Training Plan For Complete Running Beginners

If you're struggling to devise a running routine try our 7-week training plan. The plan allows you, as a complete running beginner, to be able to run continuously and comfortably for at least 20 minutes.

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By following this training regime and you should be able to run continuously and comfortably for 20 minutes in seven weeks time. But be patient. You will probably find you improve in leaps and bounds over the first few sessions, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while — but don’t expect your progress to resemble a line graph — mini plateaus and setbacks are all par for the course.

For now, the name of the game is steady, comfortable running. Judging pace is a skill you’ll learn along the way — it isn't something you’ll know how to do on your very first run, and the tendency is nearly always to go too fast. A good guideline for determining the right pace is the talk test. Are you running at a pace at which you could still hold a conversation (albeit a slightly breathless one)? You shouldn't be running so fast that you can only say the odd word between gasps of air. If you’re on your own, try singing an easy song under your breath to monitor your pace.

A good guideline for determining the right pace is the talk test. Are you running at a pace at which you could still hold a conversation (albeit a slightly breathless one)?

Be flexible with your training schedule

Training schedules are not meant to be set in stone. They are guides that can be adjusted according to how you feel or the progress you are making. If you don’t feel quite ready to move up to the next week’s schedule, repeat the previous week’s. Similarly, if the sessions feel too easy, try jumping a week ahead.

It is important to remember not to run more than four days a week though even, if you’re feeling good. The joints, muscles and tendons need time to adjust to running.

Here's a suggested 7-week training schedule:

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1

Walk for 2 mins, run for 1 min 6 times 

(18 mins)

 

Walk for 2 mins, run for 1 min 6 times 

(18 mins)

 

Walk for 2 mins, run for 1 min 6 times 

(18 mins)

  30 min brisk walk
Week 2 

Walk for 2 mins, run for 2 min 5 times

(20 mins)

 

Walk for 2 mins, run for 2 min 5 times

(20 mins)

 

Walk for 2 mins, run for 2 min 5 times

(20 mins)

  35-min brisk walk
Week 3

Walk for 1 min, run for 3 min 5 times

(20 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 3 min 5 times

(20 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 3 min 5 times

(20 mins)

  45-min brisk walk
Week 4 

Walk for 1 min, run for 5 mins 4 times

(24 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 5 mins 4 times

(24 mins)

  Rest  

1.5-mile (2.4km) timed run Choose a pace that’s slightly harder than usual but not all-out. 

Record your time

Week 5

Walk for 1 min, run for 6 mins 4 times

(28 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 6 mins 4 times

(28 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 6 mins 4 times

(28 mins)

 

1 hour brisk walk including

8 x 3 minute jogs

Week 6

Walk for 1 min, run for 8 mins 3 times

(27 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 8 mins 3 times

(27 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 8 mins 3 times

(27 mins)

 

Walk for 8 mins, jog for 10 mins then rest for 2 mins Repeat

(40 mins total)

Week 7

Walk for 1 min, run for 9 mins 3 times

(30 mins)

 

Walk for 1 min, run for 9 mins 3 times

(30 mins)

 

Walk for 2 min, run for 12 mins. Rest for 1 min Repeat

(30 mins)

  Run for 20 mins!

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