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Getting Started with Running: Beginner Program

Running is becoming more and more popular. Want to join the pack? The following is a program to introduce you to moderate-intensity running in accordance with a very important training principle : progressive effort, without which you risk injury and loss of motivation. This is why we have included recovery days in each week to allow the body to recuperate and re-energize. The aim of the program is to build cardiorespiratory fitness.

A few tips before getting started

  • If you have any doubts about your cardiovascular health or if you take prescription medication, consult your doctor before you start running.
  • To avoid injury, observe this technique:
    • Keep your head straight when running.
    • Try as much as possible to relax your arms, shoulders and hands (should not be clenched in a fist).
    • Do not cross your arms in front of your chest, as this will cause you to twist your torso and may give you a stitch in your side. Picture your elbows going back and forth rather than your shoulders.
  • Take the time to stretch your calves, Achilles tendons and plantar fascia (bottom of your feet) after each session—you will reduce the risk of developing tendinitis or fasciitis.
  • Wear good running shoes. 
  • For women, make sure to wear a sports bra, as your chest will be subject to strong gravitational pressure.
  • Do not try to control your breathing; studies have shown that this is no more effective than your natural rhythm dictated by the intensity of the effort. Now get your running shoes on and let’s go!

Goal: To be able to run for 30 minutes, in two 15-minute blocks separated by one minute of power walking. While this is a minimal time for aerobic exercise, it will help you improve your cardiorespiratory endurance. You can remain at this stage if it suits you in terms of effort and the time you have available.

Duration: 8 weeks

How to read the program:

  • Black numbers = power walking
  • Green numbers = light jogging

Therefore, the instructions 7 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 3 would mean the following:

  • 7 minutes of power walking (at least 110 steps per minute);
  • 2 minutes of light jogging;
  • 3 minutes of power walking;
  • 3 minutes of light jogging;
  • 3 minutes of power walking to end the session.
Week Day of week Intermediate program (in minutes)
1 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
15 
10 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 3
10 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 3
2 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
7 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 3 
7 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 3 
7 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 3
3 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
6 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 2 - 3 - 3 
6 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 2 - 3 - 3
6 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 2 - 3 - 3
4 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
4 - 3 - 3 - 4 - 3 -  5 - 3 
4 - 3 - 3 - 4 - 3 -  5 - 3
4 - 3 - 3 - 4 - 3 -  5 - 3
5 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
3 - 4 - 3 - 6 - 3 - 7 - 2 
3 - 4 - 3 - 6 - 3 - 7 - 2
3 - 4 - 3 - 6 - 3 - 7 - 2
6 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
2 - 5 - 2 - 7 - 2 - 7 - 3 
2 - 5 - 2 - 7 - 2 - 7 - 3 
2 - 5 - 2 - 7 - 2 - 7 - 3 
7 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
2 - 7 - 1 - 8 - 1 - 10  - 2 
2 - 7 - 1 - 8 - 1 - 10  - 2 
2 - 7 - 1 - 8 - 1 - 10  - 2 
8 Monday:
Wednesday:
Friday:
2 - 12 - 1 - 15 - 1 
2 - 12 - 1 - 15 - 1
2 - 12 - 1 - 15 - 1

BY: RICHARD CHEVALIER