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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Lasseter


Are you interested in joining the Endeavor Health Naperville 5K race this October but haven’t signed up yet? What’s stopping you? It might be that you aren’t a runner…yet! That’s okay - we are here to help. Here are some of our favorite tips to get you started on your journey to become a runner:

  • Choose the right footwear. Before you begin the walking portion of your training program, be sure to visit a respected running shoe store for a professional fitting. Since you will be using these shoes frequently during your training, it is important to invest in a pair that fits well. Good shoes go a long way toward preventing unnecessary injuries.

  • Get medical clearance. Check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to build up to a running program. This is especially important if you are older, have other cardiovascular risk factors, bone/joint issues, are taking medication or have other health concerns. When in doubt, check with your doctor! Once you have your doctor’s OK, it’s time to get to work!

  • Start walking! It’s crucial that you take steps to build up a strong walking base. If you aren’t currently walking, start with 10 or 15 minutes per session, 2-3 times the first week. After the first week, you will slowly build walking duration and frequency. An example of this walking regime looks like this:

o   Week 1: 10-15 minutes per session, 2-3 times per week

o   Week 2: 15-20 minutes per session, 3 times per week

o   Week 3: 20-25 minutes per session, 3-4 times per week

o   Week 4: 25-30 minutes per session, 3-4 times per week

If you already walk regularly for 30+ minutes several times a week, start this program with Week 5 as laid out below:

  • It’s time to add some running (and ease into it!) Now that you walk for 30 minutes at a time, add some brief running intervals. Start with an interval consisting of 1 minute of running, followed by 2 minutes of walking. Over the next several weeks, increase the length of the running intervals.

o   Week 5: 1 minute of easy running followed immediately by 2 minutes of walking.   Repeat this sequence 10 times for 30 total minutes. Do this workout 3-4 times per week, in place of your walking from Weeks 1-4.

o   Week 6:

▪ 1st workout: 2 minutes of easy running followed immediately by 1 minute of walking. Repeat this interval 10 times for 30 total minutes (1 min walk/2 min run x 10).  

▪ 2nd workout: 3 min run/1 min walk x 7

▪ 3rd & 4th workout: 4 min run/1 min walk x 6

o   Week 7: Progress to 5-7 minutes of running/1 minute of walking. Do as many intervals as you can fit into 30 minutes. 

o   Week 8: Progress to 8-11 minutes of running/1 minute of walking. Do as many intervals as you can fit into 30 minutes.

o   Week 9: Progress to 12-15 minutes of running/1 minute of walking. Do as many intervals as you can fit into 30 minutes.  So by the end of this week, you are doing only 2 intervals.

o   Week 10: Progress to 16-20 minutes of running/1 minute of walking. Then complete the 30 minutes with running.

o   Week 11: Progress to 21-25 minutes of running/1 minute of walking. Then complete the 30 minutes with running.

o   Week 12: Progress to 26-30 minutes of running/1 minute of walking. Then complete the 30 minutes with running. By the end of this week, you should be running 30 minutes without a walking break!

When following the plan above, don’t overdo it. Don’t be afraid to repeat a week here or there if the next week feels overwhelming. It may take more than 12 weeks for you to complete the program if you need to repeat a week here or there, but that’s perfectly okay! It is better to proceed slowly than to get frustrated and quit.

  • Train for a race. Once you have completed the program above and have a good running base, build on this to train for a goal race. In a few weeks, I’ll share how to build your training program. The Endeavor Health Naperville 5K would make a great first event.

In the meantime, I wish you best of luck with starting your running program. I’ll be popping in regularly to share pro tips throughout the summer training months.


Laurie Lasseter

Marathoner

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

RRCA Certified Running Coach

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