How do I start running?

Ok, seems like an easy question.  Step one is to run, there is no step two 😉

Ok, just kidding, it is not that easy.

Step 1- Find a coach.  Ok shameless plug, but really a coach can not only help you avoid making mistakes, but also keep you from injuring yourself.   A good coach will learn your goals and build a training plan to help you reach that goal.  Then he/she will provide feedback to adjust your plan as you progress.

Step 2- The most important thing to do before you go on your first run is get a good pair of running shoes.  Go to your local running shoe store and they will watch you walk, check your old shoes and recommend a good pair of shoes.  Expect to pay around $100.  That might seem like a lot, but keep in mind as you’re running your knees and legs are taking 4lbs of force per pound you weight.  So if you weight 150lbs, you are looking at 600lbs of force on your knees and legs.  So invest in a good pair of shoes to help take the shock.  Also buy a pair of sports insoles.  The ones that come in a new pair of shoes, even a $100 pair of shoes are not what you should be running in.  Spend about $20 on the insoles.

Step 3- For me, you have to put your money where your mouth is.  Or in this case, put your money where your feet are.  Find a Half marathon about 4-5 months away and register.  This will help you focus.  I would recommend any Disney race as your first.  They are all about fun, and trust me you will have fun.

Step 4- As you begin to run, keep in mind everyone must start somewhere.  Learn where you are at, and start from there.  If you have a friend that is running 10 mile runs.  Don’t expect to keep up with them.  You can get there, but just like they did, you have to work up to it.  Start running for 1 minute, walking for 2 minutes.  Repeat that for 15 minutes.  Do that for one to two weeks.   Increase your running and decrease your walking.  Work up to running for 30 minutes without stopping.  Do not worry about how fast you’re running.  Just focus on the time.  It could take a few months to work up to this.  Let your body tell you when to increase the time.  Run/walk 3-4 times a week and give your body rest between workouts.  Rest is as important as the run.  If your body does not heal and get stronger, you will not improve.

Step 5- Monitor your heart rate.  Figure your max heart rate (220-age).   This is a ruff number.  Try to keep your heart rate 60-80%.  You should see your doctor to make sure running is something you are ready to do.  A checkup will not hurt.  If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, you can just use the old fashioned way.  If you can have a conversation as your running, or maybe you can sing to the music your listening to if your alone, you’re ok.  If you can say only a few words and they are, “can’t talk”.  You might want to slow down or walk.

Step 5- You’re ready to start training for your race.   Get with your coach or search online for a beginner training plan for a half marathon.  There a tons of them out there.


About Coach Bill

I am a 48 year old runner. Three years ago I ran my first half marathon and have not looked back since. I am married, have two grown son's. I work at Toyota motor manufacturing Texas building Tundra's and Tacoma's as a skilled team leader in the press department.
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