How To Become A Runner In Just 10 Weeks

CoachMel Exercise 21 Comments

If you’ve ever wondered how to become a runner, you’re not alone.

It’s very easy to look at runners and think they’re somehow different to us; that they were simply born super fit – this is definitely how I’ve felt in the past.

However, with a little work and determination, you too can become a runner.

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One the problems some face, is that they believe they’re too overweight, or unfit to run.

But the fact is, learning how to become a runner doesn’t require that you are fit already. Apart from exceptional circumstances, anyone can participate.

The best part is that it’s completely free!

How to become a runner and why…

There are many benefits to starting and continuing a running plan, and most runners have different reasons why they do it.

Here are some of the general benefits:

  • Boosts energy and mood
  • Burns calories
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Tones and firms the body
  • Provides quiet thinking time
  • Can encourage better eating habits

Exercise also has the added benefit of helping prevent disease, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. So, why not give it a go?

Running Posture

Before you begin running it’s important to consider your running form. This is how you hold your body as you run.

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For an effective run, try to:

  • Relax your upper body, pulling your abdominal muscles in tight.
  • Swing your arms back and forth, rather than across the body.
  • Push off from the balls of your feet.

Running Preparation

Stretching is a particularly important part of any exercise regimen.

It helps reduce the amount of lactic acid produced by the muscles, decreases the chance of injury, and keeps the body supple.

Get into the practice of stretching 5 or 6 times each week, for short periods at a time. Ideally, you should make it a part of your exercise routine.

After a few minutes warm up (like a slow jog, or walk), do your stretches and then begin your run. Perform some stretches then when you’re finished.

Stretching examples include:

  • Calf stretch
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Quadricep stretch
  • Tricep stretch
  • Yoga poses
  • Pilate’s poses

I’m a firm believer in taking lifestyle changes step by step, on a consistent basis until they become habit.

Previously, when I’ve tried to run, I simply didn’t have a plan. The result? My efforts faded out after a few weeks.

Recently, I was perusing a copy of the excellent magazine Notebook (September 2007), and came across a very simple, yet easy to follow beginner’s running program.

The key to any new exercise regimen is, that it starts small and increases gradually. This is exactly what this program does, and I’m really excited to get started myself.

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Continue to discover the schedule for how to become a runner in 10 weeks…

How To Become A Runner In Just 10 Weeks

Week One

  • Walk for four and a half minutes
  • Jog for 30 seconds
  • Complete five repetitions

Time: 25 minutes

Week Two

  • Walk for four minutes
  • Jog for one minute
  • Complete five repetitions

Time: 25 minutes

Week Three

  • Walk for three and a half minutes
  • Jog for 90 seconds
  • Complete five repetitions

Time: 25 minutes

Week Four

  • Walk for three minutes
  • Jog for two minutes
  • Complete five repetitions

Time: 25 minutes

Week Five

  • Walk for two minutes
  • Jog for two minutes
  • Aim for six repetitions

Time: 24 minutes

Week Six

  • Walk for one minute
  • Jog for two minutes
  • Aim for eight repetitions

Time: 24 minutes

Week Seven

  • Walk for one minute
  • Jog for three minutes
  • Complete six repetitions

Time: 24 minutes

Week Eight

  • Walk for one minute
  • Jog for four minutes
  • Complete five repetitions

Time: 25 minutes

Week Nine

  • Walk for 30 seconds
  • Jog for four and a half minutes
  • Complete five repetitions

Time: 25 minutes

Week Ten

  • Jog for as long as you’re comfortable
  • Go into a brisk walk when you need to
  • Congratulations – you did it!

Remember to add stretching before and after each workout. This will also bring your workout time to the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity.

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Try to repeat this program 2-3 times each week, along with other forms of exercise.

If you find you’re struggling with the regimen at any point, simply drop back a week, and repeat until you feel comfortable enough to move on.

Now that you know how to become a runner, all that’s left is for you to go out and do it!

