If you want to include running into your exercise program, congratulations! In my opinion, running is one of the best aerobic exercises you can do. It not only builds your heart muscle and helps you lose weight, but it also builds bone density in your legs.
How do you start though?We’re going to start very slowly. Before beginning this running program, you should have been walking for 30 minutes at a time at least 3 days a week for 3 – 4 months. If you haven’t been, start doing that first, then return here later. Sorry. Running is a very strenuous exercise and just starting to run is not recommended.
There is no time limit here as to when you jump to the next session. That’s on purpose. I want you feeling comfortable at one level before going to the next. We’re going to assume here that you want to eventually run the full 30 minutes. If not, just stop when you get to a level you desire. That might even be level 1.
Level 1. Walk 5 minutes to warm up. Then begin to jog slowly for up to 1 minute. You should be breathing a little harder when you run, but you should still be able to talk (not sing though). If you are breathing too hard, slow down. Now walk until you feel totally recovered! If it takes you the rest of the workout to feel recovered, well, at least you got a minute in. When you feel recovered, do it again. Keep doing this until your workout is done. Be certain you finish your workout by walking at least 5 minutes. That’s the cool down period.
Level 2. All levels require you to walk 5 minutes both before and after. You may want to increase your workout to 40 minutes. (Don’t give that look – it’s only a suggestion). Now, try to increase your running periods to 2 minutes at a time between walks. Again, walk until you are fully recovered. You can stop at this level and continue. You’ll be getting a good workout with minimal strain and it will definitely help you stay in shape.
Level 3. If you’re going on, add 1 minute to your runs until you get up to 5 minutes running at a time. Next, try to cut the walk session to 1 minute. If good physical conditioning is your goal here, you may definitely stay at this level. This is not as easy as it sounds. But hey, it’s easier than it was when you first started, right?
Level 4. If you want to run the entire workout (except for the warm up and cool down), simply keep adding more and more time to your runs until you are running for 20 or 30 minutes straight. That’s it. There is no time limit to hit each of these goals, and you can stop at whatever level you feel like staying at.
This program is not designed to train you for racing, speed, or other. If that is what you decide to do, read my other articles. This program is simply designed to help you get in shape and stay that way. Remember, one key is to be certain you can talk at all times during your training, without gasping for air. If you follow this rule, your workouts will be energizing, and you will gain the fitness level you desire.