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So You Want to Start Running - It's No Sweat!

Running has so many great physical and mental benefits. It's a great way to get healthier, which means you'll feel better. As a bonus, you can form new relationships with other runners — score! Making moving a habit is easy — with a good pair of shoes and a desire to move — you can get race ready at your own pace. Below are four simple tips to get you started and keep you moving. Let’s go!


1. Pick a Race The very first thing you need to do is to pick a race. It's the best way to keep yourself motivated to keep training. Paying for the race requires commitment, and will help you stay focused on your running goals. Even if you're a beginner, you can learn to run any distance with time and training. So go for it! Pick a race and let the those feet hit the pavement (or dirt, or grass, or treadmill). You can pick one of our races, or use a race finder like the Runner’s World Race Finder or the Running USA Race Map.


2. Running Form Good running form is crucial to ensuring you can continue running for many years, without injuring yourself. Like anything, you need to practice to get better. The more you run, the more comfortable you will feel with your improved form. Check out this article to master your ideal running form.


3. The Run-Walk Method My favorite way to get back into running, or just shake it up a little, is the Run-Walk Method. For experienced runners, it's a great way to improve your speed. The way this works is to take brief, timed, walking breaks during your runs. There are different walk-run ratios, so play with it and choose what works best for you.


Here are some combinations:

LEVEL

RUN

WALK

REPEAT

Beginners

15-30 seconds

1-3 minutes

15-30 minutes (or duration of run)

Intermediate

1-4 minutes

1-2 minutes

30-45 minutes (or duration of run)

Experienced

5-8 minutes

30 seconds to 1 minute

30-60 minutes (or duration of run)

4. Choose a Training Plan There are loads of training plans out there. I like to keep it simple. A great, basic formula can help you customize a training plan for virtually any distance.

  • Do focused training three days a week (this can be cross-training, biking, etc.)

  • Run or run/walk two days a week (running duration is based on what you're training for and your fitness level)

  • Go for a longer run or run/walk on the weekend (about double the time of your weekly runs)

  • On run or run/walk days, run at a conversational pace

  • Increase your mileage by about a half mile a week. That means if you're starting from one mile, you will need six weeks to be ready for a 5K. Remember, you can use the run-walk method instead of running the entire distance, you don't feel you are entirely prepared on race day.


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