Running for Beginners

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Hi Everyone! 

If you are new to starting a running program this article is for you!


Getting started with running can seem intimidating, but you can do it. The beautiful thing about running is that it doesn’t take long to see improvement. Still not sure? Check out my article Running Made Me Cry…How I Became a Runner.


If you are brand new to running, the first step is to build your endurance. This can be done by alternating walking and running. If you are already able to run continuously for 20 minutes you can skip ahead to Beginner Running Series 2. 


Beginner Running Series 1: Each Workout can be repeated 3-4X per week. Non-Running Days can be used as rest, walking, or cross training days. Get a minimum of 2 days of total rest per week.


Workout Week 1: 

Walk 2 minutes, Run 1 minute. Repeat this sequence 7 times for a total time of 21 minutes.  (3-4X this week)


Workout Week 2: 

Walk 1.5 Minutes, Run 1.5 Minutes. Repeat 7 times for a total of 21 minutes. (3-4X this week)


Workout Week 3:

Walk 1 Minute, Run 2 Minutes. Repeat 7 times for a total of 21 minutes. (3-4X this week)


Workout Week 4

Walk 1 Minute, Run 5 Minutes. Repeat 4 times for a total of 24 minutes. (2-3X this week)

Walk 5 Minutes, Run 10 Minutes, Walk 5 Minutes. Total Time: 20 Minutes. (1X this week)


Workout Week 5

Walk 1 Minute, Run 10 Minutes. Repeat 2 times for a total of 22 minutes. (repeat 2X this week)

Walk 1 Minute, Run 5 Minutes. Repeat 4 times for a total of 24 minutes. (1X this week)

Walk 3 Minutes, Run 15 Minutes, Walk 3 Minutes. Total Time: 21 Minutes. (1-2X this week)


Workout Week 6

Walk 3 Minutes, Run 15 Minutes, Walk 3 Minutes. Total Time: 21 Minutes. (repeat 2-3X this week)

Brisk 5 Minute Walk, Run 20 Minutes, 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Time: 30 Minutes.


It is important to note when running you should be moving at a pace that you can maintain a conversation at. When you are just starting a program you don’t need to include speed work or sprinting. This will come later when you are ready for a new challenge. 



Beginner Running Series 2: 

At anytime during this series you can modify the routine by selecting a workout from one of the previous weeks to decrease the intensity and allow your body proper recovery time if you are experiencing increased fatigue or difficulty completing the workouts.


Workout Week 1

Brisk 5 Minute Walk, Run 20 Minutes, 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Time: 30 Minutes. (3-4X this week)


Workout Week 2

Brisk 5 Minute Walk, Run 25 Minutes, 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Time: 35 Minutes. (3-4X this week)


Workout Week 3

Brisk 5 Minute Walk, Run 30 Minutes, 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Time: 40 Minutes. (3-4X this week)


Workout Week 4

Brisk 5 Minute Walk, Run 25 Minutes, 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Time: 35 Minutes (1-2X)

Run 3 Miles or 30 Minutes. (1-2X)


Workout Week 5:

Run 3 Miles or 30 Minutes. (1-2X)

Brisk 5 Minute Walk, Run 20 Minutes, 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Time: 30 Minutes (1-2X)

-Run 3.5 Miles or 35 Minutes


Workout Week 6:

Run 3 Miles or 30 Minutes. (Repeat 2X this week)

Brisk 5 Minute Walk, Run 20 Minutes, 5 Minute Cool Down. Total Time: 30 Minutes (1X)

-Run 4 Miles or 40 Minutes


*You are now ready for a new challenge! How about signing up for a 5K?

6 thoughts on “Running for Beginners

    • benderfitness

      That is going to vary from person to person. Everyone’s running/fitness level is different. When just getting started you want to run at a pace you can sustain. Most runs should be completed a easy/comfortable pace. That means a pace you can still speak at. Moderate effort runs mean you can speak, but you want to keep your words shorter. Hard effort you can only answer a question in 1-2 words.

      When first getting started you should be running at an easy pace. As you progress and are able to run continuously for 30 minutes 3-5X per week you will start adding speedier runs.

    • benderfitness

      Absolutely! I am working on some more running posts, and Jesse is going to be doing some write-ups about how to train for specific races and improve your speed. You can find several posts on training to improve your speed, preparing for race day, and different types of running workouts here: http://www.benderfitness.com/category/running

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