Running for Beginners

With Our Free Printable 7 Week Training Plan

Running is a fantastic way to get fit, all you really need to get started is a little motivation and a decent pair of running shoes.

While initiating a start-up plan can be a little overwhelming, our running for beginners 7-week jog & walk plan will start you out slowly and have you running at a comfortable pace in no time.

Taking the walk breaks makes our traning plan less demanding because it gives the leg muscles regular recovery time. This can cut down the risk of injury.

Running Basics

  • Consult your physician: If you haven't been physically active, or you are overweight, make sure to visit your physician to get the ok before starting a regular running plan.

  • Plan your runs: Participating in regular runs and keeping a journal can be helpful for you to monitor your progress; it is also a good motivational tool.
girls running together
  • Buy good running shoes: Running is a fairly inexpensive sport to undertake, just make sure to take care of your feet with a "top of the line" pair of running shoes. The right shoe can make it much easier and reduce running injuries.

  • Start slowly: There is no hurry to get started. Take the time to run and walk together. The number one reason why individuals get turned off and stop running is that they tried too hard in the beginning and ended up hurting themselves.

  • Gym Time: Don't forget the gym. Many runners have a tendency of doing everything possible to avoid lifting weights. To become a truly effective runner, you need to hit the gym!!

  • Runners Diet: Proper nutrition for sport and exercise can make the difference between sluggish workouts and high energy ones. A healthy diet is vital not only for good health, but also to raise your energy levels and promote peak performance while exercising. 

Running for Beginners Training Plan

Ready to start running? As simple as running seems to be, it really isn't that easy. If you run faster or further than you should as you are starting out, your body won't be ready for it. So be prepared that during the first couple of weeks you will be doing more walking than running. As your conditioning increases we can slowly add in more and more running, week by week. 

7 Week Jog & Walk Plan

Week 1. Walk for five minutes, jog for one minute. Repeat the segments four times.

Week 2. Walk for four minutes, jog for two minutes. If the jogs feel too tiring, go ahead and convert back to the walk break before your muscles tire out. Repeat the segments four times.

Week 3. Walk for three minutes, jog for four minutes. Repeat the segments four times.

Week 4. Walk for three minutes, jog for five minutes. Repeat the segments five times.

Week 5. Walk for two minutes, jog for seven minutes. Repeat the segments four times.

Week 6. Walk for one minute, jog for nine minutes. Repeat the segments three times

Week 7. Way To Go!! at this point you should be able to go out there and run 30 minutes without taking any walk breaks.

Printable 7 Week Jog & Walk Plan

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Running for Beginners Tips

  • Running Posture. Keep your head up and your body straight. Your running posture shouldn’t be much different than the good body posture when you stand. Keep your back straight and try not to lean forward too far, as that will just cause fatigue and muscle soreness. Your shoulders should be relaxed and not hunched over.

  • Running Stride. Try and keep a short stride. Studies show that shorter running strides are more efficient and because of the increase in strides, shorter strides are actually faster. If you feel tightness in your back or your legs you might want to try making some changes to your posture or your stride. 

  • Run Smooth. Keep your feet low to the ground as you run and try not to have a bounce or a spring in your step. That just means that you are pushing off the ground too hard which can waste a lot of energy. If you do feel yourself pushing off too hard, try and keep your feet lower to the ground and think of your running stride as more of a shuffle. Just make sure to pick them up high enough that you don’t trip on a rock or something.

  • Running Awareness. Know what’s in front of you – Don’t look down when you run.You should always be looking ahead to see what you are approaching. There is nothing worse than looking up and seeing a couple people on bikes coming right at you.

  • Stretching. There is nothing worse for the runner than tight joints and muscles. With the small range of motion the legs use when you run, your legs and hips can tighten up. While it has been proven that stretching before your running can do more harm than good, stretching after your run can be extremely beneficial for your lower body.

Common Injuries

As a runner, you will get hurt at some point. Hopefully, it will be something minor, but it will happen.

Because running is a high-impact sport, you are constantly putting added strain on your muscles, bones, and joints. The key is to handle the injury effectively so that you don’t make it worse, which could impact your motivation and momentum.

The hips, knees, legs, and feet are most prone to injury. Most running injuries come from a runner pushing too hard, and adding speed or distance to their run that they are not ready for. The injuries also tend to happen within the first few months of starting to run, or after starting to run again following an injury.

  • Runner’s Knee. This is an injury that is typically caused by overuse. You will feel a dull pain in the front of your kneecap and you will feel added pain when you kneel, squat, or walk up or down stairs.

  • Muscle Pull. This is a strain that results in a small tear of your muscle. It is as a result of overstretching and increased muscle use.

  • Shin Splint. This is a pain that you will feel in the front of your leg along the shin bone. This injury can occur from running long distances or increasing how much you are running too quickly.

  • Plantar Fasciitis. This is a painful inflammation of your plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue at the bottom of your foot. It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot.

These common running injuries call for you to rest the area until you start healing. If your injury is more severe, with ongoing pain or swelling, you should make a visit to your doctor.

Running Benefits

  • Simplicity.  Running doesn't require you to buy any special equipment, or really have any big expense outlay. The only thing you really need to buy (important) is a good pair of running shoes.
  • Weight LossRunning in order to lose weight is by far the most popular exercise that people choose to lose weight, but you need to be careful. For runners, one of the most common mistakes they make is eating extra calories during the day to compensate for the vigorous exercise.

  • Stress ReliefTaking some time for yourself and getting out for a run can be a total mood enhancer. Many runners swear by it.

  • Improved Coordination. Proper balance and coordination are important for runners. Runners learn to use better coordination to help them deal with any occasional unexpected rough terrain and the many sudden starts and stops.

  • Health Factors. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a broad range of Health Problems
  • Health Benefits. The health benefits of physical activity are numerous and running has many. Even if you meet just the minimum amount of physical activity (30 minutes, 5 times per week) running can help you live healthier and longer.

Attitude Improvement

Running can decrease "stress hormones"  and release endorphins which are a feel-happy" chemical within the body. This creates a sense of happiness (runner's high) which will give you a positive mood boost.

This mood boost can help with attitude improvement and is an effective tool to help with depression and anxiety and will make a huge difference in all areas of your life. People who are happy tend to be more resistant to diseases anywhere from a cold to heart disease while depression and stress can make people more susceptible to disease.

The positive mental benefits of running cannot be overlooked for their importance. As you exercise more and more your self-esteem will continue to increase, you will have a sense of accomplishment as you achieve personal exercise goals. 

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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