However, before you start you may also enjoy my more recent post on how to become a runner. It overlaps and adds helpful information I’ve learned from personal experience.

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Comments 21

  1. Tom

    This is a great article. Running is great exercise, and best of all it doesn’t cost anything. I really like how you set out the program to progressively increase the intensity. I very much believe the best way for long-term success when it comes to exercise or diet is to start very slow, and progressively work upwards.

  2. Wendy

    Huh, I’m in Perth and I just started a jogging program similar to this that I made up for myself last week. Your thoughts must be loud! ;-P

  3. Suzannah

    Hey Melanie, I was literally just thinking that I wish I could take up something like jogging (I tried for about 6 months when I was younger and loved it), so I was surprised when I logged on here 5 minutes later and saw your post. Divine Intervention, I think! Anyway, I wondered your thoughts on jogging for people who are ‘bottom-heavy.’ I once told my doctor I’d taken it up, and he laughed at me. Do you think people of a certain shape should stick to walking because of the potential strain on the knees?

  4. Melanie

    Hi Tom,

    You are so right, gradually increasing your activity is absolutely the best way to improve your strength and endurance.

    Hi Kathryn,

    Thank you! We’ve safely arrived back in Northern Ireland, it’s been great to see family and friends again.

    Hi Wendy,

    That’s funny isn’t it!?!

    Rebecca,

    That’s amazing! I’m sure it felt so wonderful! Are you still running?

    Hi Suzannah,

    It’s great to hear from you! I’ll email soon 😉

    To be honest I think it depends on the individual – some people seem to be more prone to joint problems than others. But, if you had no problems last time, then I can’t see it being an issue this time.

    I think the best thing to do is give it a go for a few weeks, then reassess. Having good foot ware will also help, as they can absorb some of the impact on your joints.

  5. leani atherton

    these tips are benefiting to everyone.but,I am a jamaican athlete and I am way past those stage.So it would be nice if you could add something more challengeing that can help to get more speed. So I can start claking 10seconds apart from 11seconds.As a 15 year old boy,thank you!

    1. Melanie

      Hi Tammy,
      If running is something new to you, I recommend starting with twice per week, then working your way up, if you want to run more than 2 times per week.

      If you are doing it purely as a form of exercise, 2-3 times per week is ample, along with strength training exercises in between.

      I hope that helps.

  6. Jennifer

    I found and started this about 3 weeks ago. I’ve been pretty sedintary for the past few years so this is a challenge, but also do-able. I can already tell a big change in my cardiovascular health. Thanks!

    1. Melanie

      Hi Jennifer,
      I’m so pleased to read your comment, and so glad that you came back to share your experience using this plan. Thank you so much, and best wishes. Please let me know when you get to the end of your 10 weeks, I’d love to find out how you get on then, too.

  7. tammy

    Hey Melanie,

    I find that when I jog I am starting to get really sore at the top of my thigh where it meets the hip. What can I do to alleviate that? Thanks!!

  8. Ahmed

    thanks alot ,well it’s great plan for running , appreciate it.
    I have been aplying it for 8 weaks . and its really works.

    I just have one question , what if I did this plan and become able to run for 5 minutes ?! , because it,s hard to run depending on your body

  9. Othman

    Hey Melanie,

    Thanks a lot for this article , I’m really excited to start it.

    for me , I can run 2min and walk for 2min almost 6times weakly , I know still beginner lol, but I like running so much .

    however , I’m 17 and I want represent my country @RIO2016 , is this possible?!

    I know it need a lot of work , but at least it’s my dream.

    finally
    should I have rest day?

    looking forward to hear from you 😀

    1. Melanie

      Hi Othman,
      Anything is possible, if you put your mind to it. I say go for it!!! 🙂 If you like running, that is half the battle already, so just keep at it. You have made a fantastic start already.

      You should definitely have a rest day. This plan suggests repeats the program 2-3 times each week, while adding in other forms of exercise, too.

      Perhaps a running coach would be good for you, if you are to realize your dreams?

      Best wishes anyhow.

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