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As someone who has been running for more than 20 years, I will be the first to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with running. I love how it makes me feel. I love how it clears my head. I love how it has been an amazing way to lose the baby weight from eight kids. Sometimes I love going out for a run. But, there are also times that I really hate the actual act of running. Over the years I have gained so many running tips that are perfect for any kind of runner, and it is a running plan that is great for beginners. At times, I need to remind myself of these very same things.
Before we keep going, I’ve created a fast action pass right to a running log that you can print off to log your running progress. Let it motivate you to get out there and do it. Just enter your email below to have it delivered right to your inbox.
Let me first remind you that running at all is a huge accomplishment. Every day you get out there and do it whether inside on a treadmill or outside, you deserve a huge pat on the back!
With that, let’s get right to the perfect running plan for beginning runners!
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Start with 20 minutes
Devote 20 minutes to running each time you run. This is the time you have set aside for your run, and it should be 20 minutes that you protect to the very best of your ability. Things will creep up, but remember this 20 minutes is important to you learning the discipline of running.
Plan on 3 days a week
I think three days a week is a perfect amount to get started with. It’s enough to make it a regular event, but it’s not too frequent to make it an overwhelming task. Three days a week is the best of both worlds.
Start with walking as much as you need to
When you get started, you will most likely be walking more than you are running during those 20 minutes – we all start out this way. There is nothing wrong with taking walk breaks. Challenge yourself by running just a bit further before you switch to a walk. I suggest telling yourself to make it to a certain landmark first, or if you are running on a treadmill, add another 30 to 60 seconds before allowing yourself to walk.
Music can be a great motivator
Honestly, music can carry me through when I’m ready to just quit. Bring along some tunes that you like and that keep your tempo moving.
Gradually run more than you walk
This will be a gradual process, but with each new week, challenge yourself to be running more than you were the week prior. In many cases, this will just come as a natural shift. But, make sure that you are running more than you are walking over time.
Stretching out your legs before and after you run is a very good idea. Just hop online and search for “stretching exercises for running” and some great ones will pop up. These stretches don’t have to be elaborate or time consuming, but some basic simple stretches are a very good idea.
Have a goal in mind
Having a running goal in mind is a great motivator. For instance, you might set a goal of running a mile without walking within a month. Then, you could add a mile on with each new month. Obviously your time will be increasing also at this point.
Do it even when you don’t feel like it
There will be plenty of days when you don’t feel like it. It’s the cold hard truth, but just get out there and do it anyway.
Don’t stop running for less than three days a week ever. If you do, it becomes too easy to just give it up altogether. When you’ve made any running progress, you want to maintain that progress.
Don’t worry about speed
Remember, it’s consistency that matters. You are training yourself in a new habit. Speed will come. Just focus on your time spent running or your distance and your consistency.
Find a race
This is the best goal you can ever set. Being part of a running community is something you will love. It is the most amazing community of people ever. Before you let the thought of a race scare you, let me assure you, there are plenty of people out there racing who are doing it for the same reason you are – just for the sake of doing it. No one will be judging you or looking at you, even though this will creep into your mind.
Why are you running in the first place? I’m guessing you are doing it for you. And, you will be racing for the same reason. For you.
And once you get your first race under your belt, you will feel amazing. And if you are like most people I know, you will sign up for your next race right away. They do become addicting!
Celebrate each milestone
You will hit all kinds of milestones along the way. Celebrate each one. You have earned each milestone, and you deserve a huge pat on the back. Reward yourself with something like a new running shirt or water bottle. This will give you something to look at to remind you to just keep going when the harder days come.
Running is amazing exercise, and it is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. I have completed half marathons, 25Ks, and all kinds of other things like triathlons and adventure races. But, they all started with these same basic principles.
We all start in exactly the same place.
Use this game plan to get your running game on. You will be so glad you did!