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Starting Running - How Far & How Often?

May 23rd 2008 01:26
Unless you’re already quite fit, aerobically, you should start with about 20 minutes. Also, you’ll probably have to do a walk-run. (Even if you’re physically capable of doing a continuous run, remember, we’re talking about running at around 75% of your maximum heart rate here. You’re not trying to push yourself to your limits.) In fact, if you’re really unfit, you’ll probably have to walk most of the way – maybe even the whole way. But don’t be disheartened. You’re still getting the same benefits out of it. So long as your heart rate is around 75% of its max, you’re doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking or running. (I know how frustrating this can feel. I like the feeling of running more than the feeling of walking. But rest assured, you’ll get there.)

Do this three to four times a week.

If you’re doing the same course each time (e.g. around the block or to the beach and back), time exactly how long you’re taking. (Most heart rate monitors will tell you how long they were monitoring your heart rate.) You’ll find that your time decreases each week. I’ve found this is all I need by way of motivation. You may also find it useful to set some goals. E.g. “By Christmas, I want to be able to go ‘round the block in 15 minutes,” rather than the 20 it’s taking you now. (In a later post, I’ll recommend some tools for tracking your times, as well as tracking the distance you’ve covered.)

After about three or four weeks, you can increase to four to five times per week, if you like. That’s about as often as you need to go, unless you want to become an elite athlete.

After about 10-12 weeks, you may find that you’re running half and walking half of each run (rather than walking the majority). That’s great! Also, by this time, your muscles, joints and bones should be adapted to their new load. So if you want to do more, you can. But instead of increasing the number of runs each week, increase the duration of your runs. So if you’re out for 20 minutes per run in week 10, go out for 25 minutes per run in week 11, and 35 minutes per run in week 12, and so on. (It’s important to think in terms of time, not distance. If you get too hung up on distance, you may push yourself too hard.)

By about week 17, you’ll probably find that you’re running a lot more than you’re walking. You may even be running the whole way.

That’s all there is to it!

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5 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by James Rickard

May 23rd 2008 03:06
Nice post! I stumbled upon this by accident but, I really like the info you provide. I'll be back!!!!!!!

Comment by Glenn Murray

May 23rd 2008 03:20
Thanks James. Great to have you here. Cheers.

Comment by tlcorbin

May 28th 2008 16:46
Hello Glenn, nothing personal, but I have to hide this post from my wife, she is into torturing this sloth driven couch potato with forced marches up the sides of mountains for hours of goading and chiding while she scampers about like a spring born lamb.

It's horrific, if there's a trail route in the area marked 'hazardous to your mental well being and person', that's where you find us. If she gets it in her head that we can run rather than walk these trails, the huge investment in my portly waistline will be totally wasted. Hahahaha.


Comment by Glenn Murray

May 29th 2008 00:11
Chuckle! Haven't run up any mountainsides, myself, for many years. I'm not sure it qualifies as 'Easy' running, though, so you may be safe!


Comment by tlcorbin

May 29th 2008 00:26
Phew, good to have you posting here Glenn. . .

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