How to Start a Consistent Jogging Routine
It has been proven time and time again that a balanced diet and constant exercise programs are not only good for your physical health but your mental and emotional health as well. While no one disputes this, getting started with a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. My goal is to help you start a jogging program that will be motivating and lasting. The plan will have a two week build-up period and then will have an eight day cycle you can fall into when those two weeks are completed.
While motivation is key to starting and maintaining consistent jogging routine, a certain amount of discipline is also required. The plan that I will outline below involves some walking or jogging activity every day. The science behind this is both physical and physiological. Consistency is very important physically, but even more so, the mental strength that comes from a consistent program is extremely positive. When you do something every day you make it a part of your lifestyle and you are more motivated because you “don’t want to miss a day”! If you are concerned about getting rest, there are days built in with a lighter amount of work for the purpose of recovery.
Running: A Gateway to a Healthier Lifestyle
I have designed the following plan for those have never really run before and would consider themselves beginners. If you are worried about falling into a plan that will be too difficult, your worries are over. If you would consider yourself at a more intermediate or advanced fitness level I would encourage you to view my article on how to start a “running” routine, which is targeting a slightly higher level of fitness. Finally, this plan will accommodate a busy schedule and allows for a limited time commitment.
Day 1: Start with a 3 minute walk, then jog for 30 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 20 min and finish with 3 min of stretching.
Day 2: Walk for 2 min, then jog for 45 sec. Then walk 3 min and jog 1 min. Walk for 2 min and jog for 90 sec. Walk for 3 min. and run for 1 min. Finish by walking for 4 min and stretch for 3 min.
Day 3: Walk for 5 min. Jog 1 min. Repeat cycle 3 times and stretch for 5 min.
Day 4: Start with an easy jog for 1 min. Walk for 30 sec. Run 30 sec. Walk 1 min. Repeat four-step cycle 7 times. Stretch 3 min.
Day 5: Jog for 1 min. Walk for 2 min. Repeat cycle 8 times. Stretch for 3 min.
Day 6: Walk at a faster pace for 20 min. Stretch for 5 min.
Day 7: Walk for 2 min. then jog at a fast pace for 1 min. Repeat cycle 6 times and finish with a 1 min walk and 3 min Stretch. Congratulations, you have finished week 1!
Day 1: Walk for 2 min, then jog for 45 sec. Repeat this cycle for 21 min and finish with 3 min of stretching.
Day 2: Walk for 2 min, then jog for 1 min. Walk 2 min. Jog at a faster pace for 90 sec. Repeat cycle 5 times. Stretch 2 min.
Day 3: Walk for 4 min. Jog easy for 2 min. Repeat cycle 4 times. Stretch 5 min.
Day 4: Jog for 3 min. Walk for 2 min. Jog for 4 min. Walk for 2 min. Jog for 5 min. Walk for 5 min. Stretch 3 min.
Day 5: Jog for 90 sec. Walk for 90 sec. repeat cycle 9 times. Stretch for 3 min.
Day 6: Walk at a faster pace for 22 min. Stretch for 5 min.
Day 7: Walk for 90 sec then jog at a fast pace for 90 sec. Repeat cycle 6 times and finish with a 1 min walk and 3 min stretch.
8 Day Cycle:
Day 1: [middle distance] Walk for 2 min, then jog for 1 min. Repeat this cycle for 25 min. Stretch for 3 min.
Day 2: [long] Jog easy for 6 min. Walk for 90 sec. Repeat cycle 5 times. Stretch 5 min.
Day 3: [recovery] Walk at a quick pace for 21 min. Stretch 5 min.
Day 4: [interval] Walk for 2 min. Start intervals with a jog at a faster pace for 2 min. Walk very easy for 90 sec. Repeat the last two steps 5 times. Walk for 2 min. Stretch 2 min.
Day 5: [middle distance] Walk for 90 sec. Jog for 90 sec. Repeat 9 times. Stretch for 5 min.
Day 6: [short & hard] Walk for 3 min. Jog at a faster pace for 6 min. Walk for 3 min. Stretch for 3 min.
Day 7: [recovery] Walk for 8 min. Jog for 3 min. Repeat cycle twice. Stretch for 5 min.
Day 8: [fartlek] Jog easy for 2 min. Jog at a faster pace for 45 sec. Jog easy for 90 sec. Repeat the cycle 10 times then walk for 3 min and stretch for 3 min.
When jogging, go at a comfortable moderate pace unless instructed to go at a faster pace, in which case you should be challenging yourself and will have a slightly increased heart rate. When walking try to keep a good pace unless instructed to intentionally walk easy and in that case your recovery from the jogging is very important and you need to go slowly to get the necessary rest. I would encourage you start an exercise journal where you can log your running and other lifestyle habits such as nutrition and diet.
In conclusion, try not to get in the mindset of having the “perfect plan”, remember that consistency and discipline are key. There are 101 ways to get fit, but it really comes down to devotion and effort. In truth, often the work that you put in can be just as satisfying as the results that come from the work.
Remember that all exercise is done at your own risk. Consult a doctor if you have any health concerns.