How to Start Running: Month 1

It’s the first Monday of 2016 and many of us are motivated to craft better versions of ourselves in the coming year. I’m a huge believer that running changes your life, no matter how long or short you run and for 2016, I want to do something to help spread the running love across the internet. Although there are plenty of couch to 5K programs, I wanted to create a running program that helps you get to a place where you could go out for a 30 minute run anytime you want. So, if you start and stick with this program, you’ll reach that goal by June 4th 2016.

What’s the purpose? Introduce (or reintroduce) regular running into your life and work towards running for 30 minutes by June 2016.

What do I need to be able to do to start? If you can walk for 10 minutes, you can start this program. If 10 minutes is a stretch, work up towards walking for 10 minutes then start this program at Month 1. I’ll be adding all the How to Start Running posts to the Workouts page so that you can start when you’re ready.

What gear do I need? All you need is a good pair of running shoes, a simple watch or timer on your phone and clothing in which you are comfortable moving. The best place to start for running shoes is at your local running store. If you’re a total beginner, be honest! Running store employees are used to all levels of runners and are great at finding the right shoe for you. As for gear, TJ Maxx or Marshall’s can be a great place to get a few things to get started. As you go along, you can add to your wardrobe.

What’s the time commitment? This month (Month 1/January), the time commitment is 10 minutes, 4 days a week. This will increase gradually to 30 minutes, 4 days a week by June.

Okay, so what’s the plan? I firmly believe that a walk-run combo is the best way to get going. Week by week, we’ll slowly add more time running. By the end of month 1, you’ll be doing 4 minutes of running.

Pick the 4 days of the week you will be running. In my experience, the weekend is a little bit easier to find time to run during, so I recommend you do at least one weekend day.

Below is the plan for the first four weeks. You’ll see the total workout time outside the parenthesis and the details for the run/walk split in the parentheses. In Week 1, for example, you’ll start your workout with 1 minute, 30 seconds of walking then run for 30 seconds. You’ll repeat this four more times and end after your 5th 30 second segment of walking.

What are my paces? A big mistake is sprinting the running segments; that’s a totally different kind of training and while it can get you into shape, it doesn’t help you learn how to run consistently. Instead, take it slow on your runs. By the time you reach the end of each run segment, it’s okay to be tired but you shouldn’t need to bend over and put your hands on your knees to recover.

What if I have questions? Ask them in the comments section because if you have a question, it’s a guarantee that someone else has the same question. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know the other people who are learning to run at the same time as you.

Week Workout Plan
Week 1   10 minutes (1:30 walk/30 second run. Repeat 4 more times)
Week 2   10 minutes (2 min walk/1 min run. Repeat 3 times. 1 min walk to end)
Week 3   10 minutes (2:30 walk/1:15 run. Repeat 2 times then 1:30 walk/1:00 run to end)
Week 4   10 minutes (2:30 walk/1:30 run. Repeat 2 times then 1 min walk/1 min run to end)


2 thoughts on “How to Start Running: Month 1

  1. foxrunsfast

    What an awesome idea, Sarah! I love this!! I hope you have a lot of takers – I can even begin to describe how much running has added joy to my life and I hope that somewhere, someone (or many someones!) begins your program today and gets to experience that joy.

    1. Runner Under Pressure Post author

      Thanks! Running is just such a positive in my life and I truly believe that everyone can run, you just have to know where to start and have some people rooting for you!


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