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How to Start Running Miles

Updated on March 6, 2014

There are many reasons for wanting to run a mile, but it's not always an easy distance to endure, especially if you're just starting out. So, I'm going to walk you through a workout that I tested out myself, from start to finish, and saw great results with.

As you’ll soon see, these runs are all one mile long because that is the distance I wanted to improve on, but you’re always welcome to scale things up if your goal is to run a longer distance.

And since nothing will cause you to quit a workout faster than if it’s too intense from the start, you’re going to start out really easy to get yourself use to going a mile on foot. I like to set up workouts that are easy at first but, as you get deeper into the workouts, they gradually get harder.

Week ONE Day 1

All you’re going to do is…

  1. WALK half a mile
  2. JOG a quarter mile
  3. and then WALK the last quarter mile

That’s it! You’re going the full mile, but you’re only jogging a quarter mile. And yes, I mean jogging, not running! So how many of you could look at a run like this and still be reluctant to start your new workout? That’s what I thought and that’s why it’s so easy to begin with. You’ll have no problem starting out with an easy run like this.

Week ONE Day 2

This workout is only slightly harder than the last one (you jog twice as far), but it’s still a pretty simple run.

All you’re going to do is…

  1. WALK a quarter mile
  2. JOG a quarter mile
  3. WALK a quarter mile
  4. and JOG the last quarter mile

That’s it! This time you’ll be jogging half of the mile, but it’s broken up into two parts so that it’s still pretty easy. This workout doesn’t seem scary enough to avoid, now does it?

Week ONE Day 3

This workout is also only slightly harder than your last run (one of the jogging intervals is now a running interval), but it’s not that big of a leap.

All you’re going to do is…

  1. WALK a quarter mile
  2. JOG a quarter mile
  3. WALK a quarter mile
  4. and RUN the last quarter mile

Yep, the only difference from the last run is that you’re running the last quarter instead of jogging! These baby steps will keep you from avoiding your workouts and that means continual progress for you.

Week TWO Day 1

The distances you’ll walk and jog in this run are very similar to what you did in Week 1, Day 2 (half and half) but now the intervals are longer.

All you’re going to do is…

  1. WALK half a mile
  2. and then JOG the other half

That’s it, but now you’re increasing the distance that you’ll be jogging nonstop so that you can work on your endurance. It’s still a somewhat easy run to start the week off with but you need to baby step your way into going the full distance.

Week TWO Day 2

Your body should be ready to step things up a bit, so for this run you’ll only be doing a quarter mile of walking.

All you're going to do is...

  1. WALK a quarter mile
  2. JOG a quarter mile
  3. and then RUN the last half

You’ve trained your body enough to be able to handle this level of intensity and you’ll really get a feel for where you are at endurance-wise. It won’t seem that difficult either because you’re just gradually picking up the pace as your body warms up.

Week TWO Day 3

Ah yes, it’s time for the full mile! Or whatever distance you chose to run. It’s time to get your body use to the distance, and to see where you’re at time-wise.

All you’re going to do is…. drum roll please!

  1. RUN the whole mile!

Your body is ready for it and you’re probably curious how fast you can run it so it’s time to find out. Hey man, you just spent two weeks getting your body ready for the first test run, so let’s see where you’re at!


Now it is time for you to start this cycle of workouts over again with the workout you did on Week ONE, Day 1. Yep, you get to go back to that easy run! And guess what? You’re going to blow your old time out of the water!

And that’s the beauty of setting your workouts up like this. You get to see so much progress on runs that you only did two weeks ago. And you get to compete against your 2-week-old self. Plus you start back on the easier runs to give your body a break after running the full distance.

So, feel free to repeat this circuit as many times as you’d like. In fact, I recommend you do it until you reach your goal. After doing this circuit 4 times, I was able to drop 51 seconds off my mile run time... now that's a proven workout! So, once you’ve finish the circuit the first time through, scroll back up to the top to start all over again. But don’t forget to track your results because you're going to want to see how much faster you are!

© 2014 Ben Guinter

How'd Your Run Go?

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is very helpful and doable! Very nice and motivating hub and I am sure it will be useful to many who sincerely follow this time table.

      Voted up and shared on HP!