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How to Start Running: Easy 4-Week Programme

Are you an absolute beginner when it comes to running? This 4-week run/walk programme will help ease you into running and you'll definitely notice the difference by end of Week 4.

How to start running

When you first start running, you can’t expect to sprint forward like a cheetah reincarnated. If you attempt that, you’ll just suffer from uncontrollable wheezing, overworked muscles, and put yourself off running forever. The easiest way to master running is to do it the way marathon runners finish a 42km race. By using a combination of walking and running.

Doing intervals between running and brisk walking doesn’t mean you’re a weakling. It’s merely a sensible way to begin your training. As running is a very rigorous workout that puts your entire body through a lot of stress, if you go all out in the beginning, you might overwork your joints, bones and muscles. And you don’t want that.

How to start running then? Here’s a simple guide you can follow if you’re just starting out. It’s entirely customisable depending on how you feel, but is designed for beginners to slowly build up your stamina. Remember to warm up for five minutes before doing any intense running. Try walking and stretching, they help warm up your muscles for the stress you’re going to put it through later on. Also, while you’re running, listen to your body. Push yourself, but don’t go over the top as you may risk hurting yourself.

Be patient and run with it. By the end of week 4, you’ll definitely notice the difference in your strength and stamina.

Running Guide: Week 1

Week 1Activity Duration
Monday
1-min run , 7-min walkRepeat for 20 mins
TuesdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Wednesday1-min run, 7-min walkRepeat for 20 mins
ThursdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Friday1-min run, 6-min walkRepeat for 20 mins
SaturdayRest dayRest day
SundayRest dayRest day

You’ll notice that in Week 2, the running duration is extended. This will help you boost your stamina progressively.

Running Guide: Week 2

Week 2Activity Duration
Monday
1-min run , 6-min walkRepeat for 30 mins
TuesdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Wednesday1-min 30-sec run , 5-min walkRepeat for 20 mins
ThursdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Friday2-min run , 7-min walkRepeat for 30 mins
SaturdayRest dayRest day
SundayRest dayRest day

If you’ve been a good boy/girl and stuck with the schedule the past two weeks, week 3’s longer running time should not be a problem.

Running Guide: Week 3

Week 3Activity Duration
Monday
2-min run, 7-min walkRepeat for 30 - 40 mins
TuesdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Wednesday2-min run, 6-min walkRepeat for 30 mins
ThursdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Friday2-min 30-sec run, 6-min walkRepeat for 30 mins
SaturdayRest dayRest day
SundayRest dayRest day

As with everything, building stamina takes time and practice. The more you train, the bigger the improvements in stamina. By week 4, you’ll start to notice how much you’ve improved since you first started working out in week 1. Keep on moving and soon even a marathon won’t faze you.

Running Guide: Week 4

Week 4Activity Duration
Monday
3-min run, 7-min walkRepeat for 30 - 40 mins
TuesdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Wednesday3-min run, 6-min walkRepeat for 30 mins
ThursdayRest dayYou can do some light walking
Friday3-min 30-sec run, 6-min walkRepeat for 30 - 40 mins
SaturdayRest dayRest day
SundayRest dayRest day

If you hate looking at your watch and timing yourself, try using objects as goals. If you’re running at the park, use distant lamp posts, benches, and trees as goals and don’t stop running till you get there. Once you’re there, slow down to a brisk walk then set a new target for you to start running again. Gradually increase target distance week after week and at the end of week 4, you should start feeling less like a wheezy snail.

Good luck on your running journey!

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We wanna know how it goes for you! Comment with your progress below or update us on our Facebook page!

Edited by: The HealthWorks Team
Adapted from “The walk/run technique” by Running for Beginners.

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source: Running for Beginners
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