Beginner runners

Beginners starting out

So while on my run yesterday I got to thinking about when I first started out running. Just under 2 years ago I signed up to do the Race for Life, and decided that for myself I wanted to run it. I had done it before and walked the course, raised money and so on. But for myself I wanted to see if I could run it, having never been a runner before. I am sure I am similar to many other runners in that I didn’t like PE at school (although I was active, doing cycling, tennis, walking and swimming with my family and friends); I even walked the cross country when I was 11 as I found running so hard. At secondary school I was the person who “filled in” at sports day and did the ones that no-one wanted to do (shot put anyone?). I am not including this for sympathy or anything like that, just to show you where I started really. I followed a training plan which I cut out from a magazine (not even sure which magazine, Zest maybe) and followed it to the day. It involved 3 runs every week, and I stuck to the plan to the letter, getting up at 6am some days to have a run before going to work if I knew I could not fit it in the evening. Each week the first run would be hard (the first plan was to run for one minute and walk for 1.5, and by the end of the first minute of running I was gasping for breath- I have since learnt to pace myself!), the second one would be ok as I knew what to expect, and the third run would be great as I would know for sure that I would be able to complete it. Then the following week I would worry about not achieving the new distance, and be so proud of myself when each week I would manage it. I had given myself a few extra weeks so that if I needed to repeat a week then I would have the time, but in fact the training plan was great and to my amazement I made it. I was so proud of myself for completing the 5K (3.1 mile course) in around 35 minutes without walking once!
I did think that I would train for the race, do the race and then stop. But I had found that I really enjoyed running! I loved to load songs onto my mp3 player and head off with music to listen to, and my thoughts all to myself. I kept up running all through the winter, and now cannot imagine not getting outside and enjoying the fresh air.

For anyone that is tempted to start running I would say go for it (with Doctors permission etc)!
Below is a simplified version of the training plan that I followed:

Each week do 3 runs.
Week 1 Run for 1 min, walk for 90 seconds 8 times = 20 minutes
Week 2 Run for 2 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 7 times = 24.5 minutes
Week 3 Run for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 6 times = 27 minutes
Week 4 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 4 times = 26 minutes
Week 5 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute 4 times = 24 minutes
Week 6 Run for 8 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 3 times = 28.5 minutes
Week 7 Run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute 3 times = 33 minutes
Week 8 Run for 15 minutes, walk for 1 minute 2 times = 23 minutes
Now you are ready to run a 5k race!!!

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2 thoughts on “Beginner runners”

  1. Hi- I found your sebsite through a link on The Pink Whisk’s page! I’m keen to start runnning but am currently suffering with a bad back. I just wondered. How do you time your runs? I have a heart rate monitor and an ipod and I just wondered what you used. I totally see why you need to time yourself- to build up, but what did you use? I’m still getting to grips with my ipod so i’m not sure how to time while listening to music! Please help! Also what do you wear when it’s cold? Any clothing you could reccommend? Thanks so much.

    P.S- SO inspired to get out there and run. Think it’ll be perfect for keeping fit and I’ll still be able to treat myself with my baked goods!!!!

  2. Hello 🙂
    When I first started running I took my phone with me as it had a stop watch thing on the screen (I didn’t even have a normal watch then anyway!)- I used to run and hold it in one hand and be almost constantly looking at the screen! Then I got a cheap sports watch to wear, once I had been running a while and realised I enjoyed it. Then my boyfriend gave me a Nike+ wrist band, which can show on the screen the time (actual or since you pressed go). So lots of options really. As for in the cold, I layer up a lot- a company called craft make lovely long sleeved thermal tops, they are very lightweight and help your skin breathe still. Running tights are much warmer than flappy jogging bottoms, so those with shorts over the top, and also capris over the tights if it is really cold. Glad you are inspired though- feel free to email me – or you can leave a question on facebook as I have a page there- whatever is easiest 🙂

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