Beginner Runner Tip #3

Plan for Success : Get a Running Plan

For most beginners, just heading out the door and running does not work in the long term. This is simply because beginner runners often don’t know how best to approach their training. This can result in overtraining and injury, or becoming dispirited by a perceived lack of improvement. My advice is to search online for a beginner running plan to follow. Couch to 5k or Jeff Galloway are good places to start, or you can contact your local running store or running club to ask about beginning running plans. There are also countless running apps available for your mobile phone. Look out for apps that not only track your runs but include training plans or coaching so you can follow a plan and measure your progress against it.

Also, avoid the common pitfall of beginner runners who think you must run non-stop to be a runner. As a beginner runner you will benefit the most from a run-walk-run programme unless you already have a base level of fitness from other sports. Using strategic walk breaks will increase the time you can spend exercising (increasing endurance and overall fitness) as well as allow you to run faster in the run portions (increasing strength and pace).

Having a plan to follow will let you know what you are expected to do, and what you can also expect of yourself. Keeping to the plan will help you with your motivation to continue as you see your ongoing improvement over time.

On the flip-side, make sure you don’t become a slave to the plan. It is a tool, not a rule. If you feel you need rest but your plan says run, listen to your body and rest. If you need to re-organise a workout because of something cropping up, don’t feel guilty or think you’ve failed. It’s life. It happens. Just pick your plan up where you left off, don’t skip forwards to the next workout.

Once you reach the end of your plan, re-assess what you want to achieve, find another plan, and then follow that. Structuring your running is the key to consistency, and consistency is the key to keeping up your running. If it becomes a habit, you are more likely to stick with your running, even if you don’t have an immediate goal to aim for.

Happy running everyone!


Get Going, Get Running!

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