Whether you’re inspired to start running for the first time or training for your first 10K, this plan will help you build a strong foundation and healthy habits!
I designed this plan for a friend who wanted to start running consistently and improve his overall fitness. These were my goals as I put it together:
- Establish a habit of exercising 4-5 times per week
- Slowly increase volume over time (never increasing by more than 20% over the previous week to prevent injury)
- Emphasize time rather than distance for the first 3 weeks. (In these early stages, I think it’s more important to build discipline and establish good habits than to run a certain number of miles)
- Include 2 days of core work and 1 optional day of strength training each week to build overall fitness
Today is the first day of his 6-week adventure, which is really exciting! I’ll share how it went after the 6 weeks are over!
Rules of the Road
Tips to help you start your running adventure
- Walk for 3-5 minutes before every run to warm up, and for 5 minutes after every run to cool down. (This does not count towards the total run time)
- As you’re getting started, you can alternate between running and walking. Run until you’re tired (aim for a minimum of 30 seconds), walk until you’re recovered, and repeat
- Easy pace = You can have a conversation while you’re running, and your breath is relatively steady. Try breathing in for 3-5 steps, then out for 3-5 steps as you’re running (this is a suggestion – not a firm rule). It might take some time to build up to a steady, consistent pattern of breath, and that’s okay!
- Moderate pace = You can still have a conversation but it will be more difficult (maybe just a few words at a time). Continue focusing on your breath, breathing in for 3-5 steps, then out for 3-5 steps (again, just a suggestion)
- Always stretch and/or foam roll after a run (focusing on your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, IT band, hip flexors, and calves)
- On “Fun Days” you can do whatever you please, but try to include some form of physical activity like taking a walk, going for a bike ride, gardening, etc.
Links to abdominal and total-body workouts referenced in the training plan:
6 Weeks to 6 Miles Training Plan
As always, listen to your body and your doctor when starting a new fitness program. I’m an enthusiast, but not a healthcare professional. Although running and exercising are TOTALLY AWESOME, they also come with risks. Be bold, but be smart!