You think about starting to run but have no clue on:
- where and how to start?
- how much should you run?
- what kind of running shoes should you buy?
- and many others: "I have no clue"...
Of course, this is no Bible… it is just one possible way of how you can approach your running path. It is based on my personal experience as a runner with more than 15 years on running tracks. I have started like a sedentary couch potato and slowly increased my running to a regular marathon runner.
Until now I ran 9 full and more than 30 half marathons.
In the following text you will find information relevant to somebody, who knows very little or nothing about running and would like to start as recreational runner.
Running is nothing more and nothing less than our second most natural movement (right after walking).
When we were children, as soon as we learned to walk well, we began to run spontaneously. Parents, teachers and most of the other adults quieted us and stopped our desire for movement and wanted to have us as static as possible… in "safe" positions.
Later in school, they wanted us to run and compete and train … but for many of us, it was too late… we hated running and competing, especially if we were not fit and therefore felt frustration…
But if you think about it you know that running is an essential part of our physiological preconditioning. It was useful to survive for our ancestors and it is still rather useful as a coping mechanism to survive in modern times.
According to one of the scientific theories described in the book by Christopher McDougall (Born to Run), we became the most developed and "strong" beings because of the running. As he explains: our distant ancestors survived by long-distance persistent running after animals (who had bad predispositions for such movement) who got too tired and became prey (food). Apparently this additional access to food, protein gave us a historical advantage to develop brain and so on…
Anyway: running (of course, after we reach a certain degree of physical fitness) gives a strong sense of freedom, power, vitality, and energy.
The day I run, I feel much better with more energy than the day I rest. For last 600 and few more days, I run each and every day… so I feel energized and fine on most my days.
1 month training plan for absolute beginners
It's easy to start running path.
The first month run 3 times a week (you choose the days of the week that your schedule will allow you to go on a run). For beginners, it is fine to schedule at least 1 day of rest between two runs. For example, you choose Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
On all runs you can combine running with walking (you aim to run, but if you feel you have to stop, just walk until you feel you can continue with running).
Slowly try to build the total minutes per run as follows:
- 1st week: 3 runs, each in a duration of 10 minutes (mix walking & running, if you can run the whole duration, do run!)
- 2nd week: 3 runs, each in a duration of 12 minutes (mix walking & running, if you can run the whole duration, do run!)
- 3rd week: 3 runs, each in a duration of 15 minutes (mix walking & running, if you can run the whole duration, do run!)
- 4th week: 3 runs, each in a duration of 17 – 25 minutes (mix walking & running, if you can run the whole duration, do run!)
On all these runs be relaxed and run only as fast as your current fitness allows you. Do not exaggerate or do more than it is pleasant to the body. If you start to feel too tired, walk. When you walk, you relax and when you feel strong enough again, continue with the running.
Do not overtrain! The whole idea of these 4 weeks is to get adjusted to running and to slowly build your level of fitness.
Most important part of these 4 weeks is for you to build a new habit. The running habit. This will not happen if you expose yourself to injury or excessive fatigue.
And now? What is next?
In my post Manual for wannabe runners - part 2 I explain possible next steps after the first month of running and how to choose optimal running shoes for you. I will also write about other running gear, motivation, racing and so on.
You do not have to wait for all the information... you can start your first runs with very basic equipment and a bit of willpower.
Let me conclude with my sentence with which I start each and every post on my daily running: ...do try to run today if you can... running is the universal cure for almost anything...