Stepping out completely afresh can be a daunting thought in the world of running. The nerves, egos and expectations of you and runners around you can make you feel like a small fish in a really big pond. Even the thought of pushing yourself up the tiers from walk to jog to run can seem scary because what if you fail? What if you embarrass yourself in the process? We’ve created a step-by-step plan that is not only for beginners, but any runner looking to start upping their game.
Beginner walking plan
We’ve already discussed how a quick walk after your dinner can not only help your digestion but improve your cardio. If you’re just beginning to acquaint yourself with the world of cardio this can be a great way to not only test your ability but make yourself more comfortable. Walking routes you might run in the future is certainly a confidence booster for those just starting out. Knowing exactly what’s around each corner is a sure way of making your beginner running plans less daunting for you.
Take it easy. Start off with what feels comfortable. Work your way up to a half hour walk every other day and take as long as you need to get there.
Walk to jog
Jogging is defined as an activity involving running at a steady pace, but we want you striding for the horizons. A great way to start running is to begin with interval training. It allows your body to expose itself to full intensity exercise but also gives the flexibility in your running plans to not over work yourself.
To ease yourself into the grove add some jogging into your evening walks. Once you’ve managed to hit that half hour milestone, drop the time and increase the intensity. Begin with:
- 1 minute jog followed by a 2 minute walk and repeat 6 times (18 minute session)
Follow this for your first couple of sessions then switch around the numbers.
- 2 minute jog followed by a 1 minute walk and repeat 6 times (18 minute session)
With the increased intensity, decrease the work load. Incorporate 3 sessions a week, 2 of which include jogging and the third your usual walking routine. When you’re cracking through the gears to routine two do so three times a week.
Challenge: to really see how well your jogging plans are working try jogging for as close to 5 minutes as you can and then take a break. Set yourself a minimum time of 3 minutes and see where you land in-between there and 5 minutes.
Note: now you’ve progressed from just walking, it’s important to do all you can to prevent and manage any injuries to ensure they don’t cause you any additional issues down the line. The main tips include getting a GAIT analysis done to find the right footwear, ensure you have rest days and don’t forget to listen to your body.
You might be thinking ‘6 repetitions of 2 minutes of jogging? That’s nothing’, but its 12 minutes in all. Once you’ve worked your way up to the magic 5 minutes you’ll be running for a total of 30 minutes and it’s definitely time to start jogging without the walking. Be conscious to ensure your definitely not pushing full gas when you’re jogging because this will be useful later in your running plans. Find a steady constant pace and take out the leisurely strolls. The first phase is all about building your aerobic base and now it’s about expanding that to make yourself a better runner.
- Jog for 15 minutes every other day for the first two weeks. This will help build the base of your aerobic ability. It’s also important to develop your recovery so when you’re ready start jogging back to back days; jog for two days on, one day off.
It’s also a good idea to include a longer jog once in your week to make sure you’re still progressing so make your Sunday jog a 20 minute one.
It’s important in your running plans to continue making attainable goals leading to continuing success. Try to up the duration of your jogs every fortnight in increments you’re comfortable with. Adding an extra 5 minutes every other week will quickly see your progress ore through the roof.
Jog to run
Your transition from jogger to runner is largely down to your technique. Running with the right technique, form and equipment is what really tells the amateurs from the pros. If you’ve not seen it already, you can check out our form and technique guide from running experts and top gear specs and reviews.
To begin your running career we’re looking back through our running plans to lesson one; interval training. You can apply the same practice here by taking an extra minute now and then to really focus on your technique.
Some easy tips to remember to improve your running form:
- Run as if you’ve got a plant pot on your head to keep you running tall. Running tall with your shoulder relaxed will open up the chest cavity allowing maximum oxygen intake.
- Keep your hips high and tight! This prevents you overstretching and keeping your midriff balanced makes each stride more powerful and therefore, worthwhile.
- Ensure you land on the forefoot not heel. Running on your heels causes injury. Landing on the forefoot provides your ankles and knees with an extra cushioning.
- Run relaxed, not fasted. Speed comes with technique and aerobic capability. Running plans will build these for you so don’t focus on your PB’s or splits quite yet.
We spoke to Jenny Blizzard before and her personal tips on how to improve your running posture include managing your breathing and ensuring your arms are relaxed and not hanging vertically.
You’ve worked your way up the ranks, from walk to jog to run; you’ve got the gear and the idea so now it’s time to think competitively. When you’ve drilled your technique and racked up your mileage you might now be starting to think of your first race. A great distance to start with is a 10k event alongside plenty other race virgins. Try out our favourite 10k plan to get race one of many under your belt.