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Running is one of the most popular ways to exercise. It doesn’t cost a lot to start, and you can run anywhere at any time that suits you. Running can help you burn calories, lose weight, strengthen muscles, and improve your cardiovascular health. Despite this, many people find it difficult to start and stay motivated on their running journey. This post will go over some running tips to help you get started on the road to better health.

How Can I Get Started on a Running Plan?

Make a Plan – Possibly the most important step of creating a running plan. The trick to staying consistent with physical exercise is to make it a habit. Start running on the same days and at the same time. The more consistent you are in the beginning, the more likely you’ll stick with running in the long term. An important part of creating a habit is to remember to reward yourself!

Start Slow – Before you start running, try to take a week or two to walk regularly. This can help get your body and mind into the habit of exercising.

Set Goals – Setting a goal can be a powerful motivator in those times where you don’t feel like running. Maybe you want to run a 5k, or a marathon, or maybe you just want to stay in shape. Whatever the goal is, articulating the way that running can have a positive effect on your life can help keep you motivated on your running journey.

Marko Klaric, Pexels

How to Start Running When You Dislike It

Find a Buddy – Having a friend or family member to go on runs with can be an excellent motivator!

Make a Playlist – Making a great playlist can help keep your mind occupied during a run. Additionally, it can get you pumped up during the more challenging portions of a run. Some people also find that listening to a favourite podcast can keep their minds occupied while running.

Celebrate Your Progress – Some days are harder than others. Remembering to celebrate and reward the little wins can help your motivation. Even if you just went out and jogged around the block, it’s important to remember that any exercise is better than no exercise at all!

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A Checklist for Getting Into Running

While you don’t need any fancy equipment to start running, many people find some items make the task a little easier. Before you go out on your next run don’t forget to include:

  • A good pair of running shoes – These should be cushioned for running, provide some ankle support, and fit snug but not too tight.
  • Earbuds – Make sure that your earbuds fit in your ears to avoid them falling out during a run.
  • Running belt – A running belt can store your keys, phone, and other accessories. This may keep you from worrying about them falling out of your pockets.
  • Water bottle – Particularly important on hot days or on runs longer than a few kilometers.
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Running Technique for Beginners

It’s important to start each run with a 5-10 minute warm up. This can include brisk walking as well as dynamic and static stretches. When you are first starting out, you should alternate between walking and running to avoid overworking yourself (see our beginners running plan below).

Good running form includes:
  • Maintaining good posture, with your eyes forward
  • Keeping your hands and arms loose, avoid crossing your arms in front of your body
  • Using a midfoot strike and avoid hitting the ground on either your heels or toes

The most important rule of thumb when running is to start slow. Listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. This can help prevent any injuries and keep running an enjoyable experience.
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Beginners’ Running Plan

Below is a well-known running plan that has helped thousands of beginners start running. You should repeat each stage 3 times a week before moving on to the next stage. People plan their runs on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, having breaks between runs and on weekends.

Stage 1:

Build up to 30 minutes of nonstop walking.

Stage 2:

Walk for 4 minutes. Run for 1 minute.

Repeat that sequence four more times. End with 4 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 29 minutes; 5 of which are running. 

Stage 3:

Walk for 4 minutes. Run for 2 minutes.

Repeat that sequence four more times. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 33 minutes; 10 of which are running.

Stage 4:

Walk for 3 minutes. Run for 3 minutes.

Repeat that sequence four more times. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 33 minutes; 15 of which are running.

Stage 5:

Walk for 2 minutes 30 seconds. Run for 5 minutes.

Repeat that sequence three more times. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 33 minutes; 20 of which are running.

Stage 6:

Walk for 3 minutes. Run for 7 minutes.

Repeat that sequence two more times. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 33 minutes; 21 of which are running.

Stage 7:

Walk for 2 minutes. Run for 8 minutes.

Repeat that sequence two more times. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 33 minutes; 24 of which are running.

Stage 8:

Walk for 2 minutes. Run for 9 minutes.

Repeat that sequence one more time. Then walk for 2 minutes, run for 8 minutes.

End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 35 minutes; 26 of which are running.

Stage 9:

Walk for 1 minute. Run for 9 minutes.

Repeat that sequence two more times. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 33 minutes; 27 of which are running.

Stage 10:

Walk for 2 minutes. Run for 13 minutes.

Repeat that sequence one more time. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 33 minutes; 26 of which are running.

Stage 11:

Walk for 2 minutes. Run for 14 minutes.

Then walk for 1 minute, run for 14 minutes. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 34 minutes; 28 of which are running.

Stage 12:

Walk for 3 minutes (or until you’re good and ready).

Then run for 30 minutes nonstop. End with 3 minutes of walking.

*Total workout time: 36 minutes; 30 of which are running.

References:

Butler, Sarah. “This Beginner Running Program Has Stood the Test of Time.” Runners World, 2020, https://www.runnersworld.com/beginner/a31707889/best-beginner-running-plan.

National health service. “Running for Beginners.” NHS, 2020, https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/running-tips-for-beginners.

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