Limit your running sessions to three times a week to start, to give your body a chance to rest.
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Running is a fantastic way to keep fit and healthy, and is one of the best cardio exercises for you. It's easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of beginning a running regimen. Often, people will start too hard, too fast, and give up over feeling disappointed. It won't take an exorbitant amount of time to begin running comfortably. A reasonably healthy adult should be able to start at zero and be able to run approximately 5K in 30 days.
Making the Commitment
One of the first steps to challenging yourself is making the personal commitment. Set aside time to devote to running over the next 30 days. Talk to family and friends about your goals and ask them to help you stick to them. There are also mobile apps and websites designed to help keep you motivated.
Start Out Slow
A common mistake when beginning to run is taking on too much mileage with too much intensity at once. For your first week, you will want to set aside 30 minutes for three days out of the week. Have a brisk five-minute walk to warm up, followed by 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking. Repeat until you've completed 30 minutes.
Vary Your Workouts
After the first week is complete, you will want to add more jogging into the routine. Always begin with a five-minute walk to warm up the body. The goal is now to complete one mile. Begin the week by jogging one-quarter of a mile, followed by a three-quarter mile walk. By the end of week two, divide it evenly so that you are jogging a half-mile and walking a half-mile. If you feel like this may be too much, decrease the jogging until you feel more comfortable.
Jogging a Full Mile
Ideally, by the middle of week three, you should be able to jog a full mile without walking. Begin the week by jogging three-quarters of a mile, followed by a quarter-mile walk. If this is too strenuous, try jogging one-half of a mile followed by one-half mile of speed walking. By the third workout of the week, you should be able to jog one mile, followed by walking one mile.
Home Stretch to a 5K
It is now the beginning of week four, and this week may require the strongest determination. For your first session in week four, try jogging one and one-half miles followed by briskly walking one and one-half miles. Now, you are able to cover three miles of ground, which is roughly a 5K. For your second session, try jogging two miles, followed by walking one mile. For your third session, try three miles, followed by a brisk cool-down walk. Week four contains a substantial jump and don't get discouraged if it takes an extra week to reach the 5K point.
After the 5K
Don't slow down once you've reached your 5K goal. Try to include running in your regular weekly workout, ideally running three miles several times a week. There are many other challenges you can give yourself as you advance your running so that you may work up to road races, a half-marathon or even a marathon.