

      PunditP 8 years ago from Seattle

      I like the mental crutch of walking corners on a track, assuming you have access of course. Thats more interested than a time on/time off mechanism for me.

    • hypnosis4u2 profile image

      hypnosis4u2 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      I like the information in this hub but I'd be cautious about buying shoes online. If the shoe feels right in the store buy them there and then. Due to inconsistencies in manufacturing process the same size bought online may not fit quite as well as it did in the store. And ill fiting shoes are a recipe for... blisters and bad experiences.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      Thank you for your hub, i have to start running :)

    • RVilleneuve profile image

      RVilleneuve 9 years ago from Michigan

      I have been thinking about starting something like this, Thank You!

    • anjalichugh profile image

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

      This is incredible! I can see how much work has gone in here. I really want to read more of your hubs. I really learnt many things which I had no clue of. Thx.

    • blogit2050 profile image

      blogit2050 9 years ago from india

      very nice will help me plan my running routine even better thanks

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

      Thanks for the different approaches for beginnier runners to try. Maybe I will! Love your Hub!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      sounds good to me..if only my knee would allow it..I should do a hub on my Nustep machine...Good advice my sweet grandaughter...G-Ma :o) hugs

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Excellent hub. Unfortunately, I have mobility problems that make running impossible. But I do try to walk lots :)

    • shawna.wilson profile image

      shawna.wilson 9 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for the tips, Stacie. I have never been a good runner. Maybe I can use your ideas to trick my body into thinking running is fun!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Stacie, love your hub! :) I agree with what you said that any physical activity keeps us healthy. Gotta run now.......

    • starrkissed profile image

      starrkissed 9 years ago from Arizona

      this is an awesome hub! i need to start running so i can get into better shape and start training for the police department. this will help out a lot!!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      Whew, just got back from running. It was a sweaty session, but made the stress from work just fizzle away.

    • Ryan Hupfer profile image

      Ryan Hupfer 9 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Nice choice, Stacie...I looove me some running. Well, at least most of the time.

    • solarstories profile image

      solarstories 9 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Hi this is a great hub! Its very true what you say about starting out slowly. I have had times in my life when I was running a lot (this isn't one of them). But since that time I have noticed that even one minute a day makes a world of difference from nothing, and from there it builds up to the point where it isn't so hard to do more. In fact, this hub does make me want to try it again!

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 9 years ago from Scotland

      Great information Stacie, thanks .....jimmy