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Beginners Running Program Completed. What Next?

by Mary
(Ireland)

Dear Dominique,
I have used your beginners programme 3 and am now running safely for 30 mins solid. I am covering 3 to 3.5 miles in that 30 minutes, but now I don't know what the next step is. Do I just continue at that distance or do I start to increase the mileage and or time?





My main aim for starting to run was to lower my cholesterol and lose weight. I have managed to lose 10lbs in the 12 weeks but now I seem to have plateaued or is it just muscle building up.

Mary


Answer by Dominique:


Hi Mary,
Thanks for your running training question. First of all, great to see you have finished Beginners Running Program 3. It is a popular running training program and I am happy it helps so many people get to run 30 minutes non-stop.

The weight loss results are there as well, which must be a great motivation to keep on going!

The 10K Running Program is a good program to do next. It introduces some different speeds to run at and lets you build up upto 60 minutes of running non-stop in another 12 weeks time.

You can run it using a heart rate monitor, but you can also "run by feel" using the speed indications described on this page.

Re the weight loss stop:
Your running has delivered a big shock to your body. You are experiencing exactly what many people see happening: initial big results and then a sort of plateau. Part of that is muscle building up, part of it is your body has slowly started to get used to the challenges you present to it. Many runners do not have the desire to run a full hour non-stop. You could keep fit by running 30 minutes five times a week. Or by doing some cross-training in addition to your training runs. In order to keep on losing weight, there is not much that beats longer distance running though.

I can therefore wholeheartedly recommend you give the 10k Running Program a go. It would not surprise me if by the end of the 12 week program you would have lost another few pounds.

Whatever you do, keep it up, even if your weight stays the same for a while or even goes up a little at times. It happens. But if you integrate exercise in your lifestyle you are bound to reap the long-term benefits (see my August 08 newsletter for the results of a study into the long-term effects of running regularly).

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Best of luck.
Cheers,
Dominique

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