A practical 4 week running plan for beginners

beautiful girl running

Photo Courtesy: Nathan Rupert

“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” Jesse Owens

If the voice inside your head says you can’t run, don’t listen to it! It is such a liar and needs to be confronted. Running is the most convenient workout to get fit and feel better…you don’t have to be a skilled athlete, and you don’t require any fancy equipment to gear it up. All it takes is a comfortable pair of shoes and a motivation to move a little or a lot at your own pace.

Running is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. According to a recent study of 47,000 runners and walkers by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, runners burned more calories and had much more cut in BMI over a six-year time period. (http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20723702,00.html)

Stage 1 Week 1:

Day 1: Walking has its own benefits. So, start with warm-up walking for 5  to 10 minutes and then short and slow running for 20 minutes – 1 minute running and 1 minute walking (5x). You’ll get to know what’s more comfortable for you. When it’s your first time out, don’t run more than 30 minutes. Don’t worry about going fast, instead finish your activity by cool-down walking for another 5 minutes at the last.

Day 2: 5 to 10 minutes of warm up running. 1 min run followed by 1 min walk (7x) and then 6 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 3: After 10 minutes warm-up walking, run for 2 minutes followed by 1 min walking (5x). Finish it with 5 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 4: 5 minutes of warm-up walk. Then 2 min run, 1 min walk (7x). Finish your running activity with 3 to 4 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 5: Don’t run. Do some other physical activity, stretching, yoga to eliminate the physical tension. More importantly maintain the regularity.

Stage 2 week 2:

Day 1: Start your second week by 5 minutes warm-up walking. Then 3 minutes run, 1 minute walk (5x). Finish it with 5 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 2: 4 minutes of warm-up walking. Then 5 minutes run, 2 minutes walk (3x). 5 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 3: 4 minutes warm-up walking. run for 5 minutes followed by 1 minute of walking (5x). Finish it with 2 to 3 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 4: 4 minutes of warm-up walk. 8 min run, 3 min walk (2x). Finish your running activity with 2 to 3 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 5: Indulge yourself in stretching, yoga or strength movements to eliminate the physical tension.

Stage 3 week 3:

Day 1: Start your third week by 5 minutes warm-up walking. Then 10 minutes run, 5 minutes walk, and again 5 minutes run. Finish it with 5 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 2: 5 minutes of warm-up walking. 12 minutes run, 3 min walk, again 5 minutes run. Finish with 5 to 6 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 3: 10 minutes warm-up walking (combine slow and speed walk). Then run for 15 minutes at one stretch. Take 5 minutes for cool-down walk at the end.

Day 4: 5 minutes of warm-up walk. Run for 20 minutes without rest. Finish your running activity with 5 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 5: Indulge yourself in stretching, yoga or strength movements to eliminate the physical tension.

Stage 4 week 4:

Day 1: Start your fourth week by 5 minutes warm-up walking. Then 20 minutes run in single attempt. Finish it with 5 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 2: 4 minutes of warm-up walking. 23 minutes running and 3 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 3: 3 minutes warm-up walking. Then run for 25 minutes of running at one stretch. Take 2 minutes for cool-down walk at the end.

Day 4: 2 minutes of warm-up walk. Run for 30 minutes without rest. Finish your running activity with 2 minutes of cool-down walk.

Day 5: Indulge yourself in stretching, yoga or strength movements to eliminate the physical tension.

Train yourself smarter!

Making a small investment in self right now will save you loads of aggravation and ache later. While thinking of running, then invest in a good pair of running shoes that will help ward off injuries like knee pain.

Beginners are quite like to plagued by cramps, which can blow your mind and courage to explore further. Massage is what is needed in this investment.

Be a tortoise, not hare when you are taking up running. The biggest mistake is to start out way too fast. Remember it requires time for your muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, heart and lungs to get used to the demands of running. Go slow and be steady!

  • Mia

    Thank you for this wonderful piece, especially for the beginners who have been pondering over starting to run for years. All it takes is a pair of sports shoes and you are good to go….I think it’s possible to run 5km in just 4 weeks…you need to trust yourself and start training,