If you are a soon-to-be beginner (or beginner) runner, check out my Running Resources page for more valuable training articles! You may also want to check out my Pinterest Board for Beginner Runners.
It’s the New Year and time for New Year’s resolutions. Cliché I know, since many people never make it past January. I am so passionate about running and getting people healthy that I feel compelled to share a running program for beginners that I firmly believe works.
Why does it work? There are a number of reasons (that I will explain below), but the most important is that it eases you into a running program. Just like lose 10 lbs in 10 days plans don’t work in the long-term, neither does run 10 miles in 10 days! 😉
First Steps– Just Make it Off the Couch!
Honestly, this is a big step! Simply making the decision to get fit and start a running program is HUGE and something to feel really good about! You want to harness all of the motivation and positivity you have when you make this decision to help carry you through training.
Get excited about your new routine and think about what your life is going to look like as a runner. It helps to visualize the positive changes you expect to see as you get fit.
One of the most important things to do when starting a running program is to make a plan. Here’s where the best running program for beginners comes in. In my opinion, Couch to 5K is the best training plan to transform a non-runner (or former runner) into a runner. The first thing you will want to do is print out a copy of the Couch to 5K plan that you can find HERE. You may also want to purchase the Couch to 5K app ($1.99) for your smart phone.
The Couch to 5K app will provide you with prompts for your walk/run intervals. You can use the app with or without music. If you use it with music, you will simply hear the prompts over your tunes. You can choose from 4 different “virtual” coaches, use the GPS feature to track routes, chart your goals, and share your progress with your friends on social media networks.
Why Couch to 5K is the Best Running Program for Beginners
There are three main reasons I like the Couch to 5K program best. First, it’s a reasonable period of time for a goal. Nine weeks is totally doable for your first 5K. While it gives you the time to ramp up your training, it’s short enough to keep your eyes on the prize! Secondly, there are three workouts each week. In my experience as a busy parent, I have found that 3 workouts is realistic for an average week.
Four or five workouts each week can feel like you’re pushing it, but three workouts a week is easier to squeeze into your schedule. It also gives you adequate rest days in between workouts (you will be thankful for this if you’re really out of shape!).
Last, I think that the walk run program helps ease your body into running. Rather than an all or nothing approach, it’s a gradual transition. So, what are you waiting for? If you aren’t yet a runner (or you used to be), start the Couch to 5K program and hit the road! When you complete the program, you can read up on what to do next.
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