people running

Running is a sport that has substantial benefits with almost no equipment requirements.  Benefits of running range from increased metabolism to better mental health. 

Although the benefits and convenience of running is obvious, you may still be having a hard time to start a running routine.  So we decided to give you a step-by step guide on creating a running plan to get you start running and make running a habit

You can also find an example beginner’s running routine we prepared for you at the end of this blog to get you going today!

Make running a habit

 

Turning your exercise into a habit will make it much easier to reach your goals.  So set a plan to create a running habit.  In his book Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg says every habit is made up of cues, rewards and a plan

  • Cues: Could be anything that signals the start of your workout.  A running playlist, a running path or running partners can all be cues for your brain.  But make sure to keep the cues consistent.  It will be much easier for your brain to create new neural pathways if you keep your cues are always the same.  
  • Rewards:  Pleasure bundling is a very common method for creating a habit.  Reward yourself with something you like after every run. This could be a small snack or watching an episode of  a series you love.  
  • Plan:  Create a weekly or monthly running plan.  Don’t worry if you can’t create one right now.  By the end of this blog you’ll be able to create your own plan or can use our example routine. 

Read more on how to stick to an exercise routine. 

Creating your running plan

 

Here’s a step-by step guide for creating a running plan.  Follow each step to start running today!

Step 1: Choose the running type

 

You should choose whether you’re going to run outside or inside using a treadmill.  Your decision should be based on the running paths available to you.  If you have a park or any kind of place you can run in near you, we advise you to opt for that option.  Actually moving while running will feel much more natural compared to treadmill running. 

However don’t be discouraged if you can only run on a treadmill.  Treadmills have their own advantages like keeping you running at the same pace or being able to run in a constant incline. 

Step 1.1: Explore your path


If you chose to run outside go ahead and explore where you’ll be running.  Go for a brisk walk around the park or the path before the first day of your routine.  Get familiar with the environment. Try to figure out the inclines and declines of the path, and see how long it takes for you to get to the path from your home.  Knowing how long it’ll take you to get to the path is critical if you have a busy schedule through the day.

Step 2: Decide the running days

 

Adding running exercises into your schedule is really important.  In the beginner level we don’t advise running more than 3 days a week.  A general advice would be walking one day and running two days a week.  Each week decide which days are most suitable to go for a run.  Try to stick to the same days every week for programming your body into a habit. 

Step 3: Decide your running length

Deciding the length of your run depends on your level and goals.  If you’re a true beginner we advise you to start with 10-15 minute runs for the first couple of weeks.  Also don’t be afraid to take active breaks while running.  If you feel too tired stop running and walk for 2-3 minutes.     After 2 weeks try to increase your running pace but still limit the run to 10-15 minutes.  

If you’re more advanced see how you feel with a 20 minute run at a moderate pace without any breaks.  

woman running purpose

Step 4: Create a running playlist

 

Listening to music can motivate you to keep pushing.  Find or create a music playlist you can listen to while running.  You can also choose to listen to a podcast while running.  By this way you can keep your mind away from tiredness. 

However, we advise you to be mindful while running.  You don’t want to take your mind off of what you’re doing completely. It’s really important to focus on your running form and feeling your body while running.  If you can, try to avoid any distractions in the first week of running. It’s critical to feel where you’re weak in the beginning and work towards those weaknesses. 

Step 5: Put everything together

 

Create a table of all the things above, the place you’ll run, the days you’ll run in and the lengths of the runs. You can use regular pen and paper or can create a spreadsheet containing everything. Just make sure you can access it wherever you are, whenever you want.  


Tips before you start running:

 

Now that you have your plan, let’s get moving!  But before you start pacing around we have some tips for you to keep in mind. 

Tip 1: Stretch and warm-up

 

Running can be an injury-prone sport especially if you’re starting out.  Make sure you warm-up and do active stretches before you start running.  There are many short warm-up videos you can use on Youtube.

Tip 2: Dress accordingly

 

If you’re running in cold water opt for materials that could wick the sweat.  Having a cotton inner layer isn’t the best option because cotton will hold on to the moisture and keep you wet.  Also cover your head because you’ll lose a lot of heat just from your head.  All these in mind try to not overdress as well.  You’ll get warmer and warmer as the run goes on.  Make sure you have thicker layers available after you finish your run to prevent catching a cold. 

For warm weather runs try breathable loose clothing.  Thick and tight clothing will cause more water loss.

Tip 3: Adjust your meals

 

Eating the right thing in the right time is critical for having an efficient run.  Checkout our Instagram post on what to eat before and after your runs. 

Example Beginner's Running Routine

 

You can use this routine directly for your first month or can create your own plan using the steps in this blog.  Also feel free to move the days and components around the sample rountine as it fits you.  

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Levent Düşünceli

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