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Beginners Running Program Page - Find the Best Running Program For You and Kickstart Your Running

increasing mileage safely

The beginners running programs of are a good way to start your running life. Safe, yet they make you fitter and deliver the wanted results.

I have got three running training programs for beginning runners.

All three of them are run/walk programs.

There is a reason for that:

I am a strong believer in the tortoise and the hare story.

I want you to start off slow and easy with your running program. I don't want you to get injured.

You might feel these running schedules are not making you fit quick enough, because there is not a lot of running involved in the first two, three weeks. Yes, this is true, but I have got your best interest at heart.

running quote

So what if a running program takes a few weeks longer?

As long as it is safe with a minimum risk of overtraining. These programs will still make you run:

  • 15 minutes within 8 weeks - Beginners Running Program 1

  • 20 minutes within 10 weeks - Beginners Running Program 2 

  • 30 minutes within 12 weeks - Beginners Running Program 3

  • That's non-stop running. So at the end of the programs you'd be able to run 15, 20 or 30 minutes without stopping.

    I have had many people write to me after completing the running programs saying "I didn't think I had it in me. I didn't think it was possible. Yet, I followed the program and I could do it after all. Thanks so much, etc., etc...."

    beginner running programs infographic

    Ready for the next step?

    After being able to do 30 minutes non-stop, you might want to look into the following programs:

    heart rate monitor running programs10k running programhalf marathon running program

    How To Pick the Right Schedule...

    It is hard to define what the most suiting beginners running program is for you. Think about what you want to achieve and by when. How confident are you? How fast do you need to see results?

    Do you want to run a 5k race? Then Beginners Running Program 3, setting you up for running 30 minutes non-stop is a good program for you.

    You can start off with Beginners Running Program 1 or 2 and, when you are finished, continue with program no. 3. You wouldn't have to start all the way at the beginning of Program 3. You'd be able to start in week 6 (if first doing program 1) or week 7 (if first doing program 2).

    Whatever you do. Just pick one. The most important thing is to get you started and start building the foundation for a healthier and happier life!

    beginners running program
    Embarking on a running program often leads
    to other, healthier lifestyle choices!

    How Do I Read the Schedules?

    OK. Suppose a workout is something like this: 3 x 5 min walk, 2 min run. Then this means you need to walk 5 minutes, then run 2 miniutes and repeat that sequence three times. So walk 5, run 2, walk 5, run 2, walk 5, run 2.

    How Fast Do I Walk?

    A walk in these running programs is a brisk walk. Not running, not speed-walking, but a brisk walk. So, try to not completely come to a stand-still or give in to your fatigue and start slumping through your walk. You will feel much better doing a brisk walk and you'll recover all the same.

    beginners running program

    How Fast Do I Run?

    This is very important. Many beginning runners run much and much too fast. I want you to run at a pace at which you would still be able to hold a conversation.

    This is often referred to as "easy pace" or "conversational pace" and is the biggest part of any sensible running training program you will use in the future. So, take it easy, cowboy... :)

    Making Your Run/Walk Intervals More Comfortable

    A device called the Gymboss can make your run/walk intervals a lot more comfortable.

    The Gymboss has separate functions, but for runners it works incredibly well an interval timer / counter, because you can record two separate times on the one device.

    E.g. suppose you have to alternate four minutes of running with two minutes of walking. You simply enter the four minute period and the two minute period, then you clip it to the side of your shorts and you can start your workout.

    As soon as one of these periods is over you get a little warning (a hard or soft beep and/or a vibration). This is the signal to change your pace. You then wait for the next signal and change your pace again and so on.

    It helps so much in doing these run/walk programs. Simply, because you don't have the disturbance of having to look at your watch constantly to see if it is time again to alternate pace. If you want, you can do that, but it is just annoying and makes your workout quite restless.

    For me, the Gymboss is a very loyal companion on my interval sessions. It's so cheap and it makes your run/walk program so much more comfortable.

    Click here for more information about the Gymboss.

    Warming-Up and Cooling-Down?

    beginners running program

    I don't feel a warming-up is necessary when you are walking or running at easy pace.

    This might come as a surprise.

    Everyone tells you, you need to do a warming-up, right?

    I am not one of those people.

    A warming-up is very, very important when you are doing a workout faster than easy pace.

    But you are not doing that.
    Warming-ups are done at the pace of a brisk walk or easy pace.

    That's the pace of your workouts. So the first minutes of your workout serve as your warming-up.

    So no extra warming-up necessary here.

    I do feel different about cooling-downs.

    Cooling-downs are always good.

    Cool down by walking for a few minutes and then doing some light stretches.

    What I often do, is do some specific running stretches. Then I drink a bit of water, eat something if necessary, wait till most of the heavy sweating has stopped and then hit the shower.

    After that I do some more light stretching. After a very long run I repeat this light stretching once again after 20-30 minutes. I feel I don't have as many muscle aches then.

    Remember: keep the stretching light.
    When stretching you are literally stretching your muscles, putting tension on them. Do this too much and you can strain or tear them.

    OK, that's all you need to know before starting with the running programs. Anything unclear?

    Then see the Running Programs FAQ below to see answers to questions or to ask your own question.

    Now Go to One of the Beginner Running Program Pages

    beginners running program 1 beginners running program 2 beginners running program 3

    Have a Question about the Running Programs ?

    Do you have a question about the running programs on this site?
    Ask it and I will tell you what you need to know!

    What Other Visitors Have Asked

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