Running for beginners part 4 - training plan for the new runner

Seven-week training plan for the beginner runner

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

Follow 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 training plan is must for the running beginner

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:

Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Monday Walk for 2 mins, run for 1 min
6 times
(18 mins)
Walk for 2 mins, run for 2 min
5 times
(20 mins)
Walk for 1 mins, run for 3 min
5 times
(20 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 5 mins
4 times
(24 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 6 mins
4 times
(28 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 8 mins
3 times
(27 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 9 mins
3 times
(30 mins)
Tuesday              
Wednesday Walk for 2 mins, run for 1 min
6 times
(18 mins)
Walk for 2 mins, run for 2 min
5 times
(20 mins)
Walk for 1 mins, run for 3 min
5 times
(20 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 5 mins
4 times
(24 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 6 mins
4 times
(28 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 8 mins
3 times
(27 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 9 mins
3 times
(30 mins)
Thursday              
Friday Walk for 2 mins, run for 1 min
6 times
(18 mins)
Walk for 2 mins, run for 2 min
5 times
(20 mins)
Walk for 1 mins, run for 3 min
5 times
(20 mins)
Rest Walk for 1 min, run for 6 mins
4 times
(28 mins)
Walk for 1 min, run for 8 mins
3 times
(27 mins)
Walk for 2 min, run for 12 mins then rest for 1 min and repeat.
(30 mins)
Saturday              
Sunday 30 min brisk walk 35-min brisk walk 45-min brisk walk 1.5-mile (2.4km) timed run. Choose a pace that’s slightly harder than usual but not all-out. Record your time. 1 hour brisk walk including 8 x 3 minute jogs Walk for 8 mins, jog for 10 mins then rest for 2 mins. Repeat
(40 mins total)
Run for 20 mins!

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