5 Steps to Becoming a Runner

Have you ever wished you could be a runner? Maybe you wish you could at least get up to the point where the thought of running doesn’t make you wince or inwardly groan with dread? Running is a great way to lose weight and get fit without breaking the bank or taking up large amounts of time.

  1. It’s never too late to start. Most people think they can’t run for one reason or another. They may think they are too old, too big, too tired, or too busy. No one is a natural runner; it takes patience and dedication, but it is possible. Make a decision to start running, and start making goals.
  2. Start out slow. When people start exercising, they will have the temptation to speed up their exercise routine before their body is ready, resulting in a greater chance of getting tired quickly and wanting to give up before you have even begun. Make sure you start out slow. We all want to quickly lose weight and be an excellent runner, but stamina is necessary to succeed and it takes time to build up. Be patient. Don’t be ashamed if you are only running for 2 minutes, and walking for 4 for a couple of weeks, or only going a quarter of a mile instead of five. Push yourself, but don’t overdo it. Everyone’s speed is different, and that is okay.
  3. Make sure to warm up and cool down. The warm up and cool down are two things that people might skip a lot. This isn’t a good idea. Your muscles need to be stretched so you don’t hurt yourself or tire yourself out faster later on. Make sure you complete both each time you exercise. They don’t have to be lengthy; they can be as short as five minutes! When warming up, lightly jog for a few minutes, stretch and focus on getting those muscles warmed up. When cooling down, do the same thing, especially with stretching.
  4. Be aware of the risks for injury. Running is a strain on joints and muscles. Remember that in order to succeed, you need to be aware of common injuries. Be aware of your posture as you run. Are you making sure you look straight ahead, rather than looking up or down? Check to make sure you are leaned forward slightly rather than leaning back, or leaning too far forward. Wear good running shoes; quality shoes make it easier to avoid injuries.
  5. Keep moving forward. Never give up. Running is hard, and for many of us, we don’t like exercise anyway. The results are worth it. There are multiple running plans available for people to try. Try one and see how it works for you. Adapt it as needed, but try. Here are a couple of examples to try.

Sample Running Plan

The following running plan uses a one and two day break period. For example run Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Rest on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday when a gentle walk can often be beneficial although remember these are rest days. If any week is particularly tiring, just repeat it the following week instead of pushing to step up to the next stage.

  • Week 1: Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times
  • Week 2: Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times
  • Week 3: Run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes. Repeat 4 times
  • Week 4: Run 7 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times
  • Week 5: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times
  • Week 6: Run 9 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times then run 8 minutes 1 time
  • Week 7: Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minutes. Repeat 3 times
  • Week 8: Run 13 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times
  • Week 9: Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minutes. Repeat 2 times
  • Week 10: Run 30 minutes. Repeat once and celebrate!

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