Are you thinking of taking up running for your well-being? Or maybe you accepted a bet to run a race? Then let’s get you started:
To start, know that you are healthy. Not sure? Check with your doctor to make sure it is ok to start a walk-to-run program.
Do this every other day for Week 1 (4x):
Walk 5 minutes to warm-up.
10x1 minutes easy running pace with 1-minute walk recovery between.
Walk 5 minutes to cool-down.
If you are feeling comfortable after one week of the above, progress along as follows, starting and ending each session with 5 minutes of walking to warm-up and cool-down:
Week 2: 5x2 minutes at an easy running pace with 1-minute walk recovery between each run.
Week 3: 5x3 min with 1 min walk recovery
Week 4: 5x4 min with 1 min walk recovery
Week 5: 5x5 min with 1 min walk recovery
Week 6: 4x7 min with 1 min walk recovery
Week 7: 3x10 min with 1 min walk recovery
Week 8: 2x15 min with 1 min walk recovery
Week 9: 10 min, 1 min walk recovery, 20 min
Week 10: 30-minute run
Run all runs in the program at an easy, conversational pace. Slower is better.
After the first week, I recommend running 2-3 days in a row and then a rest day, instead of taking 48-72 hours between each run. (example: run, run, rest, run, run, run, rest, etc)
A few rules of thumb:
1) If you have a little mild (1-2/10) pain after running, that's normal. As long as it resolves completely before the next run, you're okay to run.
2) If you have a little mild pain for the first minute or two of the run but then it goes away, that's also normal and okay
3) If you develop pain during running, or if you have mild pain and then it worsens, you need to stop the run. Don't run again until you are pain-free walking. Seek medical attention if it persists.
4) Generally, if you aren't having pain with walking you are okay to run
When you finish the program, celebrate! You are ready to tackle a 5k. Now go out and find a running club to help you progress or seek my guidance for your next goal(s).