As everyone knows, running is one of the most convenient and cheapest among all sports. In terms of training and race venues, running is the most accessible. The sport only requires few necessary equipment, a decent pair of shoes, and some comfortable clothes and you are good to go! Like other sports, running also provide many benefits in our physical body and health. It is actually a great way to increase your overall level of health. But when should you start running? What are the basic things you need to know first before hitting the road?

Running may look very basic and easy but may cause major injuries, if done improperly. In this article, you will learn the basic and essential information about running, and will highlight training programs specifically for beginners.

Common questions are:

How often should I run as a beginner? How long should I run as a beginner?

A beginning runner will be able to run 5K in 10 to 12 weeks of training.

Week 1 to 3: Run Three times per week 

(5minutes Walk- 20 minutes Jog/run – 5 minutes’ walk a total of 30 minutes work out per session.

Week 4 to 5: Run Four times per week 

(5 minutes’ Walk – 25 minutes Jog/run – 5 minutes’ walk. A total of 35 minutes work out per session.

Week 6 to 7: Run Four to Five times per week

(5 minutes’ walk – 30 minutes Jog/Run – 5 Minutes’ walk. A total of 40 minutes workout per session.

Week 7 to 9: Run Four to Five times per week

(5 minutes’ walk – 30 minutes Jog/Run – 5 Minutes’ walk. A total of 45 minutes workout per session.

Week 10 to 12: Run Five times per week

(5 minutes’ walk – 40 minutes Jog/Run – 5 Minutes’ walk. A total of 50 minutes workout per session.

Tips:

During the main workout (between after and before 5 minutes’ walk), alternate between jogging and walking. Jog until you start feeling tired walk until you are recovered, and repeat throughout running portion.

Ex: minimum of 30 seconds run then walk until you recover and repeat throughout the running portion on your first week.

The goal is to be able to run continuously for 2 minutes or longer by week 10.

Don’t forget to warm up before your run and finish your run with a cool down and then stretching.

Once you are comfortable in running 5K you are now ready to progress your running to 10K. By this time, your body is also geared up for more progressive training program that would include speed workout and cross fit trainings to improve your time.

Below will be your guide for your training plan. Run 4 to 5 days a week. Your training should include: Easy Run (rest day), Speed workout, Strength workout, Tempo Run, and Long Run.

Easy Run

Conversational pace; a pace where you could chat with a friend running alongside you. This is a rhythm that feels like you could maintain it all day long if you had to.

Speed Work

Speed work consists of short, very intense efforts over distances of 50, 100, 200, 400 meters or more, with recovery periods equal to the length of the repeat (or slightly less).

Strength Work

Strength work is lots of hill repeats. The concept is similar to speed work, you run up the hill fast and then recover by jogging or walking down. This is an excellent way for runners to build strength, improve their speed, and build their mental strength.

Tempo Runs

Tempo Run is a faster-paced workout often described as “comfortably hard.”  Distance is shorter than your goal race and running it faster than your goal pace. You do not need to, nor should you do a tempo run every week. Your level of recovery should determine whether you do this run. You need to have full day rest prior to your tempo run. You can replace Tempo run with some cross-fit workout. 

Long Runs

A long run is a purposely extended effort designed to increase your endurance. Generally speaking, a long run is between an hour and three hours, running at a low intensity. Pace is 30 to 90 seconds slower than your race pace. Choose one of your runs as your designated long run day. For most runners, this is being done during weekend. 

Rest Day

Rest day is an important part of your training. You are giving your body time to recover and prepare for your high intensity workout or long run for the next day. It also allows your body to absorb the workout you’ve been doing. Rest day can be your easy day. During this day you can run 3K to 6K at 60% max heart rate. 

Training for over 10K run requires more time, discipline and dedication.

Schedule your training. You won’t find time for them unless you make time for them. Go slow and do not rush to avoid getting injured. Do not overdo!  

If you haven’t had a physical recently, visit your health care professional to get cleared for running.