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Running Tips for Beginners

Novice and intermediate runners are likely to already have a weekly running routine, so your focus is likely to be upon progression and running form. For those brand new to running, or returning after a long break, here are some tips to get you started, together with a sample training program for your first six weeks.

Remember, if you’ve had a long break from running you won’t be able to carry on where you left off – you need to start again. However, you may find that you’ll progress quicker than first time around. Sporty young women running

  • Don’t try to run too fast – maintain a comfortable, steady pace which leaves you able to speak a few sentences if conversing with a running partner.
  • Choose a fairly flat route to begin with.
  • Softer terrain such as footpaths, tracks or grass will enable you to get used to the impact of running before going onto roads or pavements.
  • Choose a route that is no longer than two miles long, or plan to run for approximately 20 minutes. Remember that this is likely to include some recovery walking and should begin with a warm-up walk.
  • Make a note of how long your run took you or how long your route was so that you can measure your progress over the next few weeks.

Recovery walking

Many runners (experienced and beginners alike) think that walking is not an option. If your idea of running is as black and white as ‘I should be running flat out for the entire run, on every run’, then you are in for a shock and likely to give up as soon as you begin!

There is nothing wrong with slowing your pace or doing a little recovery walking to reduce the intensity enough so that you can continue and finish your run. In the first few weeks it’s all about getting out there, completing your runs and getting fitter, and running at a slower but steady pace for 20 minutes is better than intermittent sprints with complete stops.

It’s important to realize that doing a little recovery walking can be the key to a long and enjoyable running habit. Recovery walking is not an excuse for a rest, but simply a reduction in intensity for a short period of time. Recovery walking is like power-walking – you must maintain a fast pace, and break into a jog again as soon as you can. Here is a sample training program to illustrate how this works.

  • Warm-up with walking 5-10 minutes
  • Jog 1 minute
  • Recovery walk 2 minutes

Repeat the one minute jog followed by two minutes recovery walk five times over, giving you a 20-25 minute session including your warm-up walk. Naturally, if you can jog comfortably for more than one minute, just keep going until you need to drop to a recovery walk for two minutes.

You should make a mental note of how long you jogged for in each running interval, and aim to improve this as you progress through the next six weeks.


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