How to Start Running from Scratch: A Running Plan for Beginners

How to Start Running from Scratch: A Running Plan for Beginners

Posted by   jul 7, 2023     Running     0 Comments

How to Start Running from Scratch: A Running Plan for Beginners


Running is a fantastic exercise, but how do you start running from scratch? Running brings numerous benefits, both physical and mental. However, starting to run from scratch can be a bit intimidating if you have no idea where to start. But don't worry, in this article, we will guide you step by step.

I. Preparation to Start Running

Starting to run is a challenge that requires preparation. It's not simply about tying your shoes and hitting the street, it's a process that involves planning, choosing the right clothes and footwear, and developing the right mindset. Here we provide a detailed guide on how to prepare yourself to start running from scratch.

Choosing the Right Clothes and Footwear

To start running, you'll need suitable clothing and footwear. Ensure your clothing is light and breathable, ideally made from materials that wick moisture away from your body. As for the footwear, it should be suitable for running and fit well to your feet.

For example, if you live in a colder climate, you may consider thermal clothing and a water-resistant running jacket. In warmer climates, a lightweight technical shirt and shorts will suffice. As for footwear, brands like Nike, Adidas, and Brooks offer a wide range of running shoes that can adapt to different foot types and running styles.

The Importance of Planning

Once you have your clothing and footwear, the next step to start running from scratch is planning. The importance of planning cannot be underestimated. You'll need to devise a training plan that includes both cardiovascular training and strength training. Your training plan should start gently and increase gradually. This could involve alternating between walking and running at first, then gradually increasing the amount of time you spend running. A good example of this would be the famous "Couch to 5K" plan, perfect for beginners, that will take you from the couch to running 5 kilometres in just 9 weeks.

The Right Mindset to Start Running

The right mindset is as important as physical preparation when it comes to starting to run from scratch. Having a positive attitude and being willing to face challenges will help you maintain the persistence and patience necessary to keep going, even when things get tough. Remember, you're not competing against anyone but yourself. Celebrating your achievements, no matter how small, will help keep your motivation. For example, if you were able to run one minute longer than the previous day, that's a victory!

Medical Evaluation Before Starting to Run

Before you start running, it's important to have a medical evaluation. This is a necessary precaution to prevent injuries and ensure you're physically fit to start a new training regime. Additionally, a medical evaluation will give you a baseline of your current health status and help you identify any areas where you may need to work more, such as muscular strength, flexibility, or cardiovascular capacity.

Preparing to start running from scratch may seem like a challenge, but with the right preparation, mindset, and a good training plan, you'll be ready to hit the road. Don't forget to take care of your diet and hydration, practice good breathing techniques and always remember the benefits of running.


II. Specialised Cardiovascular and Strength Training for Running Beginners

If you're looking to embark on your running journey, a combination of cardiovascular training and muscle training is a must. Not only will it help you start jogging, but it will also set you up to gradually progress in your training regimen, ultimately leading you to run more frequently and at a faster pace. In this guide, we'll show you how to develop your own running workout program.

The Importance of Cardiovascular Training

Cardiovascular exercise is essential for improving stamina and cardiac activity, both critical components for running. Running, of course, is a form of cardiovascular exercise, but there are other activities you can include in your regimen to prepare you for running. This might include walking, cycling, or swimming.

A popular example of cardiovascular training for beginners is the "Couch to 5K" plan. This exercise program guides you through a series of workouts that alternate between walking and running, gradually increasing the amount of time you spend running until you can continuously run for 5 kilometres.

The Importance of Strength Training

While cardiovascular training focuses on your heart and lungs, muscle or strength training zeroes in on the muscles you'll use when running. This includes your legs, of course, but also your core, back, and even your arms. Strength training can help you avoid injuries by strengthening your muscles and tendons. It can also help you run more efficiently, which can reduce sensations of pain and fatigue.

An effective strength training program for runners might include exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks. It might also include resistance exercises using elastic bands or weights.

Combining Both Types of Training

For the best results, you should combine cardiovascular and strength training in your workout regimen. This could involve doing cardiovascular exercise one day and strength training the next. You should allow at least one rest day between strength training sessions to give your muscles a chance to recover.

How to Start Running

Before you start running, it's crucial to do some warm-up exercises. This might involve a brisk walk or light jog to raise your heart rate and prepare your muscles for the workout. As you start your run, keep a slow and comfortable pace. Aim to run for at least 10 minutes, then walk for a few minutes to recover. Repeat this cycle several times during your workout.

After running, perform some stretching exercises to cool down your muscles and help prevent stiffness and soreness.

Warm-Up and Stretching Exercises

Before any physical activity, it's crucial to do warm-up exercises. These could include brisk walking, skipping, or climbing stairs. After running, make sure to do some stretching exercises to help your body cool down and prevent injuries.

Over time, as you increase the length and intensity of your runs, you'll make running a habit. Remember, maintaining motivation is crucial. Celebrating your achievements and keeping track of your progress can help keep you motivated as you progress on your journey to start jogging. Don't forget that before starting to run, it's important to have a medical evaluation to ensure your ability to participate in this kind of physical activity.

