Running Program for Absolute Beginners

Congratulations! You’ve tackled the first major step toward a new, healthier you. Just by clicking on this article, you’ve told yourself that becoming a runner is possible, and you’re right! Our Running Program for Absolute Beginners will help you take baby steps toward reaching your goals. This beginner’s running program is designed for those with absolutely no running experience. It’s important to mention that you should always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Once you get the green light, pull that hair back, lace up those shoes, and let’s get going!

Download your free copy of the Running Schedule for Absolute Beginners.

Running Program for Absolute Beginners

This beginners’ program combines cardiovascular fitness activities with strength training exercises. Combining these two things will allow your body to build both strength and endurance, as well as help to prevent injury. You’ll notice that during the first few weeks of this beginner’s running program, you actually won’t be running at all. By starting out with a fast-paced walk, you’ll allow your body the time it needs to adapt to your new fitness routine. Follow the schedule below and you’ll be a runner before you know it.

Cardio Walk (CW): Your cardio walks will be fast-paced. You will keep your arms at chest level while swinging them front to back–just as when running. We call this a cardio walk because of its cardiovascular and fat-burning benefits. This walk is also designed to progressively move you into running.


Strength Training (ST): On strength-training days, you’ll follow a method of improving muscular strength by gradually increasing the ability to resist force. You’ll do this through the use of free weights, machines, or even your own body weight. Strength training sessions are designed to impose increasingly greater resistance, which in turn stimulates the development of muscle strength to meet the added demand.

Mile (M): As you increase your fitness levels, the distance of your cardio workouts will increase. Wherever you notice a number followed by an ‘M’ in the schedule, you should cover as many miles in your workout as the number dictates.

Cross Training: Cross training incorporates various forms of exercise. Some examples of cross training are aerobics, bicycling, brisk walking, jogging, skating, snow skiing, weight lifting, swimming, and walking. The choice is yours!

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Editor’s Note: Originally published Aug 11, 2013

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