Feb. 12, 2011 -- What's your running goal this year? If you're like many beginners or folks returning to running after a layoff, your primary concern is probably to just run -- that is, to maintain consistent training for the entire year. And the best way to stick with it is to begin slowly and methodically, so you don't end up discouraged, injured, or otherwise back on the couch. Here are answers to common questions that will get you off to a safe, fun year of running regularly.
So How Do I Start?
Slowly. If you haven't run in the last six months, first build up to walking continuously for 30 minutes. Then add running for 10 to 20 seconds every minute, walking the balance, for a total of 30 minutes. Run every other day, gradually adding five to 10 seconds to your run time.
Won't I Be Sore?
Not excessively. It's common to "earn" a bit of muscle soreness in the beginning. But there's no need to feel pain, especially if you start with short, slow periods of running, take plenty of walk breaks, and gradually increase your run time.
What If I Don't Have Much Time?
Even a 10- to 15-minute run will improve your vitality, boost your mood, and maintain your physiological adaptations.
How Will I Know I'm Getting Better?
You'll notice that you're huffing and puffing less. You'll also experience more days each month when you want to go farther or faster-- and you can! You may even want to enter a race.
Must I Purchase Special Gear?
A good pair of running shoes that will protect your feet against the terrain and reduce the risk of blisters is essential. Otherwise, wear comfortable clothes.
Step By Step
Run slowly, walk often, and build your running time gradually.
More from Runner's World: