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Sarah Moore

I am a professional runner and fitness person. I am posting about running, health and fitness related in my websites. And also review various product ...


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Brilliant Beginner Running Programs

Winter is upon us but that’s no reason to rest on your laurels! Right now is a fantastic time to get stuck into beginner running programs! Why wait until after the festive season to get started? Whether you want to run outdoors or indoors on a treadmill, there are some brilliant beginner running programs designed to inspire and motivate.

Tomorrow I’m going to take an in-depth look at beginner running programs for 5k races.

Today, I want to give an overview to beginner running programs.

Why Try Beginner Running Programs?

Isn’t it just a matter of lacing up your trainers and downloaded your favourite tunes to run to? Not exactly. Whilst it’s possible to simply get up and go, a little thought, planning and preparation goes a long way. Many runners put off getting started as they aren’t sure where to begin.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions addressed by beginner running programs:

Where do I start?

What do I need to take the first steps into running?

How far, fast and often should I run?

Beginner running programs can help address the issue of where to start and how to progress whilst also reducing the risk of injury.

The idea is to build fitness, strength, endurance and speed whilst keeping motivation levels up and beating boredom – the runner’s enemy!

As for what you need to get started, here’s the good news; not much at rookie level. There’s no need to rush out and splash the dollars on expensive running gear just yet! A good quality pair of lightweight running shoes, gear made from sweat-wicking fabric, a water bottle and an MP3 player/iPod are all you need to get up and running.

Choosing Between Beginner Running Programs

The answers to all of the above depend in part upon your specific goal. Don’t think you have one in mind? Take a minute to think about your reasons for starting to run and your goal will become instantly apparent. It could be something as simple as improving overall health. Alternatively, you may have a specific goal in mind, such as running a race for charity, in which case beginner running programs for 5k races are ideal. If you want to shed pounds and tone up simultaneously, beginner running programs for weight loss are the way forward.

Although all beginner running programs have many common elements, there are subtle differences that set them apart. The best way to maximise time spent running and achieve your goal in the least possible time is to give it a bit of thought and choose wisely.

Here’s a simple but vital tip:

Choose beginner running programs that feature a variety of different routines to keep things fresh and improve both speed and strength.

Perform the same workout week in, week out and you’ll soon get bored and hit a plateau. It’s essential to keep body and brain challenged; you’ll see results quicker and enjoy the experience more.

To give you an idea of what to look for, check out the quick guides below. As always, feel free to get in touch via Twitter or Facebook and ask as many questions as you like. I’m always happy to advise.

Treadmill Beginner Running Programs

If you are starting out in winter, treadmill-based beginner running programs are ideal. Dark and cold mornings coupled with wind, snow and ice aren’t exactly great motivators for getting up and hitting the road! Treadmills are far more sophisticated these days and feature settings that allow you to control speed and incline at the touch of a button. Running on a treadmill can be a great way to gain confidence before facing the great outdoors.

They’re also great if you want to train to music and listen to coaching tips safely. Check out Treadmill Trainer Vol. 1 for starters.

It’s also worth noting that many gyms have treadmills that come complete with shock absorption – great for reducing joint impact.

Stick solely to treadmill-based routines or mix things up and train indoors and outdoors. Indoor and outdoor training aren’t exclusive! It’s possible to combine them and enjoy the best of both worlds!

8-Week Beginner Running Programs

These are great for those looking to progress from walking to jogging and finally running constantly. You’ll find quite a few beginner running programs for 5k races which are absolutely fine. However, if you aren’t looking for a race-specific training plan, there are other options available.

There are no hard and fast rules to becoming a runner. If you run regularly, you’re a runner in my book!

However, in the interests of clarity, those who can run for 30 minutes without stopping (or 2 miles) at a comfortable pace are progressing well.

Most 8-week beginner running programs aim to achieve this goal. The 30-minute target hasn’t simply been plucked out of thin air. Run constantly for half an hour 3 times a week and it’s highly likely that you’ll find it easier to control weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. What’s more, you’ll have laid firm foundations for running longer and stronger.

So, here’s what you can expect to face in order to hit the magic 30-minute mark:

Fast walks on flat terrain – these can be used at the very start of the program and also make great recovery routines for the day after a more challenging session.

Walking and jogging intervals – many rookie runners make the mistake of thinking they can do too much too soon and simply get disheartened. Alternating walking with jogging allows you to hit the middle ground between the two. Progressing to solid running won’t seem such a daunting prospect and you may even find you’ll be raring to reach the next stage. It’s all about natural progression.

Constant running – at the end of 8 weeks, you’ll be ready to try the most challenging beginner routines. We’re not talking sprinting so don’t worry! A comfortable pace is the order of the day. Once you’ve got the endurance to run 30 minutes non-stop, speed can be tackled.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Confidence and motivation play a huge part in beginner running programs, if you’ve got the will and the dedication the rest will come naturally.


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