Manual for wannabe runners - part 1steemCreated with Sketch.

in running •  2 years ago  (edited)

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"...

Photo by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash.jpg
Photo by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash

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.

Photo by Alaric Sim on Unsplash.jpg
Photo by Alaric Sim on Unsplash

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.

Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash

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: try to run today if you can... running is the universal cure for almost anything...

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to your comments, questions and your own experiences about running!

My other posts:

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When I started running a few years back I didn't have a fixed programme. I just started with some short runs that left me drained for a long time afterwards. I found the recovery time got much better as I went on. I bought my shoes from running shops who looked at how I run and gave some suggestions. Some have a treadmill. One had me running on the street outside :)

Thank you for adding your experience with how you started your running journey! I also overtrained in the beginning and learned in a hard way that rest is so important as training. I intend to write about running shoes in part 2 in a few days. What you write is true: it is very important to find shoes that are adjusted to your pronation grade and give you the right balance between stability and cushioning. Looking forward to exchanging experiences on this as well!

I've not had any issues with my feet so far, so the investment in shoes has paid off even though they seemed really expensive to start with. Apart from that I don't have to spend much on my running. It's a pretty cheap sport really.

Couldn't agree more. I also invest a fair amount of money only in the running shoes, rest is less expensive.

Nothing can stop a consistent Runner.

Resteemed by @runningproject

STAY TUNED WITH @runningproject , something good is coming!

Nice post with some good tips.

As a coach who has helped dozens of beginners get running my biggest piece of advice is: don't over do it!

Many beginners get excited and push too hard, too soon. Even a lot of experienced runners don't understand that rest is just as important as the run. Running/training breaks our body and with rest it adapts and recovers to be stronger. If you keep training or train too hard, too soon your body can't recover and adapt.

He-he... I have just written almost exactly the same sentence in an answer on the comment from @steevc ;) Yes, do not overdo it is the most important rule for almost any endeavor, including running!

Wise words!

Fantastic post! I've planned on writing my thoughts on how to start running. I'll definitely reference this post.

Thank you! Looking forward to your post!

This is great! I think so many people get intimidated by running, or try too much too fast and give up. Your plan provides a nice way for newbies to ease into running.

Thank you so much! Yes, running is such a great activity and it would be a shame if people feel like "running is only for certain people who were made for it". BTW: congrats for your amazing achievements as ultrarunner!

Hi, I'll also agree about not overdoing it. I learned it in May, when I've got injured that I couldn't run for more then 4 months. What a mistake made because of my impatience. As Scott Jurek says: Injuries are our best teachers. Pure true.

Truth be told ;)

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Awesome !!! Wish i could resteem it!!! Thanks for sharing

Thank you! You can resteem part 2 and/or 3 (which have links to part 1) if you like :) I see you are a runner too. Join the Runningproject if you haven't yet! (See link at the end of my post.) Have a great next run!

Hey Thanks will resteem part 2 and part 3, I have already​ joined the Runningproject, will share my next run soon. Help me know how else can i participate. Thanks a lot. I like how you end your blog "do try to run today if you can... running is the universal cure for almost anything..." . With you permission i would like to use it.

Mainly you can help with your quality posts, reestiming if you find something that is to your liking and upvoting running project. Runningproject posts regularly inform or runners how they can help the project, so stay tuned. Thanks for the compliment about the "signature" sentence in my running blogs. It sounds like a quote of somebody... but is actually mine and I also use it on my Instagram posts. You can quote me ;)

Thanks a lot!!!

What a coincidence...Running project is searching for a banner author - see post. Maybe you can help or you know somebody who can :)

Great, ​I'll have a look and pass on to right people too. Thanks for sharing