Remember, running is a marathon, not a sprint. Patience and consistency are key to achieving your goals and becoming a successful runner.


III. First Tips for Getting Started with Running

Taking the first steps to start running can seem daunting, but don't fret. With the right plan and a positive mindset, you can embark on your running journey from scratch, progressing from walking to jogging. Here is a guide to help you hit the ground running.

Clothing and Footwear - Sportswear and Athletic Shoes

The right choice of clothing and shoes can significantly impact your comfort and performance while running. For clothes, opt for garments that are lightweight, breathable, and allow you to move freely.

As for athletic footwear, it is crucial to choose a pair that provides the right support and cushioning for your feet. Specialist sports shops can often advise you on the best type of shoes for your running style and the surface on which you'll be running.

Proper Attitude and Positive Mindset

Your attitude and mindset are as important as your clothing and shoes when starting running from scratch. The right attitude involves being open to new challenges, being patient with yourself, and being willing to persevere even when things get tough.

Moreover, a positive mindset can help you overcome obstacles, maintain and build up your motivation, and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Remember, every step you take brings you closer to your goals.

Need for Organisation and Importance of Scheduling

It's critical to organise your training plan and recognise the importance of scheduling. This involves setting training times, establishing realistic goals, and recording your progress. When organising your plan, consider your daily schedules and responsibilities. Also, bear in mind that you will need time to recover after workouts.

Gradual Increase and Progressive Elevation

It's important to remember that you should gradually increase your running intensity and duration. Try not to increase the length or intensity of your runs by more than 10% per week. This progressive approach will help prevent injuries and avoid burnout.

Perseverance and Tolerance, Firmness and Patience

Perseverance and tolerance are essential for any novice runner. There will be days when you feel tired, frustrated, or unmotivated. In these moments, firmness and patience can be your best allies. Remember, every run, regardless of its length or speed, brings you closer to your objectives. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Consistency and patience are the keys to success in running.

Avoiding Physical Damage and Precautions against Injuries

Taking precautions against injuries is vital for staying healthy and enjoying running in the long term. This includes warming up before running, cooling down afterwards, and performing stretches and strength exercises.

If you experience persistent pain, take a rest and consult a medical professional if necessary. Never ignore pain, as it can be a sign that you're on the verge of an injury.

Nutrition and Water Intake, Diet and Hydration

Your diet and hydration are essential factors to consider when starting running from scratch. Try to maintain a balanced diet with enough protein for muscle recovery, carbohydrates for energy, and healthy fats. As for hydration, drink water before, during, and after your runs to replenish the fluids you lose through sweating. During longer runs or on hot days, you might need a sports drink to replace electrolytes. In the end, taking the first steps to start running is in your hands. With the right preparation and attitude, the road ahead will be a rewarding journey towards health, strength, and wellbeing.


IV. Training Plan to Start Running from Scratch

If you're wondering how to start running from scratch, you'll be pleased to know there are training plans specifically designed for beginners that will help you turn running into a routine. The benefits of jogging are countless and the positives of running are recognised worldwide by health professionals and athletes. However, before starting, it's crucial to have a medical check-up to ensure you're ready for the physical challenge that running presents.

Warm-up Routines

Before starting to run, it's important to engage in warm-up activities to prepare your muscles and joints for the exercise. Warm-up routines can include exercises like brisk walking, jumping rope, or performing light stretching exercises. These exercises increase your heart rate and prepare your muscles for running.

The Training Plan

The first step to start running from scratch is to establish a training plan. For a beginner, this plan could start with just 20 minutes of exercise a day, three days a week.

During the first week, you could walk for these 20 minutes to get used to moving. The second week, you can start to introduce brief periods of jogging, such as running for one minute and then walking for two minutes, repeating this cycle during your 20-minute training period. As your physical condition improves, you can begin to increase the amount of time you spend running and decrease the time you spend walking. Eventually, you'll be able to run for the full 20 minutes.

Breathing Methods and Strategies

As you start to run more, it's important to learn effective breathing methods. A common breathing strategy is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth, which can help maintain your oxygen levels and prevent fatigue.

In addition, some runners find it helpful to follow a specific breathing pattern while running, such as breathing every three or four steps. Experiment to find what works best for you.

Stretching Routines

After your runs, engage in stretching activities or routines. These can help you cool down after your workout, improve your flexibility, and prevent soreness and fatigue. These might include stretches for your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Maintaining Motivation

Running can be challenging, especially at first when you may experience discomfort and tiredness. But it's important to keep spirits high and sustain motivation. Set small, achievable goals and celebrate your accomplishments as you progress. Remember, every step you take brings you closer to your goal of making jogging a habit.

Making Running a Routine

With time and patience, you'll soon find that you're eager to put on your trainers and head out for a run. In fact, you might find that running has become an essential part of your daily routine. Remember, making running a routine doesn't happen overnight. It takes consistent time and effort.


V. Tips and Recommendations

Starting to run is an exciting but challenging process. Here, we provide some tips and recommendations to help you embark on your running journey safely and effectively.

