Beginning Running 101
(Compiled by Kim Bachmeier of FIT to RUN, adapted from various sources)
There is no reason to feel intimidated by beginning a running program. Even the greatest of runners had
a first time!! This informational sheet is meant to act as only a guideline and to provide basic
recommendations. It is best to consult with running coaches and/or find a running club in your area for guidance, assistance, and support. Enjoy the journey on your feet!
Here are the basics of getting started with a running program:
1. Make certain that you are in good physical condition to begin. It is best to obtain medical
clearance from your doctor.
2. Make sure you get the right running shoes for your foot type! This is extremely important for
injury prevention as well as comfort. Visit your local running store and be fitted properly. Don't
cheat yourself on this smart investment – it could be the one issue that will help you continue or
stop you in your tracks.
3. Make sure you are properly hydrated (water) before, during and after. Sport drinks are not
necessary before these workouts-- that just provided unnecessary calories at this time.
Hydration is especially important when it's humid or hot.
4. Clothing: avoid cotton and jean materials when running or walking for fitness. Cotton absorbs
and retains sweat. These materials can also cause irritation and chaffing. When possible,
purchase “technical” clothing – clothing made for running. It breathes, it dries quickly, and it
will not cause skin breakdown.
Women should invest in a good sports bra. No cotton bras. With the right bra, you should only
need 1 bra at a time – regardless of your cup size. See your local specialty running store to be
5. Socks: avoid cotton for the same reasons as above. Technical socks made for running will keep
your feet dry – even in the hottest of weather. Your feet should not be blistered, callused or
wrinkled after you exercise – if they are, consider new socks.
6. Before you start your workouts, make sure you “warm up” your muscles by walking briskly for
5-10 minutes and or skip, hop, jump a little. Do not stretch cold muscles. Only stretch after you
have warmed up and increased your heart rate somewhat. Always end your workout with a
“cool down” (lesser intensity walk, run, or jog) and stretch gently.
7. WEEK 1: walk for 6 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times. Try to do
this at least 3 different days during this first week. Just do the best you can!
8. WEEK 2: walk for 5 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Try to do this at least 3
days this week. Remember to stretch when you finish.
9. WEEK 3: walk for 3 minutes, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Try to do this 4 days this
10. WEEK 4: walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 5 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Do this 4 days this week.
11. WEEK 5: walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 8 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do this 4 days this week!
You're doing great and look how far you've come! Don't forget to smile...it makes your body
12. WEEK 6: walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 9 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do this 4 days this week.
13. WEEK 7: walk for 1 minute, then jog for 11 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do this 4 days this week.
Try not to make these days consecutive. Whoohoo!! Be proud of your accomplishment!
14. WEEK 8: Repeat week 7 workout. Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 11 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Try to do this 4 days this week. Give yourself rest days. Doesn't this seem easier than last week?
15. WEEK 9: Warm up by walking briskly, jogging a few seconds, then walking again – do this for
5 minutes. Then jog for 15 minutes. Then cool down by walking briskly for 5 minutes more.
Try to do this 4 days this week.
16. WEEK 10: You can do it!! Walk fast/ jog a few seconds for 5 minutes. Then jog/run for 20
minutes. Then cool down by walking fast for 5 minutes. Do this 4 days this week.
17. WEEK 11: Increase the challenge! Warm up for 5 minutes by walking fast/ jogging for a few
seconds. Jog/run for 30 minutes, then cool down by walking fast for 5 more minutes. Try to do
this 4 days this week. Stretch after each run.
18. WEEK 12: Repeat week 11. This should feel easier and you may be able to run faster.
CONGRATULATIONS!! Do you agree that the hardest part was taking the first step?
If you are reading this page and you are a true beginner to the sport of fitness walking or running, I congratulate you. You have just taken your hardest step.
As you begin your journey you will soon wonder many things like why am I breathing heavy and no one else seems to be? We are. Why am I totally drenched in sweat and I've just started? You'll get used to it, we are all a sweaty mess. Why am I so tired when I get home? You'll soon learn why sleep and good food does a body good. We all adjust.
My feet are sore. Your feet have muscles and tendons just like the rest of your body. They too need conditioning just like your legs, and good shoes will help you. Be patient with your whole body the transformation takes time but it will haopen.
You have made a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Very soon every hard breath you take will become a bit easier than the one before, and every step will ever so slightly be lighter. Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and more confident, one that now knows that anything is possible.
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