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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