  1. Listen to Your Body One of the most important tips for anyone starting to run is to learn to listen to your body. Running is a demanding physical activity, and it's crucial that you pay attention to how your body feels during and after each training session. If you experience pain or discomfort, especially around any joint, it could be a sign that you might be running incorrectly, progressing too quickly, or simply need to rest.

  2. Ensure You Have Good Footwear Investing in a pair of good running shoes is crucial when you're starting out. The right trainers can make a big difference in your running form, help prevent injuries, and make you feel more comfortable while running. Look for shoes that offer good support and cushioning, and that fit well on your feet.

  3. Don't Forget to Warm Up and Stretch Before heading out for a run, make sure you do a good warm-up. This might include brisk walking, strength exercises, or even dancing for a few minutes. After running, it's equally important to do stretching exercises to relax your muscles and prevent potential injuries.

  4. Start Slowly and Increase Gradually Some beginners make the mistake of trying to run too fast or too far at the beginning. If you're starting to run, it's important to start at a slow pace and gradually increase both the distance and speed. A good rule of thumb might be to start with 2 minutes of jogging and 2 minutes of walking, alternating for 20 minutes. As you get more comfortable with running, you can gradually increase the time you spend running and decrease the time you spend walking.

  5. Maintain Consistency One of the biggest challenges for new runners is maintaining consistency. It's easy to get motivated to run a couple of times, but keeping up a regular routine can be harder. Try to establish a regular training schedule and stick to it. Remember, it doesn't matter how far you run each session, what matters is that you keep going out and exercising regularly.

  6. Rest Adequately Rest is an essential part of any training plan. Your body needs time to recover after each training session, and it's during this rest time when your body really strengthens and improves. Make sure to include at least one full rest day each week, and don't hesitate to take additional days if you feel you need them.

  7. Leverage Technology to Your Advantage Running apps like Runtastic, Strava, or Endomondo can be very helpful for beginners. These apps can track distance covered, time, pace, and other useful data, and many also offer training plans and other features that can be of great help. For this, you would need a specialised watch like those from GARMIN and/or SUUNTO brands, or one of the fashionable smart bracelets that can perfectly track your routes, along with monitoring your heart rate.

In summary, starting to run is an excellent way to improve your fitness, lose weight, and gain many other health benefits. However, it's important to start safely and effectively to prevent injuries and ensure you can maintain the routine in the long run. With these tips and recommendations, you'll be well-equipped to start running and enjoy everything this sport has to offer.


IV. Conclusion

To follow a training plan and get in shape, it's essential to adhere to a series of steps. Firstly, if you're embarking on your running journey, it's advisable to start with a brisk 20-minute walk to warm up your body. You can do this during the first week. 

Then, in the second week, you can begin to alternate between running and walking. For instance, you could run for a minute and walk for two minutes. Repeat this sequence for about 20 minutes each training day. As the weeks progress, you'll be able to run for longer periods and walk less. You can progressively increase the running time in each training session, for instance, by adding a minute each week. It's crucial to maintain consistency in your training. Try to exercise at least three days a week, but if you can do it daily, that would be even better.

Ensure that you're comfortable while running. If at any point you feel pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and rest. Listen to your body and respect it. Besides getting in shape, running can help you lose weight. However, remember that weight loss is achieved by combining a healthy diet with exercise. 

During the initial weeks, it's normal to run at a slower pace. As your body adapts, you'll be able to increase your speed and endurance. Finally, don't forget to give your body time to rest and recover. This is crucial to prevent injuries and improve your performance. After following a training plan, you'll feel prepared to participate in your first race and enjoy the benefits of leading an active life, leaving behind a sedentary lifestyle.

Having discussed the benefits of running, the necessary preparation, the importance of cardiovascular and strength training, how to take the first steps, and how to establish an effective training plan, it's evident that starting to run from scratch can be a challenge, but a rewarding one.

Reflection on the Benefits of Running

Running is one of the most effective forms of exercise for heart health, weight loss, and overall well-being. It helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improves mental health and self-esteem, and can be an effective way to alleviate stress. As you venture on this path, it's important to remember these benefits and use them as motivation to maintain your momentum.

Motivation to Keep Running

It's normal to have days when you don't feel like running. On these days, the key is to remember why you started in the first place. Maybe it was for health, to lose weight, to clear your mind, or perhaps you simply wanted to try something new. Whenever you lack motivation, recall your reasons and how running has enhanced your life.

Making Running a Long-Term Habit

Finally, the ultimate goal is to make running a long-term habit. This means that running will become a regular part of your routine, something you do without giving it too much thought. You can aid this by setting a consistent running routine, running at the same time every day or on the same days each week. Over time, you'll find that running becomes as natural as brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

In summary, starting to run from scratch is an exhilarating experience that can improve your life in countless ways. With adequate preparation, focus on training, and a well-thought-out training plan, you'll find yourself running farther and faster than you ever imagined. So, what are you waiting for? It's time to lace up your trainers and hit the track!

Beginning to jog is merely the start of an incredible journey towards a healthier and more active life. Remember, each step you take is a step closer to your goals. Happy running!

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