As you might have guessed, this article is about taking up running as a sport.

I never was a huge fan of running. It seemed boring. Now I think, if I could walk, I would run. A buddy, who also is not a fan of running, actually wants to train to run a marathon at some point in his life. Mind you he doesn’t run, he is very active, just not in running. The only thing he “runs” is his business, a dent repair shop in Denver & CO springs. But, to stand by him, I’ve decided to help him out. I may not be able to run with him, but I am creating his program to learn to run. That being said, I thought I would share it with my readers. This program is great for the novice runner. Enjoy!

Running – Part 1

Apart from running being fun and a rewarding work out, it has some other benefits too. If you think about it, running has such a universal appeal! It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, tall, short, thin, or fat – it doesn’t discriminate. It’s a relatively inexpensive sport, unlike Cricket or Horse-riding. It can be done with minimal frills, if you want to. Also, something unique about running is that you can mentally check out for a while when you’re running – you can listen to music, talk, and enjoy the scenery around you.

So, for those of you who are considering starting to run, here’s a short training guide –

  1. Only Walk – This is the beginning, where you basically try and get your body used to the idea of a little physical exercise
  • Week 1 – Start by walking once a day for 20 minutes, 3 days a week
  • Week 2 – Walk once a day for 20 minutes, on alternate days, 4 days a week
  • Week 3 – From here on, the idea is to walk for longer periods at a time. Walk once a day for 20-25 minutes
  • Week 4 – Walk once a day, for 25-30 minutes, for alternate days, 4 days a week.

You can continue this for 1-2 more weeks, until you’re comfortable with the schedule

  1. Walk more, run less – From here you on, you start ambling at an easy pace. But you’re still going to be walking most of the time.
  • For 2-3 weeks – Start your routine by walking for 10 minutes. Then for the next 10-15 minutes, you follow a cycle of jogging at a very easy pace for 1 minute, then walking for the next 2 minutes. When you’re done with this cycle, you end with a walk for 10 minutes again to cool off. You could also jog for like, 30 seconds, if you’re unable to do so for a minute. Do this on alternate days, 4 times a week.
  1. Start running more, walking less – Now this is when you start running (again, by this I mean jogging at an easy pace) a little more.
  • Each week – This is the same as step 2. But in the jogging-walking cycle, you run for say, 1.5 minutes, and walk for 1.5 minutes. You gradually increase the jogging time and reduce the walking time by 0.5 minutes each week.

Continue with step 3 for like, 8-10 weeks. The goal is that by the end of step 3, you should be able to run for 15 minutes at a go.

Then every week, you can try and push your running time by 5 minutes, until you can run for about 30-40 minutes at a stretch.

This is just one kind of training schedule. You can find more detailed training plans on the web. Keep in mind, that all the training described above will yield optimal results only if you run with the right posture. Having the correct posture is also important from the point of view of preventing injuries.

As always, maintain an erect posture, keep your back straight.

Keep your head naturally straight. Look ahead towards the horizon, not down at your feet or the ground.

As far as your shoulders are concerned, try not to droop, but keep them relaxed and loose.

Move your arms back and forth, not across your torso. Elbows bent at approximately 90 degrees. Don’t clench your fist tightly, instead curl your fingers so that they just touch your palm.

Don’t lift your knee too high, and when your feet touch the ground, it should be directly beneath your body.

Now that we’ve covered a rough training schedule and posture, in the second part, we’ll discuss the different types of running exercises.